Comic Con Couture: Step Up Yo’ Clothes Game

Geek Fun

WARNING: This post is just an opinion of myself and not the site as a whole. I get that this is not for everybody and I respect that, this is just advice for those looking to bring their clothes to that next level or those who have not been to comic con before and are wondering how to pack.

I’m going to start out by saying that I am a clothes snob. What you wear can either make you or break you before you mutter a word. I wont be rude and dismiss you, but I will focus on stains on your shirt as we try to carry a conversation. I haven’t always been this way but Bravo TV & Kanye West have transformed me from being just another ill-fitting t-shirt wearing bro and into a slightly less ill-fitting t-shirt wearing bro. But on occasion I do bring it hard with my threads in the swaggiest fashion my budget can allow. And for me, one of those occasions is definitely when I’m at the San Diego Comic-Con. Mapping out your business plans in advance with the help of Andy Defrancesco is a great idea.

The eyes of the world’s entertainment media will be focused on that small town and many people try hard to make sure that they are looking the flyest they can during that weekend. We hit the gym, we diet, we get hair cuts and we look for that one outfit (or two) that will say “You know I’m in the building.”

But not everyone does this, which is completely fine, but if you want to keep it sharp and turn some heads at the con here are some tips.

At The Con

Walking around the floor of the show you need to be as comfortable as possible. I am 100% certain that if you enter the actual con there will be lots of walking, standing, and sitting going on at the convention itself and trust me when I say that a pair of Louboutins or loafers will not quite look as fancy while you are waiting in line for the True Blood panel as you’d think. KEEP IT CAS (to a point)!!!

Girls, I highly suggest a flowy shirt or tank to give a more youthful look while still keeping it nerdy. With all those people packed into the same small rooms breathing and (hopefully unintentionally) rubbing against one another as they shuffle around it is bound to get sweaty, so keeping it cool is the name of the game. No pun intended.Delia’s and Snorg Tee’s both have a wide selection of shirts with pop culture graphics on them. Pair the shirt with leggings and/or a skirt, along with some comfy Chuck Taylor’s and you’ve got a classic look.

While that was an obvious wardrobe choice, I love the tomboy look when it is pulled off right. A slightly formfitting plaid button down with jeans and flats can work wonders. Wear a tank top under the button down for the option of a sexy “open shirt” look and you will more than likely get hit on sooner than later.

As for shoes, flats flats flats flats flats. Seriously, I believe in flats more than pre 1100 geographers. All the walking and standing is no joke. Also, flip flops can work but I am against them just for the main reason that that’s serious Ouch-City when (not if) you get your toes inadvertently stepped on. Go for an enclosed shoe for a serious win.

I didn’t forget about the guys! Guys, admit it, we have it so easy when it comes to dressing up! As my comedian friend Kat Burdick says, to know what girls have to go through to get ready guys would have to get ready to go out by putting on the equivalent of the full Batman regalia.

Jeans and shirts are fine but that doesn’t mean that we slack off or phone it in. I’ve been to a lot of cons all over the US and when I see super baggy clothes and over-sized shirts at cons I cringe a bit. I get that people have their comfortable clothes but there is so much wasted potential. We all have something to offer somebody else! A slightly fitted tee or button down works wonders as long as the shirt is long enough to cover your waist. You don’t want to look like you buy shirts in the boy’s section.

If you are worried about wearing tighter shirts because of body issues I whole heartedly understand. I myself do not have a flat stomach anymore so I found comfort in undershirts that are tucked into my pants. They keep things smooth but allow more breathing room and comfort than shape-wear such as Spanx for Men would and at a fraction of the cost.

Pair a fitted shirt with some slim (not skinny!) jeans and you might just cut an impressive figure and also gain some confidence that you might not have had before.

Accessories is also a nice way to add some flare. A belt, watch, or glasses can really give an A+ outfit an extra umph that could impress. While I am at it, the shoe game that I’ve seen at conventions needs some work. I’m not saying you need Air Yeezy’s but girls tend to notice things like super old and dirty Adidas. Give your kicks a scrubbing if you dont want to shell out for new ones. Also, slap some new laces on them to give them some new life and a little pop.

