True Fashionista: Audi

Many readers contact me telling me that because of their job, they can’t dress to match their personal style. Many also tell me that once they hit 30, they don’t feel that they can show their personal style at work because it won’t be seen as professional or serious. When I get such emails, I often send these women a link to Audi’s blog, and that is a big reason (other than thinking she’s utterly fabulous and stylish) why I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Audi from the blog Fashion for Nerds is a scientist. She’s over 40. She isn’t one to fit in with the crowd. She loves to travel, loves living in San Francisco, and makes hats in her spare time. She has tattoos, and I am terribly jealous that she has been to Burning Man. She is able to have all this and be professional at work AND true to her personal style. She’s proof that you can be stylish and smart; a professional and a sartorial badass.

I have been reading Audi’s blog for many years and one thing that I love about her style is that while it is unique, it is never a costume. Audi can wear knee-high lace up boots, a harness, a scarf decorated with skulls and it looks polished and sophisticated. She understands not only herself, but her environment and knows how to merge the two.

A big part of why Audi’s style works so well is because she wears it with confidence. I often think of street style blogs – what the subjects may wear may not conventionally make sense, but their posture, their stance, and their visible confidence is the finishing touch that makes the look perfection. Audi carries herself with pride and confidence and it makes her fashions even the more fabulous.

Audi is the queen of the carefully edited closet. While she never shows the same exact outfit twice, you see the same pieces being used over and over, each time getting a new look. Pairing a biker vest with skinny cargos one day and a maxi skirt the other, you hardly realize it’s the same piece. Audi carefully purchases, be it a Helmut Lang dress, a Botiker bag, or an H&M top. And whether it’s ASOS or Alexander McQueen, those pieces get much wear over the years, having new lives as her personal style evolves.

I was so thrilled Audi was willing to be a True Fashionista for Wardrobe Oxygen; here are her responses to the same five questions I ask to each woman in this series.

How would you describe your personal style?
It can be all over the map, but the outfits I feel are really “me” are those that could be described as rocker professional, by which I mean that they look polished and tidy, but have plenty of rebellious elements such as skulls or leather, or that show my tattoos.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
As a kid I used fashion as a means of creating a persona that I didn’t really possess; I was quite shy and reserved all though high school, and dressing in a bold way gave me an air of self confidence. By the time I hit my 20′s I had become genuinely confident, but my style only fully developed once I stopped working in the lab and was able to wear nice clothes to work without having to worry about being uncomfortable all day with my lab coat on over my outfit.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Everywhere, really; other bloggers, people I see on the street, friends, coworkers, window displays, runway shows, magazines. Sometimes it’s just a color combination that I like, sometimes it’s an individual item that strikes a chord, and other times it’s an entire outfit.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion gives us the individual elements: the colors, shapes, patterns, textures, and genres that strike our collective fancy for a particular period of time. Style is how an individual puts those specific elements together.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
I think the most important thing is to have an idea of what you want your wardrobe to say about you. If you want to come off as relaxed and approachable, then think of a few examples of people whose style appears that way to you, be it celebrities or people you know. Then start experimenting, understanding all the while that your style will morph over time as you find the garments that make you look and feel your best. The other thing to remember is that it’s one thing to admire a look on someone else, but it’s quite another to wear it yourself; before you buy a new item, ask yourself if you love it for you or if it’s better being loved from afar.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!

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  • http://heartprintandstyle.com/ Vivi N

    First of all, I really like this series. Anywho, great pick! I will check out her blog later on today. She has style for days.

  • Dawn

    Just wondering what you “take” is on tatoos and fashion. I’m not a fan of tatoos and they ruin the look for me.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    I have a tattoo, so I am a bit biased :) I did get my tattoo in a place where it can even be covered by a swimsuit for fear of it being a problem in the workplace after college, but I have found that really isn’t an issue in my field. I get tattoos, they are artwork you wear for life, and can symbolize life events, loved ones, and things that define your personality. My husband has three, and I have toyed with getting another. I think they are a personal preference just like piercings, hair color, and even what clothes you choose to wear every day. I think that much thought is neede before taking the tattoo plunge and these days I see far too many young people get them because they’re “cool” instead of being personally significant and I find that to be utterly stupid. Your body is a temple, you should respect it – feed it well, exercise it, give it plenty of rest and water and only decorate it with that which means enough to still be proud of that choice 50 years down the line. :)

  • http://ignorantawareness.blogspot.com/ Ignorant Awareness

    What a pleasant surprise to see someone on here who I’m already following! Audi really is a badass, in every sense of the word ;)

  • Jenn

    I really like that line about clothing that may be meant to be loved from afar!

  • Cynthia Washburn

    Oh my gosh – I love Audi! When we were in San Francisco a few summers ago, I even kind of looked around while we were walking just in case I saw her on the street so I could squeal like a fan girl. I say this even though I could never pull off what she wears – I just love the way that she puts clothes together and I live vicariously through her travels.

    Her posts on packing for a trip are super helpful though – no matter what your style. She does an awesome job explaining what to pack and what to wear and how to get maximum style from a minimum of packed pieces.

  • B_utifulMonster

    Well, now you’ve done it. I only ever followed you for fashion…but now I have to go follow this lady too! How beautiful! I love how she can look both cool and polished at the same time…that’s the kind of inspirations I like! Thank you so much A.!

  • Erika

    So with you on that – “only decorate it with that which means enough to still be proud of that choice 50 years down the line”.
    My oldest tattoo is now 25 – and because it’s pretty much constantly covered, still as sharp and clear as when it was new (another reason to keep ink covered!), which is no mean feat in Australia. Side benefit is a much lower likelihood of skin cancer. All of mine have meaning for me and all can be kept covered up, even in summer (full back, one thigh, one arm band on the bicep).
    ANY body art (tattoos, piercings, scarification, makeup, cosmetic surgery, corseting, to name the most common ones) should be carefully considered. Most makeup is temporary, but I’m sure we’ve all seen eyebrows plucked into oblivion, frozen or botoxed faces which left us thinking “WTF?”. BUT (and it’s a big but), no one else has lived that person’s life. So making judgements about what someone else chooses to do with their bodies – tempting, easy, not appropriate. So long as no one else is hurt – your body, your choice.

  • http://www.franticbutfabulous.com/ Heidi/FranticButFab

    Love her! I steal outfit inspiration from her all the time.

  • Audi

    Thank you so much for featuring me Allie, and for your kind words! I’m truly honored to be included in your series!

  • hollysharon

    I LOVE this series!! It’s given me so much to think about. Mostly, what a boring & safe way I dress. Time to change things up

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    But of course, Audi! I have loved your blog and style for years and it is an honor to feature you! :)