Why Can’t a Smart Woman Love Fashion?

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Some of you may recognize the title of this blog post as one from an essay written by the talented Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Elle Magazine earlier this year. As someone who has always prided herself on looking put together as well as on setting goals for myself, I’ve asked myself -and others – varying versions of this question throughout my short 23 years. Though I have never experienced the level of pressure Ms. Adichie describes in the essay, I have at various times felt judged by others as a result of my outfit choices. I have probably encountered this question more during my time in DC than at any other point in my life. This is not necessarily a surprise considering that DC was the first time I was thrown into a professional environment. I was never one to wear sweatpants outside of the comfort of my home, and I certainly would have never worn pajamas to class -despite attending a liberal university in Southern California where this was somewhat common. In clothing myself, my intent has never been to be “dressed up”, rather I have always seen my style as a means of expression, an extension of who I was and who I wanted to be. Besides that, I like looking put together, I like experimenting with patterns and prints and colors, I like wearing bold jewelry, I like wearing heels, and quite frankly I see no reason why this should somehow conflict with the fact that I also follow politics and world events, am an avid reader, have a retirement savings account, want to speak 6 languages by the time I’m 40, teach English in China, and hope to join the foreign service -in my eyes none of these are mutually exclusive. I was recently admitted into graduate school (and by recently, I mean last night) and I fully intend on pursuing a challenging and fulfilling career and looking fabulous while doing it. That being said, here is what I wore to work to usher in the first day of Spring! I wanted something fun so I went with this striped Forever21 t-shirt, a thrifted skirt I got in DC, a blazer I stole from my mom (whose gold buttons I luhrve), a La Mer wrap watch and my Asos color block flats.

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