Le Geek, C’est Chic!

I don’t talk much about my day-to-day job at ModCloth on this here blog. I guess my love of ModCloth’s clothes is obvious, and I love/hate that I have an employee discount that encourages me to fill my closet to the brim. But what I’m truly thankful for is that I’m doing work I enjoy, for a customer-centric company with a truly awesome community of customers.

Before ModCloth, I was a grad student studying psychology & behavioral decision research. Basically, I was looking into why people make the decisions they do and what affects their judgments. I’m still passionate about that area of study, but academia can be rather isolating, and I often felt like I was floundering with no real impact on the world around me. Fast-forward to today, and I’m still studying psychology & decision making – but in an applied way, with a collaborative team of coworkers.

And then, once or twice a year, I get to play in ModCloth’s hackathons. Our hackathons include a mix of people who work on website & app development, user experience, analytics & customer research, along with colleagues from other parts of the business (like marketing and buying/merchandising). We form small teams and spend 3 days building a new feature or proof of concept. The goal is to spark creativity and build something to enhance the ModCloth user experience. Last year, for example, a team developed a prototype that became “Fit for Me” – a feature on the ModCloth iPhone app that enables customers to browse products based on their measurements.

Alright, but this is a personal style blog, and you gotta know there’s an outfit in here somehow. At our most recent hackathon, we got these fab hoodies designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette, user experience designers at ModCloth. Check out the sweet print:

ModCloth's hackathon hoodie, designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette. Yes, that's a nyan pug!! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

ModCloth’s hackathon hoodie, designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette. Yes, that’s a nyan pug!! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

And in the spirit of celebrating creativity, I paired it with a Harold and the Purple Crayon tee. Plus polka dots and fuchsia tights because I like ’em. :)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Oh yeah, and I actually do wear glasses – they’re just for long-distance, which is why they don’t normally show up in my photos.)

As for my team’s hackathon project – we’re working on getting it implemented, so it’s still under wraps for now. But I’ll let y’all know if it goes live!

Top: Novel Tee in Harold, Out of Print via ModCloth (Out of stock, but also available on the Out of Print website)
Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Hoodie: Print designed by Amy Luo and Steph Monette
Tights: Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: DKNY
Glasses: Eye’DC v837 in purple

[Photos by Pat Zimmerman]

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Greetings from Kentucky!

Okay, it’s been awhile since I posted. A long while. Things were crazy busy at the beginning of the year, and then I got out of the blogging habit, and then I couldn’t figure out the right way to start a post again. Amazing how quickly 9 months can go by like that! :O

So, hello again! And now I’m just going to dive right into a new post. (I never did quite figure out the right way to get started again – please forgive the lame/nonexistent segue!)

Howdy!  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Howdy! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

This past weekend Pat and I headed to Kentucky for a friend’s wedding. And before the festivities started, we went bourbon tasting. The weather was absolutely perfect, and our visit to Four Roses Distillery provided the perfect backdrop for some outfit pics.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

This skirt is one of my recent faves – it’s got spaceships! And robots! What that has to do with bourbon, I don’t know – but the weather was nice and I just felt like wearing it.

Whiskey barrels make the perfect pedestals.  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Whiskey barrels make the perfect pedestals. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And since we were at Four Roses, we were surrounded by (you guessed it) roses. Of course I had to stop and smell them (alas, these weren’t the particularly fragrant kind).

Yes, I do take time to stop & smell the roses!  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Yes, I do take time to stop & smell the roses! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

After taking photos outside, we went on the grand distillery tour – then I snagged a shot of Pat behind the tasting bar. He was wearing a wooden bow tie. Because it’s awesome. And totally fits with the bourbon theme.

Enjoying Four Roses bourbon.

Enjoying Four Roses bourbon.

Cheers!

Soon I’ll post the outfit I wore to my friend’s wedding. And I promise it won’t take me months to get around to!

What I wore:
Top: Stick with Knit Cardigan, Mak via ModCloth
Skirt: Outta This World Skirt, Rock Steady via ModCloth
Shoes: Turning Point Heel, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Longchamp

[Photos of me by Pat Zimmerman. Photo of Pat by me.]

Classically Styled

I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost 2 years now, but I’m still struck by the beauty of this city. Sometimes it’s nice to just wander around, taking in the sights.

That’s what Pat and I did one sunny Sunday. First we brunched at Sweet Maple, a restaurant I just had to try after reading pancakeSTACKER’s blog post about it. (I agree with Chandamheer: Sweet Maple is super yummy!) And then we headed in the direction of the Palace of Fine Arts to take in the sights.

It was a gorgeous day, but also a bit windy and chilly. So like a good San Franciscan, I wore layers. In the shade, I definitely needed my fuchsia wool coat (a gift from my friend Lisa).

