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Amanda Lin Costa

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

My clothes fit well both in terms of flattering and comfort. I look in the mirror and feel nothing else I put on that day could be more "me."

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

Yes. They stand out. They area wearing a look I haven't seen and are pulling off. I was in Saks recently & most interesting outfits I saw were on two young women shopping.

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

I really appreciate a woman that understands her body. Her clothes flatter her no matter the style.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

I always loved style but when my daughter wanted to dye her hair Manic Panic in middle school and I helped her and other moms didn't approve, I was like, "She's a straight A student and amazing person who cares if her hair is blue!?" It's only fashion. Have fun with it! Ndr

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?


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


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

See above.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

God no.

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


10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

I don't reminisce about gift given

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

No but as I get older I can't really repeat a trend circling a second time wholeheartedly

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

She was always very tasteful and artistic. I admired it growing up. I have seen her get a bit stuck with picking up new looks so try and keep that in mind. Though it may just be new for her is already "been there done that."

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


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

Many times. Seeking to look more grown up then running from the suburban mom look.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I try to be aware of poor work conditions of garment factory workers but it's tough to buy clothes smart. I try and buy brands that are not mass produced but money often dictates these options. I try not to fall into the over consumerism trap

16. Please describe your body.

Curves size 4.

17. Please describe your mind.

Always thing. Good for creative part of me but also prone to overthinking and anxiety.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Glass always half full and my best days feel filled with love for the world. Also prone to wonder why the world is so [email protected]#cked up. Humans are a rollarcoaster of good deeds and cruelty. My emotions can be tied to world events or an act of kindness on the subway. Very effected by my surrounding world.

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

No make up. Lovely all natural moisturizer and hair loose.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

I think 75% of the time how we feel in our clothes and present ourselves is very import. 25% of the time realize it isn't in the least, and I believe the latter is truth.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Friends, daughter, boyfriend

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I like to see what is in style as well as boycott who deserves it.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

Both. Same.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

Anything with a tag still on it. Saving things for a special occasion is dumb

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

No idea what that means

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


27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

Many but the minute you walk into situation dress goes out window but always help to feel confident you look good and appropriate for situation.

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

Yes. My mother was an artist so I view everything as artistic.

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

Yes. But I broke many of my mothers rules as I found my own independence.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

I love when I feel like my skin and hair look healthy and glowing. Sexy dress can be either tight fitting or not depending on if it is flattering to my "assets"

31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?

I think many people say scomfortable to mean not taking risk and confident is taking risks but I don't think this makes sense in reality.

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

I've worked as a stylist so this might be cheating. Find a look that flatters you, fits your personality and if you have a career, is appropriate for that lifestyle.

If you only wear black, try a color one day. You might like it.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

Healthy with a quick smile and laugh. And a few folks with crazy genetics.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

When you know that person is defeated.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

I buy a lot less now, so I better wear it

36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?

I judge with my own stylist eye which can be pretty tough sometimes. I don't try to compare myself to other people other than sometimes to play with hair or makeup to look like something/someone I saw in mag or movie etc.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

Weather. And in NYC how much walking will be involved.

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

Match mood that day or situation I'll be in.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing up is when cocktail or black tie is required.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

Stylish jeans and fun not solid color tops

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

I know my body shape. As long as it is flattering I'll try anything.

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

American - so anything goes

43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?

I used to club a ton so I dressed more revealing then I would now going out at night. I guess being aware of age appropriate exposure.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

Not one thing

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

I don't have those

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?


47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?


48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?


49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

Perfect black dress. Love how easy they are

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

No but my chest size often limits clothes choices.

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

40s -- curves were in!

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

I have some photos I love but fighting off aging still. Hate a pic where I can see that skin sag.

54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?


55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?

Only where I'm shopping for client and can't find what I need

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

Oversized. I'd drown in it and look like a potato sack

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

Exactly what I wear

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?


59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Don't squeeze into a size or two too small. Right sizing is so Important. And good bras!

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

Yes. Like. But very picky.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

No stains or wrinkles

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

I like to wear but level of what each day varies. Almost always eyebrows and blush

63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?


64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

Everything from designer to no name

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

Tough question. Simple diamond studs that are my birth stone, perhaps

66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?

A few of my mom's items from 60s & grandma's from 50s I used to wear but don't fit

67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?

I love my MuiMui bag

68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?


69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

Best fitting pair of jeans

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?

Be more aware of how clothes are made.

71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

Thigh high Red suede boots. Who knew if I'd held on to the that they would come back?

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?


73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?


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

Semi. Too crowded now that I live in the city

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?


76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?

I don't really "value" clothes

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?


78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Clean and floral in summer and a little mystic spice in winter

79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?

Gotta dress for success

80. How does money fit into all this?

Money is always a factor

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


82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?

What does sartorial mean again?

83. Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?

First days back to school. Fun but stressful.

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

1966 born LA now NYC

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.


What kind of work do you do?


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

Divorced. One daughter in mid twenties. Live with boyfriend of five years

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I love the idea of your book!, can't wait to read it.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Reminded me of relationship with my mom and daughter --- highs and lows.


Still adjusting to the fact I can't wear any of my designer heels in NYC if I have to walk even a block. The sidewalks are killing me!

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