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yanqin lin

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I'm healthy, well-rested and freshly showered. Preferably with a great haircut.

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

I love a woman with attitude and a kind of assertiveness in her style.

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

I love women who pay attention to details and coherence - like little touches of colour in her outfit that echo one another, for example. I also admire good fit, and consequently, ease. A woman who knows her outfit fits and hands perfectly exudes confidence, and I admire that.

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 had long hair as a child, but got it cut into a short crop when I was 11, because I started swimming a lot and long hair was a pain to manage. I've grown my hair out once since then, but it was clear to me that short hair is "me". It defines how I dress. It wasn't a sudden relevation, it's just something that became clear to me over the years.

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

Always check out the men's section, and if something is expensive, consider waiting for the sales.

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

Too loose is better than too tight.

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

I've not had one yet.

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

I suppose I generally work hard at these things, and it's on a continuum: on one end it's a sense of duty and being responsible, and on the other end it's pure pleasure. I'm wavering in either direction constantly.

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

Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers. White t-shirts are a staple and I'll always need fresh ones when the older ones yellow are relegated to housework wear.

And I love denim as a fabric and am always interested in checking outs washes and finishes, and inevitably every few years I am tempted to buy something to add to my collection.

Ditto for sneakers. On a daily basis I lean towards classic, simple styles but I am always on the lookout for unusual colours and materials. My weakness is Onitzuka Tigers from Japan - every few years they'll make something really beautiful in a limited run and I can't say no.

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

I rarely do this because it's hard! The person I consistently shop for successfully is my mother, because for some reason I think I've figured out her style codes and I usually get it right.

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

Body-con dresses. 70's high-waist flares. Flatforms. Platform heels. Baby-doll dresses. 80s' shoulders. So many!

I don't like things that strike me as cartoon-y and I don't like extreme silhouettes. I'm drawn to shapes that endure and always look good.

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

My mum is of average height and when she was younger, she was slim, but she's put on some weight since. I inherited the height that runs in her family (she is about 1.68m but I'm about 1.79m), but style-wise, she prefers a lot more colour and print than I do. But we actually share clothes because she has a good eye for classic basics that anchor her wardrobe and so she likes to borrow some of my tops and my shift dresses.

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

I regularly borrow clothing from my sisters but we tend to wear them very differently. I do have a couple of very well-dressed friends and sometimes I'll get new ideas when it comes to colour pairings, but that's about it.

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

Not really. I gradually phased out the more frilly touches in my wardrobe because I really am not a frills person even if it's just a soft blouse with jeans. But it wasn't really a sharp turn into a different direction.

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

I don't wear make-up and because of my short hair and height and my preference for "tomboy" dressing, people tend to mistake me for a man, or think I'm butch. I'm neither, but I never correct anyone because I think it will come across as defensive or people might think I'm feeling embarrassed, when I am feeling nothing of the sort. I suppose there is something political about this in the sense that I feel like I have to challenge the notion that a woman has to look a certain way.

16. Please describe your body.

I'm tall, broad in the shoulders and hips, and have long limbs.

17. Please describe your mind.

Easy distracted

18. Please describe your emotions.

Powerful, but under control. I feel strongly about things but I don't impose them on others or express them readily without thinking about the consequences of doing so.

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

My face is pretty bare - the only thing I put on this morning was moisturiser. It's also a little sticky and grimy from the humidity. I'm wearing a summery top in a teal cotton that reminds me of the sea, and after I returned from from yoga and errands I changed out of my navy kneelength chino shorts and into pink cotton shorts that I wear at home and sleep in, because I like to wear comfortable, lounge-y things at home.

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

Style is a little dash of beauty for the everyday, and I prefer to give it some thought. I enjoy putting together an outfit I find visually appealing and relevant to whatever aesthetic I happen to be drawn to at the moment. Dressing well also makes an impression.

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

July 17, 1984. I was born in Singapore and still live here.

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

chinese, middle class

What kind of work do you do?


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


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