2016 Holiday Gift Guide: A Well Dressed Geek

For geeks, living in t-shirts and jeans is pretty much a way of life, but once in awhile we have to clean up for a special occasion. Thankfully there are geeky alternatives to formal or business casual wear that allow us to show off our geeky nature in a fashionable way. Check out Penny Arcade’s First Party line. They have respectable clothing with a small game controller logo. Pick the polo for less formal events, or snazz up an inexpensive button-up shirt with their fashionable ties.


Image: Solo
Solo’s Urban Code Duffel
Suggested By: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Solo
Price: $70
Purchase: Solo’s Urban Code Duffel

This holiday season, pack everything you need for a long weekend away in Solo’s stylish Urban Code Duffel. With two large compartments, roomy side pockets, and a zippered front pocket, there’s room for all your clothes and sundries. The shoulder strap is removable and adjustable, and there is an additional back strap that can slide over a rolling luggage handle, in case your traveling is longer than a few days. Even though this bag is a duffel, it has a special padded compartment for laptops up to 17.3″. And, unusually, it has a separate internal tablet pocket, so no more squishing your tablet next to your laptop! Each bag comes with a 5 year limited warranty. And, a separate geek note: Solo’s name is written on the bag in Morse code. A sample was provided for review.


Grovemade Wallet
Grovemade Wallet
Suggested By: Randy Slavey
Mfg: Grovemade
Price: $99.99
Purchase: Grovemade Wallet

Switch to a front pocket wallet today and alleviate the back pain caused by sitting on that Costanza-wallet you’re carrying today. I’ve carried my Grovemade for over a year, and it is by far the best wallet I’ve ever owned. Holds up to five cards and a bill or two comfortably, or in my case, five cards snugly with one if them being my work RFID badge.


Image: Newbury Comics
Deadpool Logo Seatbelt Belt
Suggested By: Rory Bristol
Mfg: newbury-comics
Price: $24.95
Purchase: Deadpool Logo Seatbelt Belt

Since the death of the business suit, business dress has taken a dramatic turn for the self-expressive. Of course, that means there are millions of options. The question becomes, “How should I look?” For geeks like me, the only answer is “simple”. I don’t want to have to think about it. I want to put it on and go. That’s why I like products like the Deadpool seatbelt belt. You don’t consider whether it matches your shoes, or if it goes with a particular style. It’s just awesome, and that’s all your well dressed geek needs.


Image: New York Fashion Police
S.T.A.R. Labratories Tee
Suggested By: Rory Bristol
Mfg: New York Fashion Police
Price: $9.95
Purchase: S.T.A.R. Labratories Tee

The best ways to geek out are the subtle nods and sly smiles brought to the faces of the geeks who just get it. For your Flash loving geek, this S.T.A.R Labs shirt is the not-in-your-face reference they’re searching for. Famous for its role in exposing Central City’s population to the shockwave that created the Flash, S.T.A.R. Labratories has functioned as a prison for meta-humans, the training site for several speedsters, and the base of Team Flash for the last several years. Available in nine colors, your geek gets to proudly rep the lab that spends countless hours saving Earth One from its many terrors.


MeUndies
MeUndies Underwear
Suggested By: Will James
Mfg: MeUndies
Price: $20+
Purchase: MeUndies Underwear

Last year, I wrote about MeUndies and how excited I was about them. A year later, not only are my MeUndies boxer briefs still the most comfortable thing I wear, they held up wonderfully while my older normal ones have gone out of circulation. I’ve even added several more pair and soon they’ll be the only ones I own. Since then MeUndies has also added things like sweatpants and hoodies. While I haven’t tried them yet, I plan to soon and expect them to be of the same comfort and quality as their other products. Normally getting underwear as a gift wouldn’t make people happy, but trust me, anybody getting these will thank you. You can even get a subscription (as a gift or for yourself) to keep your nether regions happy all year!


Men’s Fleck Qtr Zip sweater (Navy) from Mountain Khakis
Men’s Fleck Qtr Zip sweater
Suggested By: Brad Moon
Mfg: Mountain Khakis
Price: $124.95
Purchase: Men’s Fleck Qtr Zip sweater

Being well dressed doesn’t just mean wearing the right graphic tee. Sometimes it means being comfortable and also casually presentable. For example, this Men’s Fleck Qtr Zip sweater from Mountain Khakis. I like it because it’s a lambswool/nylon blend that’s warm — but not too warm — and extremely comfortable. It has style and looks good with jeans, khakis or even shorts. I wear it hiking and lounging around the house, but it also works for a night out.