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

But in the sun, I was able to get by with just my cardigan – for a photo or two, at least. :)

I was wearing my Bettie Page skirt — a great skirt for windy, chilly days because it’s long and heavy enough to avoid pulling a Marilyn. (And it also has hidden pockets – which instantly makes any skirt a gazillion times more awesome.) I love its retro 1950s style – especially when paired with these Seychelles heels.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pat and I had a lovely time walking around the Palace — and taking photos!

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

Sitting on a bend dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Sitting on a bench dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

In addition to the beautiful architecture, there is quite a lot of wildlife at the Palace of Fine Arts. Among the ducks and seagulls, I caught this heron that had been fishing. Turns out there are crawdads in the waters, too!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

It was a beautiful day in one of the most gorgeous areas of San Francisco. A perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday!

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

Coat: Via (gifted)
Skirt: B. Jones Style Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Cardigan: Trusted Essential Cardigan via ModCloth
Shirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Veronica Heel, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Celebrating 20 Years of Glamour by Louboutin

Sky-high heels. Extraordinary designs.

Red soles.

I can really only be talking about the fabulous shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Hot pink platform heel by Christian Louboutin

Hot pink platform heel by Christian Louboutin

Neiman Marcus hosted a blogger event to introduce Louboutin’s 20th anniversary line, and I absolutely swooned over these shoes!

Check out these killer Louboutin boots!

Check out these killer Louboutin boots!

Showing off a glittery Louboutin heel. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

Showing off a glittery Louboutin heel. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

Cage-y heel by Louboutin

Cage-y heel by Louboutin

But the shoes that captured my heart? A pair of beige patent leather Pigalle flats with the word “love” spelled out in rhinestones across the toes.

In love with Louboutin's Pigalle love flats. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

In love with Louboutin's Pigalove Flats. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

A closer look at Louboutin's Pigalle love flats

A closer look at Louboutin's Pigalove Flats in Nude

Besides admiring the shoes, I had a fabulous time hanging out with awesome SF bloggers!

Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker, Eli of Thrift Eye, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions

Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker, Eli of Thrift Eye, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions

Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker, Eli of Thrift Eye, and Sarah of Sarah's Ambitions

Sweet manicures by Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About, Adiel of It's because I think too much, and Eli of Thrift Eye

The whole crew! Photo from @neimanmarcus

The whole crew! Photo from @neimanmarcus

So we sent up a toast to Louboutin, and a toast to fun people!

Cheers!

Cheers!

What I wore:
Dress: vintage Shelton Stroller dress (early 1960s)
Belt: vintage
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs (alas, no Louboutins for me – yet!)
Bracelets: black & white bangles from Senegal; the silver cuff was a gift

To Alcatraz!!

When my friend Lisa visited, I took Monday off and we headed out with Pat (my husband) to Alcatraz. Pat’s from the Bay area, and we’d been coming back to visit his family for years before we moved here — but somehow we never made it out to that prison island. We were like those New Yorkers who never visit the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes you need a friend to visit in order to get around to the touristy stuff!

The day started pretty miserably — chilly and rainy — but around here, you never know what the weather will bring. So like a good San Franciscan, I dressed in layers: a trenchcoat, sweater (not just any old sweater though – a sparkly one!), and cami underneath, with a scarf that could double as a shawl. And I even wore jeans — a rare occurrence!

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

Oh yes, and I accessorized with bangles – I really love the red and pink combo. I knew we’d be walking around all day, but I also knew we’d be taking tons of photos. It is possible to be comfortable and still look good!

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

And guess what? By the time we reached Alcatraz, the sun had come out. That’s San Francisco weather!

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz has awesome views, both inside and out. I spent a lot of time just taking photos:

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz cell.

Alcatraz cell.

I briefly ended up behind bars . . .

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

. . . and even donned prison duds:

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

. . . but finally managed to escape outside with Lisa!

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

By the time we were ready to head home, rain clouds had started to gather again.

View from Alcatraz.

View from Alcatraz.

Luckily, we made it to the ferry just as the rain hit!

I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz — especially if you love to take pictures. Just make sure you wear layers, a raincoat, and bring an umbrella. I saw lots of tourists stuck with Alcatraz ponchos!

Sweater: Sparkling Personality Sweater, BB Dakota via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Trenchcoat: Burberry
Jeans: Banana Republic
Purse: Longchamp
Shoes: Aquatalia by Marvin K. (Water resistant! Perfect for San Francisco.)

(P.S. More photos available on my Flickr set.)

How To: Snap a Great Jump Shot

I totally have a thing for photos of people jumping. Maybe you’ve noticed that, what with the photo on my “About Me” page and the picture I took of Hannah in a “Seen Style” post a few weeks ago. And here’s further proof:

Might as well JUMP!

