Style For Nerds

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One of the more constant struggles when it comes to upgrading your life is the area of clothes. Fashions change so goddamned often that by the time you have a handle of what’s supposed to be “cool”, it’s already become retro and everybody’s moved on to other things.

And let me tell you, the struggle to keep up with fashion leads to some hideous mistakes. Watch a few movies from the 80s and 90s and look at what people thought was cool. How about some giant shoulder pads and unstructured jackets? Maybe a few comedically oversized suits? Ooh, how about Jams? Anyone for a Jams revival?

Anyone? Anyone?

If you want a look that lasts beyond the constant whirlwind of change that is haute couture, you need to quit paying attention to fashion and start trying to develop your style instead.

Y’see, fashion is temporary. It changes with every passing fad.

Style though.

Style is forever. 

Here’s how to develop yours.

Know Who You Are

Your style sends a message to the people around you. It tells them who you are. It gives them an idea of what to expect from you and what your life is like.

For example, take Andre 3000:

Dresses so sharp you could cut yourself on a photo!

This is a man who puts a lot of care into his look – and likely into his life. And yet, those playful touches tell you that he’s also a man who likes to take risks and have fun. The outfit says “I have money” without bludgeoning you over the head like Sean Combes’ sharkskin suits do. It has style but also subtlety; this is a man with confidence.

All of this from a set of clothes.

Your style outward indication of your identity. This is one of the reasons why I advocate the adoption of sexy stereotypes; people are already judging you by visual short-hand so why not take advantage of that? As much as we want people to love us for who we are on the inside, this is a process that takes time and that first impression can be made in an instant.

You want to use your personal style to maximum effect. You want people to know who – and what – you are within a split second of seeing you.

So of course, you need to know who you are and how to control the message you’re sending to others.

This means that your style needs to reflect who you are. If you’re the corporate office type who’s trying to dress like an extra from Sons of Anarchy, all you’re going to do is make people wonder who you think you’re fooling. Similarly, punk rockers don’t do well with Saville Rowe suits.

There are exceptions, of course.

Figure out who you are at your core – that’s your building block for style.

What They’re Going To Notice

Part of style is controlling what people are going to pick up on, which is where you want to spend the majority of your attention and care. Let’s say that you’re rocking some snazzy shoes, perfectly fit designer jeans and an expensive-yet-understated vintage wristwatch. Your hair is perfect. However, for some reason you’ve decided that you’re going to compliment this with the shame-tarp1 you picked up for free at PAX East. Or maybe you decided to wear your most bro-tastic t-shirt; the one you bought because you thought it was hilarious to wear to parties in college.

Nothing better for saying "I make poor life decisions"...

Pop quiz: are they going to think “There goes a man who knows how to live life to the fullest?” Or are they going to think “Woah, dude’s a dipshit?”

Basic rule of style: the last thing you put on is the first thing that people notice. No matter how styling your pants may be, your worn-out shirt and slept-in jacket are going to be telling people that you just don’t give a damn. If you’re spending all of your attention on the wrong parts of your clothes, all you’re doing is wasting time and effort fighting the message your style is sending.

In practical terms, the heirarchy of style noticeability breaks down thusly:

  • Outerwear
  • Hair
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Pants
  • Socks and underwear

The higher on the list, the higher the priority it is for your wardrobe.

Think about it: where’s the first place we look when we see somebody, especially somebody of the opposite sex?

No, boobs are the second thing. Also: you’re an asshole.

We look at the face and work our way outward from there.

The lower on the list, the less likely people are to notice. As nice as, say, designer jeans are, most people will only notice the color and the cut unless you’re talking to dedicated label snobs, fashionistas or there’s just something so outlandish about them  – painted-on tight, overly decorated rear pockets, slacks with pleats2  – that they can’t be ignored. Similarly, by the time you’re down to your underwear, unless there’s something that’s incredibly outré,  nobody will care.

(That being said: guys – boxers or boxer briefs. Period. No tighty-whities. Bikini briefs are verboten. And if you’re wearing a thong, then it better be because you’re dressed like a fireman and wearing break-away pants. )

Note: If you’re a man and you’re talking to women, shoes rockets up to #2. Women always, always, always notice your shoes.

Find Your Style Anchor

So you’ve got that slick leather jacket. Great! Now maybe that silk button down shirt… and while we’re at it, how about that Psycho Bunny scarf to go with it?

Er… maybe not.

