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FORGET ABOUT CHIC. Forget about hip.  The way to look now is NERDY…ah, yes!  To be really IN, you have to be OUT.  Way OUT in dork land where being unpopular, and socially dopey-looking is the thing. 

 

To be a Nerd is to be everything one would realistically expect no one to want to be…until now.  Because now, the fashionably retarded, verbally reticent, and physically awkward are coming into their own.  Think of America Ferrera from Ugly Betty.  Now that’s a terrific Nerd!  Think of Sarah Jessica Parker from Square Pegs.  Or think about Clark Kent of Superman fame. All Nerds, big time!

 

                                          Number One Nerd

 

NOT THAT THE NERD MYSTIQUE is totally incomprehensible from a “wanna-be” point of view.  After all, Bill Gates of Microsoft could well be considered the world’s Number One Nerd, and he has also been the world’s Number One money man, too.  It’s just that you wouldn’t expect kids to want to be a Nerd. You’d think they’d rather be sharp looking.  Sophisticated looking. Sexy looking. Not always so. 

 

But being a Nerd has its benefits. A Nerdy guy can come on to a girl without her having a clue. A Nerdy girl can often get high grades just because it’s what the teacher would expect from looking at her.  Computer geeks are probably the ultimate Nerds, along with people who bring up such thrilling subjects as quantum physics over dinner.  Not on the same planet!    

 

INTERESTED IN FEELING OUT OUTER-SPACE CONSCIOUSNESS; I.E., NERD-DOM?  TAKE THESE ALONG:

 

 

 

  • Crystal filigree brooch with border of star shapes. Very vintage, very space-y.  (It’s also stunning, but don’t mention that!)

 

                                      Marc Jacobs, Ex-Nerd

 

BEING A NERD is essentially the same as being a Geek. Either way, the concept isn’t without contradictions. French designer Miucci Prada gave it a real boost with her conservative, intellectual fashions back in the Nineties, but by now, she’s moved a thousand light years away, into the up-tempo fashion of the status conscious. Designer Marc Jacobs used to be Nerdy, too, but he’s also moved into the fast lane.  

 

And status…well, that’s one thing Geek and Nerd are not in any way about. Some people, aching for the Nerd look carefully avoid all status symbols, entirely, from fashionably labeled to clothes and accessories that are too sharp or edgy. But things could be changing.

 

Nowadays many people think “Nerdy” and “Creative” are one and the same thing. Even more consider being Nerdy “a cool thing.”  As one designer pointed out, “There’s something strangely eternally youthful about the style.’

 

ETERNALLY YOUTHFUL?  NOW, THAT’S AN INTERESTING CONCEPT!  SOME PRODUCTS THAT GET THE IDEA:

 

 

 

  • Lucite bracelets in bright colors. Marvelously young, this is how to be sharp and Nerdy at the same time!

 

                                         American Nerd

 

OF COURSE, THE MOST IMPORTANT accessories for Nerds are eyeglasses.  Clear eyeglasses, not sunglasses, mind you. Glasses with heavy dark frames.  Round glasses. Square glasses, provided they aren’t hot. Librarian looks, yes. Or schoolmarm looks. Adding a little squint helps, too. No logos on this eyewear, please! No shine or diamond enhancement. Hey, do you want to kill the whole thing?  As we said, eyeglasses are the quintessential nerd accessory, but you have to get it right.     

 

You really have to be an American to be a real Nerd.  It just doesn’t work elsewhere. .The Brits give the idea of Nerd a bit of an edge and that kills the whole idea.  The French make Nerds look sharp. Another freeze out.

 

Of course, it’s not just what you wear.  It is how you wear it, preferably with something less than self confidence. Nerds like wearing pants that are little too big, skirts that are a little too long (but not long enough to be Bohemian).  Achieving an academic aura puts you one-up on the Nerd high list, although George Bush was surprisingly Nerdy without it.

 

You can also pull off the Nerd appearance with things like vintage jewelry, old-fashioned Bulova watches from the 40s, traditional oxfords with white socks, suspenders, and braces.  

 

NEED A FEW MORE EXAMPLES OF ACCESSORIES THAT CAN HELP PROMOTE THE “NEW” NERD STORY?  HERE GOES: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • American donkey earrings.  Forget about campaigns; these are great anytime!

 

OH YES AND, generally speaking, to be an authentic Nerd, you have to be a brunette. Blondes and redheads have too much in-born glitz about them. And they used to have more fun.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, March 23rd, 2009


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