Monday, 14 November 2011

Casual Cosplay: The Theory of The Big Bang's T-Shirts


I felt like mentioning something a little different today. I am a fan of The Big Bang Theory, and whether you like the shows content or not, I feel it does something for costuming and fashion that few shows do:

Championing the geeky t-shirt!

From the earliest blossom of the ‘emo’ trend back in the early naughties to the current (or teenies…?) trends for late 80s and 90s styling- the nerdy t-shirt is something that has been rapidly pushed to the forefront.

Clark Kent- the original geeky t-shirt?

Of course being a bit of a comic fiend I certainly appreciate the many shirts of the lead character Sheldon Cooper, played by fan favourite Jim Parsons.  Sheldon, a theoretical physicist, is the definitive geek and this is reflected in his wardrobe. The shirts range from regularly occurring portraits of heroes The Flash and Green Lantern to geometry themed, science fiction references and retro gaming. In fact the cult of the Sheldon tee has even spawned several websites Sheldonshirts is particularly nice as it provides many links to vendors selling similar tees so you can buy your own.


The shows use of geeky shirts has also lead to the creation of a large franchise of Big Bang Theory t-shirts so that the Sheldons among us can share the love. A particularly iconic/ironic choice is the ‘Bazinga!’ shirt often featuring variations in colours and styles (my favourites are those that replicate The Flash t-shirts Sheldon wears so often) and sometimes even featuring Sheldon’s face (available here).


Other than t-shirts the show is a haven for alternatives to traditional costuming, the five main characters are very stylised, Leonard Hofstader (Johnny Galeck) is a typical casual geek, Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) has his track jackets and patterned jumpers, Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) preppy casuals and Howard Wolowitz’s (Simon Helberg) has a constant 70s vibe. Even the more recent additions to the cast, Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette Rostenkowski, have very distinctive styles and there is excellent potential for group costumes.

An extra added bonus for this programme is that they love cosplay (especially as the Justice League) from the episode where they all dress as The Flash for Halloween to the ‘The Justice League Recombination’ where they dress as the full team for the comic shop cosplay competition, and as a molecular biologist I appreciate the use of the word recombination! (I also mentioned Penny’s Wonder Woman outfit here).

So quick he can be in several places at once!

A particular favourite moment features Sheldon dressed as the Doppler effect and miming noises at confused party guests who think he’s a zebra.


On the whole, even though the show is filled with stereotypes and gimmicks I find that the portrayal of geeks is handled with a particular affection that I can’t help but appreciate (even my extremely nerdy fiancĂ© finds the show amusing!) so I assume they must be doing something right.

The Big Bang Theory season 5 can be found on channel4 OD now and airs on CBS in the United States.

Just to finish I though I’d recommend a few places where you can find some geeky t-shirts of your own: Snorg TeesThink Geek and Cafe Press

Happy Dresscapades!

1 comment:

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