Off-beat, rebellious, with a splash of retro glamour- meet this season’s surprise must-wear style.
Once upon a time, nerds and geeks sat way at the bottom of the sartorial pile with their pinstripe bow ties, ankle-swinging trousers and thick-rimmed glasses. Fast forward to SS16 and it’s a very different story. This season, geek is not only chic- she’s got a whole new attitude.
It’s definitely more about the feminine silhouettes, skinny knits and artfully angled cuts; the return of quirkiness ditches the drabness of old and embraces a free-thinking, rebellious glamour.
“Preppy fashion is having a real moment right now,” says Birmingham Mail retail editor, Alison Stacey. “It’s time to raid your grandmother’s wardrobe and bring out pieces that are quintessential to this style, think pearl beads and pastel knits.”
Of course there’s still a sense of awkwardness with mismatched fabrics, contrasting patterns and midi hemlines that you could’ve nicked from your Gran but there is also so many pretty pieces such as pussy-bow blouses and Peter Pan collared coats.
“Whistles, Reiss and Next do some great preppy pieces,” Alison added. “The key is in the detail for this one- exquisite tailoring and embellishments are a must.”
There’s a new-found confidence and elegance with dressing as a geek this spring; think festive but tasteful metallics, modern eccentric twists on the 90’s trend and a sophisticated colour palette.
“There’s been a real rebellion against what is traditionally seen as sexy- a reaction against the ‘fake tan and hair extensions’ TOWIE kind of look,” says Kerry O’Coy, fashion editor at Fused magazine.
“Personally, I don’t think there are really any clear rules to fashion trends anymore,” she added. “It’s more about mixing it up to suit your own style as an individual rather than following trends religiously.”
So who are our go-to style icons for preppy inspiration?
“Zoey Deschanel and Alexa Chung get it so right every time,” says YouTuber Becca Rose, “Cutesy bows and Peter Pan collars satisfy the girliness within us, whilst masculine-meets-feminine tailoring adds to the much coveted Chung style.”
For his spring 2016 debut collection at Gucci, Alessandro Michele banished the Dolce Vita saucepot and looked to a studious, offbeat ingéue in pleated leather skirts, sheer ruffle blouses and brogues. “It’s about non-conformists who share an intellectual curiosity,” he told Vogue.
Whilst a floral suit might not scream ‘Saturday night with the girls,’ there were, however, plenty of floaty dresses, party-ready Lurex and lacy minis- who says geeks don’t have fun?
Elsewhere, it was Margot Tenenbaum from Wes Anderson’s 2001 cult hit The Royal Tenenbaums who was the surprising muse of the season. Gwyneth Paltrow’s character called the style shots with her part heritage-club, part punk-rebel look.
Credit: Earrings: Miss Selfridge- £8.50 | Blouse: Dorothy Perkins – £30 | Watch: Next – £26 | Skirt: Primark – £10 | Glasses: River Island – £14 | Handbag: Accessorize – £27 | Loafers: Dune – £69
Felipe Oliveira Baptista sent models out at Lacoste in Margot’s furry, long coats with zipped-up tracksuits, whilst at the Orla Kiely showcase, models wore high neckline shift dresses with contrasting coloured tights and patent T-bar shoes.
The high street has also been getting in on the geeky action, with River Island conjuring patterned knits, Topshop nailing the floral frock and M&S doing the perfect checked midi skirt.
For cute pussy-bow blouses, try Warehouse. Want a good loafer? Head to Zara, where you’ll also find sophisticated two-piece suits even Queenie would approve of.
“We have seen a huge interest in these kinds of clothes,” says Gemma Nelson, head buyer at Cow Vintage in Digbeth, “Naturally, bloggers and celebrities alike are to blame for this recent trendsetting movement.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time this trend has come around. A decade ago, American Apparel gave us sexed-up nerd staples, who can forget those racy adverts? The collection consisted of retro jumpers and pleated skirts but now there’s nothing dowdy about the new quirky.
So before you write her off as the latest FROW tragedy, take some time out to get to know the new geek with our helpful collages- we’re sure she’s going to be much more popular than she was at school.
What are you loving about this Geek Chic trend? Let us know in the comments! To never miss an update, be sure to get connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Feature image credit: River Island