Shattering Stereotypes in Men’s Fashion

January 25, 2016



I’ve been thinking about superheroes lately, perhaps because I keep seeing previews for the new Batman v. Superman movie (which looks pretty awesome). So as I sat down to write part one of this two part series where I introduce you to my lovely fiancé, Zachary, the theme for this blog series came to life.

I want to talk about dichotomy in fashion, or more simply put – how to harmoniously embrace opposing style identities.

I have often seen people struggle to embrace  their multiple style personas, whether it be reconciling their more modest work self with their daring weekend self or feeling comfortable with combining various styles into one look.

These individuals get excited about unexpected style combinations – a pair of sneakers with a flouncy skirt, or a bow tie with a casual look – but shy away from incorporating them into their own wardrobe.

Why? Well my personal take is that they are influenced by another group of people – the naysayers. I’ll preface this by saying that these are often well meaning individuals, however they’ve fallen prey to the popular misconception that style identities come in neatly packaged one to two word boxes. 

You can be hippie chic or minimalist.

You can be preppy or urban.

But never both. 

I say that’s bologna. Pardon my use of a cliche but I firmly believe expressing your personal style is grounds for playing dress up everyday. Embracing different style identities, whether as part of one look or on a day to day basis, does not make you a fraud. Whether you’re Clark Kent or Superman – wearing a cape or geeky chic frames – embrace every facet of you and don’t allow yourself to be defined, or worse, simplified.

Heck, be Batman by day and Superman by night if life will be more fun that way.

If there’s anyone I know who embodies expressing your personal style to the fullest it’s Zachary. He approaches style with a daring twinkle in his eye, exploring cuts, colors, and a myriad of different styles that others would never dare.

He’s 5’8” 220 pounds and a pro powerlifter.

But the fact that he practically lives in the gym has never stopped him from fostering his first love for fashion. He’s known on Instagram not only for his work ethic and dedication in the gym but for his dynamic and bold patterned leggings – think tetris, rockets, and even the poop emoji.

But boy does he clean up nicely. His collection of bowties is only rivaled by his collection of shoes – which include limited edition sneakers and various dress shoes.

His personal style is certainly not easily defined and that’s exactly what he’s going for – that and shattering stereotypes at every turn. 




Dream: Powerlifting

Favorite stores: Zara, Apolis, Diesel


Words to Live By:

“If it is for the sake of my pride there is nothing I won’t destroy.” – Byakuya Kuchiki



Jacket: Apolis

Pocket Square: Apolis

Polo: Zara

Bowtie: Brooks Brothers

Jeans: Zara

Shoes: CNS (Brazilian brand)

Socks: Ralph Lauren

Watch: Burberry



Blog Signature Patricia

+ Zachary

The Bold Pant: How to Develop Confidence in the Workplace

April 9, 2015

boldpantsconfident boldpantsstripes

As someone in such a pivotal time in her life, it’s no surprise that I’m anxious. Not only am I graduating, but I will also be entering a new workplace where I will remain this summer and into next year while I obtain my Master’s. I’m especially anxious because I will finally be working at the corporate level in fashion and that is completely new territory for me. Not only is it a competitive field with so many highly skilled candidates, but you have to bring your A-game in what you wear to work…everyday. So not only do you have to worry about how your skills stack up to your co-workers, but also how well you look. Lets just say if you’re having a bad hair day it will be felt even more strongly among your fashion peers, who have much higher standards than your regular peers.



I thought it would be appropriate than to devote a post to learning ways to develop confidence in the workplace. What better way to make a great first impression, then with a fabulous outfit?! I’m only mostly kidding… Seriously, one of the best sayings is “fake it till you make it,” meaning sometimes confidence is a person’s greatest asset and by going through the motions, eventually they become a reality. Personally I feel more confident if I have on a kick ass outfit. What I love about the outfit I’m wearing is how bold the pants are. It makes quite the statement and I loved how well they pair with the printed shoes and a striped two-in-one sweater. My motto is: If I look good, I feel good :)




Pants- Loft

Jacket- Forever 21

Shoes- Target

Bag- Louis Vuitton

Watch- Kate Spade

Bracelets- Baublebar

The other week I stumbled across an article on The Everygirl that described five ways to develop confidence in the workplace. In short they are:

1. Set smaller goals and realistic expectations. Start by focusing on one thing you know you’re good at and then move on from there.

2. Never be afraid to ask for what you want.

3. Accept failure and value criticism. The more you accept failure and the less you take it personally, the stronger you’ll be in the long-run.

4. Say “yes!” Have enough belief in your abilities that you know a new task isn’t beyond your grasp.

5. And finally, relax. No one else knows what they’re doing, either so just do the best you can do. That’s really all anyone can ask of you.


Blog Signature Hannah

How To Prepare For The Big Interview

April 6, 2015


Happy Monday! If you celebrate, I hope you had a lovely Easter yesterday. I was fortunate enough to be able to bring a close friend home to Maine for the weekend and spend some much needed time with my parents. I haven’t had a weekend where I could just relax in so long and it felt oh sooo good. My favorite part of being home is the laughter, the food, the wine, and the puppy snuggles. Lately I’ve been feeling an intense craving for home for I know I will no longer be able to visit as frequently once I graduate next month. It’s crazy to think how fast these past four years have gone and how much I’ve grown as a person. When I first started The Fashion Cookbook and dreamed of working in fashion, I wish I could have told my seventeen year-old self that it would all work out in the end so long as you work hard enough. I remember when I first started blogging I wrote in a post about how I felt so separated from the world living in Maine. To think this summer I’ll be in New York interning for Tommy Hilfiger.

interviewappropriateattire#girlbosshowtoprepareforaninterviewinterviewoutfitdetails internshipinterviewoutfit


Blazer- Forever 21

Shirt- Forever 21

Skirt- Loft

Pumps- Lulu*s

Bag- Kate Spade

Watch- Michael Kors

Necklace- Loft

With summer just around this corner, so many students are busy in between classes and schoolwork applying frantically for internships. Also, as a senior in college, many students are applying for their first “real” job (that is the first job outside of college) and from speaking with some of my close friends over coffee, lately I find many people are nervous for the interview and wanted to know if I had any good tips for them . The tips I had researched and utilized for the Tommy Hilfiger interview do not only apply to college students, but really are helpful for anyone that needs to brush up on their interviewing skills.

