Monthly Archives

October 2015

Early Career, Fashion Post

#AutumnFeels, a story by Beth

I love fall. I mean it’s amusing to me that you call it fall (Autumn is such a good name!), but I still love it. Especially in Seattle, where I’m start to remember what cold feels like, while still having time to appreciate the sunlight before it disappears for 6 months.

But I have to say it. I don’t really understand pumpkin spice.I like pumpkin at least as much as the next person, but how about instead of PS we had decent chai? #AskingTheRealQuestions

These photos are a mix of shots from Kim and Dona – teaching Dona to use my camera has been great (she’s a ridiculously fast learner), and means I now have way more non-selfie photos of myself ^.^

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I struggle to make decisions if I don’t have a pillow to hide behind or a huge blanket to cocoon inside, so blanket scarves are the greatest thing ever. This plaid one sheds so much that Dona jokes it’s like ‘bring your cat to work day’ whenever I wear it.

This outfit is the epitome of fall layering – adding scarves, layers and jackets as the weather changes. I’m hyper-sensitive to temperature change, so I find it useful to be able to shed layers as I walk somewhere in order to stabilise my internal thermals. My mum knitted these gloves for me, and they’re great for days when I need to feel a little edgy. The boots are Timberlands, and the tread is great for when Seattle gets slippery in the rain.

IMG_4310Some days you need to wear a blanket instead of just draping one over you and calling it a scarf. Don’t worry, Zara has a solution for that too.

I thought I was really into clean blacks and whites but something about fall turns me a little crazy – around this time last year I wanted to paint my kitchen orange and green. So after regaining my senses I now have a hard rule that says orange/green don’t get to be worn together, no matter how much of a good idea I think that would be (notable exception: Pumpkin costumes for halloween <3).

You’ll notice a bunch of similarities between this outfit and the one above. I’m all about combining staple pieces (e.g. this olive shirt) in different ways for my default outfits (this works really well for fall layering), and then switching out for a dress whenever I need to easily kick it up a notch.

Suede is my new everythingI thought I was too cool for suede riding boots but who am I kidding suede is my everything

These (waterproof) suede boots are Cole Haan. I’ve been eyeing Fluevog’s navy (green) Sugars for a while, but I can’t justify $400 for an only almost-perfect boot. I did have a wardrobe hole for a good staple pair of boots to wear with jeans (I’m learning to roll my jeans, like you can see in the first outfit with my Timberlands, but it’s not something I’m crazy comfortable with yet), so after a few weeks of wasting my life scrolling through different websites and trawling through stores to no avail I yolo’d on this pair from Amazon.

They’re the realization of all of my hopes and dreams! The inside is a beautiful houndstooth material, and the soles have decent grip (necessary for Seattle, and as someone who wears shoes very hard).

I’m yet to get over autumn leaves – I’m constantly having to school myself while driving that no I cannot take a picture of that tree while we’re stopped. Life’s a struggle.

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This hat, like most excellent things in life, is stolen from a good friend. (Hi Dora! <3)

Having already confessed an appreciation for staple pieces, it shouldn’t be surprising that having a collection of jackets/coats is an important part of my cooler-weather wardrobe. I’ve wanted a camel coat for a while, and yolo’d on this Zara one – it’s lightweight, so perfect for layering, and the slightly shorter sleeves make it great for showcasing gloves/longer sleeved shirts.

Shirts like this awesome turtleneck I found at express, for instance. I’ve been jonesing for a turtleneck for quite a while – they work tucked into skirts or left out over skinny jeans, and they’re a total classic. I can’t get over how great it looks when Dona pairs hers with her yellow skirt. Plus I read a cover article about Elizabeth Holmes in the airport last week and her love of them only makes me more pleased with my life choices.

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Ice cream is the best autumn accessory hands down

I’m super into Essie, and some of their colors are perfect for fall. This reddish/maroon one is Angora Cardi, but I also recommend Sew Psyched and Ladylike. I’m wearing one of my favorite dresses, both full-stop and for autumn. I love to pair it with sage tights, a grey waistcoat and my purple boots to feel adorable AF. My jewelry (rings, rings, earrings) are all modcloth (aside from the staple Withings watch).

Next on my fall to-do list is to visit the Arboretum! I moved to Seattle last November and didn’t manage it then, so it has to happen this season. Hopefully we’ll do a photoshoot there in the 1 weekend of November that we’re both in Seattle (crazy schedules!)