When you’re starting out on developing your style, you want to err on the side of caution. It’s entirely too easy to overdo things and end up looking like a jackass instead of stylish.

Case in point.

Style isn’t additive. You can’t just pile on “cool” on top of “cool” and expect “ICE COLD” as a result. You hit the point of diminishing returns incredibly quickly; it takes experience to learn how to layer a look before you start looking like you’re trying too hard.

Something we all have to learn eventually...

When you’re starting out, pick one article of clothing as your show piece. This will be what you build your style around.  It can be something as simple as a kick-ass jacket, vintage concert tees or those perfect shoes; whatever it is, everything else is secondary.

Make sure your show-piece is high on the list of noticeability; As a general rule, I would not recommend that your show piece be an accessory – while watches, jewelry, hats etc. make for lovely accents to a look, they don’t make the look itself and often may be overlooked by people.

Geek Style

So this all this means that you need to toss out all your geek clothes straight into the incinerator, right?

Actually… no. Maybe not. In fact, you may have components to your new styling wardrobe already.

One thing that many geeks underestimate is the level of power and appeal they have in pop-culture today. Geek culture is popular culture. And you can make that work for you.

Take a look at some iconic superhero costumes. Superman’s S, Batman’s oval, Captain America’s shield… these are instantly recognizable as geek images. They’ve stood the test of time and have become part of the world’s collective unconscious.

Your key words here are subtlety and fit. Most geek shirts are incredibly over-designed; they tend to look like a first-year graphic designer exploded all over them instead of something with some aesthetic appeal. If you want to rock your geek identity in your clothes, keep it simple; no fight scenes, no movie poster aesthetic, as few words as possible.

NO.

You can get away with more with a self-consciously retro shirt, but it’s a tricky move to pull off. You’re far better off going with simple and iconic and letting the power of the logo do the work for you.

Yes.

Classic Geek Mistakes

Now that we’ve covered the “Do’s”, it’s time to hit some “Don’ts”.

To start with:

Novelty Is A No No

I’m glad Think Geek had a sale but if you really, really need to never wear that speaker-in-the-chest shirt again. Same with any other piece of clothing that makes noise, flashes, glows in the dark, is encrusted with jewels3  or otherwise does something besides cover your body. Similarly, trying to express your personality through the medium of “funny” socks, belt-buckles or ties just makes you look like an idiot. Nobody ever saw a guy with an eight-bit tie outside of a Comic Con (and most of the time, not even then) and thought “Yes, that is the fashion-forward individual whom I must hire/sleep with right the fuck now!

Ladies, Acknowledge Your Femininity

So I’ll preface this by saying yes, I’m probably about to stick my foot in my mouth in a new and inventive way.

That being said: ladies – one of the most common problems I’ve seen with nerd women is the fact that they seem to ignore  or even downplay the fact that they are, in fact, women. The geek girl uniform that I’ve encountered over the decades has yet to change: the roomy-yet-slightly-ratty t-shirt, jeans, Chuck Taylors and hair pulled back into a pony tail. In fact, there’ve been times when the only way to tell the girls from the boys at a quick glance during gaming night was the length of the pony tails.

It seems at times that the default setting for geek women is “the tomboy”. And, in fairness, geek guys go for that; after all, name me a geek dude who doesn’t appreciate a girl who’s just “one of the guys”.

Here’s the thing though: a lot of the dudes who want women who are just “one of the guys”? They’re intimidated by women. It’s so much easier to relate to a woman when she comes across as a nicer-smelling guy with breasts rather than one of those… alien, alluring… mysterious things with soft skin and…

(ahem) I’m sorry, where were we? Oh, right.

Look, I’m not saying you need to go super-femme and start quit wearing pants and spend all of your time at the cosmetics counter. I’m saying that you aren’t a guy and you shouldn’t act like it. Celebrate your femininity! Embrace it!  Enjoy the fact that you can be a geek and have girlybits and still have the respect of your male friends.

The guys who can’t handle your female-ness are the ones with the problem, not you.

Know Your REAL Size

Look, I understand that you may be a bit above or below the socially accepted standards for weight and body mass. But the hard and fast truth is, you’re not fooling anybody by wearing clothes that don’t fit; in fact, you’re just making things worse. Too large and you send one of two messages: either you’ve deluded yourself into thinking that people really think you’re thinner or you’re playing dress-up with your older sibling’s wardrobe. Too small and you look like you’re trying to hold things in via constriction; instead you look like an over-stuffed tube of cookie dough and end up spilling out the sides.

