Can You Spot The Geeky/Nerdy Girl In The Crowd? Probably Not

The typical geek/nerd is often characterized by the T-shirts they wear, whether it’s a character or logo from their favorite video game to a smart, tongue-in-cheek nerdy saying that maybe only fellow geeks/nerds would think is funny or would get.

Hordes of geeks/nerds flock to conventions where they let their pride show by wearing more of the same T-shirts they wear on a daily basis or take it a step further and cosplay as their favorite comic book or video game character. As I find myself surrounded by friends who love video games, comic books, or any other geeky hobby you can think of and regularly attend conventions like New York Comic Con (largely because I’m a New Yorker and it’s one of the closest conventions I can attend without needing to fly to another state or take a bus to attend other conventions), I don’t wear it as obviously as others.

T-shirts I would buy for my friends, but none for me.
T-shirts I would buy for my friends, but none for me.

It isn’t because I don’t like to make it obvious that I’m a geek/nerd––I’m just not the graphic tee or cosplaying kind. I’ve touched upon this before in another post. I always think the geeky/nerdy shirts my other friends wear when we get together look cool. I find they wear it better than I ever could. When I imagine myself wearing the same kind of T-shirts when I’m casually dressed, I can never quite see myself pulling it off with a pair of jeans. I tend to think it looks all wrong and just not “me.”

Maybe it’s because my geek/nerd cred didn’t really quite extend far beyond books until junior high to early high school when Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and all that stuff started airing locally in the U.S. Being a fan of any of these shows in high school and an avid reader of shojo manga would be slapped with the “dork” or “uncool” label if anyone, who isn’t your friend, didn’t understand it. High school is a different time where it’s all about parties, getting the popular kid in school to notice you, or hanging out at the mall and going shopping.

My pursuits have largely been a combination of doing what “normal” teen girls did at that age and being home and consuming every anime or manga I could get my hands on after homework was done. Eventually, Sailor Moon T-shirts and all kinds of related paraphernalia were being sold. I could have emblazoned my love for all things Sailor Moon by buying a T-shirt and wearing it in public but I didn’t. I was a teenage girl back then, an awkward phase of wanting to fit in and not wanting to be singled out as someone to pick on. Luckily for me and my friends, we were the in-betweens in high school, not popular kids but not the tormented outsider kids either. We were just there.

As time wore on and I figured out what my personal fashion taste was, I realized I wasn’t the T-shirt girl. I’m largely polished and dressed up. It has been a running joke among my more casual, dressed down friends that even when I’m more dressed down for hanging out, my definition of dressed down is still dressed up to them.

I think part of the reason why I haven’t ventured into wearing and showing my pride for loving a certain geeky thing is because I never found a T-shirt cut I liked. Most T-shirts run a little long for me because I’m a petite girl and the right length for any shirt is a big deal for me. If it’s a bit loose and shapeless, then it’s looking less likely I’ll want to wear that too, unless I’m going to sleep in it.

I’ve come to accept that the right people will know and accept my geeky/nerdy self when they take the time to really talk to me and dig deep into what I’m interested in. Or we’ll convene under the geek mecca that is comic or anime conventions and have geekgasms over how cool Sailor Moon still is after all these years or how FemShep is still the best video game character to ever be created.

You may not know I’m a geek/nerd, but it’ll come out somehow, whether it’s through conversation or if you catch me playing my Nintendo 3DS on the train.

15 thoughts on “Can You Spot The Geeky/Nerdy Girl In The Crowd? Probably Not”

  1. Great article! It’s totally understandable to not wear gamer/nerd t-shirts when they aren’t your style, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t a nerd :D. I am personally a t-shirt + jeans type of person, that’s like all I wear, so gamer/nerdy shirts fill my closet. But I always thought it would be cool if they made stylish or dressy gamer shirts for men and women so that everyone’s style can be accommodated and we can all wear cool shirts.

    1. Thanks! I definitely like how the geeky/nerdy shirts look on you when you tweet a photo of yourself wearing one! 🙂 It’s definitely a matter of personal preference when it comes to style. I just wish I did find a T-shirt I wouldn’t mind wearing when I’m out and about. A dressier, stylish version of them would be right up my alley for sure.

  2. I am def a graphic t-shirt n jeans gal…on weekends, but mostly band t-shirts. I don’t think my office would appreciate my Rush t’s lol

    1. Haha, unless your office environment is super casual to get away with wearing your band T-shirts. I know plenty of my friends find shirts like those to be super comfy, while declaring what they like to the world.

  3. I’m kind of the same way. I do have some geeky/nerdy shirts, but not a whole lot. I could never see myself cosplaying either. I think it’s cool, it’s just not for me. I guess I don’t really have a specific style. I just wear whatever fits my mood, where I’m going, etc.

    Speaking of geeky/nerdy shirts, I saw this shirt today, and I definitely bookmarked it to buy later: http://www.insertcoinclothing.com/shirts/joel.html

    1. That’s a really cool shirt! You wouldn’t think it’s geeky or nerdy unless you told someone. It looks like your regular shirt you’d buy at the store, but I’m sure a much more observant video game fan, especially The Last Of Us fan, would know better. It’s great when you can integrate your nerdom with clothes like these.

  4. I’m trying to upgrade my wardrobe into adulthood, especially now that nothing I own fits. I’m trying to be a little less tshirt heavy, but that means the tshirts I do wear really have to “bring it”.

    Maybe you just need a couple of super awesome ones to work into your look!

      1. I feel you on the stylish thing. I’m always more dressed up that Joshua – he is the jeans and t-shirt guy. I don’t even own a pair of jeans. I have some nerd shirts, but I’m the same way as you – I don’t like the cut of their jib, so they are for sleeping/house-lounging only.
        Great article, sugar! ❤

      2. Thanks! 🙂 It’s the best of both worlds––being stylish ladies and geeks! I do love wearing geekier T-shirts for lounging or sleeping since they’re comfy anyway.

  5. I went through a not-quite-mid-life crisis several years ago and got rid of all my graphic tees. I just felt like I didn’t need to advertise myself any more in that way. Maybe I look a little funny now playing Vice City on the train in my “fancy” work attire, but that’s okay. We all express ourselves and our interests in different ways.

    1. Exactly. This is why it’s not always so easy to peg someone as a geek/nerd just by looking at them. Sometimes you never know, unless you catch them with a portable device like a 3DS or Vita during a morning commute. 🙂

  6. When I began working, I felt a real need to “cover up” my geek to be taken seriously since I was the youngest in the department and one of the only girls in IT as well. I was the closeted geek, so to speak, and it really made me unhappy because I had to project this professional image that just WASN’T who I really was.

    Now that I’m in my mid 30s and work from home, I’m more likely to flaunt the geek with the t-shirts and stuff. 🙂 I still have to dress professionally when I meet with clients but there are ways to slip the geek in without being as in your face with graphic tees and whatnot. Geeky jewelry is a great way to do it, fitted t-shirts underneath a blazer, maybe a charm or a pin on a laptop bag, subtly geeky wallpaper on your tablet or laptop etc.

    1. What I love about us adult geeks is how you can express your geek pride as you see fit. Whether it’s a T-shirt, key chain, jewelry, or whatever––it’s really about not being ashamed of who you are and what your interests are. I truly believe the right people will think your interests are cool. And if they don’t, well, then you wouldn’t want to associate yourself with those people anyway!

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