The last 20 years of my life – from about senior year of high school until now – I have made a concerted effort not to look like a nerdy weirdo doofus head. It’s been a hard road, I assure you, but I’ve finally come out the other side the of dweeb door a better dorkus. And now YaJoe can help us all make the trek into non-nerditute.
Created by ExOfficio founder Joe Boldan the company makes cool clothes for “tech guys.” The pants and jackets are full of pockets yet are slim fit enough to look professional and the undergarments wick away the sweat of a thousand code checkins and stand-up meetings.
“Rather than basing its clothing on the subjective fashion trends, looks and style, Ya Joe bases its product on the analytic characteristics of apparel that tech guys actually care about. Is it comfortable, easy to care for and functional within a tech guys lifestyle?” said Boldan.
The concept is simple: Boldan and the team wanted to take the tech dorks like me out of Banana Republic where they would inevitably buy some Merino monstrosity and give them a clear path to future success.
Along with designer Aaron Hicks, Boldan built an inexpensive line of nice clothes for work and play guaranteed to reduce the number of swirlies associated with the average workday.
The products include cargo pants without the huge pockets and light dress shirts that don’t feel like cotton garbage bags. I tried a few products including a weird trench coat that made me feel like a Blade Runner without any of the animal magnetism which was, arguably, a start.
Boldan researched tech guys when he taught workplace politics at the University of Washington.
“Through this experience in teaching I became fascinated in understanding the characteristics of guys in tech and what made them so good at what they do. From this understanding, I believed the analytic thought process that makes these guys so creative in all things tech, diminished their ability to ‘feel’ the biased nature of fashion/style/look.”
While dressing a dweebhole up in fancy clothes won’t make him a Backstreet Boy, Ya Joe hopes that the clothing line will help geeks feel better about themselves as they do geek things like order food at restaurants, meet people in bars, and enjoy RPGs. It’s a long shot, fellow Teenage Dirtbags, but maybe there’s a light at the end of the spazoid tunnel.