Oh, people. How I puzzle over your unfortunate choices.
I mean, of course, your godawful lack of style.
I don’t claim to be a style maven. I leave that distinguished title to the amazing and gorgeous Maeko. However, I seem to have a better grasp of it than some, and since I am too classy to walk up to you in person and point out that you look like you wandered too far away from the buffet at a Star Trek convention in Vegas, I am posting my first style blog. You will thank me.
Truth be told, in person I am too busy enjoying your company to be worried about how you look. Then, later on, I think about it, and I want to tweak your togs. It’s just a thing.
One of the frustrating things about being something of a geek is watching other geeks commit fashion atrocities at an alarming rate. Oddly, they tend to be the same fashion atrocities. It’s gotten so that some geeks seem to have created their own unflattering style. This would be just lovely and culturally sound if A. it weren’t exactly as flattering as the burka and B. geeks weren’t trainable. The most amusing part is that the vast majority of you will read this, laugh, and not care because, unlike me, you are married and perfectly happy being an ubergeek with a wardrobe full of thinkgeek.com t-shirts. You have something to teach me in the marriage department.
However, I fully believe that you people, with your memorization of lines from every episode of Buffy and the ability to recall in exact detail each Okudagram from every Star Trek project Mike has touched, can learn style. I know geeks who perfectly blend into norm society and sometimes even excel the norms at their fashion game (see the aforementioned @Maeko). YOU CAN BE HELPED TO STOP LOOKING DUMPY. I love you. I want to help.
So, suck it up for a second and get ready to seriously analyze yourself in a full length mirror. It’s time to sexify you, so that you can get laid by folk other than what you find yourself under at cons. Unless, you know, that’s your thing. Not all of this will apply to everyone all the time, so take what you think will make you scrummyumptious, or ignore it and giggle.
1. Fit is it!
Your clothing MUST fit. There is nothing sexy about a triple X t-shirt, despite the triple X. And no, I’m not criticizing you for being large. If you actually fit into an triple X, wear it. However, many of you buy the triple X, thinking somehow that cotton shrinks down to nothingness, as though the dryer’s sole purpose is to miniaturize items like so much ray gun. This seems to be a serious problem for girl geeks, who hide their bodies under miles of cotton and iron-on logos.
If anything, a girl should go a size SMALLER. The damn thing WILL stretch. Let it stretch! Hello, it’s called Boob Power. You want a discount on that X-Files script or Superman comic? Bring forth your boobs. Don’t get one that’s boy length, either. You don’t want to erase curves from your body. No t-shirt should hit lower than the high hip. The extra material does not make ladies look thinner. And OMFGBBQ wear a goddamned bra. Better yet, get a hot seamless push up bra. Under any t-shirt, even a boxy graphic one, your whole silhouette is improved.
Wear an equally flattering slim fit hoodie or cardigan over this, no big heavy jackets or sweats. Pull your look together in a sassy, ladylike way. Don’t wear baggy jeans. Make that shit fit! If you’re gonna insist on wearing a boxy con t-shirt, buy it the right size or a size smaller, wash the crap out of it so it softens and fits correctly, and pair with hot jeans. Look like a girl, not a tubby geek guy. Speaking of…
Guys, do not ever, ever tuck in a con t-shirt. You want to hide your ass. You will never succeed in hiding your gut unless you stop wearing con shirts & start wearing button downs with a sport jacket. So if you’re going to do the t-shirt, get it one size larger and let it hang like you’re in a gang. Also? If you are over 23 and still wearing novelty t-shirts, you will never see a vagina anywhere except on your computer.
2. Smell beautiful!
Bathing is imperative, but after bathing, take care to smell yummy all day. Women of the geekly persuasion do tend to have allergies and get migrainey, but you need not head to CVS to pick up the latest thing Britney Spears sweated during a meth bender. You’re creative and interesting; go to an herb or occult shop and browse the essential oils. Find something that speaks to you and dab a tiny bit on your pulse points. You know pulse points from your last vascular check up: ankles, inner thighs, crook of the elbow, neck. Dab a little in the cleavage if you’re not too sensitive. Dab a little on your tummy if you’d like to create a roadmap to ecstasy. Don’t put any on your wrists as it’s a waste; you will wash it off each time you wash your hands.
Pros of essential oils: A. no added weirdness B. tend to be inexpensive C. mix & match to express yourself D. men go freakin’ crazy. Cons of essential oils: Aww, you don’t smell like Kim Kardashian. How will you live?
Pro-tip: My essential oil combo is jasmine and coconut. I smell like a vacation because I want you to relax.
Men: bathe daily. Soap and water, angels. Also? Wash your clothes. After wearing a set of clothes, put them directly in the hamper to be washed again, then actually wash them. A clean body plus dirty clothes = nobody wants to have sex with you, and vice versa. Everything must be clean. It’s symbiosis. You don’t need cologne. Just use soap and water and wash your clothes, and you will be irresistible to womenfolk. Trust me on this.
If you DO think you need cologne, knock yourself out, except don’t knock US out. Remember, we’re full of allergies and migraines. Do not bathe in the cologne. Dab some on your neck and maybe, if you are that cocksure, dab a tad on your femoral pulse points. That’s it. You need it nowhere else; your job is not to smell like flowers. That’s the job of women.
