Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to Break Out of the Geek Uniform

Picture by benjamin.todd

No, this isn't about what you wear to work!

As a geek, I am often in the company of other geeks. I have noticed that many of us seem to cling to a certain, very simple type of casual outfit—usually a t-shirt and jeans. This is the aforementioned “geek uniform”. If you or someone you know dresses like this and you want to step it up a level, here are some easy tips.

  • Get a cool pair of kicks.
Polyvore for details

Either a pair of cool sneakers or boots will add a shot of comfy, functional style to your outfit. Invest in quality materials like leather (which you can even find for cheap at thrift stores). If you want a huge selection, try Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. I own them in numerous different styles to go with every outfit, because it's often possible to find them for on sale for $20 or less.

  • Invest in a good watch.
Whether it be a traditional multi-dial analog or a sleek digital, a quality watch always looks classy. (Plus, you’ll know what time it is. Conversation starter, anyone?) I like Tokyoflash’s watches—tricky to read but so cool-looking.

  • Add sunglasses.

Instant cool…what else can I say? There’s a reason they wore them in The Matrix and The Blues Brothers. Anything goes - even if you pick a really ugly pair, you'll probably just get mistaken for a hipster. ;>

  • Add outerwear.

Track jackets, casual sports coats, zip hoodies, sweaters—When properly fitted, any of these can make you look pulled-together.

  • Review your shirts.

I’m all for t-shirts with nerdy references, but rethink those freebies that you got from past employers or local businesses. Does it have a cool picture; is it in a nice color; is it amusing without being trashy? If the answer to these questions is no, it probably isn’t doing anything for your ensemble.

  • Accessorizing is not the enemy!

It’s not just for fashion nerds. Any “extras”, like scarves, hats, jewelry, or a nice bag will enhance your look.

  • A few tricked out Geek Uniforms:

  • One of those geeks who always sticks with black? Don't know what colors look best on you? Read this article from Gala Darling.
Now: go forth and be stylish!


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