Nerding Out at Work: Style Guide

Let’s face it: showing our nerd pride as a working professional is tough. There just aren’t any work-appropriate options out there. You simply can’t be a nerd at work.

…or can you?

One night, I got to thinking of ways to nerd out at work. I began to research clothing and accessory options that are office appropriate for both men and women, and I found some great options for the wayward geek. If you’ve ever found yourself in that age-old bind between expressing yourself and adhering to the dress code, then look no further! You’ve come to the right place.

Below you’ll find tips and tricks to help with all your needs and work within your style limitations. Included are clothing and accessories that are sleek, stylish, and nerdy by nature. This guide is suited for those who work in more strict environments, so keep that in mind as you scroll down. Some work spaces are different, and don’t mind certain styles. To be safe, though, I chose pieces to use as examples which are golden in any office scenario.

Now, who’s ready to nerd out?

For the Lady Nerds: 


Hot Topic

While geeky dresses are awesome ways to show pride, some are a little ostentatious. Depending on where you work, these designs aren’t always the best options, or the most appropriate. Thankfully, there are tons of dress options for lady nerds. One such example is this BB-8 dress (pictured above), created for Hot Topic by Her Universe. It’s cute, quirky, and subdue enough for Corporate America. And the best part? It’s size inclusive!

The Dos and Don’ts: 

When looking for great work-wear, the materials of the garment are key. Materials that can stand up to eight hours each day are your best bet. Avoid anything material that is too thin or clingy. Also, look at how the dress is designed. Seamless lines and elegant silhouettes are professional and classic. Add in a nerdy twist, and it’s the ultimate piece in your weekly ensemble rotation. And, above all else, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in the dress.

Other great dress options include this Powerpuff Girls Buttercup dress, this Cloud City dress, and this Black Widow number.


batman necklace

This wasn’t a hard category for me to research because I have actually shopped for work-appropriate accessories. Since I work in retail, I have to represent our particular brand. But, when the opportunity arises, I’ll show up to work in some nerdy jewelry that is unrecognizable to my non-nerdy co-workers. There is a huge variety of great work appropriate accessories out there to choose from. These can be earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pins, hair clips, scarves, or rings.

The Dos and Don’ts

Choose pieces are are dainty and delicate. There are some great accessories that are so precious, it hurts. I recommend pieces like this Batman/Batgirl insignia necklace (pictured above) and these Captain America shield earrings. Great places to find these kinds of accessories are on Etsy and Sparkle! Designs.


Believe it or not, there are ways to show your nerd pride through make-up and nail art. The best place to get cosmetics like the ones you see above is Espionage Cosmetics. They have a wonderful selection of nerd-themed cosmetics to tickle anyone’s fancies. Like comic books? How about some comic book nail wraps? Are you a gamer? Check out this bronzy eyeshadow. There’s something for everyone. The best part about Espionage Cosmetics’s products are how well-made they are. They are an excellent and conscious company.

The Dos and Don’ts

In the case of cosmetics, stay away from too much glitter or too bold of a color. Feel free to try fun looks, but save the crazy colors for after you clock out. A great tactic to implement is to compliment your own eye color with a hint of bold shadow, and mute with natural colors like taupe, grey, white, peach, or brown. For nail art–or nail wraps– pick a design that looks “normal,” but are secretly geeky. Why not try “Most Ardently?”

For the Gentlemen Nerds: 

Dress Shirts


One thing I discovered while researching work-appropriate pieces was how under-served the male market is for nerdy apparel. Sure, there are tons of tees, but nothing that would work while discussing the monthly budget with your boss. While I did find some options, there weren’t many, and the majority of them came from ThinkGeek. This S.H.I.E.L.D. dress shirt is perfectly nerdy and unquestionably cool.  ThinkGeek also offers an excellent selection of nerdy polos, which are perfect for casual Fridays in the office. Most of ThinkGeek’s work shirts feature a little emblem that flaunts your nerdy persuasions, and that’s honestly all you’ll need.

The Dos and Don’ts

The one piece of advice I would give when shopping for dress shirts is to avoid bold patterns. If the design is too pronounced, then the shirt can look gaudy.


cuff links

Guys, if you’re dismayed by the lack of work-wear, do not fret! There are a ton of accessories for you gents out there on the Interwebs. Take, for example, these kickass Harry Potter cufflinks (pictured above). They’re understated, yet sophisticated. But your options are not just limited to these kinds of adornments. There are neckties, tie clips, pocket squares, wrist watches, and lapel pins that are oozing with nerdiness. There are dozens of cool, unique pieces to choose from to add some class to your suit.

The Dos and Don’ts

Pick pieces that are well-made and can easily fit into your daily life. If you’re not inclined to wear pocket squares, don’t invest in Star Trek-themed pocket squares. Go with what you love.

Work Bags 



The work bag is essential for everyone in Corporate America. How else are you going to schlep between the office and home? Even if you don’t have anything else nerdy in your collection, maybe a work bag or briefcase is your best option to show off some nerd pride. Simply pick your fandom and start toting!

The Dos and Don’ts 

Avoid aesthetics alone; your work bag has to be practical and comfortable. Make sure that it fits all of your essentials, like your laptop or tablet, and keeps them safe during transit. If the bag fulfills these needs first, then boldly go ahead and get it! My personal favorite is this Star Trek: TNG messenger bag.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Time to nerd out! What’s your favorite go-to nerdy piece that you like to wear to work? Did I miss something in this guide? What item are you definitely going to buy now? Let me know in the comments below! And remember: sharing is caring. If you like this post, them spread the love!

Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for? 




10 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice!! Love that batman necklace and the Powerpuff girl dress!! ♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mckelodeon says:

      I have so many feels for that dress. It’s so cute!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nmiller00 says:

    Too funny! I was thinking about writing a similar post the other day. I noticed that I was wearing some sort of fandom gear just about every day to work. From my Star Wars and Doctor Who scarves to my charm bracelets, or button interchangeable charm system (Headband, necklace, earrings, and bracelet all use the same charms so I can mix and match). Love spreading my fandom love at work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mckelodeon says:

      That’s awesome! I wish I could wear my gear to work. I always want more and then I realize that I have no place to wear it at the moment.


  3. Danielle @ From Girlie to Nerdy says:

    This is great – all fantastic tips and who doesn’t want a little nerd during their work day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mckelodeon says:

      Thank you! Life is boring when you’re not being a nerd 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m mesmerized by the BB-8 dress, so cute! Great post by the way; it really can be difficult to express our geekiness depending on our workplace’s type.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mckelodeon says:

      Thanks! I love the BB-8 dress. I also really like the Powderpuff Girls dress as well.


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