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Tasha Cotter

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

I’ve never really gone in for pampering, but I do love it. I just tend to prioritize other things. I have student loans and stuff like manicures and pedicures costs money and seems a little frivolous. I only get my hair cut twice a year, I get a pedicure maybe once a year. Nails never get done. I feel most attractive after I’ve done something good for myself, like attend one of those yoga classes I always skip, or get a massage that I badly needed.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I have a round face that I have a love/hate relationship with. I wish I could get a haircut that seemed to fit my face shape. I only ever colored my hair once as a teenager. I’d love to do something different, but I don’t know what and I’m a little scared to do anything drastic. I’d need a pro to hold my hand and tell me everything would be ok, I think. Some women (i.e. Katie Holmes and Rachel Bilson) have such shiny, lustrous hair and I always wonder what they did to make their hair look so amazing.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

I am 5 foot 2 and I hover between 100 and 105 pounds so I work to find things that fit my petite frame. Heels are a must. I like buckles. I do not like logos. I like solid colors. I don’t tend to reveal much skin—again, I want people to focus on me and the words that are coming out of my mouth. I only get sexy for a date night with my husband.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

No, no conversations I can think of. I tend to socialize with a pretty literary crowd, I guess and you know, people just don’t talk about fashion like that, though I think everyone has an opinion about it. I think most artists are sensualists at heart. We love beautiful things. We can’t help it. Our eyes are drawn to it and we try to create it.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

Lots of jeans and t-shirts. I grew up on a large farm in rural Kentucky and in my town everyone wore jeans. To this day I only own a few skirts. I’m just not really a girly-girl.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

No, I don’t think so. Just lots of people I don’t know.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

2005, summer in Paris. I’d studied French in the classroom all throughout college and slowly little cultural details started to sink in. French women focus on skincare. They present a more natural version of themselves to the world. That’s me. I adopted these things into my life. It may sound silly, but I even stopped drinking soda. I drank more water. I was hungry for a way to live and I’d found something like a code to go by. I’ve never liked makeup all that much—I just don’t spend money on it. There’s French ancestry on my father’s side of the family and I just started researching French culture, fashion, and beauty. That’s why I love any book about France or French culture. They just get so much right.

16. Please describe your body.

5’2, 100 pounds or so. I am short and curvy. I should do something to work out, but I don’t. I tell myself I like to stay busy and so that burns calories. I do like long walks.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

Nude Gladiator heels, toes painted Lavender (Mom and I got pedis two weeks ago). Wearing Banana Republic Skinny Jeans and a short sleeve white top with shiny gold stripes across the front (Ralph Lauren). Hair in a high ponytail. Face: C.O. Bigelow lip balm and a bit of foundation that I dabbed on this morning. Plus mascara.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

I subscribe to Elle and Marie Claire. I also read People Magazine from time to time (my mom subscribes). Those magazines have taught me a lot about how to dress. I’ve learned that proportions are really important—if I’m going to wear a billowy blouse I should probably wear tights or skinny jeans to balance it out. Long antique necklaces are good for a finishing touch. And I can’t resist an over-sized cardigan.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I think I just try to keep things simple and straight-forward. I don’t like gimmicks and I don’t like fuss. I especially do not like being wasteful and I think all those attitudes inform my style and writing. I like to cut to the chase.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

I spent the summer of 2005 in Paris and it was there I learned how to dress. Thing is, people tend to think I look like a kid and so I’m constantly trying to look a little older. And a little tougher. Style-wise, I pay close attention to people like Audrey Tautou, Michelle Williams, and Audrey Hepburn. I’ve done a lot of teaching over the years and a couple of years ago I was guest-teaching a third-grade class and one little girl asked me if I was from the “big school” she was referring to the high school.
Some days I think it’s great that I look younger than I really am—soon I’ll be 30! But mostly I want people to take me seriously. To treat me like I’m an adult, not a kid, so that’s what I’m going for when I get dressed—I like heels, I like black. I like leather. But I always incorporate a hint of feminine.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I’m part Cherokee, part French. I grew up in a small farming community in Kentucky and immersed myself in English Literature and French culture. France is my adopted homeland—the place most like me. The place that taught me how to be the person I was trying to become.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

I am more of a SPF, powder and lip balm person. I also use mascara every day. I like just a little makeup.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

Skinny jeans were an amazing discovery for me and being as I love heels and boots, Dansko makes some killer black ankle boots that I have worn the life out of twice. I just keep re-soling the bottoms. They were expensive, but they were worth every penny.

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

My clothes are everywhere, usually piled around our little house. I have nice things and I’ve basically been the same size since I was 18, so I’ve accumulated some nice stuff that I’m not going to give away. I don’t have one specific closet. I have a closet in my office, shoes in the den, coats and various other things stored in the upstairs closet. I do try to hang things up and take care of things—I’m not a total slob. It’s just a space issue.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

My mother is amazing and loves to shop. I would like to shop more if I had money, but I usually don’t. I still have lots of stuff from when I was 21 or 22. Mom just buys me stuff all the time and she’s got a good eye for the sort of thing I tend to like. We also just discovered the Opry Mills mall in Nashville and there’s a Sak’s 5th Avenue there that is AMAZING. So amazing. We both spent too much money. I would say that about 90% of the stuff in my closet(s) was bought by Mom. Moms are great 

81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?

I love body oil. L’Occitane makes one that I absolutely love.

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

Born: Glasgow, Ky January 6, 1984
Now: Lexington, Ky

What kind of work do you do?

Poet/ Author

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

Married since 2007 to my extremely patient husband Daniel.

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