Not since Revenge of the Nerds have the geeks of this world been granted so much power. Geek chic is big news in fashion circles, and while too-short trousers and elbow patches are all part of the aesthetic, you can’t complete the look without the right pair of frames. Contact lenses have a surprising rival in the form of chunky, nostalgic NHS frames. Even East London hipsters with 20/20 vision are donning fake frames to increase the geek. So here’s a look at the key styles and the brainy types that inspired them.
The epitome of neurotic geek chic, Woody’s iconic frames sum up this look in a nutshell. Chunky frames, frequently skewiff as he manically ponders the meaning of life, or lack of it, it turns out that Woody hasn’t actually worn the same pair film after film. It just goes to show how many geektastic spectacle types there are to choose from, as well as showing us just how powerful the right frames can be – we can’t imagine Woody’s persona hitting home as hard if he’d been wearing contact lenses, can you?
Mad Men fever gripped us the world over, and it wasn’t just the slick suits, flared skirts and chic cocktails that got us in a twist. Mad Men ushered in a whole new trend for vintage frames, at a time when more and more designers were looking to iconic styles of the past for inspiration. The high street’s now awash with 50s cocktail dresses and lashing of tweed tailoring, and opticians are experiencing an increased demand for vintage-inspired frames too. Think horn-rimmed, retro, chunky tortoiseshell and two-tone and you won’t go wrong.
He’s been entertaining us and enlightening us in equal measure on screen for well over a decade now, and Louis’ specs never go out of style. More than lending an air of wisdom to everyone’s favourite TV nerd, his geeky frames often heightened the laughs on show, as he stumbled his way through unlikely meetings with the great, the good, and the downright weird in stark straight-man contrast to the oddballs he met along the way. Frequently popping up on the World’s Sexiest Nerds lists, Louis and his serious frames have played a big part in making geek chic sexy over the years too.
If you don’t want to go down the heavy frames route, then Apple-founder and all-round genius Steve Jobs offered, perhaps unsurprisingly, a sleeker, cooler aesthetic alternative. His rimless Lunor Round frames still offer all of the nerd power you need, only without the chunky frame, and have become an instant classic with serious media types and tech geeks the world over. Like the iconic computers he helped to design, they’re simple, they’re elegant, and they’re instantly covetable.
If you’re looking for geek chic frames to replace your contact lenses, here are a few pre-purchase tips. These frames are substantial and will get you noticed, so be prepared to take those nerd-bating comments on the chin. If you haven’t worn frames before, try out a slimmer frame first to see if it suits, then trade up to a substantial Woody-style pair. And lastly, always try before you buy. Heavy frames don’t suit every face, so be wary when you’re buying online, and try some out at a local optician first.