Neither of these is an attractive look. Hey, I understand that it can suck. But when you’re honest about your actual clothing sizes, you can find clothes that not only fit properly but make you look good, no matter what size you are. Yes, they DO exist.

And finally:

Men, quit hanging shit on your belt.

Look, I can appreciate that we carry a lot of crap. Smartphones, keys, cameras, notepads, wallets… I understand that pocket space can be at a premium and  yes, an overstuffed pocket will completely ruin the lines of your pants. But you aren’t a plumber, an electrician or the goddamn Batman4 and that’s not a utility belt holding your pants up.

The belt clip is the modern version of the pocket protector. I don’t care how useful the tool is; if it’s hanging from your belt, all it’s doing is making vagina vanish into thin air. Either it goes in your pants, a messenger bag or briefcase or it stays the fuck home.

Now get out there and find your style!

  1. Shame Tarp (noun): a shirt, given away for free – usually by gaming companies – at conventions as a form of advertising. Usually, but not necessarily over-sized []
  2. NO. Just… no. []
  3. women have slightly more leeway here. Sorry guys, I don’t make the rules. []
  4. obviously, if you are, feel free to disregard this. Also: sorry about your parents, man []

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Comments

  1. Nice article, Doc. You covered all of the basics quite well, and pointed out some important errors that we’ve all seen our friends make (none of us would make those mistakes, of course).

    For those looking for more specific advice, we are lucky that there are a huge number of style blogs for both men and women out there to guide people to relatable style choices, with options that are more affordable than those found in many fashion magazines. There are even several that will be of interest to the true geeks among us to allow us to find our own expressive style without resorting to the comic book tee.

    Console to Closet (http://consoletocloset.com/) is a great site by Amanda McGinnis (known online as LadySnip3r0). She puts together stylish outfits inspired by characters, as well as places and objects, from favorite video games, for both men and women.

    There’s also http://nerdboyfriend.com and http://nerdgirlfriend.com, which provide specific suggestions for recreating the look of your favorite characters from (mostly older) movies and pop culture.

    A little digging online will turn up even more helpful sites for those interested in stepping up their style game.

    • I think I’m in love with those sites. I don’t know if I’ll ever dress up as Belmondo (outside of Halloween or my crazy idea of visiting France and reenacting scenes from New Wave films), but I’m glad that it’s now super easy to find clothes that match his. The console one is nice, but almost all of the male wardrobes involve hats, which I’m just not a fan of (they’re damaging to hair and I think it looks weird to wear them indoors). Also not a fan of fake glasses. I’ll keep an eye on it though because there still are some really nice ones (I like the Wheatley and the Gordon Freeman one (minus hat and glasses), even though I’ve never played any HL game for more than 1/2 hour or Portal 2).

  2. UnderOrange says:

    Curious about how you feel about girls hanging shit off their belt. I mean, I know I scare guys away most of the time (on purpose *cough*) and I figure having mace and a knife hanging off my belt doesn’t help*… But what if girls hang less menacing things off their belt?

    *In my defence, I’ve never understood how having mace in your purse is at all useful when it takes me 20 minutes just to find a pen.

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      Generally, I have the same opinion: it makes people look stupid regardless of gender and makes people look wider even under the best of circumstances.

      I almost never see women with things clipped to their belts, so it’s less of an issue; most of the time they have purses, pocketbooks or messenger bags.

      • UnderOrange says:

        Nice to know I’m still a special snowflake, I guess.

        • I like to hang things from my bag/purse… I still fall back to hanging stuff off my belt, though, if I need to use the tool over & over between using something else.

          I do agree that having a weapon against assault at the bottom of the mundane version of the Bag of Holding (purse) just screams "I'M AN IDIOT! ATTACK ME NOW!" I mean really… if it only takes you 20 minutes to find your pen then you're doing great! :-)

    • Ketsuban says:

      You might try looking for concealed-carry holsters – I can’t imagine they don’t make those sufficiently modular as to allow mace to be concealed as easily as a firearm. (Obviously make sure the law is okay with it in your area – in the UK mace and pepper spray is forbidden by the same bit of the Firearms Act that forbids flamethrowers, so it’s entirely possible state law regarding concealed-carry makes mention of pepper spray and the like.)

      • UnderOrange says:

        I could probably get away with something like that in the middle of winter, but summer invites cute outfits with not a lot of spots to hide shit. Pepperspray and knives under 3″ are legal in my area, so that isn’t a concern.

