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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Penguins and Polka Dots

Happy Black Friday! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving – unless you don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving, in which case I hope you had a lovely Thursday. :)

Being in the retail world, I had to go into the office today – but with great coworkers it’s not so bad. That is, it wasn’t bad once I managed to drag myself out of bed – yesterday put me in a food coma!

I decided I wanted to wear something fun and COMFORTABLE today, so I grabbed my white polka dot skirt (an old standby) and paired it with this sweet Sugarhill Boutique penguin sweater with a Peter Pan collar. (To be honest, I hadn’t planned on taking outfit photos, but then I ran into a couple of coworkers who were off to take outfit pics for ModCloth’s new Style Gallery, and they invited me to join them.)

Penguins and polka dots, taken in ModCloth's aptly named Concord conference room. (Photo by Jenna.)

Penguins and polka dots, taken in ModCloth’s aptly named Concord conference room. (Photo by Jenna.)

So what were you up to yesterday and today?

Top: In It to Penguin It Sweater, Sugarhill Boutique via ModCloth
Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Earrings: Quote Couture Earrings via ModCloth
Shoes: Adventure Capitol Heel, J Shoes via ModCloth

[Photo by the lovely Jenna Winn]

1954 Meets 1994

 

The neon trend this summer totally reminded me of growing up in the 1990s, and particularly of TV shows like Saved by the Bell and movies like Clueless. (Confession time: Clueless is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s way existential.)

But I felt like mixing in more of a mid-century vibe, because, well, that’s what I do. So I took a neon yellow-green shirt and paired it with a polka-dot skirt and cherry red accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I kept to gold-toned accessories, and picked up a neon woven chain bracelet from H&M to bring it all together.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And because I can never have enough color, I dragged my husband out to a neighborhood garden to take photos among the flowers. :)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Shirt: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Right Under Your Nose Necklace via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelets: Victorian mourning bracelet, H&M black bangles, and H&M neon woven chain bracelet
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth

All photos by Pat Zimmerman

 

A City Statement

A cool but clear and sunny summer day called for bold colors and accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

This black maxi dress was the perfect backdrop for color blocks of blue, yellow, and pink. The neckline is quite low cut, so I started with a blue bandeau. Then I added the necklace, which I love for its bright yellows and the gold-tone hardware. And topped it off with a pink cardigan, tied rather than buttoned for a more casual, summery look.

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mixed in a few bracelets, in colors that echoed my cardigan and accessories.

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And my laptop bag happened to fit in beautifully (These pictures were taken right after work).

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

My goal was to look as summery as possible while still keeping warm on a cool San Francisco day. Success?

Color blocking with summery colors over classic black. I even added sandals - that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Color blocking with bright colors over classic black. I even added sandals – that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: A Grecian Turn Dress, Rubber Ducky via ModCloth
Bandeau: Très Sleek Bandeau in Cobalt Blue via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Raspberry via ModCloth
Bracelets: Nordstrom (blue bracelet), Talbots (orange and pink bracelet), and vintage (gold bangles)
Necklace: Statement of the Art Necklace in Sun via ModCloth
Laptop Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter via Nordstrom
Shoes: Faryl Robin sandals

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

Jewel Tones and Polka Dots

Perhaps you’re starting to notice I have a thing for polka dots. What can I say, they’re just fun!

I recently bought this silver grey polka dot Bettie Page skirt from ModCloth. It’s the same cut as the B. Jones Style Skirt (styled here), though made from a light-weight, taffeta-y fabric.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I paired it with a jade green tee, sapphire blue cardigan, and amethyst heels – with a sheer scarf to pull it all together.

And I won’t lie – I chose the colors to complement my mani, which had been inspired by this pin on Pinterest. (For the record, the design is super easy to do!)

Manicure (with Julep nail polish), bracelets, and rings. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Manicure (with Julep nail polish), bracelets, and rings. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As you can see in the photos above and below, I decided to add contrast to the silver grey of the skirt with some gold jewelry.

Heirloom-inous Earrings from ModCloth. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Heirloom-inous Earrings from ModCloth. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Oh, and Jasper made his debut in an outfit post! (Though if you’ve been following me on Instagram – @katealamode – you’ve probably seen him several times already.) He’s an apricot blond poogle (a poodle/beagle mix) and such a sweetie! I don’t take him to work because he gets separation anxiety, so during the day he stays with my husband, who works from home.