This year does have a tough job trying to top 2014’s Thanksgiving snow. So, we’ll see.

Students

Dana Chambourova: A Madrileña in Seattle

When in Madrid…post about Madrileñas! Since Dona has been in Spain this week on a crazy European book and speaking tour, we thought this was exactly the right time to debut one particular wonderful lady we met this summer. We met Dana when she was an intern and loved her effortless yet chic style. As Dona walked around Madrid for the last 30 hours, she realized this is precisely what everyone in this city embodies as well. The focus on clean lines, solid colors in highly flattering, luxurious fabrics is almost an obsession in Madrid. There is precisely zero sloppy street style to be seen! We shouldn’t be surprised, seeing as Spain is the birthplace of our favorite brands for un-basic basics such as Zara, Mango, Camper and for fun prints, Desigual and Cuesto.

So how did a native Madrileña like Dana end up in Seattle? Read on to find out!

Tell us a little about you.

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I am a proud madrileña (fancy for born and raised in Madrid, Spain), with Bulgarian parents who somehow ended up in the middle of cornfields and cows at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I have loved art since I can remember and wanted to be a painter/artist/graphic designer/architect for most of my life. Somehow, I ended up studying Computer Science and loved it although I dream of retiring and buying a small shop (with turquoise walls) and selling homemade sweets, lots of loose leaf tea and used books.

Tell us about what you’re wearing.

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I am wearing a dress from Loft, which means very little since basically everything I own is from there. I love solid colors, among which olive greens and teals are my favorite. Same as with prints, I tend to prefer simple accessories so when I bought this necklace I had to wait for around 4 months to build the courage to wear it outside. However, I can’t live without my Michael Kors’ watch and my purse from Asos :)

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

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In Spain, everyone is really into fashion (Like really. Like grocery-shopping-really) so I feel like coming to college made me give a lot less damns about it. I really like outfits I can wear both in the States and back at home and look “nice and presentable but not a try hard” in both, which happens to be very hard. (Toms, Rainbow sandals, that black basic NorthFace that every girl (including me) has… are huge no-no’s in Spain, unless you are going hiking? Maybe a nature expedition far away from cameras?)

That being said, dresses make the cut for summer, plus they are super comfy. Living in Illinois during the winter I basically can say I have mastered the ski outfit…

As for style, I really love (and bleed) preppy and office appropriate outfits but I sometimes enjoy the boho outfits, graphic/music band t-shirts and a pair of Nikes.

As I said before, I dream about Loft clothes (probably because they send way too many newsletters with good sales I always end up reading before deleting). Apart from that probably my mother is my main style icon, she taught me some good lessons about clothes quality and what items you should always have as a wardrobe staple(moms are always the best).

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

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Believe in yourself and remind yourself every day how kickass you are (fake it, till you make it). If you wake up every morning believing it, it will show in the confidence you do things, remind you that you should speak your mind and will also help other believe in you and your ideas.

Sometimes, this field might feel like it’s not made for you and be intimidating. Having that trust in yourself is the one thing (in my opinion, of course :) ) that can really save you in days like that.

What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?

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instagram.com/dnicolaeva & goodreads.com/dnicolaeva

Believing in how kick-ass you are and reminding yourself of it every morning is pretty much the motto we live by here at Fibonacci Sequins. There is room for ALL kinds of people in STEM and since every single industry is currently being disrupted by STEM, that diversity of thought and experience is more important than ever before. We loved meeting Dana and getting her outlook on style, STEM and confidence. We are very excited to see how this artistic Madrileña combines her love of art with her passion for computer science.

Love,

Dona & Beth

Fashion Post, Industry Veterans

Wake Dona Up When September Starts (No really, do, I love fall!)

Ah, fall. Where a not-so-young woman’s thoughts turn to…cozy mornings spent with a hot cup of coffee wrapped in knits and (faux) furs. I LOVE fall. It feels like…new beginnings.  New year full of possibilities. A chance for reinvention.  But first thing: The Fall Wardrobe.

No lie, the big, fat issues of Vogue, Elle, Harper’s, Cosmo, Marie Claire, Glamour, MORE and many others are what I live for in September.  I easily spend two entire weekends learning all of the latest trends and watching repeats of the New York Fashion Week coverage over and over.

Then comes the best part, the shopping.  This year I did what I usually do – got some lower-cost basics as well as a few statement pieces.  Here are some of the outfits I’m loving:

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OMG this coat. This coat is my favorite thing I bought this year and is reserved for fashion events and date nights with my sweetheart.

