Debbie’s Styling Questionnaire

I’ve been reading this excellent blog Recovering Shopaholic for a while now, and although I’ve never been a shopaholic, I still learn a lot reading this blog and really enjoy reading the posts.

Recently, Debbie Roes, a wardrobe stylist and author of the blog posted her own answers to many of the questions of her Styling Client Questionnaire, and invited her readers to do the same.

Describe Your Current Style

List 5 or more adjectives or phrases which describe your current style.

  1. Comfortable – If my clothes are not comfortable, I will not wear them, and they’ll only be taking up precious space in my wardrobe, so they get ditched.
  2. Non-conformist – Because I am me. My clothes reflect my personality, and I happen to be non-conformist.
  3. Eclectic – Unfortunalety I don’t mean that in a positive way. My wardrobe lacks cohesion.
  4. Oversized – Oversized clothes are comfortable and hide a multitude of sins. But do I really need that kind of comfort anymore?
  5. Fuss-free – Life is too short to spend fussing over your clothes, so most of my clothes are fuss free. As in: When they come out of the washing machine, I hang them out to dry and there’s no way I’ll want to spend time ironing them.

What about your current look do you like? What do you want to change?

I like that my clothes are comfortable and fuss free. I also like that I usually look different from everyone else.

I would like to maybe create a more sophisticated look, without losing my individuality. Also, I think a little more colour wouldn’t be amiss in my wardrobe. (Working on that already.)

What is the biggest challenge you face each day when you look into your closet?

Colour. I like brown. It’s a good colour for me to wear, but I am simply fed up with too much brown. Also, my style isn’t really the best for me. I can get away with it, but too often I have to rely on little “tricks of the trade”.

To illustrate what I mean, these are the clothes I’m wearing today. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these clothes. The colours suit me, and I actually found other colours to wear than brown. My friend Paris obviously has the perfect body to wear them. However, when I put them on, they accentuate my non-existent waistline. Not too flattering.

So, what do I do? I forget about tucking my blouse in, and grab one of my belts.

There! Isn’t that much better?

Are you going through a transition that is leading you to want to re-evaluate your look? If yes, what?

There’s several things going on at the moment. In my efforts to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle despite living with a “maximalist” husband (and that’s a euphemism!), and a teenage daughter who hasn’t quite made up her mind about the amount of stuff she wants to keep, I quite naturally started by decluttering my wardrobe. That was actually the easy part as I didn’t have a gazillion clothes to begin with. However, since the plantar fat pad atrophy, I have had to make other changes that had a much greater impact on my lifestyle. When I want to go into town, I cannot just walk to the bus stop, take a bus and go as I please. I cannot spend hours window shopping. Not by foot, anyway. I’m now dependent on the hubby’s willingness and availability. Will he take me there, with my Spazmobile, so I can have a good time?

Shopping for groceries is less of a problem, but has also changed. I now go by bike or on my Spazmobile. No bus. No walking. Not anymore. And this has implications for the way I dress – or the way I should dress. Most of my trousers have very wide legs. I like them that way, but they are very impractical when riding my bike or Spazmobile. They get stuck between the spokes or under the wheels of my vehicle, which can make for dangerous situations. Skinny trousers would definitely solve that problem, but I just can see myself wearing those things. They are not my style and so I find myself wondering what to do.

Describe Your Ideal Style

List 5 or more adjectives or phrases which describe your ideal style.

  1. Comfortable – Obviously, comfort remains my number one priority. I should not have to give up on comfort in order to look good.
  2. Non-conformist – That one too, remains. I am a unique person and wish to express my uniqueness not just in they way I act, but also in the way I dress.
  3. Creative – I feel my wardrobe lacks creativity, and as such doesn’t allow that part of my personality to shine through.
  4. Sophisticated – I figure a bit more sophistication wouldn’t be amiss.
  5. Fuss-free – Because honestly, who likes ironing? Or washing by hand? And do I look like I want to take my clothes to the dry cleaners? Nope.
  6. Minimalist – Shouldn’t leave that one out. Ultimately I want to own a complete, versatile wardrobe that fits into just one suitcase.

Is there a celebrity – or several – whose style you admire? Why?

No. I do not read gossip magazines, never go to the cinema and hardly ever watch TV, so I probably wouldn’t recognise a celebrity if I saw one.

On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for you to follow current trends?

