Emily S. Whitten: Geek Chic Spring Shopping

Captain AmericaThree 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a few new items for my geek and con wardrobe, I felt anew that the female geek fashion wasteland of 2012 has happily been replaced by a growing garden of options for the discerning geek gal.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!

Hot Topic, which back in the day (yea, these many years ago when I was a teen) used to be mostly kind of goth and punk, has in recent years been adding and adding to its pop culture collections. It now has entire lines of merchandise themed around superheroes, genre TV shows like Supernatural, and more. A couple of recent favorites that I own are the Batman Harley Quinn Dress, the Harley Quinn Infinity Scarf (which I am totally wearing at work today), and the Harley Quinn perfume (are we sensing a theme, here?). And as of this morning, they’ve also got a new Marvel Her Universe line available for pre-order. (You can also shop directly for some of the Her Universe clothing on their website.) They’ve got a ton of fun accessories, too, like this Alice in Wonderland purse, this TARDIS hinge wallet, this Supernatural watch, and this Orphan Black code ring. And of course, Sherlock and Watson cord bracelets for all you shippers out there.

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).

The aforementioned Black Milk Clothing has some pretty cool stuff, from the looks of it. I covet their dress collection, including the Riddler Skater Dress, the Game of Thrones Win or Die Dress, the Marauders’ Map Dress, and the Harley Quinn Skater Dress. The GOT Rhaegal Dragon Egg Skirt is also pretty sweet.

Speaking of Australian companies, Living Dead Clothing has a super-cute Captain America swimsuit and Cap shield dress, and an Iron Man Skater that could actually be worn as a costume piece. It’s also all over our favorite webslinger’s fashion choices with a Chibi Spider-Man Skater Skirt, a Radioactive Crop Top, and this Secret Identity Skater Skirt that is subtle enough in its geekiness to wear just about anywhere. They’ve also got a mishmash of stuff in their Crypt section, including a Guardians of the Galaxy dress and a Dancing Groot dress (what whaaat!).

Thinkgeek is a regular stop on my online geek shopping route. I’ve got their Tolkien Silk Wrap Bracelet, leetle tiny Batman earrings, and Health Bar Yoga  along with their cute Firefly Kaylee-Inspired Messenger Bag and Portal Companion Cube Messenger Bag. And I wouldn’t say no to their GOT All Men Must Die Ladies’ Long Sleeve Tee, their Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix necklace, or their TMNT Ladies’ Raglan. Plus, they have a rewards system that’s actually worth signing up for. Hooray, free stuff!

Even with all the fun alternatives, sometimes nothing beats a good ladies’ tee. I like to go to places like Quantum Mechanix for those. I’ve got the women’s versions of their Firefly Fighting Elves tee, their Firefly Blue Sun tee, and their Warehouse 13 Farnsworth tee; and I am now coveting their Firefly Independents tee. Quantum Mechanix also has fun stuff like this Firefly Leaf on the Wind keychain/pendant and Jayne Cobb leather wrist strap .

TeeTurtle is another great place for cute, comfy, well-fitting geek tees for ladies (they’re my favorite for a consistently comfortable and well-fitting tee). They have infinite adorable choices (and a lot of fun fandom mashups), but I particularly love my Rebels of the Galaxy, Honest Mistake, Floating Through Space, Codominance Panda, Totodoll, Adorable Monstrosity, and Fire Mage tees.

SuperHeroStuff also has a ton of tees, but I’ve currently got my eye on their Rogue costume dress, and also think their PJs are super cute.

And…whew, I think I’m about shopped out. Now it’s your turn!

And until next time, Servo Lectio!