Friday, November 2, 2012

When Silicon Valley Meets Je Ne Sais Quoi


Ed. Note: What can I say? One of my favorite people, creator of one of the best blogs in the blogosphere, a writer with few equals and here she is! Lisa of the truly brilliant blog, Amid Privilege. I could go on, and on, but it's best you read Lisa and you'll see what I've been trying to say. . .


            Hello everyone! Lisa speaking, from that hotbed of software technology, Northern California.

As Tish makes so evident, French women find their style apparently without effort. Maybe it's in the water?

Here in Silicon Valley, however, we're a teeny, tiny bit less chic by nature. To compensate, we calculate. What do I mean?

A Style Algorithm

           I know it's more common to have a Style Phrase, or a Style Icon. But here in the Valley, surrounded by software programmers, venture capitalists, and other People Who Do Math, we rely on a formula. Here's how it works. In a numbered list, of course.
  1. Everyone's got their sweet spot in the Style Spectrum, on a scale from 1-10. In other words, just how much style impact do you want to make? This isn't about whether your style is good or bad, just how noticeable. I'm a medium-high, or a 6. I want to evidence style, but look like I'm not trying. You?
  2. Determine your parameters, and weight them. Mine are Color, Fanciness, Revealingness (which is not a word, I know, but we're doing numbers here so we don't care), Fuss, Silhouette Flattery, and Total Pattern Quotient (which includes texture because it just does).
  3. Now balance all your parameters to achieve a total Style Spectrum Score. Instant enlightenment.
My particular Style Algorithm category is Sturdy Gal meets Accidental Executive. If I were a Silicon Valley technologist I'd show you a code snippet. But we'll take artistic license instead.

The Legend

Any time you display quantitative information, you've got to have a legend. Even so, confusion is possible, but at least your audience won't feel you've taken them to a desert island populated by numbers and dumped them under a palm tree called Eight. The crab is Nine, in case you're wondering.
  • Color: I cannot wear any yellow or tones thereof. I could go out in head-to-toe color, as long as we're talking blue. Those of you with different palettes would reverse this ratio. So the desired color pointage is achieved by balancing blues against yellows. Black, white and gray, of course, count as freebies.
  • Fanciness: This score must be zero, because it's all about being appropriate.. However fancy the occasion, my personal fanciness must align precisely.
  • Revealingness: Which we are going to pretend is a word. The value must be one. I pretend I want this value to be zero, but I don't. A little vanity harms no one, right?
  • Fuss: A matter of personal limitations. I just can't bear to fuss with my clothes. Anything I have to adjust pains me to no end. Scarf-wearers of the world, we salute you!
  • Silhouette Flattery: There is a certain shape of myself I like to see. Others I do not. I sense the nodding of heads.
  • Pattern: As long as we include texture, I am glad to score high. Cable knit is a pattern, right?
And there you have it. Mark my words, the app, leveraging Polyvore, Shopstyle, and Instagram APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), is not far behind.

19 comments:

A Well Styled Life said...

Fun post...interesting formula.
I'm comfortable with a little more drama, but color remains subdued so as not to overpower "ME". Pattern is not in my formula either but texture is because it softens the increasing texture in my complexion. Head nodding on the silhouette factor. I choose carefully what to highlight these days.
Thanks Lisa!

Splenderosa said...

Lisa is one of the most witty and humorous people I know. We differ slightly on the fashion(ista) definitions, however, as you know. This is a delightful post, Tish. I know everyone will have fun with her graphs/charts which to me are completely un-understandable, of course. xx's

sisty said...

Please do the math-phobic (or in my case, math-rusty) world a favor and break this down for us a little!

How do you weight, and then balance, your parameters? I know this is all tongue-in-cheek but I'm a sucker for formulae.

Worthington said...

Fancy formulas. I know I said silhOUette in my French accent for fun here in my office! Ou! Ou! Ou!

Sandy said...

I'm terrible at math so I'm not even going to try and figure out your formula. All I know is that you're one of the most stylish women in the Valley.

Maggie da Geek said...

Hee, hee, hee. Love the formula. Love the graphic. Love the tee -- I may even have to look for it.

From a fellow techie,

Carol said...

Lisa, you just reminded me how much any kind of maths formula makes my head spin.
l am going to put the fears aside and have a go !

rb said...

Q: how many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb?


A: none. that's a hardware problem.


Lisa, I KNOW you know people to whom you can tell this joke (as do I)

Highland Fashionista said...

There's MATH!?!? No one told me there would be math. (anxiety....anxiety...). Historically, that is my reaction to math. Never mind that I work in a medical profession and use it daily. Now its creeping into my fashion vernacular as well? Oh, it's just all too much...(swoon)

Amelia said...

Style alogrithm? For a math flunky, who took an F on introduction to logrithms. This was eons ago, and I'm still in therapy...:)

Grrrr...god save us from techies. LOL. Thank you Lisa. This is a fun post or maybe not...:)

Karen Albert said...

Lisa your calculation sounds perfect and it fits you to a T. I can relate...

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena
2012 Artists Series

BOHODRESSES said...

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That's Not My Age said...

Love the idea of a style algorithm and Lisa's Legend is spot on!

BigLittleWolf said...

This gets a gaggle of grins out of me, Lisa!

I love that you added the fanciness and fussingness (a word?) factors! Then again, fanciful is a whole other ball game...

Delightfult!

LPC said...

You guys are so cute! Believe me, I'm as math-challenged as anyone. SAT scores, back in the day, had a 200-point differential:). But it is amazing what we can do when we have to. If I can adapt to a tech world, anyone can!

Or not. I think of Pinterest as the visual alternative to algorithms. So sorry if I've given anyone a headache!

Kathy Leeds said...

I'm entranced by the tee shirt at the top - do you know where it's from? Interesting algorithm, although I'm too lazy to do it myself. Hmmm...might say something about how I dress?

Lost in Provence said...

I won't even pretend that I could have any idea how to apply this to myself, being one of the more math-challenged human beings on the planet but I did really enjoy this post!!

Anonymous said...

This equation cracked me up, it is great. I read Lisa's blog quite regularly (nevermind that I'm pretty sure I am a good 15 years below her target age group. She discusses timeless themes!) In my field (anthropology) equations for explaining human behavior are receiving a bit of side-eye right now, but I still find them entertaining. They are just so concise! If only life was a math equation! Perhaps it is because I was born in Silicon Valley...

24 Corners said...

Lisa, not only are you a Sturdy Gal, you're an expremely Smart one as well...Big Bang Theory smart!
My life long math challenged brain is saying 'try again in the morning' after you've had a delicous coffee or two'...caffiene can & does work miracles you know, and as I do need all the fashion help I can get, I will be giving it another go in the a.m.!
xo J~

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