Jasper and Rocky showing their moves. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Jasper and Rocky showing their moves. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Jasper and Rocky are best pals, so when Rocky comes home from work there’s much play and wrestling. But they can chill out from time to time too. :-)

A perfectly poised trio. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

A perfectly poised trio. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: Give Us a Spin Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Shirt: Learn the Basics Top in Green via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Computer Science via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Bracelets: Sparkle an Idea Bracelet via ModCloth and a Victorian mourning bracelet
Cocktail Ring: family heirloom
Earrings: Heirloom-inous Earrings via ModCloth
Shoes: I Want to Bow What Love Is Heel in Purple, Jeffrey Campbell via ModCloth

Manicure: Marisa (dark blue) and Anne (violet), both by Julep. Inspired by this pin.

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Facts

1. This post was inspired by Amy’s post.

Rocky, my Boston Terrier, crouches down next to his water dish.

2. Rocky is super smart. He also drinks tons of water. When I don’t refill his water bowl quickly enough, he turns it over and crouches pitifully beside it.

3. Sometimes, Rocky is too smart. He’s learned how to put down the window in the car.

Jasper, my poogle (poodle/beagle mix).

4. I have a poogle named Jasper. He’s an absolute sweetheart, but he doesn’t come to work with me because he gets anxious.

5. Both my dogs are rescues.

6. I swear there’s more to my life than dogs!

Polka dot manicure.

7. Like nails. Santina recently taught me how to do polka dots!

8. Board games are awesome. Particularly Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Scrabble. Also Bananagrams, even if it’s not really a board game.

9. You know what else is awesome? xkcd. Nothing better than nerdy comics!

10. Speaking of which, nerds are TOTALLY awesome.

Pin curls.

11. My hair is in pin curls as I type. See photo above. Tonight: off to the Art Deco Preservation Ball! [UPDATE: photos from the ball are here: Swanky and Swingin’ at the Art Deco Preservation Ball]

12. Taking a decent self-portrait in pin curls, without makeup, is damned near impossible. Thank goodness for Instagram filters! And that trick of pinching cheeks for a temporary blush (learned from reading 18th/19th century novels).

So, how about you?

Going Dotty

San Francisco is a little bizarre, weather-wise. (Okay, it’s not just the weather that’s bizarre – but that’s for another post!) It’s full of microclimates – so it can be sunny and warm in one part of the city while it’s rainy or foggy in other parts. And even within one area, it can be raining one moment, dry, and raining again.

That’s what happened when I went out with to take these photos.

I’m not a huge fan of rain, but I do love umbrellas! This one has a blue sky underneath – so I have good weather wherever I go. :)

Just a little bit of rain. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Just a little bit of rain. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

After a little drizzle, there was a very brief downpour. I ducked inside to wait it out (which only took a minute or two before the rain stopped), but in the meantime the camera got a little fogged up:

Fog after the downpour. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Fog after the downpour. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And then all was clear, if windy. I definitely had some Marilyn moments! Fitting, given the retro 1950s flair of this outfit.

Windy! But fun. :) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Windy! But fun. :) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

But I guess that’s what I get for wearing a full skirt in San Francisco. :) I just couldn’t resist – I love this polka-dotted one. It was actually a dress that fit beautifully in the waist but was tight at top, so I chopped off the top and turned it into a skirt.

I wore it with my favorite wide red belt, a black shirt, and red scarf – and added my Victorian mourning bracelet and this awesome Kate Spade pen necklace (a gift from my husband).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I also wore my new Pedro Garcia shoes (don’t worry, they didn’t get wet!). I seem to have a thing for peep toes, and I also liked the shabby ribbon trim.

Pedro Garcia heels. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pedro Garcia heels. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

To be honest, I rather enjoy taking photos in windy weather. It creates cool effects! I just have to be a little careful with my skirts. :)

Blowing in the wind. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Blowing in the wind. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And of course, right after I finished taking photos, the skies opened up again. That’s San Francisco weather!

Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Shirt: Banana Republic
Scarf: gifted
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Necklace: Kate Spade (gifted)
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Shoes: Pedro Garcia
Umbrella: Blue Skies Above Umbrella via ModCloth