Fashion How-To for Geeks or, The Modern Nerd’s Guide to Getting Laid, No Sympathy Involved.

  •     “There’s never been a better time to be a geek. After decades, if not centuries of persecution, ridicule and never, ever getting the girl, geeks are hot. They are scientists, programmers, artists, musicians, actors, videogamers, skateboarders and architects. They have risen above unimaginative educational systems, hostile social environments, and conventional employers to develop the most liberating, global, inventive and democratic culture on the planet. They are geeks and their time has come.”
  •     -Geek Chic, The Ultimate Guide by Neil Feineman

    Dearest Geek / Nerd,
         you are awesome and you know it. you’re smart, talented and resourceful and you have nothing to prove. you have no idea about fashion, but that’s because you couldn’t care less. and apathy is hot, right? trouble is, you have needs. and you know you’d make an attentive boyfriend if only you could get noticed by that hot bookstore clerk. well my friend, i’ma tickle your “hip” bone. i’ll make you too hot for your tapered, elastic waisted trou. i have much experience in the realm of nerd transformation (i’m a mac and music geek myself) so listen up! at least 4 out of 5 of my past projects are currently non-celibate.


    HipTip #1: embrace your geekiness and rock it

    yes, i realize this hasn’t worked for you so far, but you are a geek and that’s probably never going to change. so whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re wearing, do it with confidence and a spring in your step. there’s a reason why there’s such a thing as geek chic. you have a “look” already. i know i’m not the only one who thinks geeks are sexy (i married one after all). it takes balls to rock those grandpa trousers. if you enjoy dressing like a geek, keep it up! that’s obviously what you feel most confident doing. and it should be about confidence, not conformity. my sage advice for you is to strut your butt and only buy clothes that you love and that flatter and fit your adorably scrawny, or lovably ample ass.

    jarvis cocker geek chic

    …in fact, why not step it up a notch or three? pretend you know what you’re doing. get some expensive and stupidly hot vintage tortoiseshell frames (remember to factor in the Cost Per Wear!) or a colorful argyle sweater. chances are, you hate shopping. so when you do go, spend the money and buy good quality clothes that will last through fickle trends and 29 hour WoW sessions.


    if you have no confidence, fake it by standing up straight, walking with conviction like you’re going somewhere important, being sincere, trusting your instincts and looking people right in the eyeballs. just pretend that the proof of the twin-prime conjecture is written somewhere in their retinas.

    HipTip #2: shoes, shoes, shoes. the mystifying power of a good shoe.

        a good shoe will make a girl take another look. the wrong shoe won’t convince her eye to venture past your ankle. this is a tricky one as the subtleties that make a shoe hip are very mysterious. unfortunately for you though, all girls have an innate capability to spot a cheap orthotic from a mile away. so keep it simple, go low profile and stick with the classics – maybe get yourself a pair of chucks. they’re comfortable, they go w/ everything and they never go out of style (at least not in my lifetime so far).
    for your geek chic style, try campers and for a good solid oxford or sneaker, you can’t lose with gravis or ben sherman. whoo! i’m getting a little hot just looking at those.

    chuck taylorscampers

    HipTip #3: get some new pants

    i could never overstate the importance of good pants. while it’s true that some lucky, tall, thin, painfully hip and floppy-haired fellows are capable of rocking the highwater pant, i’m sorry, but you are most likely not one of them.
    you are not going to find good pants at a thrift store because you don’t have the eye for it yet. so suck it up and spend a bit of money on some flat-front (no pleats) pants with a regular to low rise in the waist, a straight leg and an inseam that reaches to heel of your shoe. buy your jeans in a simple style and a dark wash from reputable, classic places like Guess, A&F, AE or Banana Republic. believe me, it’s worth it. spending a bit more cash at the right store will take some of the guesswork out of buying denim. plus, most higher end stores will have a seamstress on call to get the fit right. if you can only afford a couple pairs, just calculate the CPW and wear the butt of them down to cheesecloth. i’ll even go ahead and give you permission to wear them several times between washes. good pants that stink a little are most likely much less offensive than bad pants that are clean.


    HipTip #4: a t-shirt with a vaguely witty pop culture reference does not an outfit make

    i’m not going to tell you to stop wearing your electric sheep t-shirt. but unless you’re at a Bi-Mon Sci-Fi Con, i promise you that having to explain your random and probably totally obscure weekend wear to a girl is not a good ice-breaker. best case scenario, it will buy you a few extra seconds of conversation, worst case it will only help to emphasize your lack of common interests.
    if you must wear t-shirts, buy them in 100% cotton, flattering colors and please god, a good fit. the shoulder seams should live right at the shoulder, and there should be no extra fabric to flap in the breeze or tuck in. i repeat: do NOT tuck in your t-shirts. if you’re shirt is too long, throw it out. a good-fitting t-shirt will end right below your pants waistline.

    t-shirtt-shirtnerd shirt

    HipTip #5: a good jacket is a quick fix for your unique and refreshing figure flaws
    when you don’t look like a young Paul Newman or Marlon Brando, the optical illusion is your friend. invest in a nice structured jacket. if you have less than broad shoulders, look for a jacket in a solid military style (epaulets couldn’t hurt) or a classic blazer. it’s ok if it has small shoulder pads, as long as the shoulder seam is where it should be. if your love of beer and late night carbs has your belly stepping out for a cigarette without you, try a 2 or 3 button sport coat. it’ll camouflage the obstruction and make even a t-shirt and hoodie look pulled together. buy one in casual corduroy, canvas or twill for everyday wear.

    blazermilitary windbreaker

    HipTip #6: when in doubt, keep it simple, genius

        please read and pay heed to fellow fashion gurus Queen Marie and Queen Michelle over there at Kingdom of Style. if you’re sitting in a corner all sweaty and self-conscious, afraid you don’t possess the unbridled machismo it takes to pull off those luscious lime green adidas gazelles, you’re that much more unlikely to get up and tap on that sexy librarian‘s shoulder.
        work up your confidence by starting out slow, incorporating some brighter colours, getting a great haircut (aka spending more than $40), a pair of simple aviators and a new pair of shoes. eventually one glorious day, you can perhaps graduate to the Jarvis Cocker level of geek chic… and that day, Luv, will mark the true and grisly end to your famine of femmes.