Mia D’Amato: From Tomboy to Fashion Major

Friday evening was nothing short of the quintessential Erie, Pennsylvania winter. Snow glistened past the frosted windows, while the howling of wind roared through my radiator. I turned up the heat while the soft glow of strung lights bounced against the living room walls.

At last, warmth.

Shortly after, a subtle knock against the door brought me to my feet. Mia D’Amato stood with damp hair and a canary yellow crewneck sweatshirt, topped off with a pleasant smile. She stepped inside and instantly apologized for being a bit under the weather and sounding “nasally.”

Mia is a Buffalo native, but currently resides in Erie, playing field hockey and pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising and minoring in sustainability and business at Mercyhurst University.

However, fashion wasn’t always of interest to Mia. In fact, “I was either going to go to law school or orthodontics,” she said.

Today, Mia is known to gravitate towards simplistic styles that express ease. She describes her style as earthy, comfortable, and athletic.

Although, discovering her personal style was not always smooth sailing. Mia proclaimed how drastically her style has evolved overtime. “In middle school—it’s probably not hard to believe—I was like a complete tomboy. I was like ‘Eww boys,’” she confessed.

Growing up with four siblings, all a year apart, did not help matters either. She recalled how crazy it would get, sharing one bathroom amongst five people. “Probably why in middle school and the start of high school I didn’t really care about the way I looked,” she stated.

Mia stands alongside her siblings, a bond that clearly can not be separated. Left to right: Dan, Abby, Mia, Libby, Ava

Once she started her first job at the age of sixteen, Mia started down the path of determining her sense of style.

She recalled the initial thrill of making her own money, but then, with a hint of remorse revealed spending her entire paychecks at the mall. “I would make my mom drive me every other weekend to the mall,” she said.

Mia’s three sisters—Abby, Libby, and Ava—were all as equally overjoyed when Mia would return from her shopping trips. “Nine times out of ten, they were wearing it before I was,” she laughed. Despite each of her sisters possessing very different styles, they each relied on Mia’s input.

“I feel like they all have full trust in me,” Mia stated, “if they give me their gift card, I will go spend it for them.” Mia explained that this past Christmas her younger sister, Libby was heading to New York City and needed three new outfits. Without hesitation, Libby handed off her debit card to Mia. Thanks to her three sisters, Mia now has years of experience as a personal stylist, we joked.

“Senior year is where I kinda figured out my earthy [style],” Mia said.

Mia shows off her sporty and simple style with a black off the shoulder top and plaid skirt. Completing the look with a pair of high-top sneakers.

After spending the majority of her days in art classes her senior year, Mia began second guessing the excitement of law school and orthodontics. “My teacher, she was kind of a hippy, so we did a lot of self-reflection stuff and what you want to do. So senior year is where I kind of picked up fashion,” she said.

Figuring out your personal style is not always a simple task. “Everyone figures it out—sometimes I am still figuring it out,” she reassures. Mia D’Amato struggled to discover her own style, and now is her sisters’ inspiration. Talk about a glow up.

MacKenzie Lewis, '21

Just your average girl who cries during rom-coms, has HGTV on repeat, and an undying love for all things fashion.