Tag Archives: Personal

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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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.