1. Analyze the job description: First things first, brush up on what the job consists of. Make a list on one side of a paper/Word document (or better yet copy and paste) what it says on the website are the daily tasks and what is expected of you. Then, to the right on a separate column go through each of those responsibilities and think of the ways that you’ve accomplished each of those tasks. Make sure you come up with clear and truthful examples and memorize them. You will be able use these talking points during the interview itself to support how you are the best candidate for the position.

2. Brush up on your own story and experiences: Keeping the job description in mind, reflect on your past experiences and highlight the things that you’ve done (examples are great) that are impressive, relevant, and will differentiate you from other candidates. Be sure to think of things that make you special and stand out. Don’t be afraid to be honest and vulnerable, yet still professional without being of course too overly personal.

3. Know what the company does, and why you want to join: Why do you wanna work for this company? Your interviewer will expect that you researched the company and you should know what they do, why they do it (their mission), what products they sell, and where in the world they operate, just to name a few. Its important to assess why you actually want to work there and be comfortable to be able to talk to those point when asked. The best candidates are able to clearly articulate why they are really excited about the prospect of getting that job. If you’re not actually excited about the job, reconsider going in for that interview to begin with!

4. Prepare for the most commonly asked interview questions: While no one knows exactly which questions will be asked during the interview, that doesn’t mean you cannot prepare for the most general such as, “Tell me about yourself”, “Why are you interested in this job?”, “Tell me about a time when you’ve…”, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” etc.  This is why brushing up on your own story and assessing your future career goals is so critical.

5. Go in with confidence: Remember if you got asked to be interviewed than that meant that you impressed the company enough to be considered for the position. So take the time to research the company and why you would be a good fit. Find an outfit that is both professional and makes your feel confident (that could be heels or even your favorite lucky purse). As my middle school drama teacher once said, “Why not give it your all during an audition? It just may be the only time you get to play that specific role.” So, don’t forget to hold your head high and smile wide! At the end of the day that may be the only time you’re considered to work for somewhere as competitive, so you better give it your all.

Good luck!!

p.s Don’t forget to send a thank you note immediately (within 24 hours). Be sure to be thoughtful and personalize what you say in the follow up. And finally, proofread everything!!!


Blog Signature Hannah

Power Suits and the Power of Negotiation

March 25, 2015


Current status:

feeling like a boss.
So I dedicate this post to all of my aspiring lady bosses.

DSC_0823A few years ago, Linda Babcock conducted a study for her book, Women Don’t Ask.

She found a 7.6% difference in salaries between men and women with MBA degrees (pretty depressing stats for a current female MBA candidate).

The reason? Well sexism aside, she also found another staggering statistic –
ONLY 7% of women, compared to 57% of men, had attempted to negotiate their salaries.

I don’t know about you but the last time I stepped into my boss’s office for “the talk” AKA the I need more money talk, I thought I was going to have a panic attack. And judging from these statistics I am not alone.

I’d like to think that I am pretty comfortable in social situations, with public speaking, and with discussing other issues with my boss – however when it comes to pay it seems like my brain just decides to go into reset mode. I was reflecting upon this experience when I found a great article on Forbes about the power of negotiation – a set of skills so many of us women never learn.


The Power of Negotiation

If we’re going to close this wage gap we need to start by becoming expert negotiators. So put your big girl pants on and let’s do it.

1. To start, we are our own worst enemy. Before we do anything we need to raise our expectations – know your worth and educate yourself. You need to know what the going rate is in the job market for the skills you have to offer and the position you’re looking to fill. I’m going to use a cliche here (#sorrynotsorry) – knowledge is power.

2. Have you ever noticed how badass of a negotiator you are when you’re negotiating on behalf of someone else? Like when it has to do with your child’s wellbeing, defending your team, or standing up for your best friend? I know I turn into a lady version of Al Capone…lol That’s because this doesn’t seem selfish (to you or the party you’re negotiating with). So you need to apply the same logic to negotiating on your own behalf. Frame your negotiations based on how you are going to help the other party – think you need these resources to help them. This isn’t about you it’s about the welfare of the organization.

3. Keep your options open. You wouldn’t settle on the perfect pair of shoes without shopping around would you? Similarly, you should shop around for a job too. The more options you have the more empowered you feel to ask for the things you need to be happy at a particular job. And just like a Birkin bag, the more in demand you are the more valuable you become.

Lastly, be confident. You are a boss. Dress like a boss. Think like a boss. And. Own. It. Do your homework and prepare to defend yourself and what you can bring to the table. Believe in yourselves as much as I believe in you.

Dress Shirt: H&M
Wide Leg Pants: H&M
White Pumps: Rampage (Similar Style)
A Healthy Dose of Confidence
Your Newly Minted Negotiation Skills

If you’d like to read the article: click here.
I would love to hear your negotiation experiences & tips so please share in the comments below.
By the way, Hannah and I are taking requests for future posts so please let us know
what you’d like to see next in the comments below.


Blog Signature Patricia

All rights reserved © The Fashion Cookbook · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie

Branding by Veda House