        I probably should look into methods to hide my massive paranoia. Even if I don’t care about getting a date, it’s generally good not to be considered a crazy.

        • Well, do you really need your mace ready to hand at all times?

          I keep my keys, flashlight, etc. on a lanyard, like the type they hang your badge from at ComicCon. (In fact, this is usually where I replace my lanyard every year.) When I’m outside or feeling uncomfortable, I drape the lanyard strap over the top of my bag so I can yank my keys out quickly if I have to. When I’m inside, I tuck the lanyard in.

        • James (Thortok2000) says:

          If the spy movies have taught us anything, it’s that a sexy woman can still carry concealed. Don’t be dismissive, actually look into your options. ^_^

  3. About acknowledging your femininity, what advice would you give to people who don’t fit into a neat little gender binary? Your advice to ditch the tomboy look doesn’t give a lot of options for those of us who identify more with a butch presentation.

    • I think people who go with “butch” would still benefit from the advice about fit and simplicity. “Butch” doesn’t have to also mean “sloppy.” I like to go out looking pretty androgynous sometimes, so I’ll wear looser clothing, but you can still make decisions about colors, fit, and layering.

      • Mmh, I think the rest of the points are spot-on. I just have problems with the idea that looking like a guy is an undesirable thing for people who have a more masculine presentation.

        • Ainuvande says:

          When I was a young thing, grunge was in. Which was a necessarily "butch" look on women. The answer was (and still is) fitted tees or tanks in girl cuts. That way they don't pull and bunch in odd areas either. I know there aren't as many that have good logos, but you can always screen-print a solid.

          After that, it's just pants that fit. Never easy for a woman, but they will be more comfortable that something that is baggy or tight in the wrong places.

  4. I was with you right until the ”quit hanging shit on your belt” part. Come on Doctor, That shit’s just functional! And my Every Day Carry Lightsaber just wont look as good in a Messenger Bag!

    (I do carry a Swiss Army knife in my belt though, It has been a conversation starter every now and then)

    • (And my harmonica. Every now and then.)

    • Functional or not, it just isn’t a good look. A Swiss army knife can easily be carried in a pocket or bag. And something being a “conversation starter” isn’t really a good reason to do it.

      • Paul Rivers says:

        And something being a “conversation starter” isn’t really a good reason to do it.

        I disagree, it’s a really good reason to do it unless it’s a negative conversation starter “(“who’s that weirdo wearing the thong at the beach? omg, yuck!” isn’t a good way to start things off).

        If you had the world’s first prototype working lightsaber hanging off your belt, that would be the most *awesome* thing ever. :-)

        • Dr. NerdLove says:

          Maybe, but it better actually work otherwise you’re back to being “that nerd who’s wearing a fake lightsaber on his belt.”

          Sometimes that conversation-starter’s starting conversations for other people.

  5. Kelly F. says:

    The only thing I disagree with is the “Novelty is a no-no” rule.

  6. As a woman who likes cute male butt, I’d like to speak up on behalf of briefs that aren’t white and that fit well. The last bit is obviously key. Tighty whiteys are terrible, but a good pair of briefs is unbelievably sexy.
    For examples see:
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l4tczmE50l1qcnve1o1_500.jpg
    or
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l4ssbyKV3d1qcnve1o1_500.jpg
    or
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l4oy2ogGMh1qcnve1o1_500.jpg
    or
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v99/wehoric/Beach%20Boys/1697.jpg

    I hate boxers. They’re unnecessarily baggy and hide all the good stuff. Never really saw the point of them, except perhaps as protection against zipper chafing. Boxer briefs are pretty hot, though, and strike me as a happy medium for those who don’t like showing as much skin. Just my two cents; obviously some will disagree.

    • Thanks for pointing that out, Alyssa. As a guy, I dislike boxers as well, except maybe when hanging out around the house for a lazy Saturday or something. I personally prefer trunks (sort of the midpoint between briefs and boxer briefs), but generally speaking an option other than boxers looks better and gives more support. Tighty-whities may be out, but low-cut briefs are a good adult choice.

    • Boxers are significantly more comfortable, in my opinion. They aren’t quite so constricting.

  7. “Either it goes in your pants, a messenger bag or briefcase or it stays the fuck home.”

