99% of my wardrobe is made up of free t-shirts from robotics events and band shirt, but once in a while I like to clean up for a night out. Thankfully there are geeky alternatives to formal or business casual wear that allow us to show off our geeky or practical nature in a fashionable way.
I love thin, flat wallets, but they seldom hold up to the rigor of my day-to-day use. So, instead of springing for a new one every six or eight months, I recently upgraded to a handmade Slim Leather Wallet from cowboy crafter Mr. Lentz. Built of rugged full-grain leather and oiled and conditioned by hand, these small-batch wallets are the very picture of utilitarian simplicity. Adorned with only a single subtle branding and a unique production number, these wallets are held together with rivets rather than stitching and glue—the obvious points of failure for those sadly disposable accessories I mentioned before. Available in three handsome colors, they can also be sized to fit non-American currency, and with additional build options from tri-fold and snap designs to iPhone holsters, Mr. Lentz surely has a wallet to fit your needs and your budget. [Review materials provided by: Mr. Lentz]
Here be dragons.
The internet has provided us with no shortage of geeky apparel options, but well-designed, comfortable enthusiast attire is another matter entirely. Recently, the game designers at Table Forged decided to step into the proverbial arena, and I’m happy to say their experiment in fashion is a rousing success. Their D20 Monsters! design, in particular, has proved a real crowd-pleaser within my circle of tabletop gaming friends. Dominated by a vibrant d20, this design is flanked by a team of iconic enemies—a dragon, some goblins, and a gnoll. It’s also printed on a wonderfully textured poly/cotton/rayon-blend t-shirt, which helps it stand out amongst the sea of black band tees that is my closet. [Review materials provided by: Table Forged]
Socks that rock!
In my family, it’s just not Christmas without new socks, and Portland’s Sock It to Me is here to ensure that said socks are well received. Ditch those boring Kool-Aid stripes and overstretched lily-white monstrosities with one of six unique trios of quality hosiery for women and men. From seasonally appropriate themes like “Holiday Cheer” to the broader appeal of “Cat Companions” and the hilarious “Bigfoot Lives!,” they’re all but guaranteed to put smiles on faces while keeping toes toasty and warm in the most delightful way possible. [Review materials provided by: Sock It to Me]
Make the holidays cheery, bright, and all the more magical with this fan-favorite Hogwarts crest denim jacket. Rep your chosen house and favorite institute of witchcraft and wizardry in lightly-waxed black denim with faux-leather sleeves and accents. Subtle, comfortable, and stylish, this BoxLunch exclusive design is ideal for the Potterhead on your list, and available in sizes from XS to 2X, it’s fun for fans of all ages. [Review materials provided by: BoxLunch]
Image: Jenny Bristol
Join the U.S.S. Discovery and explore this darker and more treacherous time in the Star Trek universe’s timeline with your family or friends, or add it to your cosplay wardrobe and repertoire. These high-quality badges attach to your clothes or other fabric with very strong magnetic clasps. Simply place the front half of the badge on the outside of your shirt and match up the back half on the inside. Pick from Command, Operations, Sciences, and Medical. Or get one of each and recruit your own bridge officers. Medical and Sciences are silver-colored, Operations is bronze-colored, and Command is gold-colored. Travel to the edge of the universe!
Image: Galen Leather
Bump up the quality of your Every Day Carry with a product or two from Galen Leather. This small, handmade leathergoods company in Istanbul, Turkey, makes notebook covers, sleeves, pouches, wallets, bags, iPad covers, and more, and they will all last a lifetime. They’re hand stitched and come in a variety of colors and finishes. Read my review on GeekDad.
The Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger is the last bag you’ll ever need!
The Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger has been my daily work, and travel pack for nearly seven years now. Having held up with no issues in this entire time of truly daily use, the pack is clearly as rugged as it is useful. As a single cross-strap sling bag the Kodiak is easily donned and doffed with one hand, and while worn can be slung from the back to the front for easy access. In addition to the phenomenal Kodiak, Maxpedition carries many more bags– Gearslingers in other sizes and configurations, two-strap backpacks, and the handy Jumbo Versipack that I use as a DSLR camera bag. The Kodiak and the Versipack are both packs in Maxpedition’s Legacy Series line, packs so good they just keep selling! Maxpedition’s new versions are in their Advanced Gear Research line (AGR) where they have many more awesome packs including their first dedicated camera bag! The packs in both lines include webbing to allow attaching other pouches and packs for a modular design to create exactly the bag you or your happy gift receiver wants. Read GeekDad’s review of Maxpedition products.
Saddleback consistently makes the best leather products out there. I’ve been a fan of their bags for years, so as soon as my $20 faux-leather belt started to split, I knew who to turn to. The Old Bull Leather Belt is an impressively thick piece of old bull leather, vegetable tanned, and fitted with antiqued hardware. You’ll immediately notice the stiffness when you first put it on, but it gets more supple as you wear it over time. Even so, it’s immediately apparent that this isn’t some belt you got at a big box store. This is a belt manufactured to meet Saddleback’s 100 year warranty and will likely be holding up your grandkids’ pants at some point. It looks great, fits perfectly, and feels like something you should be pairing with a set of leather armor, not jeans. Saddleback says it’s the last belt you’ll ever buy and I don’t doubt it for a second.
American Giant Waffle Crew
If you like extremely well made and comfy clothing that will last, look no further than American Giant. I’ve written about them before, and every item I have from them, including those from over two years ago are still practically like new and I wear them ALL the time! This year, perfect for all the cold weather, AG has added the all new waffle crew. This shirt is great as both a base layer or just by itself. It’s warm, cozy, and, like all AG clothing, very well made. AG is a few more bucks than what you might be used to spending, but it is always worth every penny.
Geeky PJs – Morse Code “Sleep” Glow-in-the-Dark, Binary “Sleep” Glow-in-the-Dark, Counting Sheep Glow-in-the-Dark, Musical Rests Symbols, Melatonin Molecule Glow-in-the-Dark
Svaha clothing is a great women-owned and operated company that we’ve covered several times. They have a lot of great new offerings this year, but my favorite are geeky, STEM-filled pajamas for the whole family! A lot of them are even glow-in-the-dark, so really, how can you go wrong? I personally am grabbing a pair of the glow-in-the-dark binary pants for myself because then I can feel like I’m in the matrix. And if PJs aren’t your thing, they have a bunch of new shirts, dresses, scarves, and even jewelry. Do yourself and your family a favor and check out their full line-up of geekwear.
Space Polo! The Apollo 3 Polo uses NASA-engineered Phase Change Materials for temperature regulation. I’m not sure exactly what that means and I am not typically a polo shirt wearing kind of guy, and the biggest reason is because every time I’ve tried one on, it hasn’t been comfortable and comfort always trumps form or fashion for me. I was skeptical when I donned the Ministry of Supply polo, but it was actually comfortable! Plus, how cool is it to have a shirt made using the same technology as space clothes. This is probably the closest I’ll ever be to being an astronaut, but I’m definitely wearing this on my next flight.
SCOTTeVEST Microfleece Hoodie
The SCOTTeVEST Microfleece Hoodie is the perfect combination of practical and comfortable. It has pockets or slots for phones, tablets, headphones, pens, keys, money, and pretty much anything else you might want to carry with you. Really, the only limiting factor I’ve found with mine is the weight, and the only problem I’ve had with mine is occasionally forgetting in which of its many pockets I’ve put something. It’s comfortably warm enough, and yet not that heavy, that I was comfortable wearing it most of the flaky-weather D.C.-area autumn. Oh, and the hood has a flap you can pull down over your eyes that says “Do Not Disturb.” Highly recommended (and on sale now!).