*fist pump* Baby’s First Links à la Mode

16584994_1256594314432996_3357765196759171072_n

Such a pleasant surprise to find that my Valentine’s Day post was chosen for Links à la Mode! Run by Independent Fashion Bloggers, this challenge accepts weekly submissions by a Tuesday deadline to bring you a curated list of must-read posts! Thank you IFB ❤

Please check out this week’s blog posts below — lots of lovely and inspiring content!

Links à la Mode, February 16th

(Overalls by Free People from Lord & Taylor, Sweatshirt from Korea inspired by Jeremy Scott 2007 design)

LINKS A LA MODE SPONSOR: Shopbop Marc Jacobs, Soludos Shoes, Tumi Shoulder Bags, Fred and Sibel, Gucci, Castaner,
Embroidered,
Poplin Blouses,
Tassel Earrings,
Men’s Arc’teryx Veilance
Sign up for free

Love Your Self (Valentine’s OOTD)

Why do you get dressed in the morning? What makes you pull on your favorite dress, match the tone with the sweep of blush on your cheeks, and put on a chic pair of sunglasses?

img_1249

We’ve all dressed to impress someone. The hot barista who whips up a five star latte, the cute coworker in that other department, the bass player in that one cover band, the fellow fashionistas on Instagram.

img_1244

img_1255

There’s nothing wrong with it, per say. But I know that sometimes, that special someone doesn’t take notice, and it’s all too easy to feel like all that effort you put into getting dressed that morning went to waste.

Well I say, it wasn’t a waste at all. It was glorious! Did you see yourself?! How did you feel, walking around in that outfit? Did you feel like a total babe? Did you have an extra pep in your step with each click of your heels? Did you make finger guns at yourself in the mirror?!!

img_1257

If you did, you didn’t get dressed for someone else at all, my friend. You got dressed for YOU!

Identify that quality in your outfits that makes you think you’re going to impress someone else, and use it to impress yourself. If an outfit makes you feel cute or sexy, put together more looks just like it so you can feel that way more often. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion or an encounter with your crush to dress your best — everyday is an opportunity to do just that.

So… tomorrow, put on those dancing shoes, wear your favorite lipstick, and remember to LOVE YOUR SELF. And if you don’t have a special someone to share tomorrow with, that means you have a lot of extra love to spare for yourself.

img_1256

img_1259

xx

(Dress was a #StylishSurprise from Modcloth, Turtleneck and Unicorn Purse by Forever21, Silver Harah Sandals by Dune London from DSW, Sheer tights by Victoria’s Secret, Socks and Necklace from NastyGal, Sunglasses by ZeroUV, Earrings from H&M, Haute Flash Lipgloss by Milani)

Selective Memory Loss, or How Each Year I Forget I Hate Winter

You know that feeling you get approximately mid-July, where you yearn for Christmas and winter-time, for rosy cheeks and holiday carols and sweater weather? Each summer, without fail, I find myself deeply nostalgic for the winter-time, and reminiscing about roasted chestnuts and gingerbread chai from winters past.

What I forget, each year, without fail, is that the winter is not synonymous with December and the holidays. No, winter only really emerges after the holidays, when the chestnuts have stopped roasting and gingerbread is a distant memory; the winter sucks the life out of the first part of the new year and you can’t even cry about how cold it is because your tears will freeze on your face!!!!

One of the most difficult parts of the winter for me is getting dressed. As much as I love fashion, I am far too dramatic about the cold to compromise the stability of my own body temperature for fashion. I never understand how some people in the city can comfortably walk around with bare legs when it’s below freezing! The very thought makes me shiver.

img_1191

My winter go-tos begin and end with leathers and sweaters. First of all, leather pants are a winter God-send, and if you don’t own a pair of (p)leather pants with a thick lining inside, you haven’t experienced true warmth. Leather pants are so fabulous and fierce, but what no one knows is that they are actually one of the warmest things you can wear in the winter! Denim? Puh-lease!

img_1188

Also, sweaters. I am so thankful that sweaters have made a huge comeback this season, along with jewel tones, because few things in the winter look as effortlessly chic as a jewel toned oversize sweater.

img_1211

img_1190

What are your go-to items for staying warm in the winter? I hate to say it, but apparently Punxsutawney Phil has predicted a dire six more weeks of winter so don’t put any of those winter staples away just yet.

img_1199

(Sweater by Express, Leather pants by H&M, Cat clutch by H&M, Cat Eye Sunglasses from ZeroUV, Ultra Satin Lip in Hutch by Colourpop)

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

img_1092

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.

img_1094

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.

img_1097

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.

img_1096

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.

img_1098

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)

Street Art Of Ireland

I just made it back from a 10 day trip to Ireland for the holidays, and man, what a beautiful country!

