Don We Now Our Nerdy Apparel

Weird S.B. Suggests a Do-It-Yourself Christmas for the Geeky Set

Princess Leia's famous gold bikini.

Last week, Weird S.B. took a look at some of the weirdest ways to get into the holiday spirit. Now that we’re there, it’s time to think about gifts – and in an uncertain economy, custom-made presents can be the best. They’re personal and sometimes cheaper – and in this case, both completely weird and nerdy, 100 percent wearable and fashionable, and with patterns and materials available online.

When the average person thinks about nerdy obsessions, one of the first things to come to mind is Star Trek. Now, DVDs and memorabilia make cool gifts, no doubt, but for the true fanatic, there’s the sew-it-yourself costume kit. Spanning the entire Star Trek franchise, from the original series to Voyager, patterns sold at will allow any fan to dress to impress. Perhaps the most fun of the patterns available is the dress uniform worn by Counselor Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. This outfit, which fits like wallpaper and dips in all the right places, is the Star Trek fanboy’s ultimate wet dream; any woman wearing it will immediately go from a five to a perfect 10 – if she’s trying to attract Trekkies, at least.

But, you ask, what if I’m secretly in love with a Star Wars fanatic? While George Lucas hasn’t taken the time to provide Star Wars costume patterns to the world like Gene Roddenberry and his heirs have done, the fans have found a way. Various patterns for the making of costumes from all three Star Wars movies (and also those other three abominations Lucas tried to pass off as Star Wars a few years ago – I won’t mention them again here), have been diligently created and uploaded to the Web. The best by far, and the most strikingly alluring, is of course the gold bikini worn by Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi. Featuring a strategically placed bit of red fabric, possibly added to the costume design to dodge a higher MPAA rating for the film, this bikini has a fan following probably equal to the entire male fan base of the Star Wars films in total.

Doctor Who (Tom Baker), wearing his iconic scarf.

Leia’s bikini might be a popular item, and female fans of the Star Wars universe have certainly gone to great lengths to replicate it. But for sheer obsessive attention to detail, nothing equals the painstaking research done by Doctor Who fans in search of the perfect scarf. For those not in the know – or for sci-fi viewers familiar only with the new series being aired now – the best years of the British show’s run are generally acknowledged to be those featuring Tom Baker as the eponymous Doctor. His trademark costume item, an impossibly long striped scarf, is something of a Holy Grail of sartorial nerddom – which is why a group of fans set up

At this Web site, any knitter can find full instructions for the making of the famous scarf, including recommended yarn, photographs of both the original and successful copies, diagrams, and a breakdown of the differences between the scarves worn from season to season. Prefer a more monochrome look? Try the Season 18 scarf. Want the classic? Seasons 12-14 might be the way to go. Either way, there’s just barely time for the industrious knitter to turn one of these out for the nerdiest person on their holiday shopping list.

Just don’t wear it with the gold bikini; that would be a fashion faux pas.

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