How To Dress Well: Velma Dinkley From Scooby-Doo

The animated embodiment of geek-chic proves it's possible to look cool in orange turtlenecks and giant glasses.

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It seems the stress of a new university semester and the inevitable return to grueling academic life post holiday bliss induces a similar brain snap in students everywhere. All of a sudden, in a rally of psychosomatic protest, students forget how to a) get clothes and b) apply them to their bodies.

A task that was simple, if not automatic, just days beforehand — survey floordrobe, pick item of clothing out of floordrobe, conduct a brief but necessary sniff test, don and go about life like a winner — proves all to difficult when it’s added to the pressures of turning up to class on time-ish and perfecting a polished listening-but-not face. Understandably, in this state of momentary paralysis-en-masse, the stumped student body reaches out to a silently agreed upon figurehead, whose style they can blindly copy for fear of otherwise rocking up to class in their birthday suits.

Perhaps it’s her inter-seasonal marriage of a warm woolly turtleneck with a mini skirt that makes her an attractive beacon of style as winter turns to spring, or perhaps its just her ability to solve mysteries that speaks to our inner Sherlock, but this semester there is a distinct air of Scooby-Doo’s Velma Dinkley floating around the universities.

Considered the brains of the Scooby gang, Velma’s look embodies geek-chic: her hair sits thick around her face in a no-fuss brown bob, and her black-framed glasses are an accessory reserved for the academic elite (or those afflicted with a serious case of the ironics). Her pleated mini skirt and Mary Janes are reminiscent of school uniforms everywhere, and while at times they may threaten to drag Velma into that ever exploited realm of ‘accidental sexiness’ that comes from putting a bookworm in knee highs (thanks Britney), they also remind us that Velma, educated in Morse code and ancient viking writing, is indeed a student of life.


Girl Scout turned Assistant Research Scientist for NASA and Mystery Inc affiliate, Velma has little time to engage in the frivolous matters of fashurn and, accordingly, her attire rarely deviates from the trademark orange and red ensemble, which is another attractive trait to a time-poor and, well, poor-poor student population.

If you happen to be one of the few not already imitating her look and wish to, start with the glasses; Hoyts offers them free with every 3D film. And surely you know someone throwing an ‘Ugly Sweater’ party this weekend? I suggest you go to it. In regards to the skirt and socks, consider taking up netball for a season or make a bee line to American Apparel. The shoes can be found at your local Clark Rubber outlet or simply stolen from innocent school children. Finally, work on a catchphrase or two of your own like Velma’s “Jeepers!”, “Jinkies!” or “My glasses! I can’t see without my glasses!”

Truffle corduroy skirt from American Apparel: $61
Orange turtleneck sweater from Polyvore: $26
Mary Jane shoes from ASOS: $32.60
Ray-Ban glasses from Optical Superstore: $158

Hannah Wolff is a writer currently studying Art Theory. The twittersphere confounds her.