Look smart // How to

Geek chic rules for the back-to-school season. Embrace your inner sexy librarian and impress your colleagues with these “look smart” picks

By Lea Zeltserman

On Sunday September 7th, 2008


Eye Glasses


Plastic $495, Metal $595, Josephson Opticians, 60 Bloor Street West, josephson.ca
The classic weapon in the academic arsenal, you can’t go wrong with a pair of glasses on your face. Thicker plastic frames will channel your inner librarian, or evoke the all-knowing professor with a thin metal frame.

Starwalker Resin Fountain Pen 
$460, Montblanc Boutique,
151 Bloor Street West;
Impress clients and colleagues alike with
a pen that practically oozes old-school sophistication. This cartridge fountain pen, made with resin and platinum, takes refills in shades from violet to sepia to blue-black. Start practising your penmanship.

Sony readerSony Reader Digital Book
$299, Sony Style stores: Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Shopping Centre
A statement of claim on the subway? Check.
A Word doc of legalese during a family reunion? Check. With the Sony Reader, you will not only look smart, you’ll be smart by the time you reach the office — just slip it into your bag and go.

The Elements of Style, Illustrated, Strunk & White
$18, Type Books,
883 Queen Street West
and Book City,
1430 Yonge Street
A bookcase filled with hefty, scholarly tomes goes a long way in convincing the world of your smarts. Put this slim little number — the go-to grammar reference for nearly a century — into practice, and they’ll know you’re not faking either. As Rogers once discovered,
a misplaced comma is a costly comma.

Desktop Accessories 
$28-$72, Pottery Barn; potterybarn.ca
A messy desk signals a messy mind, but with Pottery Barn’s Bedford Collection desktop accessories, you’ll always looks smart. Comes in espresso stain and black; mix and match, or get the whole set.

Olympus Voice RecorderLS-10 Olympus Voice Recorder 
$450, Carbon Computing, 772 Queen Street East and Steve’s Music Store, 415 Queen Street West
Forget the clunky dictaphone — today’s digital voice recorders multi-task while they stave off carpal tunnel syndrome. Record a client interview or dictate a letter, then upload it and hit send — voilà, your instructions just popped up in your assistant’s inbox.

Desk lamp
$146, Union Lighting and Furnishings, 1491 Castlefield Avenue; unionlightingandfurnishings.com
A modern take on an old classic, this desk lamp, with its oil-brushed bronze, adjustable arm, and glass lamp cover, will fit into any office and always ups the “I know of what I speak” quotient. A compact fluorescent bulb will show off your green smarts, too.