font loading for Top nav

Trend on trial


From the catwalks to the Oxford English Dictionary, geek chic is officially a thing. So how do you wear the trend in real life? Womenswear editor Charlene Barton trials the look that’s defining the season

Shop the edit


“This was one of my favourite outfits to wear. It’s a total colour and texture clash – but it works. If it feels too much, just lose the navy socks.”


Fashion has taken a nerdy turn, and we’re not talking futuristic silhouettes or Star Wars logos – more Elton John-inspired glitter frames and grandma-worthy handbags. It’s a trend that couldn’t be further removed from my daily uniform of navy, black and grey basics. I’m a true jumper and jeans girl, so slipping into metallic skirts and multicoloured sweaters was a complete step out of my comfort zone.

How did it feel, then, to embrace my inner geek? Liberating. It’s a look that celebrates the individual and I definitely felt unique, if not a little like I was wearing fancy dress… But maybe that’s the point. I think the key is to decide which side of the fashion fence you wish to sit on – whether that’s simply nodding to the trend with accessories and the occasional frill or stepping into full teacher’s pet mode.

The important thing is to have fun with it – after all, this isn’t about conforming but dressing for yourself.

Anything goes, and the more eclectic the better. For the ultimate take, look to the Gucci catwalk: creative director Alessandro Michele sparked a nerd revolution for spring/summer 2016, taking the bookish swot out of the library and giving her the style spotlight. You name it, his quirky girls wore it, from ribbons and corsages to eclectic prints and oversized specs – some with a smattering of disco-esque glitter.

In the name of this column, I’ve also taken the look to the extreme – but that doesn’t mean you have to. The essence of this trend is really about adding those special little touches to make your look unique – it’s up to you how far you want to take it.

To work this into my daily wardrobe, I would wear the frilled pink blouse with denim instead of the metallic midi – or the skirt with a plain navy or black cashmere jumper. You just have to find the balance that works for you. Either way, you’ll get an A+ in the style stakes.


The fast track to nailing this trend is accessories: Mary Janes, boxy grandma-style handbags, and ankle socks if you want to go all out.
I’ve paired these beautiful printed cullottes with a navy sweater layered over a blouse, but you could dial it up with the matching top.
For true geek chic, add some personality with a corsage and ribbon. Brooches, statement earrings and hairbands will also customise your look.
This bag is a subtle nod to the trend. The palette is fresh for spring and the jewellery-inspired chain lends a chic final touch.
I love the multicoloured band on this sweater. Pare it back with denim (dungarees look especially cool) for a casual spin. Fishnet pop-socks optional.
This shift dress is my preferred look. Slip it on with heels and socks if you’re going for it and you’re good to go, day or night.
Shop the edit


Photographer: Rosaline Shahnavaz / Stylist: Niki Brodie
Hair stylist: Johnnie Biles / Make-up artist: Naoko Scintu

Trending stories