Truly Geekchic: Hero Within & Elhoffer Design

Took an unintended hiatus from blogging because the summer months always get really busy for me, but I hope to be back somewhat more regularly - at least until Comic Con hits.

And since it is the season of the biggest geek convention around, it's the perfect time to talk about 2 amazing geek fashion brands. One of them just launched last week, and the other has been making noise around the web since last year. What they have in common is their subtle yet wonderfully geeky and chic designs. I'm so excited to feature them and their latest collections.


If you've been online searching for SDCC tips, you've likely stumbled upon Tony Kim a.k.a. Crazy4ComicCon and his helpful posts. His newest venture that just launched last week is the menswear brand HERO WITHIN, which offers "heroic style for everyday geeks."

From the press release: Whether it's Superman, Batman or your favorite DC Comics(TM) hero, we uniquely integrate iconic symbols into the construction of each garment, creating a subtle yet bold statement. This innovative approach will redefine how men express fandom.

Here is what Tony has to say about Hero Within:

“As fanboys, we’ve grown up settling for limited and boring nerd style- graphic tees and hoodies. While our passion hasn’t changed, our fashion needs have. HERO WITHIN apparel was designed to be sophisticated while shamelessly embracing our geeky side. We hope everyday you can celebrate your hero within.”

Full disclaimer, I was at the meeting where Hero Within was first discussed, and I loved not only the idea of a menswear collection that wasn't based on the ubiquitous graphic tee but also the message behind it - that geekery can be sophisticated and all of us can be heroes. In fact, Hero Within is dedicated to supporting and inspiring local foster youth through comic books. It's amazing to see that idea I heard about as a realized menswear collection now, officially licensed by DC Comics(TM) too!

I'm so excited to see where Tony takes this and hope to be able to support this endeavor more in the future.

HeroWithinStore.com will be open for Pre-Orders from July 6th to July 31st 2016 (or until capacity is reached). The store will reopen at a future date. If you're headed to San Diego Comic Con, you'll be able to see the entire collection in person. Check the website for location and details.

Keep up with Hero Within on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: @HeroWithinInc.


Unlike with Tony, I don't know Catherine Elhoffer, but I am familiar with her creative and super stylish geek designs. I think her Captain Phasma-inspired dress was the first one to really make me pay attention, and I only later discovered that a number of my favorite We Love Fine styles were designed by her as well.

Any of you who follow me on Instagram know that I don't shy away from wearing my fandoms loud and proud in bright colors and bold prints, but I also love "inspired by" designs. It's so cool when clever color-blocking or thoughtful silhouettes are enough to evoke a character or fandom. Catherine's Elhoffer Design has this type of fashion locked down. Just look at these Star Wars dresses!

So given how much I love Catherine's designs and how much I adore a certain musical, you can imagine how excited I was to hear Elhoffer Design's latest collection would be Hamilton-inspired!!

Affectionately called the "Hamilgown" collection, it includes a mix of full dresses and tunic tops that are faux 18th century style coats.

From the press release: Expanding her geek fashion detailing, these pieces are more elaborate than any of her previous geek-inspired works with fabric-covered and metal buttons, cuffed sleeves, pocket flaps above side-seam pockets, epaulettes, lace detailing, and more. While some of the dresses may look like coats, it’s an optical illusion due to topstitching and asymmetrical patterning.The entire collection was handmade by Catherine at Elhoffer Design as a love letter to the musical that has changed the world.

Tessa Netting as Alexander Hamilton (https://twitter.com/tessanetting)
Milynn Sarley as General Washington, Laurens, and Peggy Schuyler (https://twitter.com/milynnsarley)
Anastasia Washington as Angelica Schuyler and Mulligan (https://twitter.com/AnastasiaW)
Susan Damon as Eliza Schuyler (https://twitter.com/bloosusan)
Aabria Lipscomb as Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson (https://twitter.com/quiddie)
Armani Jones as Aaron Burr (https://twitter.com/armanijones_)
Sabina Ibarra as Ensemble (https://www.instagram.com/la_spectre/)

Ensemble Corsets courtesy of Castle Corsetry (https://www.instagram.com/castlecorsetry/)

My favorite piece is the blue Continental Army coat-inspired tunic. Buttons for days!

Check out previous collections (and maybe order something for yourself) at ElhofferDesign.com.
Keep up with ElhofferDesign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @elhofferdesign.


To hear more about both of these fashion brands in their own word, listen to Tony's latest podcast with Catherine Elhoffer - in which they discuss their fashion journeys.

Looking forward to whatever geeky looks these guys come up with next!

Q4U: What do you guys think of these collections? Do you want more subtle geek clothing?