I am a nerd but I never liked to show it. I never liked to show it in the sense that I actually did show off myself, not my nerdy attributes. In high school, for instance, I tried as much as possible to mingle and feel wanted with my friends. I wore what they wore and did what they did. The girls probably liked me but I was not so sleek. I tried to be part of a circle. Hiding in plain sight, you might call it. But it was not enough. Every single time, I was singled out, seen as a geek. My clothes betrayed me. The way I matched the few fashion accessories I had betrayed me.
I was not sad or alone. Nobody hated me. There was nothing wrong, save that a nice short-sleeved shirt and short, with sandals, will always look nerdy on me, but well-fashioned on someone else. How I hated that nerdy look!
What I didnâ€™t know was that fashion is universal. There is no fast rule. Whether you are geek or fashion savvy, it doesnâ€™t matter. You might think the world is confused. You are most likely right. Every decade or thereabouts, fashion and styles change, bringing old concepts and ideas into modern trends. You will be surprised at how a once forgotten trend resurfaced and held the world by its neck.
But paradoxically, the fashion universe in itself is a potpourri of confusion, chutzpah, and clarity; style and oddities. That is the beauty and in there is the creativity. As a geek, you might find it difficult to reconcile the things you know (which makes you who you are) with the things you wear (which are supposed to portray who you are). Geekiness is more of a mental activity than a physical movement like fashion.
I will take you on some essential â€śgeekshionâ€ť (geek fashion). Not just for you to hide in plain sight, but because once more and rapidly, the fashion world has started accepting the nerdy look. And if you are no geek, but intend to dress and look like one, donâ€™t worry. You are always welcome. This is for you too.
First, a few necessitiesâ€¦
Big, oversized glasses are the fingerprints of a nerdy look. To complete the look, start with a nerdy-looking glass (that is why I began from here). Donâ€™t wear colored glasses. The trick is in plain, clear glasses with horned rims so people can see your eyes. You can get various styles of these glasses.
Note: Glasses should be plain, clear, oversized with horned-rims.
Topping It Up
Geeky shirts have always been either plain simple shirts or shirts with lots of colors rioting. Nothing much has changed; they have only gotten better. First on the list are vintage shirts. If glasses are the fingerprints of a nerdy look, vintage shirts are the spine. Recently, vintage has resurrected insanely popular, most likely owing to its roots as a bedrock of the geeky old school movement. It is one must-have in your geek cabinet. Vintage shirts donâ€™t have to be those with bright colors. Having a couple of brown-colored, or dull-colored shirts is okay.
The good thing is that vintage is not your only option. T-shirts with geeky designs, prints and words have also upped the ante in the geek universe. There are platforms out there on the internet that allow you design your unique nerdy ideas, get them printed on nice t-shirts and deliver them to you.
It is also an opportunity to show-off what you love doing, watching or reading about. Star-wars? Minecraft? Naruto? Put them on t-shirts.
Shirts don't have to be fitted. Size matters, but getting the right size is the trick. Not too big, not too small. You might need to tuck in (usually), so you want something that wonâ€™t exactly hang on to your waist. Something a bit relaxed and floating.
Long-sleeve? Short-sleeve? Your choice. And If you are going to wear a shirt, make sure all the buttons are complete. Buttoning up is a nerdy signature.
However, to put a stamp in the signature, never step out without a bow tie. No fuss. If you can afford to button all the way to your neck, then you can afford to use a bow tie. Plaid bow ties are ideal. If you want to be subtly loud, yes you read that right, use anyone with a color of your choice.
Cardigans and blazers are essential but highly dependent on how hot it is outside. You donâ€™t want to complete your â€śgeekshionâ€ť only to worry about sweat and the odor that comes along with it. However, when worn rightly, cardigans can hit your nerdy look right on the sweet spot. And if you do have access to Grandpaâ€™s 1990 vintage cardigan, nothing better!
If you will wear a cardigan, fasten all your buttons and use a bow tie.
Trousers, Jeans, Chinos and Shorts
You can opt for chinos or trousers. Or jeans. Jeans should be faded blue or black, and be ready to fold them up or pin-roll them. It is good practice, cuffing your trousers that is. By doing this, you accentuate and put the focus on your socks and shoes. Trousers should be cropped to rise just above the ankles, like a Capri, but lower or longer.
Plain and simple trousers are the way to go. If you donâ€™t want plain, then make sure it is checkered, and checkered only. Nothing more. Whichever way, a nice touch is to make sure it doesnâ€™t hug your shin tightly â€“ tailor it to diverge a little from your shin.
You should have a couple or more of plain trousers to this effect. Nothing too colorful or fanciful. Simple colors: grey, brown, black, will do. If you want something designed, then make sure the pattern is striped or checkered at best.
If you want to opt for shorts, make it plain too. With shorts, the nerdy look never fails to sync immediately. However, colors lighter than your top are usually preferred. Light brown is good. Or think granola, beige or khaki.
Suspenders, like bow ties, add another distinct level of signature. The wonderful thing about these? They fit perfectly with all geeky looks, just likeâ€¦glasses! Correct!
Just a reminder: no belts when putting on suspenders. Suspenders go smoothly with bow ties too.
Happy Feet, Happy Geek
Balance your trouser, jeans, chinos or short with a low top sneaker. Donâ€™t be afraid of the color or type. You are in a universe (your geekdom), where you have to be bold about what you wear.
Donâ€™t wear sneakers on pant trousers. Nothing wrong but it undermines the whole purpose of blending fashion with who you are. Best go with a loafer. Or an oxford. Both for a formal outlook. Complete it all with a pair of colored socks. The socks should go all the up, underneath your choice of a pant.
Head Held High
As a geek, growing up, it took me some time to have the confidence to pull off a nice fashion look. Eventually, I was able to. And it all started and ended with me accepting who I am. And like fashion, it is all about expressing yourself. Remember that there is no specific rule. Explore and express yourself, put in your own ideas and step out with your head held high.