Category Archives: Personal

In One Year & Out The Other

One year ago today, I started an Instagram account to track my day-to-day fashion. I did it on a whim at the encouragement of a dear friend. I had no clear goals or expectations, just the vague idea that I wanted to show someone out there, possibly some modern day version of my younger self, that it was okay to dress (and be) different from everyone else as long as you had fun doing so.

Here are 6 of my favorite outfits from this past year. (Note that they literally all have patterned fabrics… what even are solid colors?)

 

This past year of blogging has had its ups and downs, but I’ve grown as a person, made some incredible friends, found some inspirational ladies online (some of whom are the aforementioned friends), gotten closer to some of my existing friends, taught my mother how to use a camera (thanks mom!), and felt more comfortable in my own skin (and the funky fabrics that cover it) than ever.

THANK YOU… to my friends and family who’ve shown their enthusiastic support towards me and this endeavor. I don’t know what I expected your reaction would be when I first revealed I was trying my hand at fashion blogging, but I could never in my grandest dreams have imagined it’d be so positive.

THANK YOU… to the friends I’ve made over the course of this year via Instagram, who have consistently engaged with my content and encouraged me with their words and double-taps. You ladies are such sweet, supportive, and genuine people and even if all I’d gotten out of this past year was you guys as friends, that’d be enough.

THANK YOU… to the many people in my life who have stepped up to take my photos for this blog; I truly cannot put into words how much it means to me that you have done this for me, a single time, a few dozen times, or every single day for months. Steph, Yin, Seabass, LeAnn, Kiran, Miwa, Jane, Ally, Joe, Janine, Tori, Angie, Mom, & Dad: thank you so very much. I’ll admit that I’ve never gotten myself 100% comfortable with the idea of taking time out of someone’s day to have them do something for me, but that you’ve sacrificed your precious time for this anyway means the world to me.

THANK YOU… to my followers who find my content worthy enough to appear on their feeds, especially given my erratic posting. It means a lot to me that you guys have stuck around.

THANK YOU… to my dog, Leo. He hasn’t done sh*t for this blog or my Instagram (besides pose for joint photos a few times), but I feel obligated to include him in this flood of gratitude anyway. 😉

Chase Away The Winter Greys

Don’t get me wrong: grey is a great color. It’s neutral, but unexpected. It can take on cool and warm tones. It’s a compromise when all you want to do is dress in black and white. Fashion-wise, it’s wonderful.

Yet there are two circumstances in which I hate grey:

  1. When it works its stubborn way into my own hair
  2. When the winter sucks up the sun and the city looks and feels grey

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I have to admit: it’s been several months now that I’ve been posting an #OOTD daily on Instagram, and the process turned a bit grey for me in this past month. I started fashion blogging in an effort to add color to the world around me and inspire others to do the same, but somehow the colors felt muted by the obligation to release something each and every day. On top of that, the stress of keeping engagement on the increase was washing the colors out even further.

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As a part of my annual January reassessment of my life, I realized that I didn’t want fashion blogging to be an obligation. It’s something I started spontaneously to make each day more fun, and I want to rekindle that feeling.

In parallel, the sunless days of early January were bumming me out, so as I got dressed in this outfit, I thought to myself: “Be your own sunshine.” I donned my brightest shirt and faced the day anew. Then I realized, why not apply that mantra to the other greying part of my life (besides my hair): the daily obligation to provide content on Instagram.

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I’ve decided I’m not going to pressure myself to post on Instagram everyday, and man — the feeling that resulted from this revelation is indescribable… Like anyone who says the word indescribable, I will counterintuitively go on to attempt to describe the feeling.

I feel lighter and happier. I feel better equipped to inspire others. Inspiration doesn’t come on a daily schedule (between the hours of 5pm and 11pm for increased engagement). If it seems like I’m taking a step back, I apologize. It’s true that I’m taking a step back, but not to distance myself, but to look at the bigger picture. I want to bring you guys high quality and inspiring content, but at my own pace. I’m not planning on doing this professionally — I love my career too much — and I’m not going to stress about followers or engagement in other ways.

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So where does this leave us, here on the blog? Better and brighter than ever, I hope! I will continue posting on here every couple weeks in my attempt to create inspirational content! If one person out there is inspired, that’s enough for me.

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To YOU, the kind soul who is reading this post: don’t let the winter months erase the colors from your life. Wear the colors, live the colors, and BE the colors! Like I said before, be your own sunshine. How? My first step is wearing bright colors; the feeling of inner brightness just seems to follow.

xo

(Dress by H&M, Blouse by Rock&Republic, Boots by Nine WestEye Lash Sunglasses by ZeroUV, Rouge Cream Lipstick by Sephora in Valentine-discontinued)

How To Be A Well-Dressed Mathematician

I find it often takes people by surprise when they discover I’m a mathematician AND fashionista.

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Blouse from SheIn (link to item, highly recommend this particular piece!), Skirt by Forever21, Boots by Nine West

It’s as if the two are mutually exclusive; as a mathematician, do they expect me to bolt out of bed at 3 in the morning, shrug on on a tweed coat and pajama pants, and run to the lab to frantically scribble proofs onto a blackboard, covering myself head to toe in chalk dust? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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Sunglasses by Express (link to item)

In my experience, being a math nerd has only improved my sense of fashion. People forget that mathematicians? We’re good with patterns. It’s one of the reasons I struggle to wear solid colors alone. There’s just something so appealing about a patterned fabric, especially of the geometric variety. And if one patterned fabric is nice? Imagine wearing two!

