Why Am I Dressed to Code? Big News!

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
People who code come in all shapes and sizes and look just like everyone else.

Dressed to Code

First, why is this blog called Dressed to Code? It’s more than a play on the phrase “dress code” (I have some strong opinions on dress codes, but that’s a post for another day.). This blog is called Dressed to Code because that’s what I do; I code.

Don’t get me wrong. I do plenty of other things too, like hike, bike, and watch more Netflix than I should. My education background is in physics (probably nothing like the physics you did in high school) as well, and I’ll always love the subject. If you’re wondering why, check out this mind-blowing video on quantum mechanics. (Yes, the little cartoon professor accurately explains the famous double slit experiment.) Your view of the world will never be the same.

I learned to code, and you can too.

Nonetheless, a few stellar professors got me hooked on coding and the ability to create with your keyboard. I understand why learning to code can sound intimidating. For one, it sounds like a different language, several different languages in fact. The basic idea is that you learn how to communicate what you want in a programming language which then converts those commands to a language your computer can follow. From there, the possibilities are endless.

For example, you want to buy a jacket (like this North Face Stretch Thermoball) if the price goes below a certain dollar amount, your budget. Basic “pseudocode” (a sort of rough draft of code) might look like this:

if price < budget: buy jacket

It really is that simple, at least at the beginning. There are now a plethora of free sites that will walk you through the basics in several different languages. I learned python as my first language and would recommend it as a good starting place. (In my opinion, it’s less fussy than other languages.) If you’re already blogging and want to learn a little more to help you spice up your website, I like the HTML and CSS tutorials over at W3Schools.

The News

Enough already, I know. You just want to hear my news. Well, drumroll please…

I’ll be starting the new year with a new job as a full-time software development engineer (SDE)!

What does that mean for Dressed to Code? That remains to be seen. I am tremendously grateful for the welcoming and supportive community I have found in the Seattle bloggers and am in no hurry to leave any time soon. That said, there will likely be some kind of a transition phase. We’ll see what happens!

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
This look would fit right in with my Pinterest inspiration board.

Black, Blue, Brown (and Stripes!)

This look really combines a number of the elements I found myself drawn to in my Pinterest research. Check out my board here, and you’ll notice this black-blue-brown color scheme (I include white and grey as well), punctuated by black and white stripes.

Jacket

This North Face Stretch Thermoball has been sitting under my tree, and I am pleased to finally be able to wear it. With temperatures hovering between freezing and high 40s fahrenheit (4C), this warm layer is just what I’ve needed. Recently, I went walking around the city with a friend, and this jacket kept me sufficiently warm with a t-shirt, beanie, and gloves. When it began to sprinkle lightly, the water drops beaded up on the exterior, but I wouldn’t trust it to go solo in a true rain.

I ultimately picked out this jacket over others for two key reasons. First, the smaller, chevron pattern is fairly flattering. Second, the matte finish means that the black jacket doesn’t resemble a trash bag. The jacket features two exterior zip pockets, and the option to tuck things into their lining inside. A hidden elastic band at the wrist keeps the drafts out of your sleeves.

(Note: This was my Christmas gift from my family, so I didn’t patiently wait for a sale like I normally do. You may have luck finding a better price once the weather warms up, and I’ll let you know if I spot a sale.)

I’m wearing an XS, which fits well with enough room for a bulky sweater underneath. The fit is a little snug around the bottom but would hit in a higher, thinner place on someone taller than myself. I like that the snug (but not too tight) fit means I’m not getting cold drafts up from below.

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
The stretch version of the North Face Thermoball has a matte finish.

Jeans & Tee & Hat

You’ll recognize my quincy wash Madewell 8″ skinny jeanswhisper cotton tee in hardy stripe, and Morley hat from Moorea Seal. Follow the links for my reviews in greater detail.

