Revenge of the nerds

The other day, I bought myself this really cool pair of grandfather glasses from a hole-in-the-wall shop on Brigade Road, Bangalore. They come with hot orange temples and sit well on the bridge of my nose. The damages were little, the fun I had with it was priceless. So, imagine my delight when I saw a host of new age designers at the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week(LFW) Autumn Winter playing around with the geek chic look. Plus you also had veterans like Ritu Beri inject a bit of geek chic in her collection. I always knew the look will reign some day and LFW just proved me right.

So ladies, kill the “Men don’t make passes at women with glasses,” cliche! And boys, nothing is cooler this season than a pair of glasses if you want a touch of sophistication and brownie points from the front benchers in class, all at the same time.
While the foundation of the geek chic look is the all important nerdy glasses(if you have prescription glasses, then you’re already oozing coolth), there are certain sartorial elements that will help you achieve this look.

Kolkata-based designer Sneha Arora, who was inspired by the geek chic genre of fashion for her line at LFW comprising straight cut dresses with pleats and bow ties, lists boyfriend blazers, formal trousers, eclectic shirts with brogues and oxfords for women as the elements of this look. She feels that while women in their 20s and 30s should try this look out, men of all ages can carry off the nerdy look. “Independent working women who don’t want to follow the typical feminine look should try this. The androgyny look is geeky. I see this look staying for another year,” says Sneha.

The hair and make up, of course, need to be in tandem with the look. Pull your hair back, don’t over style it. And go light on the war paint. Also, carry a satchel, a biker messenger bag (see images) to ace the look. Men can even carry a brief case.

The other strong geek element is the argyle or the diamond pattern, usually found on knits and socks (see image). Team them with mono coloured shirts and you have got your ‘geek’ basics in place. Mumbai designer Richa Agarwal, who emphasized the geek chic look in her collection with funky glasses and anti fit layered clothing, suggests closed- neck tees and checks for men and something formal and structured for women. “Geek chic blends the past and the present,”she says.
A lot of you might wonder if it’s okay to fake myopia and wear powerless glasses when you are lucky enough to not have a number in your eyes. Mumbai designer Aartivijay Gupta, who used newsprint to cover the temples of the glasses she made her models wear thinks spectacles make a statement. “Generally people want to look pretty and wear contact lenses. When you wear glasses, it’s like saying I’m geeky and that’s cool,” she told me.

The whole idea is to have a lot of fun with this look and it’s naturally for those with a sense of humour. So if you want to follow the herd and look conventionally pretty, don’t pick them up! Wear them only if you feel comfortable and won’t mind the ‘nerd’ tag. It’s for you if you dare to break away from the clutter and can even rock a potato sack.
Bollywood has also turned geeky from time to time. Everyone from the fashion forward Kangna Ranaut to the dapper Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Sonakshi Sinha and real life bookworm Sonam Kapoor has worn it. Who do you think rocked the look? Write to us at

revenge of the nerd