I got it in NYC during my book launch event with consumer press. I was walking through SoHo and I saw it in the window of a little boutique called 3NY. I practically sprinted across the street to investigate. It looked steampunk, futuristic, elegant…and terrible, impractical white. I had to have it.  It’s by an independent designer named SoHung (Tom) Tong of SoHung Designs who went to Parson’s School of Design and his works are legit pieces of art. Each one is hand-made and one of a kind. I am wildly in love with his work.

I wore this to the Rachel Zoe show at Bellevue Fashion Week and just random people kept asking where it was from. I felt so bad I didn’t have cards to give credit to Tom. The man is a genius. I will be making a stop into both 3NY and Tim’s boutique every chance I get for sure.

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The piece de resistance of the whole shoot? The boots. OH THE BOOTS! I have been lusting and longing for these Stuart Weitzman Highland over-the-knee suede boots for 2 years. Last time I was in NYC in 2013 I tried them on 3 different times and talked myself out of buying them since they were expensive.  I instead, “bought around them”, where I got 3 other pairs of boots that I didn’t like as much, that weren’t as good quality and wound up spending as much as I would have on these!  I wear these pretty much every day.  The heel is high (around 4 inches), but is chunky so I can walk around in them all day. I found these lower cost ones that are a great intro pair for other boot addicts.

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This next outfit (featuring said boots) is something I’d wear to work, around town to brunch, or take on a trip. Just great basics that can be mixed with many other things.

I fell in love with this mustard coloured skirt at Zara. Zara always has fun, trendy things that are generally work-appropriate and when I took this skirt into the dressing room and tried it on with every single top I’d chosen, it went with literally everything. I have a serious love affair with yellow things. Anytime someone is wearing a yellow thing, I have to comment on it like some kind of moth to a flame problem. Here is something similar.

The black off-the-shoulder sweater is also from Zara and something I’ve been looking for for a while since my last year’s one is all stretched out and pilly and weird.  Something similar is here. The faux fur is from a few years ago from the Saks Fifth Outlet in Minneapolis where my sister lives. I love it because of the fun memories of me and Bonnie (sis) doing serious damage at Saks while our husbands looked amazed at our ability to hunt down the best deals ever.  I have felt this strong affinity with wearing white after Labour Day this year for some reason and I kind of randomly threw the vest on as I was about to leave my apartment and I really liked how it looks. Something similar is here

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The last outfit is just fun.  This is something I’d wear for a stroll around town in any city in cold weather, but especially somewhere glamourous like NYC, Paris or Madrid. I got the hooded cape in NYC (similar here) at my favorite vintage place on earth, New York Vintage. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s Rachel Zoe’s favorite. I mean, check this out. That’s pretty much me every time I’m there. I got an amazing pair of vintage Alexander McQueen ankle boots there and this cape. And the best part is that you get to NEGOTIATE which is pretty much the best thing in the whole world.

A lot of people ask me about my fuchsia lipstick that I wear almost every day. It’s this incredible long-wearing liquid-turned-matte by Kat Von D called Bauhaus. Extremely flattering on all skin-tones.

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Under the cape, I’m in suede pants from Rachel Roy, who makes really good quality basics and a sheer white blouse with gold, metal tassle things from my Zara haul. The shoes are trusty Fluevogs, lovely ones called Ludovika,  a pair I got in San Francisco during the HoloLens team’s //BUILD event in San Francisco (BONUS! You can see our very own Beth Crane in this vid). I love these because they are cute with the laces in or pulled out.

So there it is, some of my favorite fall looks. I’m about to hit the road for a month long adventure starting with Grace Hopper in Houston the past week, then a 2 week book tour in Spain, France and the UK where I will be visiting and speaking at MBA schools about tech + business, followed by a week in NYC teaching a coding + cocktails event to members of the consumer press. I’m feeling pretty good about my fall looks and fashion hall. For the first time, I will be practicing capsule dressing with 4 tops and 3 bottoms, 2 jackets and 2 pairs of shoes. I’ll post updates. Wish me luck!

Till next month for the mid-season update.
XOXO
Dona

Students

Nilofer Rajpurkar is not a word, a line, or a girl that can be defined

We were geeking out a bit to meet the lovely woman who OPENED FOR MAROON 5 at a private concert this summer. Nilofer Rajpurkar aka Nilli Minaj was the definition of multi-faceted with her preppy-professional outfits one minute and total skateboarding hip-hop star the next. We were scaling the side of a building to get great shots of this adventurous young woman. Read on!