Kodiak Acadia Boots

I finally added a little brown to my wardrobe with these caramel leather Kodiak Acadia Boots. I got mine in person at REI, but Amazon has the full range of colors. These are insulated, waterproof leather boots with a durable sole. I’ve been wearing these regularly since I’ve gotten them and have been happy with how warm and comfortable they have been. I wear them with thick Smartwool hiking socks, so I sized up to a size 7 from my usual 6.5.

My biggest complaint is that they seem to scuff easily. I have plenty of leather shoes which don’t scuff quite as much as these, so you’d better be prepared for more of a worn leather look. My S.O. gave me a polishing kit for Christmas (purely because I’d been complaining about these), which I am excited to try out.

I spent quite a while in REI trying to decide between these and the very slightly more comfortable Kodiak Surrey II Boots. I went with the Acadia because they looked a little more like everyday shoes than heavy winter boots. The Surrey II was slightly bigger on, slightly more comfortable, slightly warmer, and slightly more expensive. Both styles are available from Kodiak in a men’s version as well.

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
Outside winter shoots aren’t so bad in a warm jacket and boots combination!

Wrapping Up 2016

This has been a roller coaster of a year, with some personal highs and globals lows. The takeaway message for me is that we have come so far but still have so much farther to go. Celebrate the small victories on your way to greater progress. Make the world a little kinder, a little more welcoming, and a little more aware.

Here’s to the next adventure.

-Casey

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Il Corvo

All black everything with 10" high-rise skinny jeans in carbondale wash from Madewell and black leather chelsea boots finish out a black pea coat and t-shirt for a head-to-toe look.
Level achieved: all black.

All Black Everything

Can you believe that it has taken me this long to check black denim off my intentional wardrobe wishlist? I can’t. I wore this all-black look for lunch at Il Corvo in Pioneer Square with Julia of Style and Cheek (go check out her blog!).

I’d been eyeing these Madewell 10″ high rise jeans for a while and finally bought them when 25% off. I wear a size 25 in both of my other pairs of Madewell denim, but the stretchier nature of this material meant that the size 25 pulled and bunched in an unflattering manner. The 26 was a smoother and more comfortable fit. I wear the regular length jeans, which hits just a little long. Therefore, I’d consider having this pair hemmed and tapered like my Lakeshore wash pair. This particular black denim is called “carbondale wash.”

All black everything with 10" high-rise skinny jeans in carbondale wash from Madewell and black leather chelsea boots finish out a black pea coat and t-shirt for a head-to-toe look.
To accessorize, I would probably add my black gloves and beanie to keep me warm.

High-waist jeans seem to go in and out of style. However, I bought this pair because they look virtually the same under an untucked shirt and give me more flexibility with shirts of different lengths. In this outfit, I tucked in a old black Merona t-shirt from Target, which I love for its petite-friendly length. The waist was just high and tight enough that I could add a black and silver belt (vintage Mom) that is too short for my usual pants. I finished off the look with my Madewell chelsea boots and old Forever 21 pea coat. (I fell in love with this possible replacement at Nordstrom before I saw the price. Nope!)

I’m excited to try other all-black looks with different layers and textures, including my black satin bomber.

Pappardelle alla bolognese, focaccia bread, and kale salad for a lunch at Il Corvo in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Julia and I each ordered a main and a side.

Il Corvo

This pasta place had been on my list since I had first heard of it. However, with a lunch-only schedule, Il Corvo wasn’t an option for Friday date night or weekends, when I usually eat out. I finally had the opportunity to visit this rising star with Julia of Style and Cheek.

Experience

Like the reviews say, expect to wait. Thankfully, we got there as the line was just out the door, but it quickly grew longer behind us. Once the line moved up enough that we graduated to waiting inside, the smell was incredible. The place is very small; with tables against either wall, there is just enough room for a queue up the middle. The menu rotates with three options daily, but I was pretty thrilled to see the classic pappardelle alla bolognese as one of the day’s options.