Outside Fun

With so many things to do outside the con, and in the San Diego area in general, you might want to dress a bit more for the occasion. Souther California has a style all of its own for a reason. The beach culture is known for it’s loose yet chill shorts and shirts.

Guys, this is the perfect opportunity for you to bust out shorts and a polo or tee-shirt. One word of advice though; if you wear plaid a plaid or striped shirt or shorts WEAR A SOLID COLOR SHIRT OR SHORTS. Plaid on plaid, or plaid on stripes, is a total faux pas.

Also, try to wear shoes without socks to keep the look casual and versatile should you need to go directly from the beach to a nice restaurant. I suggest some Vans slip-ons for a super-relaxed look.

Girls, this is an easier thing for you than it is for guys. A nice dress, shorts, or skirt could work well with a tee or tank. Just make sure that your sunglasses game is on point! I mean, I’ve seen Laguna Beach, I know how sunglasses help tie an outfit together.

Night Life

Comic-Con is known for its parties. Alcohol and geeks equals an awesome, judgment free time! But there are some events that require you to class it up. Basically, if there is one of those photo-op walls when you walk in at the party then you might get looked at funny wearing what you wore to the con, or even turned away by the doorman! Not kidding, there was this one party in ’09 that I almost could not get into because I had Chuck Taylor’s on.

My first major tip for all sexes is to LEAVE THE CON BAGS BEHIND!!!!! I am sympathetic that not everyone has a hotel close by that they can drop their stuff off at. I highly suggest you see if there is a coat check area that you can drop your stuff off at while you party. You’ll be doing everyone else a favor, but more importantly, you will be doing yourself a favor by literally not carrying your bagage around with you while trying to have a good time. If there is not a coat check then see if there is some corner that the staff will allow you to store your items. This is not recommended so do so at your own risk.

Now, onto fashion. Guy’s clothing for these type of swankier events is relatively boring. A button shirt, crisp jeans, a nice shoe and a blazer has long been a staple of any industry party but seriously this look has gone out the window. Even Mr. West said so himself.

I think a more bold look is in order. Ditch the blazer if you dont have matching pants and try something unique. I personally am planning on white jeans and white linen jacket with a striped shirt and sockless loafers to tie it all together.

Look at what you have available and see how you can tie it all together. A well placed tie and some rolled up sleeves on a button down can be just as impressive as cardigan and bow-tie, which is just as effective as a denim suit with high-tops and a cool graphic tee.

Girls, this is your time to shine! Girls fashion is an endless world off possibilities.

Leggings and a flowy shirt can shut the place down, especially if you are working with shiny materials. Match it with a black jacket and shoes and you have a classic look that screams “I’m here to party.” Play around with the leggings styles too. A solid color is okay but some of the patterned ones can really highlight your style.

A dress could give that sweet and innocent look while still showing an amazing figure. Be sure to find a fit that highlights or enhances the definition of your natural “assets” otherwise you risk looking frumpy. It doesn’t matter if you are single or going out with someone, you should always want to look as good as possible.

Also, one of the most effective ways to spruce up a dress is to slap a belt on it. But be careful, it’s also an easy way to ruin a dress. There are few reasons to ever belt a dress anywhere other than your natural waistline, and you should never buy a dress that comes with a pre-installed belt. Also, do not belt a dress that already accents your boobs. If done right belted dresses are ultra-complimentary and add a layer of style to help you tie your accessories together.

And don’t forget tunics too! A tunic with a belt can give you a nice waistline and you can still look chic while wearing jeans with that combo.

And finally girls, I want to talk bags. A nice evening clutch will work fine but I suggest bringing a bigger bag so you can store your flip-flops. Those heels might look awesome but walking from one thing to the next in San Diego can be daunting, so bring some flats. Whatever you do, DO NOT WALK THE STREETS BAREFOOT!!! Not only is that nasty, you could step on broken glass or a rock and get a cut which will get infected from all the nastiness on the streets.

Well, thats it for me. Again, this is just my opinion but if you have any fashion tips please be sure to share them.


