Thursday, March 1, 2012

Geek Chic and Nerd Flair

By Kyle Slavin
Your worst suspicions have come true: like some A/V Club conspiracy, the fashion world is going the way of the nerd. Big black glasses, suspenders, high collars, and bow ties are all making a huge come-back, and even the coolest of the cool can be found wearing plaid. Hey fashion, what gives!?

The meek have finally inherited the Earth, and they’re donning pocket protectors.

Geek Chic is definitely the defining trend of the last few years. From rap moguls to NBA superstars, music icons and Hollywood’s A-list, going geek is most definitely in.

For the basics, Katie Lampert states iHow Geek Chic Works, “You take key pieces of a typically geeky wardrobe and wear them with purpose and aplomb, to make a point. Not because you're clueless and out of the fashion loop, not because you can't afford Ralph Lauren – [but] because you want to.”

“In the same way that there are people who never thought they'd see a black American president, there are also people who never thought they'd see a black basketball star dressed like a nerd,” says Wesley Morris, from  “When did everything turn upside down? Who relaxed the rules? Is it really safe to look like Carlton Banks?

Believe it or not, it is.  In the same way the nerd culture has made an impact on social trends– from Apple Computers to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars – the next social fashion movement respects the “think geek” mentality. Successful brands are beginning to promote their leaders, like Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs. In turn, people wish to emulate that success, and those icons, in their own appearance.

Part homage, part thinly-veiled fashion statement, the geeks now have a badge that they can wear on their (plaid) sleeves. 

So dust off that Pac-Man or 1986 Journey tour T-shirt. With a hot blazer and dark jeans, it works. Feel daring with a bow-tie and suspenders – what once looked like sideshow performer-wear now looks incredibly fashion-forward.

And if you roll confidently, no one can tell you differently. I like to roll subtly in my go-everywhere vest, but Aaron from Klein Epstein & Parker balls all-out in his bow-tie and plaid.

So, men, what’s your favorite Geek Chic go-to?

1 comment:

  1. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, "On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock." And here, I think I mostly agree. There are plenty of trends that come and go, and rolling with them (hopefully without embracing them too wholly, since one ought to know they're an ephemeral thing) is fine.

    The thing about Geek Chic is that the only pervading element are those wide-rimmed glasses. People seem to be wearing whatever style they like, and throwing on the glasses for geek points. Everything else is only arguably Geek at best. If you'll count it, I'd say my go-to is a turtleneck shirt.

    Great blog post—can you do something about the white-formatted background?