Tell us a little about you.

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I’m a Brit by birth, Indian by heritage, and American by a naturalized citizenship. I’ve never liked to fit into just one category and it’s apparent everywhere in my life. I’m studying biomedical engineering at Purdue University (Boiler Up!) with minors in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Intellectual Property Law. Servant leadership is at the core of my beliefs, and I’m constantly looking to see how I can serve and empower others.

I keep myself sane outside of a tough course load with two passions that come as a curveball to some people:

  1. I’ve been a musician since I was about four years old and have been exploring the rap and music production space lately.
  2. I also love to longboard especially around campus at night – it’s a great way to clear my head!

I remember watching Rocket Power as a little kid and thinking Reggie Rocket (the only girl on the show) was so cool. I begged my parents for a skateboard all the time and they finally gave in. I now have a couple boards that I cruise around campus on. Riding through my beautiful campus at night is one of my favorite ways to clear my head. Kickstarter is bookmarked on my computer and is where this repurposed bourbon barrel board  came from!

Tell us a little about what you’re wearing.

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Like I said, I don’t fit into just one category. Both my outfits are very different but both very me.

My preppy-blazer outfit is something I’d wear to work or out to dinner with friends. The blazer gives it that versatility. I adore blazers – in every color. Something about a blazer just makes me feel far more confident and powerful plus it can easily dress up a cute outfit. The blazer was an impulse buy from The Limited (similar here), and I’m wearing it over a simple button up from H&M (similar here). My colorful skinny jeans are from Tinseltown (similar here) I love my Sperry’s and how they go with just about everything.

I’d wear my skateboarding getup to class or just lounging over the weekend. I’m rocking an Empyre snapback (similar here, we LOVE these!), and the colors really scream fun to me! The pocket tee is from PINK (similar here). Big fan of pocket tees because they are so simple, but the pocket patterns can make a big statement. Completing the outfit with tried and true skinny jeans from American Eagle (similar here) with some classic high-top Chucks (similar here)

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

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Middle school and early high school me was queen of flare jeans and free/club t-shirts. High school me is pretty thankful I got a job at Journeys selling shoes where my style really began to take shape. Everybody at Journeys was tatted or pierced and Mom was not about that for me, so I started living the edgy look through my fashion. Skinny jeans (in all sorts of colors) became a staple in my closet along with the S-accessory trifecta – sunglasses, snapbacks, and shoes.

As part of a New Years’ Resolution (set by my friends), I began to dress a little more “girly”. My style is still evolving as I’m transitioning from a college student to a young professional. I’m the kind of girl that goes from a snapback, skinny jeans, and Converse one day to a dress and sandals the next. Either way, I’m rocking something bold though whether that’s a color, print, or accessory.

Tell us about your accessories.

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Sunglasses – I never leave the house without sunglasses because even the darkest day can turn into sunshine (SRSLY, we LOVE this girl!). Most of my sunglasses are $10 or less because I can’t ever decided on just one style or color that I love! I had been eyeing the ones I am wearing for a while though and finally broke one day. I think the Ray-Ban Clubmasters are a timeless style and sometimes you deserve to splurge a little.
Bracelets – My best accessory finds have been from stalls on the street or street festivals. I love being able to support talented artists and craftsmen that make every thing that they sell themselves. It’s always a great way to remember my travels too – I’m rocking bracelets from Chicago, Portland, and Canada.
Rings – I’ve worn at least one ring on each hand for as long as I can remember. I feel naked now when I don’t have one on! These are pieces I wear every day so I am intentional about the significance they have for me. One of the rings I wear is a boat oar. I realized my love for being on the water when I joined the rowing team my freshman year of college, and it shaped my leadership style greatly that year. The other ring is a simple band with some stones in it, but means the most to me. My mom gave it to me in middle school, and I’ve worn it ever since.

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

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If you’re even remotely interested, feed that interest and figure out if it is something you are passionate about. The best thing you can learn by being in STEM isn’t the coding languages or the equations but rather the ability to problem solve, the ability to keep hammering away at a tough problem, and the ability to think differently.

You have the opportunity to bring a new, unique perspective to every conversation not just because you’re a female, but because of every experience and adjective that makes up who you are. Don’t let it be a competition to “beat the boys” because the boys are on your team too. Focus on developing yourself, your skills, and your interests.

What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?