Once we made it to the front, we ordered and immediately received our appetizers. I went for the generous portion of focaccia (probably serves 2-3 people), and Julia ordered the Kale salad. We then collected our own water and cutlery before selecting a table. I sat against the wall in what appeared to be a church pew. When our pasta was ready, the waiter called out my name and brought it over to our table.

Pappardelle alla bolognese for a lunch at Il Corvo in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Pappardelle alla bolognese from Il Corvo.

Food

The bolognese sauce was very smooth in texture; think of a very fine pulled pork. It also had some heat to it, leaving my mouth warm in a way that had nothing to do with the temperature of the food. The focaccia was thick and fluffy with good flavor and olive oil for dipping. I ate all of it, but I was pretty hungry to start.

Overall, I thought that the food was tasty and reasonably priced. The rotating menu should help make each visit a little special. I’d recommend it for two people with some time to kill chatting.

Focaccia bread for a lunch at Il Corvo in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Focaccia bread for lunch at Il Corvo.

I think a great pasta bolognese might be my choice if I had to eat one food for the rest of time. What would yours be?

 

There’s nothing quite like a good meal shared in great company. 

-Casey

Wrapping and Recycling Holiday DIY

Casey of Dressed to Code did some DIY to put together this paper grocery bag wrapping paper.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle with grocery paper bag wrapping paper.

After gift-buying, the usual step is gift-wrapping. Growing up, I loved wrapping presents and picking though our collection. That said, I now live in an apartment, and wrapping paper rolls are a pain to store. (Don’t get me wrong, we have quite a bit of storage for an apartment this size, but someone has a bicycle collection that takes up more than the usual amount of storage space.) If you are looking for paper, I’ve always swooned over the rolls at the Container Store, including this Birch Bark Recycled Gift Wrap.

My no-roll wrapping quest quickly skipped over newspapers (we don’t get any in print) and mail advertisements (not big enough for the larger items). Then it hit me, probably triggered by something on Pinterest at some point: paper grocery bags!

At some point, I had seen this wrapping inspiration from capsule blogger Lauren of Chic Ethique.

I usually remember my reusable bags, but even so, we have accumulated a small pile of paper bags. I selected the largest bags in the best condition, which left me with six. Will that be enough? Too much? We’ll find out!

Grocery paper bags make excellent recycled gift wrapping paper for holiday gifts.
With some care, even the bottoms of the grocery bags can be reused.

Prepping the Paper

I started by carefully removing the handles and painstakingly undoing the gluing and folding. This ended up being the most time-consuming part of the entire process. The better I dismantled the bags, the more nice, usable paper I would have left.

The back of a classic yellow wooden pencil makes an excellent mechanism for stamping dots onto reused grocery paper bags for DIY wrapping paper.
Your classic yellow pencil makes an excellent stamp for decorating your wrapping paper.

Dotting Away

For the decoration, I used some white craft paint that I had left over from another project. To make the dots, I picked a brand new eraser on an old-school pencil. By pouring a small amount of paint into a (clean) plastic take-out container, I was able to dip the eraser into the paint and dab a little off before dotting it onto the paper. After some practice, I found that each dip was good for stamping a handful of dots before needing to be refreshed. By working back and forth across the paper, the thicker initial dots were more scattered.

Casey of Dressed to Code did some DIY magic to put together this paper grocery bag wrapping paper for all your Christmas holiday needs.
Thick paper will require more tape than the usual lightweight wrap.

Wrapping It Up

Once the papers were fully dry, I wrapped up the gifts that I had already acquired. Because the paper bags are thicker and stiffer than traditional wrapping paper, I needed more tape than usual to keep things together. Additionally, the smaller presents would have benefited from a higher density of dots.

Casey of Dressed to Code did some DIY magic to put together this paper grocery bag wrapping paper for all your Christmas holiday needs.
This small package could have used more dots, but the finished product is still attractive.