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Fashion is all about combinations and permutations of a (sadly) finite set of clothing (though I’ll admit that my set of clothes increases in volume at an alarming pace, with a steep slope post-Black Friday, when I have no self control, and tiny decreasing blips in the weeks after, when I sheepishly return a couple impulse buys).

This skirt and blouse? Two of my favorite Black Friday purchases. They are patterned fabrics, so an immediate pupil-pleaser in my eyes (pun intended), but they are also incredibly versatile and will contribute to many successful sartorial combinations in their future.

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Rings from Aldo (link to item)

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Going back to the topic of math fashionistas; I’ll admit, I did endure some minor hardships as a result of being both a woman in STEM and a women who puts a decent amount of effort into getting dressed in the morning. I got the impression during grad school that some fellow mathematicians thought less of my brain based purely on my appearance. And that can be discouraging.

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This skirt is an optical illusion

But if you find yourself in similar shoes, don’t let it get to you. If they think mathematicians (or other brainiacs) can’t also be fashionistas (or in any way passionate about fashion/beauty), let yourself be a walking, talking counterexample! You exist, therefore you are. Q.E.D.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Faking Confidence

I recently came to the realization that the way I dress leads strangers to assume I am a fearlessly confident person.

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Romper by Zara

I’m going to tell you guys here, in confidence, that I am the opposite of confident. I am confident in the way that a baby deer is confident; which is to say, not very much, at all.

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Lipstick by Beauty Bakerie Makeup

But that’s okay. People say that confidence is an essential quality one needs in order to “make it” in life. But I say, there are qualities that are far more important: kindness, honesty, and respect.

I firmly believe that kindness, honesty, and respect aren’t qualities you should fake, but confidence? It’s one of those “fake it till you make it” type qualities. You don’t need to have confidence to look confident.

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My secret to looking confident: wear whatever the f*ck you want!

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Purse by Giani Bernini for Macy’s

My technique for getting dressed in the morning is: find a central piece (the centerpiece) and pick random items/accessories to match with it, and then cross your fingers and hope they all match in combination!

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Shoes by Aldo

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My romper today was way too cold for this crisp November weather, so I tried to find matching tights and, to my dismay, they were still not sufficiently warm. So I layered them… because… why not?!

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Necklace from Modcloth (still available!)

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Never be afraid to experiment in creative ways when it comes to fashion! The wonderful thing is, you’ll have some successes and some failures, but with each new success, you’ll gain a little more confidence.

I like to get dressed in a way that makes me feel ready to go out there and face the world. And that’s exactly the kind of confidence you need…

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… The confidence that at the end of the day, you are being true to yourself above all else.

Outfit Matching With Bae

I’d like to introduce you to the Number One Man in my life: Leo.

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Jacket by Express (Similar), Shoes (Faux Shearling Lined) by Converse (Similar)

Leo is my family’s 11 year old toy poodle, who I suspect has discovered the mythical Fountain of Youth and/or drinks the blood of baby unicorns when we’re not looking.

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Sunglasses by ZeroUV

Leo and I have had these cozy camo print coats for several years now, but I’ve never had the opportunity to get a photo of us in our matching jackets together. Now seemed as good a time as any, so I enlisted the help of my awesome father for an impromptu fall photoshoot.

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Several years ago, I found myself struggling to find my way in the massive planet we call home. So I looked to my Number One Guy for some help; I thought about the principles he lives by.

  1. Enjoy the simple things.
  2. Love freely and openly.
  3. Always get your beauty sleep.
  4. Sniff ALL the butts.

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I didn’t particularly feel that #4 was my kinda thing, and #3 was something I already did quite unashamedly… but #1 and #2 have opened my eyes.

Enjoy the simple things. Leo often finds himself overcome with pure zen at the feeling of the wind blowing through his fabulous ears; I try to enjoy the sight of colorful fall leaves on a weekend away from the city, or the feeling of a smooth subway ride during a rush hour commute.

Love freely and openly. Leo has no shame in gazing adoringly into my eyes like there’s nothing else he’d rather be looking at; perhaps I’m not ready to express that level of devotion just yet, but I don’t hide my feelings of love for my friends and family. Life is too short to be shy about these things!

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And life is too short to not have photoshoots with your dog where you’re both wearing matching outfits…

Happy Fall ❤

One Step Forward

It’s a Thursday evening, and I’m starting a fashion blog.

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Photo by Allison Stock Photography

I’m going to admit it: I didn’t see this one coming. I started @absolutedax, a fashion Instagram account, a couple months ago with the encouragement of my coworkers, mostly for the amusement of my friends and family, but as I found myself more and more exposed to the fabulous world of #Instafashion, I felt myself filled with purpose.

Four months ago, I’d say my purpose in life was to bring laughter to the faces of loved ones, to pet ALL the dogs in the world, and to show people how incredible math (yes, math) is.

My newest purposes are the reason I’ve started this blog:

  • To encourage others to live (and dress) outside of the box,
  • To add some color to a predominantly white fashion landscape (where are the minorities at?), and
  • To be my best self.

My journey to self-acceptance has been a rollercoaster with rickety seats, but as a result of the ride, I can now express myself confidently through fashion. I’m not by nature an overtly confident person – in fact, I’m often the opposite – but fashion is one of the few realms in which I feel no doubt at all.

In fact, it’s one of the few areas in which some might call me “daring”…

xo, DAX.