“Normal” affectations, like being a businessperson, or a sports enthusiast, have well-defined guideposts to sartorial excellence. Even with those guideposts, entire channels of mainstream media exist to feed advice about classic and changing couture to the masses. Sadly, an informal sampling indicates that no such guidance exists for the more nerd-inclined among the population. A long course of ethanol-reinforced research has convinced us that there is, in fact, a Nerd Style Sensei out there. Perhaps he lives in a reclusive place atop Mount Fuji with other great gurus; perhaps he simply spends his time in a dive bar quaffing whiskey and water. Wherever he lives, he sure does know a bit about style. Therefore, starting today, we will consult the Nerd Style Sensei with these weighty Nerd Style questions!
Dear Nerd Style Sensei: I have recently acquired a T-shirt that is extremely funny and witty. But I worry that my non-nerd friends simply won’t “get it.” How should I quickly explain the joke so that they can share in my merriment? – Funny Chest
Dear Funny Chest,
Yes, yes. The cake is a lie. Ho, ho,ho. I’m going to begin this response by making the conventional assumption that you do, in fact, hope to have sex on at least one occasion in your life. With that as a guidepost, you should observe the following rules when wearing a “funny one-liner” T-shirt:
– If you have to explain the joke, you should pass.
– Similarly, avoid T-shirts that reference poor hygiene or lifestyle choices that would cause a reasonable person to wonder if you are now or have ever been a psychopath, sociopath, or stalker.
– In fact, “one-liner” shirts should be avoided entirely unless they also manage to have some visual appeal. Don’t trust your nerd intuitions here. Ask someone for feedback, and continue doing so until you can routinely anticipate the response correctly.
Do you have questions for the Nerd Style Sensei? Post them in comments here, or email them to tachevert (at) worldiv (dot) com.