Geek Chic

Smart Style

By Nichole Cavallaro | Photography by

When I hear “dress in business corporate,” I head for the hills.

I love having a personal style. And, to me, it’s important to not only look good but feel good about what I’m wearing. To be honest, when I’m in a suit, I am extremely uncomfortable. I can pull off blazers, but only for a little while.

When I don’t feel content, it shows. So, when it’s time to look professional, I’ve come to realize I can either look the part or feel like me as the part, even if it’s thanks to a small change or addition.

I identify my style as “geek chic.” I’m into designer names, but I am forever a child-at-heart. Geek chic refers to a style in which reading eyewear are accessories, cardigans are in abundance and Oxford shoes are preferred to basic ballet flats. Colors tend to be darker, and the more unique the pattern, the better.

I gravitate toward all of that, with an exception: I am a pop culture and movie fanatic. For a while, I often incorporated that into my daily life — except the workplace.

Sometimes, I would get lucky and there I’d be, in my suit and nylons, chatting away with a fellow ‘80s kid about movie trivia. So since I can’t dress up in costume, and I couldn’t change the dress code, I decided to change what I was wearing.

I started researching “geek chic” styles, looks and trends. Some were about mixing graphic tees with jackets, while other fans were wearing accessories or coloring their hair a vibrant hue. I saw layered blouses and cardigans with skirts, and no heels — just ballet flats or Oxfords. This look was not only different and practical, but it appeared easy and comfortable.

I started incorporating some ideas into my wardrobe, but with a light hand. Being subtle and showing a touch of my personality was the key. My success at finding something feminine and “geek chic” happened at a store called Think Geek. Besides colorful tees and all kinds of collectibles, they carry a line called “Her Galaxy.” It was out of this world.

My find was a high-waisted, A-line skirt, covered in a medallion design. If you look closely — and you’re a Trekkie — you might notice the design consists of the Star Trek emblem arranged artfully in circles. I wore a professional button down and black wedges to coordinate. The point is to look professional, with a hint of personality that isn’t usually seen every day.

For Star Wars fans, what isn’t out there?! From Target to Etsy, pop culture labels are everywhere, from mainstream productivity to custom-made pieces.

I went the fun route and dared to wear the Star Wars leggings under a tulle skirt. Tulle and Star Wars are rarely in the same sentence or outfit, unless it’s for a toddler, but this worked as a safe option. I know, for a fact, some people are skeptical, thinking, “No way am I wearing those leggings to work!”

I’d recommend trying to mix in your love for whatever brings out your personality. The Disney brand has a lot of designer-inspired items — that are surprisingly magical — for adults to wear without looking silly. If you can’t pull off wearing a mermaid graphic tee, perhaps try wearing a mermaid-inspired bracelet, carrying a small clutch or wearing shoes that have embellished sequins or artwork on them.

To me, being geek chic is mainly about putting my “grown-up” items together — make-up, jewelry, statement pieces — and mixing or complementing them with my interesting side.

My only rule: If it’s too weird for work, wear it later. SWM

Nichole is a local lifestyle blogger. Find her work at