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I’ve always been into music, it’s formulaic but creative at the same time. This summer at Microsoft helped me tackle a new project. I actually worked with another intern who I met at orientation to write and produce a rap song. We entered ourselves into the intern talent competition not really knowing what we were up against. We performed live during lunch hour trying to win employee votes to get us to the next round. We got to the live audition round and ending up getting second. We got to perform for 2000+ people at the Intern Signature Event and open for a surprise main act. That surprise act just so happened to be Maroon 5 – my all-time favorite band.

What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?

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And soon to come Spotify!

Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?

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I live by 11 words – What would you attempt if you knew you could never fail? Most of the time we are our worst critic and a fear of failure can be paralyzing in life’s crossroads. If there isn’t an opportunity to fail, there probably isn’t an opportunity to grow. The moment I realized failure is not only okay, but healthy for growth is the moment I truly started living.

This girl inspires us SO much. From rowing, to rapping, to boarding, to her sick social media presence,  Nilofer is continuously in motion. She definitely kept us on our toes during our photo shoot and we absolutely love, love, love her two mottos:”Even the darkest days can end in sunshine” and “What would you attempt if you knew you could never fail”. 

What that kind of attitude, we have zero doubt that Maroon 5 will be opening for her one day :)

Early Career

El Hombre Mas Guapo: Hector Diaz

This week’s Fibonacci Sequins star is very special to us because Dona hired Hector Diaz way back in the day for his first internship at Microsoft during an event in Mexico City.  Since then, she has loved watching that brilliant young student bloom into a successful software engineer, and also become a cornerstone in the men’s fashion scene as a star fashion blogger and collaborator!  Read on to see how Hector’s transformation happened and what’s next!

Tell us a little about you.

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Hi! My name is Hector Diaz and I’m a fashion-obsessed, cat-loving, tech-enthusiast (us too, Hector, us too–kindred spirits!) from Monterrey, Mexico. I’ve been living in Seattle for the past 4 and a half years where I’m a software engineer at Microsoft and a fashion blogger for life. I work in the Universal Windows App platform team, where my team and I build the APIs, tools, and frameworks that are needed to create Windows 10 apps that can run in every device and every screen size possible.

During my college years at ITESM (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education) I did two internships at Microsoft – 2008 in the Windows Live Safety Platform team, and 2010 in the Application Experience team for Windows. In between those two amazing summer experiences, I studied in Germany for 6 months at Technische Universität Dresden (I speak German and French as well as English and Spanish). After my second internship I was offered a full-time job opportunity at Microsoft, and I moved from Mexico in spring 2011.

Living in Seattle has been amazing. It was here that I discovered my passion for snowboarding, since let’s face it, there’s not a lot of places where you can do that in Mexico.  I’ve been practicing every winter since I moved here, and I have a group of friends (mostly everyone from Mexico!) with the same interest in winter sports that has brought us closer together. We even have an alias now for Snowboarders at Microsoft, and during the winter months we go snowboarding every weekend and sometimes even during the week (after work of course).

Some of my other interests are concerts and film, which are also a big deal here in the Pacific Northwest. Almost every band that I know and like will stop by Seattle when touring, and whether it’s a full stadium with 70k people, an arena or theater, or an underground venue at a small bar or pub, listening to live music and enjoying it with other people makes me really happy. For film we have the Seattle International Film Festival, which has one of the largest offerings of domestic and international films ranging from documentaries, to comedies, dramas, action movies, and animated film. I like attending that festival with my friends and talking about the movies after we see them, and I’m thinking about becoming a volunteer next year so I’m really excited.

Tell us about what you’re wearing.

Here you can see me wearing two outfits which are perfect for fall.

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This first one is a very casual, almost professor-like look of sports jacket (similar here and here), shirt (similar here and here) corduroy pants (similar here and here), and tie (similar here) – sports coats are coming in really strong this season. This one I got from Club Monaco, which is one of my favorite shops. The shirt I’m wearing is also from Club Monaco, and it has a flower print on it. I love wearing prints and playing around with color and patterns. This one in particular really caught my eye because it has beautiful colors, and the pattern almost creates a sense of movement. The corduroy pants are made of one of the warmest, most versatile fabrics you are going to find; it works well in every season except summer, is extremely comfortable, and it can look very formal or very casual depending on what you pair it with.

To complement this look, I added an extra accessory, this embroidered bracelet from Club Monaco as well, and my favorite pair of brown shoes from Aldo (similar here and here). Notice how the belt matches the same color as the shoes – if there are any rules in menswear, this is one of the most important.