    So… my beloved breast pockets are not to be used? ;_;

    • Generally, yes. You can stick a card or something small in there once in a while – it’s probably okay to put a pair of sunglasses in there when stepping indoors for a minute, etc. – but overall putting things into shirt pockets will ruin the shape of the shirt and cause unattractive bulges.

      • Oh, it’s not like a stuff everything I can in there. I just use them for a notepad and a single pencil to write in it with. A thin notepad. And a nice one, not some spiral, paper-bound thing that falls apart.

        I don’t want to carry my whole writing workshop with me everywhere, but I like to be able to jot ideas down.

        • Glen, something I’ve learned about writing: If you can’t remember it until you got home, it’s not as good as you thought it was at the time.

          • Maybe that’s true for story writing, but I have bad memory when it comes to shopping so I need to jot down whatever thoughts I have about it or else I’m going to forget that I need to buy eggs and not have any for a week. Eggs are pretty good, but I’m no good at remembering to buy them.

          • Then shopping list before you leave. Have it be just a piece of paper.

          • hehe… list before you leave? Beardy, if Glen's like me, the list gets forgotten at home. ;-P

            I guess you got a system, Glen. Just be warned that having the pad and pen in your breast pocket looks just like the pocket protector and pen(s). Unless it's your jacket breast pocket (-: that's ok…

          • That is, indeed, something I had considered, Leigh. :/

            Actually, were I in a different area – or perhaps a different line of work – the messenger bag approach might not be so bad. But around here a messenger bag is basically a "man purse." I find this idea acceptable enough, but local culture does not share my view. That, or I'm much more disconnected from my rural surroundings than I imagined.

          • Oof! Nap sack would make you look too young, messanger bag = purse, fanny pack is just too horrid to contemplate… have you considered lugging saddle bags? :-D j/k! You've got a pickle, haven't you?

        • GentlemanJohnny says:

          I never leave the house without a note pad. I just haven't made the transition to instinctively reaching for a smart phone yet. Fortunately, the local Barnes And Noble sells these great little metal cases that hold a notepad and use a small pen to hold the cover closed. The whole thing is probably the size of a credit card and half the depth of a smartphone. It fits in the inside pocket or the back pocket without ruining the lines of your outfit.

  8. Any advice for looking good while working out (I’m not interested in picking up women in the gym, but I do want to look decent while playing co-ed sports)? Are basketball shorts or sweat shorts with a solid color/superhero logo/sports team tee fine?

    • "Are basketball shorts or sweat shorts with a solid color/superhero logo/sports team tee fine?"

      Wait… what? I don't think you're asking if you should put on shorts with batman plastered across the rear… I'm just going to answer like you're not.

      Whatever you wear should come no higher than a hand-length above your knees. Also try to pick things that are a LITTLE loose, (for movement,) but not a tent. Just tight enough to show that there is a body, not a blob under there.

  9. I call bullshit on your entire femininity section. You aren't writing this for the benefit of the geek girls, you're writing it out of your own personal preferences.

    This blog is devoted to helping people get laid, but you freely admit that many geek boys like the "boyish" look on geek girls. So the geek girls are having no problem getting laid.

    You complain that you can't tell the boys from the girls. Old people in the 1960s used to complain about that too – but the girls and the boys never had a problem telling the difference.

    The girls aren't dressing that way in order to look like the boys, they dress that way because it's a comfortable way to dress. Why have you decided that comfortable clothing is masculine? Because that's the cultural construct and you're too conventional to think outside of that?

    Really, it's this attitude that illustrates a major weakness in your advice to geek guys – your persistent underplaying of the importance of appearance for men.

    You rightly point out that evolutionary psychology is bullshit, but then you act as if on of its major premises is correct – that women aren't "visual" and it really doesn't matter so much what the guy looks like, as long as he is careful not to creep her out and avoids wearing insulting obnoxious t-shirts.

    I'll give you a clue – the reason that the picture of the Asian dude in this article is appealing has very little to do with his Superman shirt and much much more to do with his thin but toned body, cute face and great hair.

    Geek guys have no problem chasing women based on their appearance alone. You need to focus more on guys doing more about their appearance, and stop worrying about the geek girls, who are having no problem getting laid, dressing in some cultural construct of "femininity."

    Seriously, it's the 21st century.

  10. Who is that handsome fellow in the second picture of the "Find Your Style Anchor" section?

  11. Great list! Knowing your size is key, a tailored look and jewelry that's proportionate to you and what your wearing will pull your whole outfit together.