The Results

Altogether, this was a fun, relatively easy project with satisfying results. I’ve saved some money and storage space. Best of all, I’ve reused something utilitarian in a beautiful way. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the sheet of grocery bag was enough for a surprisingly  large box. Win!

Casey of Dressed to Code did some DIY magic to put together this paper grocery bag wrapping paper for all your Christmas holiday needs.
The finished product looks even better on the larger package.

Holiday Cards

In other good news, I found holiday cards with my desired traits: not religious, not too frilly/glittery/abstract, and Seattle-specific. I had just about given up when I came down the escalator at Pacific Place and there they were, right at the front of the Paper Delights pop-up! You can find the snow globe cards here.

Warm wishes from Seattle holiday greeting cards from Paper Delights of Seattle.
Warm wishes from Seattle!

Warm wishes this holiday season! Can you believe that this awful year is almost over? Here’s hoping 2017 is a significant improvement.

“Keep in mind what you really value this holiday season!”

-Casey

Stay Cozy Casual with a Classic

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater and lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, both from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

Cozy Casual Outfit

Winter has certainly set in here in Seattle (snow!), and that means keeping my daily looks cozy casual. As you may have guessed, cozy casual means layers and warm sweaters.

Classic Cable Pullover Sweater

If you’ve been following along, I put plenty of sweaters on my intentional wardrobe wishlist. That said, I’ve been looking for the right sweater, heavy but not overwhelming. While in store at Madewell to make a not-so-successful Black Friday return, I found this classic cable pullover sweater in heather carbon. I hadn’t bought it during the Black Friday sales because it was final sale. However, after trying it on, I quickly snatched one up in size XS. It has interesting visual detail, and the sleeves are warm without being too tight. The weave is loose enough in places that I wouldn’t wear it without an undershirt. Here, while you cannot see it, I paired it with my grey whisper cotton crew neck tee.

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater, lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots, all from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

Madewell Denim

Denim may not be everyone’s first thought when they think cozy. However, the ‘real’ pants keep this cozy casual look from being at-home-in-your-pajamas casual. These 8″ skinny jeans are hemmed and tapered so that they fit like custom-made. They are also warm enough to stand up to some of these chilly days. (I really need to find an indoor shoot space!)

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater, lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots, all from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

Chelsea Leather Boots

These chelsea leather boots were another sale scoop from Madewell. You may have sensed a trend in my shopping lately… it’s Madewell. Right now, Madewell is fitting that sweet spot of fit, budget, and style (more on that later).

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater, lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots, all from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

 Personal Note

I received some good news lately that may, unfortunately, affect the continuation or operation of this blog. I’ll let you know more when I can, but for now, let me thank you for your support. In the few months that I have stumbled into the blogging world, I have learned so much and met some incredible people. A special thanks to Julia of Style and Cheek and Julianna of Blush and Camo for their support and encouragement.

Casey of Dressed to Code models a classic halo diamond ring from Blue Nile and snow-inspired white sparkle nails.
To be clear, this is NOT my news. This was a fun night of trying on the gorgeous baubles at Blue Nile.

Blue Nile

I recently had the opportunity to try on some beautiful diamond rings at the opening party for Blue Nile in Bellevue Square, thanks to Sydney of Gossip & Glamour (#bluenilesparkle). It was a fun night of light bites and sparkling rings. I loved that they had a number of the rings cabled into two tables so that you could inspect and try on rings without the pressure of someone watching you. As much as I love how the halo rings look on, I think I’d opt for something a little smaller when that time comes.

In honor of the snow, I opted for a sparkling white manicure using polishes White On and Disco Ball. I like that it ended up as a sort of neutral but festive and bright look. Try this combination if you’re looking for an alternative to the classic red manicure this time of year. That said, I recently ran out of my Revlon Red polish, which works wonders for a classic red manicure in a single coat!

If you’re looking for more cozy casual outfit inspiration, check out my other sweater purchase or my Pinterest board.