I anticipated drinking lots of Guinness and Jameson (check and check), nursing a 10-day hangover (crisis avoided), and seeing the seriously stunning countryside, but what I didn’t anticipate was how absolutely gorgeous and plentiful Ireland’s street art is!

Dublin and Galway are filled with beautiful pieces of wall and door art, and here are just a few of my favorites:

Dublin:

img_7915
A parrot’s life for me! Layered bell sleeve blouse from Shein, Leather pants from H&M, Velvet booties from DSW
img_7916_2
See the stars in her eyes.

Galway:

img_0943
Gotta love a bit of grunge. Coat by BB Dakota, Blouse thrifted from Housing Works, Boots from River Island (on sale for 12 euro!)
img_0913
Shark week.
img_0978
Beeeee happy!
img_0952
The world is more colorful than you know.

Hope this explosion of colors brightened your day a bit like it brightened my whole week! Many thanks to the talented artists who put so much effort into making city streets more colorful; it’s so easy to get bogged down but the sometimes gray and dreary city lifestyle (especially on rainy days like today), but street art serves to make those days so much brighter.

As a result of this trip, two of my New Year’s resolutions are to seek out more color, and go exploring for the hell of it. On the latter point, I take New York City life for granted and have never gone wall art hunting before… however, I know there’s loads to see here. Thanks to the inspiring street art of Ireland, I’m going to try a little harder to make this giant city a home.

Happy New Year, friends ❤

If you know any of the above artists, please let me know so that I can give them due credit!

Bring On The Tinsel

My office is having its annual holiday party today, and I’ve been excited from the moment I got my invite.

img_0479
Gardini Floral Print Dress by French Connection

I came up with several dress possibilities, ranging from embroidered cocktail dresses to velvet gowns. It is very rare that I get to dress up, so I was thrilled with the long anticipated opportunity.

img_0499
Clutch by Kate Spade, Choker by Guess, Torque from Retail Therapy

But then I realized this week, with growing amounts of horror, that the majority of my coworkers were planning to dress as they would on any other workday. Any other workday. I’m at a health tech start-up, so I’m talking lots of flannel, graphic t-shirts, Converses, and joggers.

On a normal day, these are clothing items I can happily get behind, but on what may very well be the most fabulous workday of the year?! Devastating!

I’m all about pushing the envelope, fashion-wise, but even I can’t over-dress two standard deviations above the fashion formality norm. If plaid and sweaters were going to be the baseline, I certainly couldn’t bust out the lush red velvet gown that I was planning on wearing.

Enter This Dress.

img_0497

Work appropriate, classy enough to satisfy my dress-up cravings, and absolutely gorgeous. I tend to love most of the French Connection finds I happen upon in my favorite department store, Lord & Taylor, but this one in particular caught my eye like no other. The cut is immensely flattering, the colors are rich, and while it’s free of the embroidery, lace, and velvet I was so deeply hoping to wear at our holiday party, it still makes a lovely statement.

img_0483
BCBGeneration Darron Pump from DSW

To ensure no one would accuse me of not dressing up after I hyped up my dress-up desires for so long, I paired it with these affordable BCBGeneration heels, which make the classic Valentino Rockstud style attainable for those of us who aren’t yet able to drop a thousand dollars on a pair of heels. (One day! *shakes fist*) They are surprisingly not uncomfortable to walk in, look stunning in person, and are easily confused with the real deal! (I have coworkers who own actual Valentinos and even they thought I was wearing a pair!)

img_0485
Coat by BB Dakota

Now that I’ve got my OOTD sorted, bring on the white wine! The red wine! The cider! The champagne! And, let’s face it, the hangover!

What are you guys wearing to your work holiday parties? I hope your work party dress codes are fancier than my office’s!

How To Be A Well-Dressed Mathematician

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

img_0351
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.)

img_0348
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!

img_0345

img_0350

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.

img_0346
Rings from Aldo (link to item)

img_0349

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.

img_0344
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.

Follow DareToDax with Bloglovin

A mathemagician on a mission