Your new favorite wallet.
Saddleback Leather Sleeve Wallet
Suggested By: Anthony Karcz
Mfg: Saddleback
Price: $29.99
Purchase: Saddleback Leather Sleeve Wallet

I may be repeating myself with this recommendation, but Saddleback still makes what has been my favorite wallet for the past 10 years. Their Leather Sleeve wallet fits perfectly in your front pocket and is just big enough to fit your ID, credit card, and a few additional items. It’s easy to carry and forces you to ditch the Constanza-style butt breaker you’ve been toting around since high school. As with all Saddleback products, it’s ridiculously durable. Mine has been through multiple soakings and all kinds of additional abuse and, if anything, it looks better than when I first picked it up. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer; but it’s one that they’ll actually use and remember for years to come.


Standby for Titanfall.
Titanfall 2′ Officially Licensed OGIO Backpack
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: PDP
Price: $96.26
Purchase: Titanfall 2′ Officially Licensed OGIO Backpack

The fact that Titanfall 2 managed to provide one of the most satisfying single-player story modes of the year was nothing short of surprising. The only thing more surprising? The fact that the video game property also provided my very favorite accessory of the year. This Titanfall 2 backpack–by that purveyor of fine peripherals, PDP, and outstanding luggage manufacturer OGIO–boasts rugged military styling, complete with tactical webbing and four fantastic Titanfall-inspired morale patches. And things only get better when you open it up. A dedicated electronics storage area can accommodate both a tablet and up to a 17″ laptop with ease, and its air mesh back panel provides additional protective padding that also helps to prevent the dreaded back-sweats. Its external storage panel has plenty of dividers to keep your pens and other supplies in order, while the upper pocket is fleece-lined, so your phone screen stays scuff-free. Best of all, the main compartment, while already wonderfully spacious, can be expanded by loosening the side cinching straps to quickly convert from your everyday backpack to the perfect carry-on or bug-out bag. [Review materials provided by PDP.]


Moisturize, you filthy animal!
FACE KIT and SHAVE system
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: Mavericks
Price: $25-$89
Purchase: FACE KIT and SHAVE system

I’m always a little suspicious of men’s cosmetic lines, as, traditionally, they tend to just toss a musky scent on top a perfectly good existing women’s product–because heavens forbid we smell “feminine.” Still, I decided to give Mavericks‘ products a try because of their stated mission: to simplify men’s skincare. What I discovered was a skincare regimen that’s not only simple but also wonderfully effective. Use the PROTECT moisturizer for oil-free softness all day long, then, at night wash with… er… WASH to clean away dirt and build-up and finish with PROTECT to nourish your skin through the night. They even offer a 3-in-1 SHAVE system that serves as shaving cream, moisturizer, and aftershave all in one. And my favorite part? There are no overwhelming smells or cheesily macho packaging–just solid, reliable, quality products. [Review materials provided by Mavericks.]


At Spencer’s even socks become a must-have gift.
Spencer’s Online
Suggested By: Robin Brooks
Mfg: Various
Price: 2 – 200$
Purchase: Spencer’s Online

Well-dressed geeks can make Spencer’s Online their one-stop shop during this festive season. If it’s geeky, they’ve got it. Walletswatches and t-shirts; even socks make for cool gifts, if you get them from Spencer’s.  And, if you want to draw the eye at your festive soirees, be sure check out their party suits. Personal favorites from the site include this cookie monster t-shirt, a bat beanie and these incredible Wookie pajamas, presumably for when it gets really cold. You can dress for bed and dress your bed too. I’ve just had a new niece, whose parents are Nightmare Before Christmas crazy. This Jack Skellington fleece blanket will be great for snuggling with baby. Finally, I could not resist this Robin wallet. Spencer’s still have a host of bags, like the ones I featured in this back-to-school post. The same warning from then still applies. Some of the stuff on the site is definitely for adults only, so don’t let your kids wander about picking what they want.


A look at just how much the Tropiformer can carry
Tropiformer Jacket
Suggested By: Matt Blum
Mfg: SCOTTeVEST
Price: Retail $225 available on Amazon for $175
Purchase: Tropiformer Jacket

This is the perfect jacket for any conventions, festivals, etc., you may attend. It’s lightweight but serves as a good windbreaker, and it’s convertible to a vest in literally seconds. It has a pocket for a smartphone that even lets you use it without removal. It even has a strap in a pocket for holding a bottle of water. You’ll keep finding new things it can do every time I wear it! It also comes in a wide variety of colors.

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