product designer, cyclist, armchair urbanist

Fashion and Programming

I'm terrible at fashion. I can match colors. I know that prints need a solid. I keep my sneakers away from my pleats.

But I'm so impossibly average.

If I'm cursed, I have the curse of ambition. I detest average. I've grown weary of my decidedly mundane appearance, so I've set out to change it.

But alas! My coffers aren't as deep as my dedication. My dowdy style, constrained by the reality of my pocketbook, must be shed slowly. No extravagant shopping sprees for me. No jackpot upgrades.

This has become an experiment in thrift, and a test of patience. This has become a project. This is going to be long and hard. This, like everything else, must be reduced to hackery.

Hacking fashion—that's what I'm doing. Simply caring is the first step. It's time to grow up and dress like an adult.

I care. Check. Now what?

Reddit. Reddit, of course. r/malefashionadvice is a treasure trove. "Clothes Make The Man", they say there. They are friendly. Their advice is seasoned and their coverage vast.

Pinterest. look-good is my tiny yet blossoming personal lookbook. I really should add to it. Studying fashion is about refining tastes, so looking isn't lusting—it's learning.

Next up? Advice from those who know, and those who care even more than me. Queue the blogs and memberships outside my budget and memberships inside my budget and blogs and more blogs.

This is hacking, remember?

Hacking is breaking it down, piece by painstaking piece. Why does that guy look so great? Such poise, such excellence in taste? He's not a god. It's not witchcraft. He just made a series of good choices. These are choices I can make too.

I needn't even make the same choices. I can make choices that look like his, but are markedly more affordable.

Famous Outfits is my new favorite website. I visit it every day. There's something about it that transcends fashion, though, and bumps right into the work I do every day. The Famous Outfits model, and all of my fashion hacking, has transformed the way I think about designing and developing software.


Do I admire her speed and mastery? There were no quick mental upgrades for her. She bought that mastery with time and the hardest work you can imagine.

Do I admire his ability to clarify the abstract, and slice like an arrow through mind-numbing complexity? He built an empire of text from a thousand peasant villages. He started with tiny chunks—now he owns an army.

I'm trying to Famous Outfits-ify my code and my designs. I'm building them piece by piece. I'm buying when I have the budget. Next year, I'm bound to look dapper.