I spent most of the last four years denying my geekiness. I’ve always been one, and kind of proud of it, but I worked in Washington, a place more friendly to Ann Taylor Loft than Threadless, RedBubble and TeeFury.
My few and far between moments of flying my geek-flag mostly consisted of moments like receiving marriage proposals in response to my contribution to an email thread at work (okay, it was a social email chain, I’ll admit) with my opinions on what was the most disappointing thing about Star Wars I-III. Apparently, the boys on Capitol Hill couldn’t believe that a girl had seen all the movies, could quote Yoda and had strong opinions on changes to story details.
I loosened up when I left the Hill to work for a nonprofit. It was especially beneficial that my new office was casual. I got to wear my t-shirts with a regularity that I think sometimes horrified my coworkers.
But you know what? My t-shirts are awesome. And I get the best commentary on them from people.
I’m not saying t-shirts are the go-to geek apparel. But you will probably see a lot of them if you ever go to one of those meccas of geekiness, a convention. The articles I read in the weeks prior to and following San Diego Comic Con this summer frequently touched on how-to interact with your fellow geek advice. And one of the number one things that was said? Wear your awesome t-shirts. They are a great ice breaker.
T-shirts don’t have to be geeky, but I think they’re more fun that way. Much like sport insignia, t-shirts sporting a favorite character or saying from your favorite movie can inspire small talk with strangers (okay, it doesn’t happen often but it can) or just a moment of connection when you see someone reading your shirt before offering you a bright smile from across the coffee shop.
I like to think of my Calvin & Hobbes homage to Han & Chewie t-shirt as my geeky name tag in casual situations. It identifies me as both a Star Wars fan and a reader of the awesome comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes, two things I’m not afraid of spazzing out about with perfect strangers.
Having left DC behind almost a year ago, my geek flag now flies almost daily, whether it’s my t-shirt that announces to the world that yes, I like comics and movies, my messenger bag that proclaims “Reading is Sexy” with a sassy drawing, or the Yoda decal on my laptop. I hope I never have to conform to a pinstripe and pencil skirt identity again.
Image credit: Oi20Morder