A Nerdy Girl’s Guide to Looking Awesome


by Jordan Keeble (@jordanbartowski)

I will always be a nerdy girl. I wear my graphic tees with pride. I plan cute cosplay inspired outfits in my head. I take fashion cues from comic book characters, television shows, and movies. I love integrating my passions into my style. Everyone deserves to see what I love, and see it through my clothes (because tattoos are expensive).

Style is both about comfort and adventure, being daring and true to yourself. No one knows this better than us nerdy females. I also know that it’s hard to break out of the oh-so-easy jeans and a tee formula. For some girls, it’s great and that’s what works for them. But for others… they want so much more. The challenge – how do you change that formula while still keeping true to your nerdy roots? I might have some ideas.

As with any fashion post you may read, these are just guidelines. These are mere suggestions for the modern nerdy girl who wants to spruce up her look. Am I telling you to throw away your worn in graphic tees and stock up on silk blouses? Hell no. But maybe some of these suggestions will inspire you to take your closet into your own hands and have fun with it.

1. The number one rule is be comfortable.

Never wear anything you’re not comfortable in. You will never feel your best unless you’re comfortable. That goes for the super cute heels we all shove our feet into. An attitude or feeling can ruin an otherwise amazing outfit. So you see those super cute bustier tops and high-low skirts everyone is wearing; love the skirt but don’t feel comfortable showing your tummy? Grab a skirt and find a cute tank. No one can tell you what you feel comfortable wearing or not wearing. Especially not trends. (Besides, I bet you could work that bustier top, girl.)

2. You don’t have to give up your nerdy tees.

It’s time to play dress up, ladies. Instead of pairing a tee with your favorite pair of jeans and Chucks, why not find a neutral skirt to wear it with and some cute flats? Maybe even shorts with a pair of patterned leggings. Or put a casual blazer over it to dress it up! There are a million other options out there for you besides jeans and tennis shoes. Find a couple that work for you. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to try new things. That’s what the bedroom mirror is for, right?

3. Don’t be afraid of prints.

Florals, stripes, chevrons, stars, polka dots, animal print, anything. Mix and match. I love the look of a nautical stripe top and a floral skirt. I’m obsessed with galaxy prints, too. The only rule is try to pair your print with complementary colors. Other than that, just have fun! You can even use them as a fun accent to an otherwise fairly boring outfit. Leopard print flats or metallic/anything sparkly are always my go-to upgrade for my ensemble. They will literally match with anything and add a little spark to any outfit.

4. Layering!

Coming from a place where the weather can change in three times in the span of an hour, I. Love. Layering. It’s my best friend and one of my favorite styling tips. A collared shirt underneath a tee is a great way to prep up an outfit. A chambray is an amazing tool to dress down an otherwise dressier skirt and shirt. Even the golden chambray-button down-tank combo is perfect for a summer day that starts chilly and gets stupidly hot.

5. Accessorize!

Long necklaces, lots of bracelets, scarves, hats, accessories are the cherry to top off your outfit. This also goes back to layering, but be a little more cautious with the jewelry. A great scarf is awesome and a fun hat is always a fantastic piece to use, but too much jewelry can easily overwhelm you and your clothing. Play with bracelet sizes and necklace lengths, mix metals and contrasts, and find what works best for you. If you have a couple go-to pieces (a charm bracelet, a favorite necklace), try to find ways to work those pieces in – or better yet, work your outfits around them – so you never have to give them up.

Honorable Mention (because I like things being even, okay)

Do your research. If you have an idea but are unsure about anything, look up pictures of other people doing the same thing. With over six billion people on the planet, there is bound to be a picture of someone wearing the same idea that just popped in your head two minutes ago. And that’s great! But what works in your mind’s eye – may not actually work out in practice. I hate to say it, but Pinterest has been a huge help for me in this regard. And if you can’t do that, try it on and vogue in front of the mirror a bit. No one else has to know!

These are the tips I try to live by – and still be able to go to work in my Doctor Who shirts. But I’m not you. More than anything else, you should have fun and feel good in what you’re wearing. That’ll make a much bigger difference than any necklace, scarf, or pair of shoes ever will. And I love my shoes.


  1. Jennifer EmperadorMay 31st, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Great Job Jordan!

  2. MeganMay 31st, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I love being nerdy and girlie! Etsy has so many great nerdy accessory options and now Hot Topic is having some great nerdy stuff too! I got the Doctor Who TARDIS leggings so cute!! xo

  3. Matt HutsonMay 31st, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I know this Nerdy Girl and she always looks adorable and stylish!

  4. KirstyMay 31st, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I love this 🙂 x

  5. StevieMay 31st, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I adore the pant outfit. Well, not so much the shoes, but that’s personal preference and I’d just rock a pair of heels instead of a wedge.

    The right hand outfit bothers me more the more I look at it. I’m iffy on taking a really nice structured skirt and pairing it with a t-shirt to begin with, partly personal aesthetics and partly because i spend so much time at work and I wouldn’t get away with it here. I think there are some skirts you cant totally do that with but the skirt you chose isn’t one of them. It’s a high waisted skirt with nice body so if you wear the t-shirt over it it’s gonna bunch up high and look ridiculously unflattering. If you tuck it in you lose half the graphics on the shirt. I hate the shoes for this outfit too, but only because they are silver. There is something awkward about that. I have them in gray though …

  6. JayneMay 31st, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks, that’s a great article! You’ve added some good tips 🙂

  7. Jenn BMay 31st, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Love it! Great tips for staying feminine and nerdy, just in time for ComicCon. Thanks Jordan! I may have to try a few of these out.

  8. ColleenJuly 22nd, 2013 at 11:12 am

    This makes me happy to read. I’ve got tons of T-shirts that I love, but I am tiring of jeans all the time… so this was a great help!

  9. EffyJuly 23rd, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Amazing article!!! I never even thought of pairing my Doctor Who tees with a skirt like that pic up there! Great ideas! Thanks!!! <3

  10. mocanu andraJuly 19th, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Brilliant article! If you wear what you like and you feel comfortable in it, you will be the coolest girl in your group. If you have confidence in yourself,you have nothing to be shamed about. GO NERD GIRLS!:))))*:))

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