Style Icon: Dr. Bertha Hidalgo


Hidalgo wears a silky white blouse from Nordstrom Rack tucked into a knee-length metallic faux leather pencil skirt she purchased at Piperlime.com. Brian Atwood snakeskin peep-toe pumps, pearl stud earrings, and chunky gold chain-link bracelet all from TJ Maxx.

Bertha wears a silky blouse from Nordstrom Rack and knee-length metallic faux leather pencil skirt from Piperlime.com. Brian Atwood snakeskin peep-toe pumps, pearl stud earrings, and chunky gold chain-link bracelet all from TJ Maxx.

Postdoctorate Fellow and Fashion Blogger

Written and styled by Tracy James

Photographed by Chuck St. John

Stylist’s assistant: Seline Meisler

 

Beauty, brains, and killer style: Dr. Bertha Hidalgo is a triple threat. Embodying her blog title, Chic in Academia, this Southern California transplant is indeed just that. The stylish lady—who is a graduate of Stanford University (bachelor’s degree in human biology); the University of Southern California (Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics); and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Ph.D in epidemiology)—is currently finishing up a post-doctoral fellowship in statistical genetics and epigenetics and looking forward to a career in academia. Married 10 years to her soul mate and the father of her two young sons, Hidalgo doesn’t have a lot of time for extracurricular activities. In her younger years, she danced ballroom and salsa professionally for two years, but now her passion and “release” is fashion. The premise of her blog is that women can be intelligent and fashionable; the two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

A rather self-aware fashionista, Hidalgo is in tune with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to her own personal style, taking into consideration her body shape, skin tone, and environment. So while her body type is completely different than that of Olivia Palermo, one of her style mentors, Hidalgo can take away the celeb’s use of color, accessories, and pattern mixing. “Another person whose style I love is [fellow fashion blogger] Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook,” Hidalgo says. “Love her! Everything she wears is amazingly styled.”

Hidalgo loves learning about new trends and is not afraid to try the latest ones. For the most part, however, the petite postdoc tends to stick to those styles that have worked for her in the past. By no means, however, does this translate as predictible or boring—not when one reports favorite colors to be vivid chartreuse and bold black and white! Rather, pencil skirts and bodycon silhouettes flatter her proportions, and platform heels (especially in nude hues) offer the illusion of longer legs. Along with heels (Hidalgo rarely wears flats, although her new Kurt Geiger slip-ons found at Nordstrom may change her ways), other style signatures include her fragrance, Scent of Peace by Bond No 9, red nail polish, and statement jewelry, the chunkier the better.

This Cayetano Legacy Collection bib necklace was Bertha’s first fashion splurge item. Bertha pairs the necklace with a Tinley Road vegan leather peplum top from Piperlime.com and a cobalt blue silk BCBG skirt.

This Cayetano Legacy Collection bib necklace was Bertha’s first fashion splurge item. Bertha pairs the necklace with a Tinley Road vegan leather peplum top from Piperlime.com and a cobalt blue silk BCBG skirt.

“I get a lot of my style inspiration and information from Pinterest,” Hidalgo says. She discovered her favorite jewelry company, Cayetano Legacy Collection, via Pinterest. “I used to love reading magazines, especially People’s StyleWatch, but at nearly $5 a pop, I tend to the online versions, which are gratis!” When she finds something on Pinterest or Instagram that she loves but can’t find in the store or afford at retail price, Hidalgo heads to eBay, where she can often find the goods for a fraction of the cost. Ebay was the source of her first major designer purchases, like Prada shoes and a Chanel bag. Another budget-friendly style desination, retailer Forever 21, is a favorite. “It’s affordable, it’s on trend, and because I’m petite, it fits!” she says. Her go-to for shoes is Nordstrom Rack, almost exclusively. A couple of months ago, she scored a pair of Charles David wedges for 1 cent. Currently on Bertha’s wish list is the Chanel classic quilted flap bag in caviar leather and a Dynalex necklace. Somehow I think that if this chic academic puts her mind to it, she’ll be successful in that quest.

3 Responses to “Style Icon: Dr. Bertha Hidalgo”

  1. Wanda says:

    I find that Nordstrom Rack is one of the best places to find the deals and great fashions. Follow Bertha and she will lead you to the treasures. Love her style.

  2. OMG, I am such a maxxanista but I have never found Brian Atwood at TJ Maxx. We must go shopping!

  3. Sujey says:

    Congrats Doctora Hidalgo! Si Se Puede!

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