Fireside Chats.

DFOF has been silent. But a travesty has driven him to return to wordpress, and press a word or two.

Fireside chats.

A fine idea in theory. One takes two or perhaps three important people, and places them on comfortable seating upon a stage, where they have polite discourse, watched by an audience,  and recorded in full HD for those that were unable to feel the warm glow of the event.

The history of the fireside chat is long, stretching back to the first evening after the discovery of fire. However the term was made popular by FD Rooseveldt, who held 30 evening radio broadcasts between 1933 and 1944.  His banking chat is really rather good but  DFOF digresses.

Fireside chats almost always involve slouching and the unfortunate exposure of too much sock or hairy ankle.  Sometimes bar stools are used instead of cheap copies of Le Corbusier’s iconic Bauhaus sofa. This has the advantage of keeping all the speakers awake.

DFOF has heard that there is a programme on television called “big brother.”  From what he can deduce the fireside chat seems remarkably similar.  For those who watch British television, the Royale Family is apposite too.

DFOFs biggest criticism though, is that there is no fireplace.

DFOF implores that we find an alternative name for the VCs on the couch, but in the meantime all men invited to fireside chats are kindly reminded to wear matching socks, preferably of an appropriate length. Even though the thoughts and minds of venture capitalists may be riveting viewing, their ankles bring little to the party. Sitting up straight would add to the aesthetic, but that is perhaps setting the bar too high.

DFOF will leave female attire advice to his incomparable  co-correspondents.


The bow tie infusion

DFOF has been silent for some time. But a seismic event means that a post is mandatory.

Jason Corsello, HR technology expert and all round good fellow, donned a bow tie and wowed the crowds at the KI forum at the Chicago University Business School.  HR VPs were lining up for his autograph, several swooned.  DFOF managed to catch him for a photo.



DFOF notes that the bow tie should only be a tie yourself bow tie. A clip-on bow tie is resident evil. Jason used youtube to teach himself how to do the knot, social software in action.




The slightly eccentric knot adds to the charm. DFOF trusts that Jason will add to his collection. 

DFOF has written extensively about the bow-tie, but seeing it in practice is far better.

New blogger on the scene

I’m happy to share a new blog with my TalentedApps and DFoF friends.

My girlfriend Heather has started a fashion blog (I must say this is probably more for the girls…).

As has been well reported, in my world it takes a village and Fashion is one of the first areas that I’m always looking for help.  Heather has taken her advice to the inter-tubes offering great and practical tips to others.

I love her mission

High-heel wearing California Native who solemnly swears to make it her mission to find you something to wear that will earn you a compliMINT (or four).

I, for one, am a big fan of a compliment.

So, if you are interested in broadening out your blogroll consider giving Stylishmint a look.  You never know, you might learn something new and who doesn’t love that?

Recently on one of my travels while I was waiting at the gate for my flight home from Stockholm, this guy sat down opposite me. There was something about him which made me look up. A nerdy coolness. Geeky perfectionism if there is such a thing in fashion. (Or maybe it was just the red socks?)

His second hand or well used red leather attache with matching red socks.
The horn rimmed glasses.
The knitwear with the suit.
The suit jacket which was longer than the winter jacket he was wearing.
The colour of the winter jacket which wasn’t perfectly matching that of the suit or the sweater.
When he pulled out a 13,3″ MBP, I was in love.

I still cannot make up my mind if this is something he put together effortlessly, having done it like that his whole life, or if he actually spends time putting together a look. Wish I had gone over and talked to him, instead of just secretly shooting a picture with my iPhone.

DFOF is mildly irked

That he and his able band of geek  experts weren’t invited to cover the Crunchies from a fashion perspective. Perhaps we are too incisive, cutting edge and critical for the soft underbelly of silicon valley fashion? Last year we labelled it a sartorial wilderness.  Based on a browse through flickr, we see little evidence of improvement this year. A spotted waistcoat was about it. And when a Microsoft executive looks positively dapper then these are indeed trying times.


image   Even though Hugh wasn’t there, and this cartoon was drawn before the event, he managed to capture its essence. That is genius. We note that in true 2.0 style some folks have a business doing a geek fashion blog combined with some sort of online shop thingy. It is called hiscatalog.com DFOF wishes them luck.  They have written very kind things about the award winners in the hope that people will click on the pictures and buy the clothes.

Best Dressed at Le Web

Marissa Mayer from Google gets the vote for me. Black, grey and grey combo whilst Loic went for the velvet jacket approach. Most of us were wearing overcoats, scarves and anything than offered warmth in the cavernous ex morgue.

David Galbraith’s post at GigaOm captured the mood and fashion nicely – lots of French folks taking inspiration from Zoolander for their outfits.

photo credit xtof

Microsoft and fashion

Occasional DFOF contributor Steve Clayton alerted us to the Microsoft foray into apparel, and it has been covered by the broader fashion blogosphere. and tech types too.

DFOF supposes that if Camel and Caterpillar can be used to sell clothing, then why not other brands? There are enough geeks out there would would like to own t-shirts with DOS on them. DFOF can think of several of his friends who would love one. 



Microsoft is having some fun with this.


DFOF reckons that Microsoft would be best keeping this to tee-shirts. The brand would be a flop in the undergarment department.

Shoe Follies

shoesI really should know better.  It’s not like I’m a child.  I am aware of the Santa situation and I know a deal that sounds too good to be true is.  Yet somehow I cannot really keep myself from falling victim where fashion is concerned.  There are many examples from bad perms to leg warmers.  Some are just financial losses, some also require time to for recovery.  I do wonder if I’ll ever learn.

My latest disaster was the result of joining twitter.  Of course it’s not the fault of twitter, or even the person who passed along the link.  Somehow I found myself reading a NYT article on women’s shoes.  The specific article was from a woman who gave several shoes a test and found heels that could be worn without pain. 

I know, I know, I realize now that this was stupid to believe but alas I really do want to wear cute shoes!  So I found myself buying two pair of heels to match my new pantsuits.  Both were cute, both were expensive and both were a really bad idea. 

Armed with my fantasy, I went to Zappos and stupidly ignored the reviews, jumping in and buying them right away.  Next I hemmed my pants to a longer length than usual and tried the outfit on to great joy and amazement.  Of course, I’m not a complete novice, I wore the shoes to work first to get over the inevitable blisters.  It was during the walk from the parking garage that I knew I was in trouble.  Of course I didn’t stop there, I decided to follow the advice from the review and put in some extra cushion inserts.  That sealed the deal that there was no way I could return them.

Now a few months have gone by and I have yet another thing in my closet that I cannot get rid of (I paid a lot for those cute shoes!) but I’m loathe to wear.  Since I live in the Bay Area my closet is the size of locker and this is a real problem. 

I intend to keep these shoes, and even wear them on occasion when I don’t have to a) walk anywhere or b) wear them too long.  I will keep them as a reminder that my true authentic self has serious back and foot pain issues and has no business wearing heels. 

Any recommendations for cute flats please do send them my way.

Hola qué tal von wicho.


Photo from the flickr stream of wicho Thanks.

Immaculate. Double cuff shirt. Perfect cuff length. Curved spread collar is not Dfof’s personal favourite, but it certainly works for Charles Phillips. Simple, bold, olive green tie. Looks like a half-windsor knot, but difficult to be sure. Two button suit. Chalk stripe. Relatively deep gorge. Impeccable fit.

To quote my colleague Jim, “Charles is a snappy dresser.”  In DFOF’s book this is an understatement, a very rare thing at an enterprise software conference.

[images from Daily Mail]

I just posted this over on my own blog but though it deserved to be posted here too.

Last week Harvey Nichols brought Sir Paul Smith and Nick Park together to get Wallace and Gromit togged out to promote their new store in Bristol. I picked this up via the The Daily Mail Online and love the advert above with Wallace and Gromit resplendent in their Paul Smith kit. You can also check out Lady Campanula Tottington from Curse Of The Were-Rabbit in a “black draped dress by Alexander McQueen, fabulous red patent shoes by Christian Louboutin and a metallic bronze ‘Puffy’ bag by Zagliani”. Marvelous daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahling. A second photo of the dynamic duo shows them pictured for the campaign sporting Ray Bans, Alexander McQueen navy cashmere and silk suit along with a Dolce & Gabbana fitted white shirt and a Giorgio Armani tie.

For the curious, you can enjoy some multimedia by watching how the adverts were made

What I want…

Sung to the tune of Cake’s Short Skirt/Long Jacket


I want a guy with
a brain from Chicago
I want a guy who
knows all the answers

I want a guy with
black Velcro Pumas
and eyes that seek 
like guided missiles

I want a guy with
the right left leanings
who’s slow and deliberate
and hot as Sriracha
He’s checking
his Piaget
He’s smoothing the creases
He’s checking the layout
and lining up funds

I want a guy with black jeans
And a white shirt

I want a guy who
wants to sleep in
I want a guy who
can wait up late
I want a guy
with found money
Who never speaks softly
when shouting will do

With hands that
press hard
And a timbre
that shakes me
He may be wrong
but I doubt it
He’s looking at numbers
And holding all calls

I want a guy with black jeans
And a very white shirt

I want a guy who’s
A real S.O.B.
I want a guy with
the tough-guy persona
At the gallery
we’ll pause simultaneously
when both of us like
the same Basquiat

He wants a bike
by Ducati
He wants wheels
that go
He’s writing acknowledgments
for his debut novel
He’s choosing who’ll come
to the party at Buddha

I want a guy with black jeans
And a very, very white shirt

The King Of Fashion

Cornered Style with Don King from Pierce Jackson on Vimeo.

The Don talks fashion. Err, well, sort of….courtesy of Zandile Blay

Simply Perfect


Mads Mikkelsen, the new villain from Casino Royale and Freddie Ljunberg

I think that I will never see a tree as lovely as a Scandinavian man.
I think most men will never be one who’ll sleep with girls like me.

So did you ever meet someone under intense conditions and everything clicks? It happens suddenly and you find yourself telling this person things that you’ve never told anyone else. And they start telling you the same kinds of things about themselves. And it goes on like this for hours and before you know it the following day is dawning. Heading home, with your panties in your purse, you realize that you know a lot of stories about this person.

But what do you really know?

Oh sure, he’s sexy, funny, and really sexy, too. But what about the deal-breaker stuff? What about the things you really need to know before this will ever happen again…

Does he drink his margaritas straight up?  With premium tequila? Does he like a a little salt on the rim?  Never Frozen!

And I like those longer Calvin Kleins, the boxer briefs, but only a certain kind of tall hot body can wear them, really. I’m ok with boxers, but white or blue or maybe checked, not starred or speckled or full of funny faces.

The beer, because beer is a necessity, can be domestic or imported, leaded or not, dark or lite, bottle or can, but must be beer not “near beer” because I don’t enjoy a drink with someone who can’t or won’t drink.  But no icky sticky red bull and vodka slop. That kind of sweet lips I don’t need

Does he vote? There’s only one party that rocks my world.

Does he wear a watch? On the left or right? Mechanical or quartz?  Can he tell time, be on time, does he have the time, does he time himself?

Does he have piercings? Like tequila shots – one is never enough but three is usually too many. Maybe more is getting beyond my ability to understand the motivation behind it and I worry he’ll want to borrow my silver hoops, since this is all I wear. Thank goodness I have no diamond studs he could steal and what’s up with those things that look like mini oreo cookies, one on each ear? He looks like the pygmies in National Geographic. Maybe I’m just too old for all this…

I like tattoos, although I can’t remember ever sleeping with one. Maybe in a dream, his name was Jack Sparrow and my name, Frankie, was right above his left nipple and when we split he changed it to Crankie.

Has he ever followed the Grateful Dead? A yes will probably be a deal breaker unless it was in his foolish youth but it probably means he had an intense relationship with weed and I’ve never been a fan of weed, I prefer to drink, tequila and rum and Negra Modelo, but nothing that makes my ears ring and my mouth dry and my brain feel drained of all common sense.

Cigarettes are ok, but I don’t smoke, never have, never will even though I’m a Gemini and that’s the sign of Mercury the messenger and the reason, I’ve been told, that I’m such a talker, and if I started smoking I probably could never stop and so I content myself with sucking on three venti vanilla lattes each day, chewing on the plastic lid each time I take a sip in order to satisfy my oral fixation.

What’s his position on the sideburn thing? I like a clean cut guy, it’s the way I was raised, with all those jocks, brothers that is, not athletic supporters, although I did have a crush on a Texas bluesy guitarist named Whitley, dirty long blonde hair like a heroin addict, which he was, but he quit and died of lung cancer instead.

Has he ever been out of this country? Does he have a valid passport? Can he take a plane by himself? Does he speak another language and I don’t mean using the word “fuck” as multiple parts of speech?

How many people does he support and is his mother one of them?

Has he ever read Shakespeare? Does he read at all besides the sports page? And a man who won’t watch a movie with subtitles is a small minded man. A man who won’t see a film in the theater is an even smaller minded man. It is probably true that there’s a whole generation that sees their movies on the small screen instead of the big one. And when a DVD is true to the format, does he know it’s not a technical difficulty?

Does he have a hair issue, that is, a lack of hair issue? Less is more in my book, as far as hair anywhere besides the top of his head.

But none of this matters, in the end, because the sexiest thing in the world is a big brain.

Future’s so bright

Hello everyone, I’m Meg Bear, HCM applications technology geek who blogs over at TalentedApps with a group of my friends at Oracle.

I found myself publicly cursing my very fashionable Gucci sunglasses last week.   It was suggested, that I might log a guest post on DFOF about eyewear.  While I’m sure that this post wasn’t exactly what anyone was expecting, I decided I was game anyway.  Just to be sure, I re-read the about page and found this snippet

I’ve asked a few friends to take lots of photos of software types, be they geeks, suits, software celebs, multi-billionaires or wage slaves. We’ll post them on the blog, and sometimes pass a critical eye over the sartorial state of the software industry.

OK, if a critical eye on geeks of the software industry is the topic, then I am absolutely in the right ballpark for DFOF.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am on record as having no fashion sense.  I do, however, have fashionable people in my life, and so I outsource my fashion choices as much as possible.   I am also on record as being of the strong belief that eyewear is probably the most essential fashion component, especially for men.  If your eyewear is not current you just look old.  Sorry, it’s true.

As part of my eye exam I had my pupils dilated and I realized as I was attempting to drive to the office, that my fashionable sunglasses don’t actually do anything useful in the “protect my eyes from sun” department.  These glasses are exclusively a fashion accessory, purchased not for the love of fashion, but for the realization that these were glasses I should want to own.

Here is how I think I look in my fashionable sunglasses


And in fact here is how real tech geeks wear sunglasses. 

Yes, we do plan to stick with our day jobs. 


Greetings – I’m Steve Clayton, author of the Geek in Disguise blog and I work for Microsoft – don’t hold it against me, I’m actually quite a nice bloke despite hailing from The Borg 🙂

On spotting a recent post I made about geek fashion for kids, Thomas invited me in to the DFOF fold to post here. So here I am and here it is….


Back when I was at school I was regularly questioned about my interpretation of the school dress code – I don’t mean I wore a dress but I never thought Farah trousers were outside “the code”. The code as I soon worked out basically meant you had to buy your fire hazard gear all from the same shop where I assume someone was making a nice wedge.

Things have moved on from those heady days at Wirral Grammar School though and now the erstwhile retailer Marks and Spencer has released a line of school wear that is “cleverly designed to securely contain iPod’s and neatly conceal wires for music on the move".

This will be a huge hit as schools will immediately move to ban it and therefore kids will love it. Genius.

Check out their rockin range