Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The gleek in you

(Clockwise from left top: Steve Urkel, Chuck from Gossip Girl, Fashion designers Viktor and Rolf, spectacles from Agnelos, Sabyasachi's 'nerd' look, jazz shoes

Strangely enough the word ‘nerd’ first came up in a Dr. Seuss poem.

It was used in context of rounding up exotic animals for a zoo. Who?

In a fashion context, the ‘nerd’ style of dressing is associated with someone of a high intelligence, with a nonexistent sense of fashion. How the two came to be inversely related is perhaps the result of famous intelligentsia’s questionable appearances, like Einstein’s hair. The image was also encouraged by TV personas like Steve Urkel from Family Matters and in more recent times the gang from Big Bang Theory (with special reference to the ingenious dressing of Howard).

But lo and behold the genius of fashion, to make looking unfashionable, fashionable. Think of the plaid vest, bow-tie wearing Chuck from Gossip Girl. Spectacles, the epitome of geekiness have long found their way onto the runway, offering a chic intelligent look. (Not to be confused with the bespectacled secretary, with after hours stripping skills).

The basic clothing for any nerd look is checks. Plaid shirt, plaid pant, plaid vest, but be smart about it and don’t wear them together! Checked shirts are all over the place, you can get them off the road (Hill Road, in the lane opp Elco Arcade Rs 200), and in most of the export shops like Cotton On and H20 (Bandra). I picked up lovely tartan printed pair of skinny pants from Besos (Bandra) for Rs.1500. For spectacles, I got a lovely pair from Agnelos (Bandra) for a steal – Rs. 400. They’ve got them in different colours too, so you can get an entire set. If you’re willing to stretch your budget, you can pick up the true blue Ray Ban Wayfarers, because that’s where it all began. They should set you back around Rs. 4000. Suspenders and bow ties you can get at Al’s Shop on Hill Road (approx. Rs 300-500). Zara’s has a really cute racer back with a bow tie printed on it, just to change the look around.

For shoes, Oxfords or brogues are the way to go, but the problem is that they’re usually for men. Aldo has some really cute ones (on SALE now!) but I found some interesting shoes, again at Besos, that weren’t exactly Oxfords but jazz shoes. They’re made on order, fitted specifically for you and are around Rs. 2500, which I thought was quite reasonable.

As much as we of the non-quantum world like to dress up, we don’t really want to make ‘nerds’ fashionable. Not at all. If we didn’t have Sheldon (Big Bang Theory), who would think white tailed tuxedos were cool. Bazinga.