Might as well JUMP!

Being captured mid-jump is kinda tricky. There are several ways a photo of someone jumping can go wrong:

  1. The photo is super blurry
  2. The jumper is partially out of the frame
  3. The jumper’s legs aren’t off the ground (or they are, but just barely)
  4. The jumper has an awful facial expression

Luckily, there are ways to help ensure you get at least one good photo. I’ve divided this up into things the photographer can do and things the model/jumper can do.

What the photographer can do to snap a good jump shot:

  • Use a fast shutter speed. This will prevent problem #1. If you’ve got a point & shoot, just make sure you take the photos in an area with lots of bright, natural light – the camera should default to a fast shutter speed.
  • Take some test shots with the person jumping, to get a sense of how much vertical and horizontal space you need. This helps prevent problem #2.
  • Take tons of photos, preferably in quick succession. This is a lot easier if you’ve got a rapid-fire/high-speed burst setting on your camera, but it can be done with even more basic cameras (the photo session might just take a little longer). This helps prevent problems #3 & 4. If you take a bunch of photos, there’s a decent chance that at least one of them will work out!

What the jumper can do:

  • Bend your knees! You don’t actually have to jump very high to make it LOOK like you’re jumping high. Just jump a little, but kick up your heels – it’ll make it look like you’ve jumped a lot higher than you actually have. This helps prevent problem #3.
  • Jump up and and down a number of times in a row (while the photographer continues to snap photos). This improves your chances of getting a good shot (one that doesn’t include problems #3 & 4). I’ve actually found that I relax a bit after jumping around, so it becomes easier to smile or ham it up, rather than grimacing!
Look! I'm levitating!

Look! I'm levitating!

Btw, I wouldn’t recommend trying jumps in high heels! Good thing I was wearing a pair of low wedges. :)

Peep toe wedges, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Peep toe wedges, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Oh, and for me, I’ve gotta be in the right mood. A sunny day & bright colors can go a long way toward making thing happen! The colors in this outfit kinda made me feel like celebrating.

Taking a breather to show off my outfit :)

The details, with fuchsia, gold, and cobalt

The details, with fuchsia, gold, and cobalt

That’s about it. I’d love to see your shots! And hear other tips if you’ve got ’em. :)

Skirt: Jeu de Paume Skirt, Tropical Wear via ModCloth
Top: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Scarf: street vendor
Necklace: vintage
Belt: Zara
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

Spring Beauty at Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus hosted a blogger event at their Rotunda Restaurant to introduce a few of their newest beauty products. Of course, some of the loveliest bloggers in San Francisco attended!

SF Style Bloggers at Neiman Marcus

SF Style Bloggers at Neiman Marcus

Everyone loves polka dots!

Eli of Thrift Eye and Jes of Ryzenberg On

Eli of Thrift Eye and Jes of Ryzenberg On

Punam of Nothing Broken being photographed by Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker

Punam of Nothing Broken being photographed by Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker

Love the bold yellows and reds here:

Eli of Thrift Eye with Whitney and Brittany of Britt and Whit

Eli of Thrift Eye with Whitney and Brittany of Britt and Whit

And what I wore? Stripes (a fave) on a 1940s-inspired dress by Stop Staring!, an exclusive Be the Buyer pick at ModCloth. Plus some yellow and fuchsia accessories because I can’t stay away from color. :)

Sweet on Stripes by Stop Staring!, via ModCloth. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

Sweet on Stripes by Stop Staring!, via ModCloth. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

There were some delish drinks and tasty treats to enjoy while we heard about the newest offerings from Creed, Clinica Ivo Pitanguy, Fresh, and Tom Ford Beauty.

Had to take a photo of this tongue-in-cheek sign next to the buffalo chicken bites:

Buffalo Chicken Bites. Allergy Alert: Calories

Buffalo Chicken Bites. Allergy Alert: Calories

After the event, we left with goodie bags filled with beauty products to try at home:

Neiman Marcus Beauty Goodie Bag

Neiman Marcus Beauty Goodie Bag

My personal fave? Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum. It’s a lighter, crisper scent than I usually go for (normally I’m one for spicy, woodsy scents), but I enjoy how it evokes a fresh spring day. The top note smells like fresh honeysuckle blossoms, right off the vine. As a kid (and, who am I kidding, even now), I picked honeysuckle blossoms to taste their nectar. They always struck me as magical flowers, and I guess I’ve fallen for Neroli Portofino because the scent carries some of that magic.

And who doesn’t love a little magic?

Dress: Sweet on Stripes Dress, Stop Staring! via ModCloth
Earrings: vintage
Purse: Longchamp Planètes Tote Bag
Shoes: The Chosen Fuchsia Heel, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth