User Input

User Input: Factually Incorrect

Pasty-white skin not included.

Last night, we found ourselves accidentally watching What Not To Wear. It wasn’t so much because we wanted to, but it was on whatever channel popped up after our recorded program was over, and the remote was all the way over there. They were forcing their generic mass-marketed chain-store excuse for “style” making over a girl named Simona Dalin. She’s a scientist, she’s a nerd, and she’s probably twenty times smarter than anyone else on the program. In all honesty, the chick seriously rocked. She was a funky-geeky-cool,  she was even kinda hot, and she was frankly really funny. The hosts accused her of being too rigid, telling her to be more “fluid”. She asked if they could compromise on an approximation of a non-Newtonian fluid instead. They had no idea what she was talking about. I laughed.

The part of the show that made me angry was the point where they revealed her impressive collection of excellent geeky T-shirts. Some of the best examples from ThinkGeek and DieselSweeties, and a wide assortment I’d never even seen.

And then they collected the whole assortment and threw them out, because they weren’t girly enough. Seriously, that’s what they said. Not girly enough. Now, we’ve been accused a few times of being insensitive to our feminine audience because we do sincerely enjoy the feminine form; we’ll accept that, however that doesn’t mean we’re actually pigs. But a girl with a funky nerd style being told that it wasn’t acceptable because it was “immature”? I actually got mad and started yelling at the TV. They told this girl, who I believe is a doctoral candidate at 22 years old, that it was time for her to “grow up” and start wearing “some big-girl clothes”.

I’m getting pissed off again just remembering it, so before this turns into an angry rant, let’s just ask the question:

Fuck What Not To Wear, they’re wrong. Who dares to say that ThinkGeek shirts aren’t awesome? They are. End of story. What’s the most awesomest nerd or geek clothes you’ve ever seen?

  • I have a bunch of shirts from, and have seen a few people wearing the same shirt as I. My personal favorite, I think, is this:

    <img src=""&gt;

  • skitter

    Not answering the actual question, per usual.
    The subject of "appropriate" clothing touches a deep, deep nerve with me.
    There may be a lengthy rant posted later, or it honestly may not be worth the stress.

    In short: I dress like this to be effective.

    Edit: And my sincerest thanks to all of you for accepting me as I am.

    • jeepjeff

      Functional First. Fashionable Accidentally. That's the way I roll.

  • OA5599

    Faraday suit.
    [youtube MWPTy8TWyx4 youtube]

  • jeepjeff


    On my wife. Who actually does know regular expressions and uses them professionally. So you should stand back.

    And seriously, fuck What Not To Wear. Ruining a perfectly good Geek Grrl. This is what makes me hate TV.

    • CaptianNemo2001

      I need to re install CAD and make some art up…

    • Deartháir

      We're actually getting close to being ready to run with a starter batch of T-shirts. Now I just have to get the girl who designed them to actually send me vector art of the images so I have something high-res enough to use for them.

  • I work in a pretty nerdy field, but I've never been comfortable being out in public in clothes that are less formal than business casual. I'm perfectly comfortable being much more dressed up, but people would give me a hard time if I wore a tie to work.

    I'm trying to get out of the academic world and into the corporate one. In many ways, I suspect I will feel more comfortable there.

    • jeepjeff

      Just as a warning: I've been made fun of for wearing a tie to an interview (by my future boss; during the interview). California corporations tend not to be particularly dressy. 😉

      • The jobs are not in California, but a tie would still be overdressed. At least I won't be the unusually well-dressed person.

        • jeepjeff

          It's definitely different in other parts of the country. When the California contingent visited the Boston office of my company the first time, you could tell who was from which coast. Only one of us brought a button up shirt, and rather than dressy, it came off as "Logger Chic" (and it will come as no surprise to you to find out that that was me).

          • I knew it was you before I got to the left parenthesis.

            The jobs are in Texas. One thing I wonder is how neighbors will react to my use of a lacquered straw hat while working outdoors. Here, people think it's a little odd, but they understand once I explain how effective they are. There, people will either think it's normal or they'll call me a drugstore cowboy.

          • jeepjeff

            All the Texans I've met are super polite, and probably wouldn't think twice about you wearing a lacquered straw hat. I wouldn't worry about it. The likely effect of moving to Texas would be having to explain your choice of headgear less often.

  • Baron Von Danger

    Roy had the best shirts
    [youtube nn2FB1P_Mn8 youtube]

  • wolfie

    Reality TV is just one of the many reasons that I have "rabbit ears" able to pick up the local news,and no cable or dish. I became irritated just reading your account of a reality show.Damn people would have us all dancing to the cookie cutter tune they play.

  • Simona

    Hey, Simona here. (no really… its me. I don't know how to prove it though, so I guess you'll just have to live with the mysteries produced by the internet.)

    Anyway, I saw your post and liked it! Thanks for all the compliments, its nice to hear from people who appreciate true nerds! (I'm a nerd, not a geek. They had me explain the difference, but it didn't make the cut I guess) I had a lot of fun on the show and I think its hilarious that a lot of people might not have understood some of my math/science comments. I wasn't talking about anything terribly complicated! (We could discuss generating functions or next-gen sequencing if we want to get complicated…)

    I also wanted to say that I don't think that they were trying to tell me that nerdy clothes are immature. In fact, they made me a pi necklace which I wear all the time now. I think their point was more the sizes of my clothes were too big, and that the whole outfits were sort of young. I think (although cannot confirm) that they would be happy if I were to get a thinkgeek shirt in the 'babydoll' style in a size that actually fits me, and if I wore it with jeans that fit, a belt, nice shoes, a sweater or jacket… ie, if I actually put together an outfit with a nerd shirt that fits, rather than grabbing whatever jeans and T-shirt appear first in my drawers.