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My second outfit is way more sporty but still cool and really comfortable. I’m wearing a navy-crew, long-sleeve shirt from J. Crew (similar here and here) with a pair of joggers from Topman (similar here and here). Joggers are really strong this fall season, since they are a bit warmer than jeans or regular pants and still look amazing with just a t-shirt or a long-sleeve v-neck. They’re pretty handy as well in any season but summer, so the versatility is again a great point here. As you can see, I love clothes that can be used on different outfits and different seasons, where just the styling creates a whole new different look.

I’m also wearing a last-season olive green jacket from H&M (similar here and here) which has come in handy in the PNW. I was trying to go for a more outdoorsy, Northwest look with this ensemble. As an accessory, I’m wearing a navy-crew bracelet (similar here and here) which matches the shirt. I like adding these smaller details to most of my outfits. The Creative Recreation shoes (similar here and here) complete the look, which are really comfy and look amazing with the joggers. This is a company from California and I love their sense of style without losing the comfort of the shoes.

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

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I wasn’t that into fashion at the beginning of my college years. I had always liked shopping though, and some of the dearest memories that I have from when I lived back in Mexico are from my mom, sister, and I going to the mall together. It was an amazing experience and we always had so much fun while doing it together; sometimes spending more than half a day on a single store just fitting into everything we liked and showing how it looked to one another. However, my style was really simple – a t-shirts with jeans kind of guy.

When I came to Seattle for my second internship I visited New York with my sister, and I learned that there was a whole world outside of Aeropostale and American Eagle. I was fascinated by people wearing designer clothes, lots of accessories, and beautiful shoes. When I started working for a company in Mexico (where people really dress up for work) I took a trip to Zara and got a bunch of dress shirts and dress pants for every day wear. It was my first time buying something a bit more upscale for the daily routine, and I learned a lot about fit, design (Zara is from Europe so their aesthetic is quite different from the American aesthetic), and fashion.

When moved here full-time I found a group of friends who are also into shopping and fashion. So now, instead of going with my mom and my sister, I go with this group of friends who have lived here a bit longer than me. They introduced me to a whole different range of shops, such as Club Monaco, J. Crew, Topman, All Saints; all of the shops that I like a lot today.

How would you describe your style?

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If I could describe my style in 2 words it would be casual and comfortable. I always like my outfits to have an ease to them, a this-is-just-something-I-threw-on-me vibe but without leaving aside the detail and the thought that went behind it. And I like them to be comfortable, because let’s face it, in an world where we are running up and down every day in a variety of environments and situations, you don’t want your clothes to be a hindrance to what you can achieve, and you also don’t want to look out of place or out of yourself because of something that’s too difficult to walk in, or too bulky, or too warm. The more comfortable you are the easiest it will be to portray yourself with confidence, and people will notice this when they see you.

Some recurrences in my style are my incline towards patterns and color; I’m never afraid to wear or even mix different patterns as long as there’s a line of cohesion for the whole outfit. I’m also not afraid to put a pop of color in it (I always try to do this through my socks or accessories). I’m also a firm believer of the “less is more” mentality – I like to be light on accessories, but make them part of the main theme of the outfit rather than just dangling pieces around me is one of my main objectives.  I do the same whenever I splurge on something (as opposed to my favorite middle-tier stores) – I try to make it the centerpiece of the outfit by not combining it with other expensive clothes or designer pieces. I do love designer clothes (I have a beautiful, emerald green Carolina Herrera sweater) but I like to keep that balance.

All and all, my main goal is to let my inner voice be heard through the way that I dress. It’s just another mean we have of communicating our point of view to other people, and it’s become my life motto, to let my voice be heard.

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

Autumn means playing in the leaves - @fibonaccisequinsblog is going to be so much fun over the next few months!

My advice to anyone thinking about getting into any field whatsoever is to just follow your passion and don’t let other things get in your way. Especially in STEM there seems to be a popularity around it at the moment because let’s face it, we’ve transitioned from a point when technology was a just a tool to us, a mean to achieve something in an easier way, to a real life-shaping, people-touching discipline. Nowadays technology is defining how we interact with each other; it’s connecting the world as never before, and it’s giving form to the way we create and foster human relationships.

Technology is enhancing people to become a better version of themselves, and it’s increasing our access to knowledge and as a consequence our productivity. That’s why yes, there is a lot of money involved right now in the technology field, but this should never be the reason for choosing your life-career (and neither should your parents, friends, or mentors telling you to).

