Sarah Wiezel

Agent Sarah writes on Tuesdays for Agents of GUARD and covers Arrow, console games, anime, and whatever else sounds appealing at the moment. She has a day job in the software industry and thinks cereal is overrated.

I’ve actually been meaning to write a post about geek fashion for women for a while now, but it never really came up.

Then this happened.

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It is true that I was actually looking really put together (a rarity, especially given that I work from home a lot and am in pj’s or workout wear like 90% of the time) and maybe it was unexpected for me to yank a Batman wallet out of my purse. But…why?

Why is it cool for guys to wear Batman shirts or nerdy clothes but girls just get kind of weird stares? And then there’s that whole double-standard where it’s fine I guess if it’s a female superhero but would a guy wear a Wonder Woman shirt? Because what guy would want to be Wonder Woman? Gosh this is confusing. When did we create so many silly rules about who can wear what?

Are women not allowed to like Batman? Are career-oriented women not allowed to purchase fan memorabilia? Do I really have to have some boring-ass leather wallet because society says that I should? I have lots of questions. And I’m not accusing anyone of thinking any particular way, just saying let’s ask these questions and see where it goes.

Generally, millennials kind of do what they want and don’t care too much. This is why young women now opt for jeans and hoodies at work instead of suits and pantyhose: it’s stuffy and uncomfortable and if Mark Zuckerberg makes like a zillion dollars wearing a hoodie and nobody is making me dress up, why can’t I just be comfortable going to work? Why can’t I just wear what I want?

And truthfully, I don’t encounter a significant amount of adversity with my wardrobe, although I have until somewhat recently made an effort to keep my geek apparel out of the office. When I did wear something geeky, I would usually get positive comments but I also felt that my credibility took a negative hit. These days…I have mixed feelings about it. I clearly don’t think my credibility should be impacted, so I usually end up trying to compromise. I don’t wear anything obscure (no anime shirts for me) and if I do wear something like my Star Wars tank top I’ll usually pair a blazer and some nice shoes with it. Because heaven forbid I wear chucks with it and look like a 14 year old manager. Can you tell I am just a little jaded about all of this?

I’m a little unhappy about it, but passing judgement is just a part of life and a really big part of my career and it’s something that I accept and make sacrifices for. I’ve been pondering over whether or not there’s a middle ground: sure, my $20 ThinkGeek Batman wallet is totally great, but it is a lot less sophisticated than my other clothing. Why can’t I have a nice saffiano leather wallet that would make Bruce Wayne proud that has some kind of Batman marking on it? Just because it’s Batman merch, does it have to make me look like I’m a kid?

Along this train of thought, I’ve suddenly come up with practically an entire sketchbook in my head of somewhat understated geek fashion for women. It doesn’t need to have an insane price tag, but it should also not make you look like you bought it from the little boy’s section in Target (where all women buy their Batman shirts, duh.) Maybe some kind of subtle monogram rather than “HI I AM A BATMAN SHIRT BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW”?

I have some tentative plans to actually produce a sketchbook of ideas and do some research on fabric, copyrighting, and designs. It is more than likely I will also do nothing and forget about this as soon as the blog is published, but I’ll post a follow up if anything does happen! Or if I get any more comments on my Batman wallet in the meantime.

This was fun guys, let’s do it again sometime.

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