Escapada Living Gabi Cover Up


Why did you choose to name your blog Fake & Basic?

I have a hipster-level love of irony and satire; for as long as I can remember, I’ve been uncomfortable with my birth gender, but I love the high-femme aesthetic and present like such a girly girl. I’d like to think that if I were a doll, I’d be a symbol for staying true to both your style and personality, even if they seemingly contradict.

Where are you based?

San Francisco, CA and Sarasota, FL

Where are you from?

Pennsylvania // my mother’s womb

No … I mean, where are your parents from?

My parents are from New York. If you really mean “what kind of Asian are you”, I’m Chinese American.  Also, please don’t ask people “where they’re from” to find out their ethnicity. It’s rude, uncomfortable, and annoying (seriously, please don’t ask me or any other person of color this question. We’re tired of hearing it).

Why are there random pictures of you in every article? They don’t make any sense.

This site is about personal style as much as it’s about productivity, engineering, and philosophy. I just happen to really suck at writing about clothes (“I looooooove this dress, it’s so cute, you can dress it up or down!” Yeah, no). My current solution is to stick style photos in with topics that are normally not-so-stylish. You can read more about why I choose to include outfit photos in posts here.

I don’t agree with your articles/your reviews/your approach to life. Aren’t you aware that not everyone can afford to get up at 5 AM or participate in personal development courses?

I’m absolutely aware that I’m extremely privileged to have access to the resources I use on a regular basis to improve my life. I try to post regularly about the mindset I cultivate and the techniques I use, so that anyone who reads Fake & Basic can use them, too. This site totally isn’t for everybody, though, so I understand if you’re not a huge fan.

Molly and Zoey Sarasota


When did you start programming?

I wrote my first line of code the spring semester of my sophomore year in college.

Why did you choose to focus on iOS development?

Because iOS is cool and I’m a phone-loving little brat :p

In all seriousness, though, I would say it’s less that I’m focusing on iOS development and more that iOS is what I do for a living. I love being an iOS programmer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t regularly program in other languages or seek to do cool side projects in other areas of the field! For example, I did the technical set-up of Fake & Basic myself, which forced me to step out of my iOS comfort zone.

Lilly Pulitzer Whale Tail Dress

Gender Identity

What do you mean when you say you’re not a girl?

I was assigned female at birth and have a really feminine gender presentation, but I’ve never felt like (nor did I want to feel like) a woman. I identify as femme masculine-of-center, which basically means “I feel like a dude on the inside but I also really like looking girly.” Read more about my gender identity/presentation here and here.

If you don’t identify as female and hate gender roles so much, then why do you look so girly?

My gender identity is completely separate from my interests and my appearance — after all, when you really think about it, why should a dress imply traditional gender roles?

Molly and Zoey Blue Swing Dress

Fashion & Style

How many dresses do you have?

Good question; upwards of 300? I don’t buy separates often, so it balances out (or so I like to tell myself).

Do you have a favorite dress?

I don’t, but I have a tendency to pick favorites to re-wear.

Do you ever wear pants?

Only when it’s cold outside (aka January here in Florida).

Is fashion blogging an expensive habit?

Not for me, but that’s because I take pictures of my actual outfits and shop at a lot of secondhand/thrift stores. My shopping addiction, on the other hand, would be a problem if not for careful budgeting.

Black Crop Top and White Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Fake & Basic

Why do you always wear sunglasses in your photos?

It lowers the chance that I’ll have a great photo with a terrible facial expression! Also, it allows the viewer to focus more on the outfit.

What kind of camera and lens do you use?

The one that comes with my iPhone 7. I dream of DSLR, but being able to snap and go with my phone is too convenient!

How do you draw your cartoons?

On paper using a Sharpie (I switch between fine and thick depending on what I’m drawing). I take a photo of my drawing with my phone and edit/color it with Snapseed, PicMonkey, and Gimp.

Who takes your pictures?

I use a tripod — it’s much more convenient, and I don’t feel nearly as awkward posing in front of someone. 😉