Tag Archives: outfit of the day

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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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Black And White Thinking

The world is not black and white, certainly… but half of my closet is.

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All photos are by the incredible Angie @ AngelitasPhotos. Leather jacket by French Connection (on sale, UK only. Potentially also here, have never ordered from this site). Leather pants by H&M

Dressing in black and white, just like thinking in black and white, is easy. But that said, dressing in black and white is also super chic and fabulous, whereas thinking in black and white can fall hugely short of capturing reality.

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Hat by Kathy Jeanne Saks Off Fifth (on sale). Top from Debenham’s (similar here and here)

Add some color, on both fronts. Wearing black and white? Use your face to add in some color: vivid lipstick, louder blush. Taking photos in a black and white outfit? Find a beautifully vibrant background to enhance the contrasts in your clothing.

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Face: BB Cream in Tan by Tarte Cosmetics, Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal by Becca Cosmetics, Blush in Seduction by NARS Cosmetics, Lip Whip in Raspberry Tiramisu by Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics, Brow Zings by Benefit Cosmetics, Eyeshadow palette in Morning Java by Clinique

If you’re thinking in black and white, do the same thing, but figuratively. Imagine how someone else might be thinking in grey, or in technicolor, and try to step into their shoes. The world is never so simple as to fit into just black and white. We live in a wonderfully complex society, filled with wonderfully complex people.

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Hair: Blowout in style Cosmo-Tai by the Drybar

Some of these wonderfully complex people will likely be at your Thanksgiving table tomorrow. And as wonderfully complex people tend to enjoy talking to other wonderfully complex people, discussions may arise around recent events that have encouraged a comeback in black and white thinking.

So let the color in. Paint with those colors. Speak with those colors. Live and breathe those colors. Encourage and inspire others to do the same.

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But don’t stop dressing in black and white. Because…hello, fabulous.

Have a happy Thanksgiving. ❤

All photos by Angelitas Photos. I HIGHLY recommend her for anyone looking for a tri-state area photographer. She’s super talented and such a joy to work with. Check out her portfolio or @portraitsbyangelita on Instagram.

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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.

Let’s Talk About Sequins

If I had my say, I’d put sequins on everything.

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Sequin blazer from Fox And Fawn (thrifted), Glasses from ZeroUV

Yes, I’m well aware that “all that glitters is not gold,” and that sequins, despite their pure, light-reflecting, innocent and unassuming disk-shaped nature, are often referred to as “tacky” or “gaudy”… but NEWS FLASH (of sequins), people: shiny things are attention-grabbing whether they are twenty thousand dollar diamonds or .005 cent rhinestones.

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Jeans by JBrand, Necklace from NastyGal

I have the attention span of a seven month old Golden retriever puppy, so I’ll be the first to say that I’m distracted by shiny things. Today, I’ve been glancing down at my own blazer in childish glee every forty seconds, because every time I move, the light hits it *just so*.

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Lipstick by NYX

And as if the blazer wasn’t enough, I took today as an opportunity to add on every shiny thing I own.

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Unicorn bag from ModCloth (sold out but available here), Shoes by French Connection ON SALE at Saks Off 5th

… including these incredibly stylish French Connection mules that are, by some miracle, on SALE over at Saks Off Fifth (get it, gurls!), and my honest-to-god, glittery, might-as-well-be-puking-rainbows UNICORN bag.

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More Unicorns, please!

As I like to say, “Be your own unicorn.” You don’t have to be a mythical creature, but the fact that you exist is a miracle in its own right. You are unicorn levels of special! And you don’t even need to drape yourself in shiny things… but they certainly don’t hurt.

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Now go out there and (be)DAZZLE!

 

Black on Black on Black (Halloween costume)

It’s likely your first impressions of me based on this blog are that I’m a Halloween fanatic, and… you’re absolutely right! In this post, I’d like to show you my attempt at the morbid magnificence of Wednesday Addams.

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Dress by Lucca Couture, a steal at $20 from Crossroads Trading, SF!
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Shoes by French Connection from Saks Off Fifth, ON SALE for $90

Truthfully, my personality is the polar opposite of Wednesday’s; I am the type of overtly chipper, naive bringer of optimism that people like Wednesday would incinerate with a single glare.

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An attempt to recreate said glare while showing off these awesome cuffs

However, in the process of wearing Wednesday’s staple uniform (and her deadly gaze in hopes that no one would confuse me with a Pilgrim), I found myself adopting her personality in some ways.

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Wednesday’s don’t smile; they smirk.

No, I wasn’t overcome with homicidal rage or deadly cynicism, but I found myself feeling a certain resilience and strength in character. I wore this to work on a Friday to an office of 60+ employees, all of whom were not in costume, and I felt perfectly comfortable in my skin.

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Purse by Nine West, Knee socks from Nasty Gal

In that respect, perhaps I’m learning to become a little bit like Wednesday Addams after all…

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Liquid lipstick by Beauty Bakerie, Brows by Benefit Cosmetics, Eyeshadow by Clinique

… Minus the murderous tendencies.

Halloween Week OOTD Round-Up

Halloweek is one of my favorite times of the year.

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Bag by Nine West, Skirt by H&M, Boots from Macy’s, Glasses from ZeroUV
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Shirt by ModCloth, Necklace by Forever21

I call it “Halloweek” because it is impossible for me to compress all of my energy and enthusiasm for the holiday into just one day. Every year, I spend the whole week preceding Halloween dressed up in morbidly fun outfits, because…why not?

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Shirt by Black Heart Lingerie, Dress by H&M, Hat from Sak’s Off Fifth, Boots by Necessary Clothing
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Chokers by Guess, Glasses from Ricky’s NYC

I see Halloween as a very empowering holiday. Some use it as an excuse to be someone other than themselves, but I use it as an excuse to be the most outrageous, unconventional, and eccentric version of myself possible.

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Shirt by TopShop, Skirt from a London boutique in Seven Dials, Shoes by French Connection, Glasses by ZeroUV
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Coat by BBDakota, Earrings from ModCloth

I have several pieces in my closet that are just plain weird. As much of my fashionista lifestyle involves adapting these pieces into some modicum of professional wear for my 10-to-6 job, I find that the really spectacularly odd pieces are forced to hide in the back of my closet, waiting to emerge.

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Skirt and Top by H&M, Boots by Nine West, Glasses by ZeroUV
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Hat from Saks Off Fifth

And boy, do I love to bring them out for Halloweek…