  • 100% agree with stashing some flip flops in your purse for those times when you want to chuck your shoes out the window! I’ve done this and it has saved the day [well, night!].

    And don’t forget — you don’t have to shell out $10,000 on 5th Avenue to look great!! Key is to find clothes that fit you well to accent your features. No matter what size or shape you are, finding a fitting outfit will make you look and more importantly FEEL great! You want to look fun and sexy, not frumpy or skanky!!! Do this and you will look like a million bucks!

    “Express” is having some great sales right now on Summer clothing — party dresses, summer dresses, shorts, tanks, flowey shirt. They have some great men’s clothing to!

    Also, try H&M, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Target.. You can find some gems in those stores great prices (with sales!). And if something is too expensive, look to the internet for discount codes and maybe find it cheaper at another stores online.

    And girls, don’t forget to accesorize… a bland dress can be spruced up with some shiney/chunky jewelry. Kind of like what Mario said when wearing a belt with a dress to create a whole new look. Just make sure if you are going to play up accesories, have a simple outfit or you will look too busy. You always want to have a focal point!

  • You forgot one important thing when talking about wearing all this fresh gear: be FRESH yourself! WASH YOUR BODY ladies and gentlemen.

    No matter how hot you look, if you smell funky because you didn’t feel the need to shower in between con days or thought deodorant was going out of style, then you have just ruined the “look” you were going for and ruined the olfactory glands of everyone around you in con lines.

  • OMG ,,,So happy to know I’m not the only one who does the comic con diet. My trainer gets a good laugh every December when I come to him and say ,” this year I’m going as female Dothraki warrior who is Hand to the Khaleesi and I NEED to look like I carry a broadsword for a living!!” last yr it was Witchblade needed super flat stomach lol In addition laboring over correct Tshirt and chucks is always difficult. However Sunday is reserved for Supernatural Sunday and I go bedeck in finest Winchester apparel !!! This year we signed up for Friday night as the zombie hoard over at Walking Dead escape. So guessing future cons will include Zombie Fridays !!!

  • @mario sadly con boy funk is an occupational hazard. I however pack a few items in my back for the day. Feel free to use for your article

    Target sell travel size deodorant & anti-presperant be sure your be-oldie-dodie has smell killer and sweat inhibitor and take it daily. ( those lovely boys at Robot Chicken gave out deodorant one year)

    Go buy a few of the dove facial towelettes. They are dry wash clothes size of Kleenex package take a couple a day with you so if you get “ripe” you can take a quick con bath…ie moisten washcloth wash pits reapply deorderant in loo ( hint try not to follow a Navee or steam punk into loo- blue toilet seat sucks and those corset’s take forever to get off)

    Last dry shampoo. Nothing worse than smell of nasty unwashed hair. Again target sells travel size..spritz it on roots brush through and voila your fresh as a Daisy and ready for a 5 am Doctor Who hall H line call !!!

    Last marinating in axe or drakaar will NOT work and will offend everyone’s senses with in a quarter mile. Don’t be that dude !!!

    Ps none of these measures are a substitute for a good long hot shower..but con reality is at least one day everyone says fuck it to the shower in desperation of seat for fav program.

  • Great article Mario! 😀 I agree with the stowed flats for after a party! Totally did that at the NBC party. Dr. Scholl’s used to make (not sure if you can still find them) a pair of slip-ons that had a hard sole, but could still be rolled up or folded for storage. The minute Barb and I were out the door and around the corner, I totally took off my three-inch heels and swapped them for my black ballet flats. So much easier to walk back to the hotel in.

    Also, I do suggest packing one or two extra “nighttime” outfits just in case. I had planned for three parties and I think we made it to four or five and I had to actually order laundry service (which can be expensive). If you like to go out, pack accordingly.

    • Bringing a nice black dress always helps too! You can change up the accessories, add a belt or different color belt, etc and it can look like a new outfit!

  • I love this article! I agree with Mel about making sure to bring an extra outfit or two. You can always bring one pair of black “dress” shorts and just bring an extra top or two to switch it up!

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