Tag Archives: patterns

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.