If you have been following along with our show at all, then you know what devotees of Geek Chic we are. We are so lucky to be living at time where girls are being accepted (for the most part, there’s obvi still room for improvement) in geek culture and that we are able to have so many options to show off our fandoms while still being fashionable. We give a lot of credit for this to Ashley Eckstein, the founder of Her Universe. You have probably seen us wearing her designs in our videos because they are some of our favorite all time outfits. We cannot even count the times Maddy has been stopped while wearing her Star Wars sheets dress. Everyone wants to talk about at the cons, on the street, even in the middle of interviews. It’s like the clothes aren’t just cute, they build communities right there on the spot. Suddenly you can see what strangers are fellow fangirls. It’s like, “Hey! That girl in the TARDIS dress loves Doctor Who too! We have something in common.”
So, you can guess how excited we were to have the chance to chat with Ashley at at D23 Expo. We found out that she’s a musical theatre nerd like us and likes to shop on the con floor too. She also tells us what’s up at Her Universe and gives some really good advice for those who want careers in pop culture fashion. We absolutely loved spending time with Ashley and hope you enjoy watching our conversation.
Three years ago right around this time, I was lamenting the fact that there was a sad, sad lack of comics and genre fashion merchandise geared towards women. At the time, my experience was that the available clothing for women to purchase and wear was mostly t-shirts, only some of which were actually fitted for or geared towards women. And accessories of the sort women might be interested in, like jewelry or handbags or less manly wallets, were mostly available only via Etsy or through other fan enterprises.
Generally speaking, what was available via licensed merchandisers was also lacking in the style, flair, subtlety, or imagination that I’d have really liked to see in female comics fashion. Despite being a fan of the comfort of a cute tee shirt, there are times when I’d prefer to be able to let fly the flag of my geek pride with a little more style – like when I’m running from one end of San Diego Comic Con to the other and can’t manage a full costume, but would love to wear a cute dress instead of throwing on the same old tee and jeans combo. Or when I’m heading in to work and want to jazz things up a bit with a subtly geeky accessory.
Fortunately for me and all the other geek women out there who might feel the same way, things have changed since 2012. Companies like Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe began appearing and paving the way by coming out with clothing more flattering and fitting for women and establishing a high profile at conventions. Companies like We Love Fine and Superhero Stuff really caught on to the fact that “if you make it, they will buy” when it comes to women and cute geek clothes. 2014 in particular saw an uptick in more exciting geek fashions becoming available for women, starting in February with geek-inspired runway fashions (and companies like Cozday Clothing), and going into the fall with several companies such as Black Milk Clothing and Living Dead Clothing coming out with themed lines.
As spring rolled around this year and I started looking for a few new items for my geek and con wardrobe, I felt anew that the female geek fashion wasteland of 2012 has happily been replaced by a growing garden of options for the discerning geek gal. From shirts, skirts, dresses, pants, and tights to jewelry, bags, and scarves, to pieces that could be incorporated into actual costumes for cons, there are a lot of cool options out there right now.
Given that these options are still sort of scattered around, I thought I’d provide you with some favorites I’ve found – some of which I actually own, and some of which are on my wish list.
So check these out, and flaunt your geek fashion for the world!
Although some of it appears sold out at the moment (noooo!!!!!), We Love Fine has been carrying some cool-looking geek chic lately. A couple of things I had my eye on were the Companion Cube Fit and Flare Dress, the Kawaii Avengers Sleeveless Top, and the Ms. Marvel Tank. The Balloonicorn Pattern Top is also just plain adorable, and I kind of crave it despite the fact that I haven’t played Team Fortress and usually don’t wear things I’m not an actual fan of on principle (but I did see clips of the in-game Balloonicorn in action online and it amused me greatly, so there’s that).
With WonderCon starting tomorrow, we have been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to wear. While Hot Topic & Etsy make shopping for geek chic a lot easier, it’s at the cons where we can really get our fangirl fashion on. Like it or not, cons have become a nerd-cool fashion week and if style matters then you need to save wearing just a superhero t-shirt for school. It’s time to step up your geek game! So, in the spirit of pop culture couture we talked with some fashion-forward attendees at Long Beach Comic Expo about designing fan fashions and cosplaying.