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This article was published in full in the New Orleans Advocate.

You are surrounded by Geeks; you just don’t recognize them.

Geeks no longer dress like TV’s Steve Urkel, with such sartorial giveaways as high-water pants and taped eyeglasses. If anything, the tech-savvy, fashionable young people we might call Geeks, or Techies, have played a pivotal role in the loosening of professional dress codes.

Thanks to the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates wannabes among us, Geek is now up there with Gaga. The Mark Zuckerbergs of the world rule. (Or at least they know the operating system — OS — that still daunts many of us.) But little about the way today’s Geeks dress gives their techno-centric passions away. Their wardrobes are as individual as their passwords.

We asked four New Orleans-area Techies to share their sense of professional style and reveal their sources and their fashion icons.

For the only male in the group, Joaquin Phoenix’s wardrobe in the Oscar-nominated film “Her” serves as inspiration.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.11.35 AMJustin Shiels, 28, digital strategist and founder of INVADE (

How would you describe your style of dress?

Most recently I’ve been interested in anachronistic style. I have an Afro circa the ’70s; I wear a gold Casio watch from the ’80s; and I love basic essentials in ridiculous patterns.

Where do you like to shop?

Locally, I shop at Friend, Buffalo Exchange, Funky Monkey, Zara (and) Red White and Blue Thrift Store.

How important do you feel your wardrobe is to your profession?

Wardrobe is a great way to visibly show personal identity. It’s a physical way to brand yourself.

Do you have a trademark item in your wardrobe, something that is your signature?

See question 1!

How long does it take you to get dressed in the morning?

It takes about 30 minutes to actually wake up and 30 minutes to shower and get dressed.

Do you prefer dressing up, or dressing down?

For work I tend to dress down, but I like to go all out for events.

Do you have a fashion muse?

I’m really inspired by Waris Ahluwalia (Indian-American designer/actor).

What’s the most boring thing about the way you dress?

Men’s clothing can be boring. You kind of always know it’s going to be a button-down with pants (especially if you’re going to an event.)

The fun part is that you can switch it up.

What’s the edge in your style of dress?

I have a knack for finding something special that starts a conversation.