It’s Not All Cosplay: The Future of Geek Fashion @ Wizard World Chicago

While Wizard World Chicago 2016 was in full swing, I decided to expand my knowledge of all things geek chic with a panel titled “The Future of Geek Fashion.”  The panel featured the sage wisdom of three pioneers in geek fashion: Tony B Kim (Founder and CEO of Hero Within), Marlon Reynoso (Social Media Manager for Hero Within and blogger at Nerd Coolture), and Brittnee Braun (Designer and Owner of SkirtyBirt). 

We were treated to a presentation on the history of geek fashion, which has quickly evolved from the classic Superman t-shirt to 8 bit accessories to head-to-toe cosplay.  With comic book fever spreading far and wide following the success of the superhero movie industry, we now see geek fashion infiltrating just about every store.  Given how accepted and widespread the geek trend has become, I found myself wondering: “Where it could possibly evolve from here?” 

I found the answer to that question in Wizard World’s panel, and have to say that it made my nerdy heart pound with excitement.  I know I’m not alone when I say that my geek self generally has a time and a place, and that place does not include my 9-5 professional persona.  (Let’s face it, no matter how much people love superheroes, it’s just not going to be okay to wear my Riddler costume to the office next week).  Kim, Reynoso, and Braun, however, showed me that there may very well be a way to happily merge geek-professional me during those Monday through Friday hours.  So, while my costume may be tucked away at home, I can still feel like all of my personalities are represented at work.  This, my friends, is where geek fashion is heading:

1)  What the heck is “bounding”?  Maybe I’m not the geek fashionista I proclaim to be because I had never heard of “bounding” before this panel.  Apparently it is quite popular and may even be occurring before your very eyes without you even knowing it.  Bounding I learned is a way of portraying your favorite character without the full costume or props.  You accomplish the look by channeling the character via specific color choice coupled with a more modern take on shape.  Disneybounding is one of the most popular outlets for this fashion option.  I found a great example in Unique Vintage’s newest collection, called “The Happiest Collection on Earth.”  Here is a perfect example of bounding that looks great even outside of comic cons:


2)  Hey, cute skirt…wait, are those daleks?  Brittnee Braun introduced us to her clothing line at the panel and at Wizard World Chicago, which is not only well-made but also completely adorable and subtle enough to fool your boss.  Got a geeky fabric that you would love to see on a skirt?  Contact Brittnee at SkirtyBirt because the possibilities are endless.  Here’s just one example of a Dalek skirt you can rock with a blazer for that Monday work meeting:


3)  I see you, Superman.  Can’t stand the thought of taking your eyes off your favorite comic book?  Looking for something even more subtle?  Please let me introduce you to comic book eyeglasses by Sires Crown!  The best part, they match everything…imagine how great these would look with that business suit:


4)  Your necklace is so shiny!  If you aren’t quite ready to take the steps listed above, a very safe but fun alternative is geek accessories.  You can find countless items of inspiration on Etsy, many of which are beautifully crafted and surprisingly classy.  To your “normal” co-worker in the next cube, these pieces look like nothing more than a unique find from a boutique.  I’ll share with you a little something from my personal Etsy wishlist:


5)  Guys can try the look too!  I have to say I was most inspired by Kim’s clothing line for men at Hero Within, which actually gives guys the option of a crisp blazer that incorporates Batman in a way that only a well-trained geek would instantly recognize:


The takeaway my friends is that geek couture knows no boundaries.  Geek fashion is thankfully evolving in such a way that you no longer have to save your nerdy-ness for the weekend.  Talented designers like the ones featured above are finding inspiration in the market and will likely be surprising us for years to come.  Now you can (quietly) wave that geek banner in the boardroom!

Now that you’ve found yet another outlet for spending your money, click on over to Facebook and tell us how you incorporate your geek into everyday life! (Pics welcome!) 

About The Author

Tricia Pellegrini

Tricia was not born a geek. Her early years were filled with romantic comedies and Sex in the City. After an extraordinary person came into her life - her eyes opened to the land of the real - she combined her former entertainment interests with her new passion for nerd-couture. Add to that a stunning fashion sense and you get a woman (coveted in the nerd world) who can parlay a BAM! headband, Flash t-shirt and tube-socks into a near cosplay-esque outfit worthy of the most distinguishing geek-fashionista. When not marathoning comic book movies or Battlestar Galactica, Tricia volunteers for organ donation and domestic abuse organizations.

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