It may seem unbelievable, but nerd glasses are riding high in the fashion stakes – and not for the first time! The nerd has been an iconic figure in popular culture since the 1950s, when the term first began to be widely used. Whereas in the past, the character of the nerd has been largely looked upon as a social outcast, now these characters are often the stars of the show!
The taped nerd glasses have even, over time, gained fashion currency, with oversized, thick-rimmed specs regularly coming back into vogue. This year, however, there’s a new nerd glasses trend, and it looks here to stay. Find out more below – but first, a look at some of our favorite nerds from the big screen and a whirlwind tour of all things nerdish.
Movie Nerds We Love Best
The nerd has long been a staple character of many movies and tv shows. While, in the past, a source of ridicule, they’ve now come into their own and are often popular characters in their own right. Here are the best-loved nerds and why we’re in awe of them.
McLovin (aka Fogell) – Superbad
Fogell doesn’t have many scenes in Superbad and yet has gained cult status. The bespectacled Fogell (who also sports a very questionable hairstyle) decides to get a photo ID, giving himself the tag McLovin – no last name.
Peter Parker – Spiderman
One of the original taped nerd glasses-wearing, clumsy, super-brained underdogs that it’s impossible not to root for, Parker has a charm that’s all his own. And while it may be Spiderman that sweeps women off their feet (literally), it’s Parker that ultimately ends up winning Mary Jane’s heart.
Data – The Goonies
The hero of young nerds everywhere, Data is one of the key characters in this 1980s cult movie. Data gets the group out of all sorts of trouble with his various inventions, creating booby traps and generally being super smart.
Clark Kent – Superman
In another case where we’re backing the nerdy protagonist a little more than his superhero alter-ego, Kent was instrumental in putting oversized, thick-rimmed specs on the fashion map. Sort of.
Rick Moranis – Everything Film with Rick Moranis
This actor has got the taped nerd-glasses wearing, bumbling nerd look so locked down that it’s kind of his specialism. In most films the actor appears in, he’s playing a variant of the nerd. A great example is the 1989 classic Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Kat Stratford – 10 Things I Hate About You
And it’s not just the guys that get to play the nerd. In this movie from 1999 (a re-telling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, the lead character is smart, abrasive, and doesn’t have much time for the opposite sex. And we love how she ends up with the coolest guy in school anyway.
The Evolution of the Nerd
The nerd first appeared in popular culture in the 1950s and was generally portrayed as being male and brainy but something of a social outcast.
Life magazine covered the subject of the nerd in a 1985 issue, listing their standout characteristics as being of adolescent age and having a propensity for wearing high-waisted pants, thick nerd glasses repaired with tape on the bridge, and carrying around a visible ‘nerd pack’ containing such essential items as a pocket calculator and plastic rule. According to the magazine, the nerd tended to be socially – and often physically – awkward, vulnerable, but well-equipped!
By the 1980s, the nerd character had transformed into a hapless and unlikely hero. The rise of computer culture and digital entrepreneurs helped shift societal views of the nerd. The nerd character has, in an unexpected turnaround, won acceptance and the hearts of the audience,
How to Wear the Nerd Look in 2023
As we said at the top, the nerd look is making waves once more! But this time, with a twist. In 2023, it’s not just about blocky taped nerd specs with thick rims. This year, clear glasses are hot and give classic nerd glasses a contemporary edge.
The best thing about this eyewear choice is the fact that they match every face shape and skin tone, and there’s no need to worry about frame color clashing with your outfit. If you’ve been keen to wear the recent oversized styles but have found they overwhelm your face, clear glasses are a more subtle way to rock the look.
Clear glasses come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles and can be fitted with prescription lenses if required. And if you’re hitting the beach, there’s no need to compromise your look: opt for a pair with tinted lenses to take your cutting-edge nerdy vibe through the summer months.
Connecting with your Inner Nerd
It’s not just about wearing taped-nerd glasses, high-waisted trousers, and not just knowing what a protractor is, but actually owning one. Everyone should connect with and embrace their inner nerd: it’s about celebrating the quirky things and habits that make you uniquely yourself and celebrating these things in others. So connect with your inner McLovin, Kat Stratford, or Clark Kent, and fly your nerd flag proudly!