It's back-to-school season, and even if you're not actually headed back to the classroom, you can certainly dress like you are. Geek chic has been having a moment for the past five years, thanks in large part to industry favorites like J.Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons and photographer Terry Richardson, whose so-dorky-they're-cool glasses and slouchy cardigans had us rummaging through our grandfathers' closets. We've seen everyone from Chloe Sevigny to Dakota Fanning looking ready for their second period calculus exam.
Channelling your inner nerd in bow-ties and suspenders went from avoid-at-all-costs to absolutely fabulous, and the new Madewell Style Guide is proof that the trend is still on a high. Fashion icon (and Stylelist fave), Solange Knowles posed in buttoned-up-to-there oxford shirts and slouchy cardigans in a nod to nerds. Our advice is to take the trend and make it your own: Whether you're inspired by Diane Keaton's bookish character in "Annie Hall," or Alex P. Keaton's pleated pants (hello, "Family Ties!"), the key is mixing in some alluring elements to the typical nerd ensemble. This combination has a few benefits (besides possibly landing you a spot on the best-dressed list) -- the geeky elements can tone down an overly sexy look, and vice versa.
Here, the five ingredients to nerding it up -- no pocket protector needed.
1. Cardigans are cool again. Especially if they're from your boyfriend/brother/grandpa's closet. Big and slouchy is the way we like them, but make sure your pants are sleek and your heels are high for a bit of sex appeal.
2. Oxford shirts go with just about everything. But they have to be buttoned all the way up to your neck. Wear with the aforementioned cardigan and glasses, add a statement necklace and you're good to go.
3. Pleated trousers are no longer just for lawyers. Beware of billowy pleats though: Make sure they don't add volume around your waist. Look for a cropped pair that will show off your ankles ... and your shoes.
5. Accent with accessories. Suspenders, bow-ties, flat Oxford laceups and knee-high socks should be thought of as the salt and pepper of your wardrobe. They will add flavor, but use them sparingly.
Here, 20 celebrities show us how to get our geek on, plus a few shoppable options.