    Anyway, I'm loving all these shirts people are posting, so maybe I'll get some to augment my new wardrobe 😛

    • Hi Simona!! Welcome to Atomic Toasters!! Have a look around, grab yourself an intensedebate account and join the fun! The place is pretty random and eclectic. And sometimes funny as hell too.

      Nerd chicks rule!!

    • Deartháir

      How about I vouch for you; having taken a peek behind-the-scenes… yup, it's Simona. That's kinda awesome, thanks for stopping by. How does it feel to be a minor celebrity all of a sudden? As for your nerd-versus-geek distinction, I'm not sure you're being 100% fair to yourself. Let's say, perhaps, "nerd with geeky tendencies"? After all, this photo is on the Wikipedia page under "geek"…
      <img src="; width="500">

      I think perhaps the thing that bothered me the most about your episode was that… honestly, you didn't look anywhere near bad enough that you deserved to be on WNTW. This is from a guy whose geekery extends into fashion. I could go on at length about how to pair a men's tie to his shirt, and how it should be tied to compliment the lapels of the suit he's chosen, blah blah. And how a pair of shoes should either perfectly pair with a belt and tie combination, or not pair at all with the maximum contrast… etc etc etc…

      No, I'm straight, why do you ask?

      As far as I could see from the episode, they selected you because you're a nerd, not because you're a fashion faux-pas. And that's discrimination! I'd round up a posse with torches and pitchforks, but we're going raiding on Diablo III in an hour or two, so now's not a good time.

      As Pete said above, welcome to AtomicToasters. While there is a bit of a military bias in the last little while, I suspect this might be the kind of site you'd like. Stick around, we'd love for you to join us.

      • Simona

        Being a minor celebrity has been interesting, I'm enjoying it but I'll also be glad when things are totally back to normal. Also I have to point out that the last 9 and 7 on that car are swapped. Awkward. (I have a hunch I messed up pi towards the end of where I was reciting it on the show, which is also somewhat awkward.)

        Thanks for not thinking I dressed horribly beforehand! I agree, I don't think I was too bad. In fact, I thought (and my lab agreed) that I fit in pretty well with academia. I know a lot of people (probably about 50% of my friends, at least) disagree with you though. However, I don't mind the makeover, or the opportunity to be a proud nerd on TV!

        I'll definitely check out the site, nerds rule!

        • Deartháir

          I find a good rule of thumb is never to criticize someone's fashion or style unless you yourself are absolutely perfect in that regard. It doesn't stop me from criticizing, but it is a good rule of thumb. You know, in an abstract sense.

          If you decide you'd like to stick around, sign up for an account at, and sign in with that. That'll get you those awesome points you see beside all our regulars' names. Those points can then be redeemed for fabulous prizes!

          And by "fabulous prizes", we mean "absolutely nothing".

          • skitter

            But just the way you framed your rule of thumb is what makes it so infuriating. Fashion and style are most a popularity contest, and I would say strictly a matter of taste. I have a big problem with anyone thinking that there are perfect or correct things to like and dislike when it comes to personal tastes. Because then all it takes is thinking that you know better than someone with different taste, and subjecting them to arbitrary rules that are rarely reasonable and never explained. And if prefer a more conservative cut, or sandals that are not in vogue, I get the insulted tone that lets someone saying "It's OK," make it clear that it's not. But I'm the one that's been disrespected, and had to fight off attacks on my right to my own feelings on what I do or don't like. If I liked what you wore, I would wear it myself.

            If you're fashion conscious, you would probably hate the things I would pick out. The feeling is mutual. The trick is, I don't hate your clothes on you, even if I would never wear them.

          • Deartháir

            That's kind of where I was trying to go with that, but I couldn't word it right, so I finally just made it flippant. As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as being “right” in regards to fashion. That's why I disapprove of WNTW, because they declare themselves arbiters of “good” and “bad” in regards to style.

    • I keep writing about space stuff hoping someone gives me a left over rocket. Dirty Hair writes about a Simona and she shows up. Seriously, there is no justice!

      Oh, welcome to our little corner of the interwebs, Simona! I hope you enjoy your stay.

      • Why didn't you say so? Send me your shipping address and I'll start collecting used Estes engines from my students for you.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    10x1Simona Dalin01.01.2013
    Episode season and number because nobody else thought to post it.
    Nerd and Geek lady's are very hard to locate at times.
    I can count all of the ones I have personally met on 2 hands.
    History interested lady's is even harder as I have only counted 5.

  • These are the most awesomest geek clothes ever.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Super spouse keeps yelling at me to stop going outside like that, but I think she's being unfair. THESE people get to go outside…

    <img src=""&gt;

    • skitter

      This needs cargo pockets, flip mittens, and my business logo.

    • CaptianNemo2001

      I would not be caught dead or alive in that. Simple T shirt and decent jeans is all I need.

      • But, giant pajamas…

        • CaptianNemo2001

          Need to stay in bed. I will, however, wear sweats around all day and even outside briefly.

          • But that's entirely the point. If I bungee a pillow to my head, I've essentially taken my bed with me.

    • SSurfer321

      I have a yellow suit similar to that. TheProfessor makes me wear it when I spill stuff in the lab.

  • SSurfer321