12 Style Icons for Fashionable Nerds


Nerds tend to overdress — probably the result of being fussed over by mothers who they were always making “so proud.” That overdressing, though well-intentioned, frequently gets out of hand. Yesterday the New York TimesBits blog spoke with Kristen Slowe, a designer who’s trying to make style simpler for the geekier males among us with her new line Saboteur. Inspired by the impending fashion revolution, we decided to comb through style site Nerd Boyfriend, and came up with this list of heroes who’ve made their nerdy fashions into classics.

The Blackest Adder, the Misterest Bean, one of the funniest men this planet has seen. Rowan Atkinson looking not-so-smart in tweeds and a tie. (Hat not included.)

Known for pushing all the boundaries of art, Andy Warhol eases up here, relaxing in an oxford shirt and what seems to be low-wale cords.

Miles Davis’ dress code is as cool as his music. A rumpled shirt over trousers … with a cigarette and a drink? Yes please.

Vladimir Nabokov’s wardrobe says: Above the knees — a walk on a spring evening. Below the knees — brrrrrr. Wool socks and moccasins

Stanley Kubrick means business. Silver Lamé top, aluminum duct pants, leather boo… wuzzat? That’s him in the blue?

What a pair, huh? Tom Wolfe in his trademarked fancy outfit (digging the two-tone shoes on the beach), and Kurt Vonnegut just trying to preserve his sanity in comfortable boat shoes, dockers, and a long sleeved polo.

Jimmy Stewart, in his suede shows, rolled cuffs, cardigan and tie, was a J. Crew ad before there was any J. Crew to advertise.

Robert Smith demonstrates what ’80s nerdom was all about — sweater vest over a polo. And are those slip-on shoes?!

Two of our favorite nerds: Harold Ramis in his corduroy jacket and Bill Murray in a windbreaker, Hawaiian shirt, and baseball hat. Guns optional.

Ah, the Gold Standard. Albert Einstein lectures in trousers he probably made, a sweater showing off a little paunch, and a nearly invisible collared shirt. If only there were a chalk hand print on his pants…

Another of our favorites, Woody Allen tries to get some peace and quiet in loafers, cords, some shirt, and that rad fishing hat.

And we wrap up with: The Classic. Fred “Mister” Rogers in (what we can only assume is) a red or blue zippered cardigan and sneakers. Accessorize at your own risk.