May your toes stay warm this winter!

-Casey

 

It’s All There in Black and White Striped

Simple, minimalist, classic, striped, black, white, denim, striped, wool hat, chelsea boots, outfit, idea, inspiration, looks, red, lipstick, lip, lips, bomber, satin, jacket, apple watch, Casey, Dressed to Code.
I’ve crossed short sleeve striped shirt off my intentional wardrobe wishlist with this 100% cotton score.
This classic, minimalist look on Casey of Dressed to code pairs a satin bomber jacket from Abercrombie, black wool Morley hat from Moorea Seal, Madewell whisper cotton crewneck tee in hardy stripe, and 8" skinny jeans for the best outfit inspiration.
There’s something about a black and white striped shirt and a red lip for that classic French outfit inspiration.
This classic, minimalist look on Casey of Dressed to code pairs a satin bomber jacket from Abercrombie, black wool Morley hat from Moorea Seal, Madewell whisper cotton crewneck tee in hardy stripe, 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots for the best outfit inspiration.
This look is mostly Madewell, with the exception of the Abercrombie bomber and Moorea Seal hat.
This classic, minimalist look on Casey of Dressed to code pairs a satin bomber jacket from Abercrombie, black wool Morley hat from Moorea Seal, Madewell whisper cotton crewneck tee in hardy stripe, 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots for the best outfit inspiration.
Because it’s getting cold in Seattle, I zip my jackets all the way up more often than not.
This classic, minimalist look on Casey of Dressed to code pairs a satin bomber jacket from Abercrombie, black wool Morley hat from Moorea Seal, Madewell whisper cotton crewneck tee in hardy stripe, 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots for the best outfit inspiration.
Additionally, I wear a belt with my jeans, a black leather hand-me-down from my mother. Thanks, Mom.
This classic, minimalist look on Casey of Dressed to code pairs a satin bomber jacket from Abercrombie, black wool Morley hat from Moorea Seal, Madewell whisper cotton crewneck tee in hardy stripe, 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots for the best outfit inspiration.
Altogether, I’m please with how my intentional wardrobe is allowing me to create more outfits I love.

Intentional Wardrobe Update

This striped cotton tee is another item I can happily check off my intentional wardrobe wishlist. The further I get into the list, the easier it becomes to throw together memorable outfits. As much as I expected shopping carefully and strategically to produce a more cohesive closet, I underestimated the impact of sitting down and thinking through how I want to visually represent myself  long term. If your shopping history has been anything like mine, you have traditionally assembled your closet a few items at a time, maybe with more thought given to a particular outfit for a special occasion. While I’ve never been one for drawers of unworn clothes, the overall amalgamation left me with that nothing-to-wear feeling more times than I’d like to admit. Now, I find myself in that position less and less, usually when I should throw in a load of laundry. Long story short, I’m very happy with how this experiment is going.

If you’re looking to get started on an intentional wardrobe of your own, start here.

Striped Cotton Tee

Of my Black Friday/Thanksgiving sales purchases, this Madewell whisper cotton crewneck tee in hardy stripe was the first to arrive. For reference, I’m wearing a size XXS. Even as I’ve admired striped shirts from afar, finding one that wasn’t too-tight or transparent in the white stripes took time. Fundamentally, this shirt is the same style as my grey t-shirt, with the curved hem and luxurious cotton feel. (Although it wasn’t on the wishlist, I couldn’t resist ordering a whisper cotton crewneck tee in ‘cabernet’ for under $15.)

Unfortunately, the second item to arrive wasn’t the cozy-cool sweatshirt I was hoping it would be. (No fuzzy lining!) For that reason and the fact that it was really cropped, you won’t see me rocking this mockneck sweatshirt anytime soon. Oh well. You win some, you lose some, and you thank goodness for free returns!

What was your best Black Friday find? Let me know in the comments!

“Be many things, but most of all, be yourself.”

-Casey