It also helps, folks, if your homes smell beautiful. You know, for when you convince people you want to have sex with to come home with you. Your home should not smell like garbage, cat box, garlic, hamper, mildew, dog, or other weird stale anti-sex smells. Air out the place. Get everything into a dumpster. All fast food bags, with their lingering fried odours, must be eliminated. The bathroom needs to smell like bleach. Your home can be improved with a good quality incense burned at least once a week or the fresh scent of cleaning fluids. You need not use harsh creepy stuff if you have sensitivities, and if you’re like me, get disposable latex gloves from the pharmacy to clean. I’m a huge fan of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day; everything smells clean, but not chemical-y, and it doesn’t hurt your skin.
3. Yes, Monty Python is awesome. But please stop saying “Ni.” Also retire “Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more” and your horrible fake English accent. If you bust out an obscure Pythonian reference in casual conversation WITHOUT drawing attention to it, you may score points with some of us. You may even use that technique as a sly way to suss out lady geeks with whom you might freak nasty. I’ve seen suave, hot geek boys do that and it thrills we geek girls to meet their sneaky challenge. Try this. I swear if I hear anything about a shrubbery ever again, I will castrate you. And not verbally like I normally do.
4. Defending Neelix in any way will automatically turn off any hot Trekette woman in the room. Hot women, you know why.
5. We love Firefly. But you are so not Mal or Jayne (see above re: bad English accent for bad Texan accent). You may, one day, reach Wash status, but first you must stop saying “Ni.”
6. Most of you shouldn’t cosplay publicly. Unless you are built exactly like the actor you are portraying, particularly if spandex is involved, please, please consider saving your money and our eyes and just be you. If you absolutely cannot handle attending any geekly function without a uniform, unitard, or unilateral assault of the ocular sense, knock yourself out. Do not, however, expect to get laid.
7. That thing you are (not) doing with your hair? Why is that? Girls, if you’re going to insist on dressing like a 14 year old boy (and it can be done cute; see above), do cute hair! Don’t just let it hang lank like you don’t care. Braid it. Do bunches. Do Leia buns for Kenobi’s sake! You’re a geek; show some imagination. Men? Wash it and keep it short. You are not Legolas. Also, your facial hair is scary. The pirate look does it for no one.
8. Geek knowledge will only get you laid by other geeks. If you wish to seduce norms, you will have to forgo impressing them with your encyclopaedic recollection of all things Dr. Who. You might actually have to discuss your real job, your political beliefs, your love of cats, or even better, actually ask them questions rather than regurgitating your life story. The caveat is that the norm might be awfully boring to you. In which case, you will figure out that you don’t want to have sex with them, anyway. Win/Win.
9. Being right is not as important as being a friend. As geeks, we are used to thinking we are the brightest people in the room, and we might actually be. However, the people around you that are taking the time to get to know you do not need for you to browbeat them with facts about anything. Discuss, but don’t get didactic. Nobody is turned on by a know-it-all; everybody is intrigued by a patient listener. So none of this “HAH! I totally saw the Peter Bishop thing coming. You are so p0wned! IN YOUR FACE!” Not sexy.
10. Please stop wearing bad shoes. Flip flops, sandals, sneakers that are 39,000 years old…just toss them. If you don’t do a lot of walking (let’s face it, y’all only walk twice a year), what’s so bad about getting cute shoes? Have a pair of Chucks for cons, but pumps for everywhere else. It is shockingly easy to walk in heels as long as you get the right type for your body. If you feel you need something sturdy, get a wedge or a platform loafer. If you are a teensie thing, try a pointy toed stiletto heel. You may feel odd at first, but heels force you to put a wiggle in your walk. Men cannot stop ogling them. Men will help you in and out of things while you wear them. Heels are a girl’s best friend. Since you spend much of your time sitting on the computer or at Denny’s, they will not kill you. Do this for yourself; you will ache the first couple of days, but you will be smiling.
This does NOT mean you need put up with “breaking in” shoes, blisters, corns, or calluses. You should buy shoes that fit properly. It’s perfectly possible to get gorgeous heels that fit you and don’t hurt, as long as you honour your body type, leg and ankle strength, and don’t use vanity to size your shoes. Those 7.5 sneakers you’ve been infecting with bacteria for years will not fit the same as a heel. Keep going up sizes until you can wiggle your toes for real.
Men: no sandals, ever. Ewww. Nobody wants to see your feet.
It’s not fair of me to send you off into the world without some resources, so aside from the shoe links above, here are some sites with some cute clothes geek chicks can get behind, at any size:
Torrid, for cute alternative culture stuff (including shoes!) at reasonable prices and all kinds of sizes
Modcloth, with very flattering dresses, especially if you embrace the whole Mad Men mystique
DeliA’s, which is not specifically counterculture but has really cute stuff like this tee and this one.
Alloy, again, not specifically nerdy, but they are like DeliA’s with more sizes. And this. And of course this.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I completely forget the name of this company that specializes in naughty Catholic punk girl clothing and boots, so PLEASE add your suggestions in the comments!
I’ve also had a lot of geeks privately confide to me various things that bother them about style-challenged geeks in addition to what I’ve listed, but I don’t rightly recall what they were at this time. Or they were exceedingly cruel. Please note what you feel you must below.
With our powers combined, we can get you laid at will. Well, the will of the other person, of course. Most people are just flattered by a bit of effort. When you’ve mastered a bit of effort, we will work on making it look effortless, ok?
Hint: there is no such thing as “effortless”.