Hello, blog! It's been a year. And oh, what a year it has been. I'm not too interested in waxing nostalgic here since the ins and outs of the time since I last posted have been well documented on my Instagram. I will say, though, that if you've not kept up there, a lot has changed since I last wrote. Most notably, I moved to Silicon Valley to start my first real deal job. 

There are lots of very cool things about working in Silicon Valley. Free lunch is definitely one of them. Also, working at break-neck speed means that I've learned from and been responsible for a number of projects that wouldn't usually land in the lap of someone one year out of school. (Sending emails to millions of people, for example.) 

But outside of working hard and learning tons, there's one thing that's been particularly challenging: embodying femininity and flamboyance in the land of the hacker hoodie dress-code. 

It's funny—CEOs here wear Patagonia vests and sneakers. The CTO of my company rides around our office on a Segway. So if you're out there watching Silicon Valley and wondering if the real place lives up to the stereotypes, the answer is, "Well, sorta." 

One thing people forget to mention about Silicon Valley: it's a collection of about 10 suburban cities with no true center. After nine months, the relentless suburbia and the ultra-casual corporate dress code has left me feeling...hemmed in. 

One thing you don't see here very often is hot pink. Or dresses. Or neon orange. Or basically anyone taking fashion risks. The leniency in office dress code seems only to apply if you're forgoing professional attire in favor of the hyper-masculine anti-fashion uniform of hoodies and puffers, t-shirts, nondescript pants, and sneakers. 

I want to reclaim my fashion independence. I want to fearlessly wear what I want without worrying about who I'm shocking. This was rarely a worry for me in the past, but now I feel like I need to work myself back up to not giving a damn. 

My first step to re-embracing femininity and flamboyance has been painting my nails hot pink with disco sparkles. This color combo looks like a tacky Barbie car, but every time I see it (especially when I'm at the office) it gives me a private sense of satisfaction. Look at me, sticking it to the hoodie-clad man. 

Hot pink has become a sort of power color for me. Pink (also my last name) used to be one of my least favorite colors. It felt too girly, too frivolous, too sugary sweet. In the last year or so, though, I've realized that there is power in campy, saccharine performances of femininity. Especially in environments like Silicon Valley, where masculine norms permeate expectations for everyone's behavior, claiming and performing femininity becomes radical. 

In an attempt to emancipate myself from the false liberty of the Silicon Valley uniform, and in an attempt to reclaim a lost sense of self, I've set myself the task of dressing more flamboyantly for just a week to see what progress I can make. Here's what I've worn so far. 

The first day on my anti-corporate hegemony dressing journey, wearing a vintage fuschia top with flocked black polka dots and Armani Exchange jeans, Donald Pliner boots, and of course sparkly hot-pink nails. 

Day two, wearing a vintage tiger-print cotton jacket, vintage cherub earrings, black & other stories turtle neck. In my book, fantasy, camp, and high-femme elements are, in their flamboyance, all frequently grouped as "frivolous," and are therefore all similarly radical.  

And finally, day three: a very disgruntled shot of me looking into the sun (at long last!). Wearing my vintage baby blue housecoat with gorgeous embellished collar, my Ghost of Fry's tee, a Van Gogh scarf in my hair... embodying grace and femininity in small ways while wearing a picture of Valentina (an expression of my most fantastically feminine self) plastered across my shirt. 

Thank you for reading! Are you a femme-identifying person working in tech? I'd love to hear your thoughts about gender expression through fashion in the workplace.