I’m not gonna lie, it’s an amazing area and you’ll be fascinated by the awesome things you will develop during your college years. But you also need to have a lot of patience, know how to learn by yourself, because in technology you need to continue learning, otherwise your knowledge becomes obsolete in a few years; it’s a very fast-paced industry. And you need to have the attitude more than the aptitude. Just being good at math doesn’t mean you’re going to be great in engineering (although it does help a lot) but you need to be passionate about the field you like, learn about it from magazines and newspaper articles, be aware of what’s the “hot topic” and learn about it before it becomes something that everyone knows about.

Technology revolves around ideas and innovation, and that’s why you always need to be a step ahead of the norm. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box, the best ideas most often come from challenging the status quo; you should never be scared of defying gravity.

What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?

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I’ve done many things that I feel really proud about at work. Both of my internship projects, for instance, were really cool, and I also like a lot what I have done in 4 years at Microsoft.

However, the project I’m most proud of, because it came straight out of my interests and has brought me many friendships and good connections is starting my own fashion blog. I’ve always been a fan of writing (and reading) and so for the past years I’ve been looking for a topic to blog about just to have a platform to express myself verbally. I haven’t always been a fashion fan, but as I’ve matured I’ve learned that fashion really matters to people – you can be having a very bad day and the moment you see someone wearing something you like it sparks a good feeling inside you/helps initiate conversation.

During the summer of last year, I met Kim Nguyen as a fellow Intern Social Coordinator at Microsoft and I was instantly moved by her style. She always wears super colorful, girly, pretty outfits and I love how bold she is when doing it: she’s never afraid to take risks and she always looks like she’s wearing the clothes, not the other way around. When we became Facebook friends, I saw that she had a fashion blog and that she shot pictures of her daily outfits, and then wrote a few paragraphs about the clothes themselves, about her experiences during that day, and sometimes even some serious talk, where she shared some of her very inspiring stories.

I was inspired by my friend’s amazing blog, and as I paid attention to fashion bloggers I started to notice the lack of attention to menswear. So having identified a topic I loved and a niche that needed filling, I decided to start my own blog in a very similar fashion to Kim’s: story-like writing of my every day outfits, with the occasional twist (traveling, lifestyle, fashion itself). I was delighted to see the positive reception my blog had on its first day after sharing it on social media – friends back in Mexico, friends in Seattle, friends that I have met through my internships and exchange program study in Germany, everyone seemed to be really pleased and engaged with my blog (writing comments, subscribing, liking on facebook).

Little by little my blog audience started growing and growing, eventually expanding across cities, countries, even continents. Nowadays I have over 5000 followers all around the world, and what started as a small platform to share with my friends, has become a total life changer. I’ve done collaborations with smaller brands such as Jeremiah Clothing and more well-known brands like Express. I’ve also been invited to a lot of fashion events in Seattle, one of them at J. Crew this past month to take a fresh look into the fall-winter collection. But most importantly, blogging has brought me amazing friends and connections not only over the Internet, but in Seattle as well. I have met a lot of fashion bloggers at Microsoft even, which by the way, just proves the point that being fashionable and geeky is completely possible, and fashion and tech actually get along pretty well. I’m super excited about having met all this people, and I’m super happy about how my blog has brought me closer together to friends both here and at home.

Are there any misconceptions about STEM fields that you’d like to clear up?

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YES!

One of the most bothering to me is people saying that tech isn’t fashionable. Right at this moment, there are tech companies and fashion designer and brands collaborating on the most amazing, stylish gadgets you could imagine. Wearable technology is becoming super popular, and it’s a good example of how fashion and tech can come together to shape the world.

Another common misconception I feel people have is that tech isolates you from people and real human connection. I agree that it’s not the same to talk with someone in person rather than messaging or chatting through Skype. However, these experiences are becoming more and more personal (like for instance, technology now allows you to speak in your natural language to a person that speaks another language) and now you can communicate with someone on the other side of the world and look at their faces while they are talking to you and see their reactions when you give them good news.

Finally,  some people think that the tech world doesn’t favor diversity. From personal experience I can say that the more diverse your team is the most inventive, innovative, and inclusive it will be when designing products. That is really important, because if there’s something I have learned at work it is that most of the users do not look like you, feel like you, or think like you, so you have to put yourself in their shoes when making decisions. It’s a really logical concept, but it requires a lot of empathy and the best way to have this is by being surrounded by people that are not like you in your everyday life, and embracing the things that make you and everyone around you unique.

