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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Staring at the Sun

On Sunday I saw my very first almost-total solar eclipse. I think. I mean, I know I saw the eclipse – just not entirely sure it was my first. There was one in 1994, and I remember some talk about it, but I don’t remember watching it. In any case, this was certainly my first memorable solar eclipse!

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

Pat and I went up to the roof with a bottle of champagne, cameras, and DIY-solar-eclipse-viewing equipment. A couple of our neighbors were up there too, and we had a great time chatting, taking pics, and witnessing the eclipse.

At first, the pinhole projector I made wasn’t working – but I read you could see the eclipse through your fingers. The effect was pretty cool!

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As the moon passed over the sun, the air got chillier and the light on the skyline took a slightly rosy glow. It looked like a mix of a cloudy day (but no clouds!) and early sunset.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

And then I figured out that the problem with my pinhole projector was that the pinhole was too small. Maybe the ideal projector works with a hole the size of the pin, but mine needed one about 1/6″ in diameter. While I was adjusting the projector, I got a little crazy. After all, why make a projector that shows 1 sun when you can make one that shows 9 suns?

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

Watching the solar eclipse – and playing around with the projector and shadows – was awesome. Now I see why some people chase solar eclipses around the world!

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

I’m thinking about getting eclipse glasses to watch the transit of Venus across the sun in June – an event that won’t occur again in this century!

Did you get to see the eclipse? Will you check out the transit of Venus?

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Geeky Chic

You might already know that I’m a data analyst. And I love what I do: working with numbers, problem solving, extracting insights from data reports and statistical analysis – it’s totally fun!

Yes, I’m a nerd.

One additional piece of evidence of my nerdiness: I adore Doctor Who. So much so that when I found a Doctor Who themed t-shirt on Threadless, I just had to have it!

Wearing TARDamask on a San Francisco night

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

The shirt is called “TARDamask” and features Doctor Who’s iconic blue police box in a damask pattern. Brilliant!

TARDamask

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

I paired it with this sweet black knit a-line skirt – made super fun ’cause it’s got a big satin bow! And because I love color, I wore magenta tights and bright yellow earrings and bracelet.

Le geek, c'est chic

Le geek, c’est chic (Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

It was a clear, beautiful night in the city. The atmosphere seemed appropriate for Doctor Who, so I dragged my husband out to take photos. I kinda can’t believe how lucky we are to live in this gorgeous city, where it’s mild enough in the winter to get away with short sleeves at night (at least during a photoshoot!).

Wearing TARDamask on a San Francisco night

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

So there it is, a blatant display of nerdiness in a wonderful city that has become a mecca for nerds. Le geek, c’est chic!

Shirt: TARDamask by Rosemary Travale, via Threadless
Skirt: City Soirée Skirt, Gracia via ModCloth
Tights: Hue
Earrings: vintage
Bracelets: vintage (yellow) and gifted (silver)
Shoes: Ecco via Sierra Trading Post

Photos by Pat Zimmerman