I’m not interested in trends, so that would be 1. Years ago, when I started home educating, I sort of drifted away from mainstream society. This wasn’t a conscious choice, but it happened and it felt good, so I embraced my new life. I realised I didn’t have to live up to others’ expectations. I only had to be true to myself. Nothing is more liberating than that.

Some Body and Life Details…

What do you feel are your best features (face and body)?

  1. Hair – My hair just looks and feels good. Most of the time – if I remember to get a haircut regularly (which I don’t always do, because sometimes I just can’t be arsed). Also, it’s very easy to take care of.
  2. Arms and hands – They’re long, strong and lean, and I’ve got the perfect piano-fingers.
  3. Slender figure – I seem to be naturally slim, meaning I can eat all that I want without putting on weight.
  4. Eyes – Not only are my eyes very expressive, they’re also a nice shade of green, which appears to change with the light.
  5. My “boyish” features – As a teen I used to feel treated unfairly by mother nature, but three pregnancies and experiencing the “joys” of being top-heavy during the last months of my pregnancies definitely cured me of that notion.

What aspects, if any, of your figure do you want to downplay?

Not sure that there are any. Sure, there are time when it would be nice to be a just a little better endowed. I mean, some tops really need to be filled up properly and no matter how much I like them, I would never be able to wear them, but does that really matter? Nope. There’s plenty of other tops I can wear.

It would also be nice to have hips, so I could wear low-rise trousers, but again, it doesn’t really bother me. Not for longer than the occasional minute or two.

What types of things do you do for fun and leisure?

I like to read, write, and daydream. I love music. I love to play with power tools and make nice things for the house. I love to prepare a good meal, from scratch. I enjoy baking my own artisan bread, cakes, biscuits, etc. The kitchen is really my domain. Actually, I like almost all things creative.


About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
This entry was posted in No new clothes. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Debbie’s Styling Questionnaire

  1. Leah says:

    Thank you Debbie. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my answers. Answering those questions has definitely been helpful to me. It forced me to think about my style choices and whether or not they were still working for me – which as we have seen, is not always the case anymore. Now I know not only that I need to change a couple of things, but I've also got a fair idea about how to make those changes.


  2. Debbie Roes says:

    Leah, I love that you took the time to answer my questions and did a blog post on it! I enjoyed reading your responses and seeing the images that illustrated one of your points. I'm sorry to hear about your foot problems (I have some, too, but they aren't as severe), but it's good you've kept your sense of humor about that, as well as other aspects of your life.

    I love that you are a non-conformist with your style. I think it's great when people find an individual sense of style instead of trying to chase the moving target of the fashion industry. I was always a style individual but then I got into the industry to some extent and tried to hard to fit in. That got me into trouble with my shopping, but now I'm finding my way again.

    I hope that answering the questions was helpful for you. I wish you the best of luck with your evolving style and your path of minimalism.


  3. Leah says:

    Thank you Susan. I think you're right. Comfort and individuality do become more important as we age.
    I'm sorry to hear of your weight gain. That would have me going berserk. (I used to be an anorexic. I'm over it – and have been over it for decades now, but still.) Bunions… I looked it up, and that looks rather painful to me. As for FPA… well, I know all about that. Even without the bunions you'd have trouble walking.
    I do enjoy op shopping, though. It's not always easy to find the right thing, but that's half of the fun. Well, to me it is.


  4. Leah says:

    That's a great philosophy, Patti. I hate itchy clothes.


  5. Susan says:

    I do admire and applaud your honesty and willingness to share with us your questionnaire and answers. I think as we age gracefully we grow into ourselves and comfort and individuality are the most important things for all of us – without having to strive too much for it. I for one cannot be bothered to go clothes shopping for several reasons: I live on a pension so my income is small and fixed, I am having chemotherapy which includes steroids = huge weight gain, I suffer a lot of foot pain due to bunion surgery, which needs to be repeated as soon as my cancer is in remission, and suspected fat pad atrophy. So, like you Leah, walking is difficult. Most of my clothing these days comes from op shops so I have to take what I can find, and as for aspiring to look like a celebrity – who are they I ask? And they have to have plastic surgery to suit their “fashions” anyway! I do like the Gilda Radner theory mentioned above – gave me a giggle.


  6. I subscribe to the Gilda Radner school of fashion. She once said, “I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch.” Perfect.


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