By Ashley Hasna
We’ve all heard the well-spoken adage of “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” For comic con-goers, there’s a meme that follows, saying, “Now I’m being written up for dressing like Batman.” No matter how many hours we spend on our costumes or how popular cosplay becomes, it’s still not socially acceptable in most public places. However, this doesn’t mean we need to check our enthusiasm at the door.
Even just a few years ago, there wasn’t much available for public-wear beyond superhero logo pajama pants and men’s boxy t-shirts. Thankfully, this increased interest in cosplay has diversified the opportunities for fandom followers to show their support in public and at home with geek-inspired clothing. Popular stores such as Disney and Hot Topic sell movie-inspired clothes, but new stores like Her Universe and Gold Bubble are paving the way for what we call “geek chic.” Don’t rule out people who are putting their cosplay and sewing skills to good use either. Sometimes fan creations on sites like Etsy are the most unique.
Here are seven ways you can show off your favorite fandoms everyday whether you’re a man or a woman.
- Leggings: Even if you can’t look past the “leggings are not pants” debate, there are almost as many fandom leggings as there are wands in Mr. Ollivanders’ shop. Although waving them won’t do much good, you can try on anything from superhero logos to literary fiction references. Want to wear Sherlock’s wallpaper? There are leggings for that.
- Jewelry: If there are as many leggings as wands in Ollivanders then the jewelry options are the Hogwarts library. There’s everything from movie prop replicas from The Noble Collection (such as the Evanstar pendant) to fandom-inspired creations on Etsy (such as Harry Potter bottle cap earrings). Think head to toe with items like hair bows, eyelash extensions, bracelets and knee-high socks. No fandom is too obscure.
- Skirts and Dresses: If you didn’t have time to make a costume, head on over to an online store to type in your favorite fandom. You’ll not only find fabrics you didn’t know existed, but also you’ll find stores and owners using them in ways you didn’t think to. Be prepared to find everything from spandex Sherlock dresses to a cotton Lord of the Rings skirt. Don’t be afraid to use your cosplay sewing skills to make something you want either.
- Shoe Options: Remember that head-to-toe factor? Cover your feet with comicbook-plastered heels or see the designer shoes inspired by the Hogwarts houses themselves. You’ll also see canvas creations that rival art placed behind protective glass. You wouldn’t be the first person to question whether they should wear them or preserve them.
- Accessories: Men are not alone when they want to deck themselves from head to toe in even the most formal setting. Have a wedding coming up? Skip the diamond cufflinks for ones with a bat symbol and coordinate them with a matching buckle. Don’t forget to look for watches, rings, ties and money clips as well.
- Vests: Women have skirts, but men have vests. Classy. Those same fabrics you didn’t know existed above can be used under a formal suit jacket for a really upscale playful look. If you’re going for a subtle approach, get a vest that a famous character wears such as Shrek or Goofy.
- Shoe options: Of course, those same comicbook-plastered and canvas creation shoes are available for men, as well – they just come in bigger sizes and are much more comfortable.
In your search, don’t be surprised to find a few tutorials on how to make your own geek fashion items, as well. You can put that fabric you found to use in exactly the way you want. So put down those Hogwarts robe Snuggies and switch out those Superman pajamas for something more photogenic. Between the Internet and comic con vendors, you can now show your passion without ever missing out on the job you want. Don’t worry – that Batsuit will still be available later to pull out for the next convention.
Do you have a favorite geek chic item you’ve purchased or seen? Please share them in the comments below.