    Ainuvande – oh yeah, I was into the grunge, I'm-so-anti-fashion-I-rock-ugly-clothes. Plus, I lived in a small town so getting new clothes meant limited options and a long car ride. It seemed like the only choices were either too-tight or grunge, so I went grunge. Thank goodness I got a car and my own closet so I could fix it!! :)

  12. Well, I just bought a bunch of new clothes. This includes a peacoat in charcoal grey. However, with sneakers it gives an incongruous look and I feel like hipster. I like both of them, but i'm starting to think something has to give. I used to only wear tees and too-wide jeans and a blue polyester fleece, and I wan't to start changing that. Archetype wise, I'm pretty into music, especially soul/funk/jazz, rock, and psychedelic stuff, and I play guitar. Also I'm sixteen. And is a fedora still hipster if it's good quality? Can i wear it unironically? Any advice? I'm obviously not the most socially aware person, as you probably guessed from this post. :P

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      I would advise against fedoras, hamburgs or trillbys for now. It's gonna be pretty hard to pull it off without a certain level of style and confidence and at the moment, it has negative associations for the wearer.http://boingboing.net/2012/10/02/why-the-fedora-grosses-out-gee.html

      • Do you think a John Lennon style fisherman hat would be workable?

      • herboypet says:

        The problem with "classic-style" hats, in general, is a two-fold: 1) They're out of style for everyday wear; 2) Most hats worn tend to be of very low quality and craftsmanship.

        As a man with a nice collection of "classic" men's hats, I can say with a touch of pride that every hat I own is of Stetson-quality or better. Each hat costs between $150-300, and it shows. My collection, as a whole, cost me upwards of $1,500. It isn't cheap, and if you toss that $30 fedora purchased from Target on your head, you'll look cheap and silly.

        But the biggest issue, in my experience, is that hats work with a somewhat narrow range of semi-formal wear. I don't mean throwing on a dress shirt, but that they "work" when you have an individual who is already stylish (in a suits-and-ties kind of way). I wear suits almost every day (if I'm going to leave the house– it's a work habit), and when I want to spice things up a little I'll toss on a nice hat to "cap" the outfit. Things like a New Year's party or a special occasion (when people will be dressed up a bit) makes it work because the hat becomes a bit less out of place when you're looking at a bunch of individuals dressed to impress.

        You also need to remember to take off your hat. A hat shouldn't be worn indoors, really, and is an outerwear choice. Just like you don't usually wear your jacket (topcoat) once you're warm and toasty indoors, you need to remove your hat once you no longer need it outside.
        That means that you aren't going to get a continual payoff from wearing a hat. The classiest people who wear hats won't really be wearing them for long. This goes double if you're wearing a "only three sizes available" bit of crap from a major retailer trying to make a buck off of Mad Men.

        They aren't a focus, and nor are they (as the PUAs would say) a way to "peacock". You end up looking like a rube, plain and simple.

        If I wear a hat out, it's usually to the sort of establishment that will check both my coat and hat at the door. There's a certain style and reward for those who toss something on their head and then let it go when they arrive at their destination. If you're looking to make a statement (even just "I look good") "classic" hats aren't for you. You can always do better by simply dressing "well". In gamer (gah, TCG) terms, hats are a "win-more" proposition, and they won't trigger that infinite combo of stylish awesome you probably hope they will.

  13. Great advice – we need more of this. Love that there’s a move towards “Formal Friday” at start-ups. Nice to see people spending a couple of minutes paying attention to their presentation. Just makes the world… a bit more fun.

    I’ve never ever understood how people I play online with will agonize for hours over their characters’ outfits – heck, they’ll go on specific quests just to get a particular helmet just because they think it goes better with the rest of their gear. Meanwhile, they’re sitting their in their stained, beat up trainers, sweat pants, and an ironic-t that stopped being ironic and just became full-on sad years ago.

    One bit of advice? Get a tailor – find one you trust to help you with advice (ie, “No, your cuffs should not hang lower than your shoes, please trust me”). Here’s a fun stereotype: old Italian guy who works out of a cluttered space and only takes cash? He’s awesome. Find him, make him your friend (that will be easy, old Italian tailors seem to like everyone), and then start taking your clothing to him. If you bought it off the rack, it doesn’t fit you right, unless you happen to be a mannequin. Which would be cool.

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  1. [...] with some beers and a stereo or a catered affair: the more comfortable you are and the more stylish you feel, the more confident you will be strolling through the door. Clothes do make the man after all; [...]