What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?

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Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?

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Be yourself. Be confident. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Follow your passions. Have dreams. Make mistakes. Fix your mistakes. Don’t keep regrets. Seize life by the moment. Be nice to people. Give your best every time. Love your family and friends. Keep in touch with good people. Be curious. Never stop learning. Love yourself.

Thank you for reading my story today and I hope you all have a very fashionable, happy life!

And for once, we are rendered speechless. Thank you lovely, darling, brilliant Hector for spending the day with us and letting us have a sneak peek into your glamourous world!

Love,

Dona & Beth

Students

Nicole Giusti makes WISHES come true

A new thing we learned was that the textiles industry is the second biggest cause of waste on earth. Nicole Giusti ain’t having none of that and shared with us what she does to avoid contributing to this worldwide problem.  What’s Nicole doing when she’s not saving the world, DJ’ing or making music? Read on to find out! 

Tell us a little about you.

I’m from Camarillo, CA, and next year, I’m graduating with my B.S. in Computer Science (and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies) from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. Last summer, I was a software dev intern on the Windows Updates Deployment team.

On a typical Friday night, you’ll probably find me playing Dungeons and Dragons. I even got to DM a Pathfinder campaign this summer for a few other interns! Other than playing your typical table-top RPG’s, you may find me either DJ-ing at my college’s radio station (KCPR 91.3FM), getting sweaty at a folk-punk show, or making music with my friends.

Tell us a little about what you’re wearing.

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My dress (very similar here) and cardigan are both from Goodwill. With all the textile waste and sweatshop labor issues in the fashion industry, I’m a strong advocate of the recycled clothing movement! In a similar vein the the belt is stolen borrowed from my sister who has equally great, albeit very different, style.

My mom bought those shoes for me – she likes high heels, and I like my ratty, old Doc Martens, so the shoes are a compromise.

My favorite part of this outfit is definitely my KCPR pin.

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

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Shoes: Divided

My mom dressed me and my younger sister identically (purple tracksuits, Pokémon shirts, etc.) until middle school, but I’ve been through a lot of phases since then. Most notably, I used to be a scene girl, so I wore a lot of eyeliner, black hoodies, and neon-colored pants.

Nowadays, I’m probably wearing any combination of floral prints, fishnets, dad sweaters, denim (in every form except jeans…), cardigans, crushed velvet, and polka dots.

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

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Cardigan: American Apparel

If you feel like you’re too behind to start, you’re not, and don’t let anyone say you are.

I used to edit the HTML in my Neopets profile as a kid (Beth is dying over here because that’s her tech-entry story too!), and I’ve always enjoyed math, so when I was undecided about what to do after school a few people suggested I try computer science.  That’s pretty much the entirety of why I decided to apply to study computer science in college.

The summer before I started at Cal Poly someone very close to me saw me struggling to do something on my computer, and he said, “you can’t even do that, and you’re going to study computer science?”. It freaked me out so much that I didn’t sleep at all for the week before school started, and for the first few months of my freshman year I think I prefaced every sentence about my major with, “well, I’m not good at it, but…”.

About a year ago the same person who made that rude comment asked me for help on a programming assignment.  Now I’m graduating this June with a BS in Computer Science, and I know that I’m good at what I do. So the moral of the story is this: don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can not do.

What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?

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Three years ago, I became very involved in a club at my school to promote women in tech called Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH). I coordinated outreach events to encourage young women to pursue tech fields (e.g., teaching kids how to make a soft circuit LED crafts, leading Lean In circles, etc.), and I organized WISH’s mentorship program.

Last spring, I became president of WISH, which was one my proudest accomplishments as a feminist and computer scientist – I am so excited to expand my efforts to promote women in computing this upcoming school year.

What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?

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Mascara – Maybelline Great Lash Mascara / Eyeliner – Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Eyeliner / Foundation – Maybelline BB Cream / Contour – L’Oreal True Match / Lipstick – Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick (Slayer)

Follow me on instagram!

We WISH (haha) Nicole so much love and luck on her endeavors this year–and the next time someone says, “Oh, you won’t be able to do Computer Science,” you should go ahead and take a page out of Nicole’s book and do exactly whatever the heck you want.  Cuz she certainly does it in serious style because obviously other people’s opinions of you are not something you need to base your life choices around.  Thank you Nicole for reiterating that lesson yet again! 

Love,

Dona & Beth