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CASH OR CREDIT

Retro Specs

June 17, 2007|Melissa Magsaysay | Times Staff Writer

FORGET tattoos and bed head. Geek glasses are the rebel accessory showing up on everyone from indie rockers to fashion models.

Thick plastic glasses, trademarked by Buddy Holly in the 1950s, are on the noses of rockers such as Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and even actresses such as Kirsten Dunst and Drew Barrymore.

They've given a sexy-intellectual spin to recent runway collections for men and women. At Luella's spring 2007 show, models donned the quirky frames paired with the Mod-inspired shirt dresses and graphic trench coats. At the fall 2007 shows of Tommy Hilfiger and Corey Lynn Calter, the bespectacled muse was more schoolgirl. The specs' retro appeal has also fueled a run on Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.

Some of updates are slightly thinner, smaller and tortoise shell -- but the original clunky black classics are the ones to reach for. Just hold on to your wallet: Chrome Hearts and L.A. Eyeworks are making the basic frames for $595 and $320 respectively. Heaven help you if you need prescription lenses.

Fortunately, Zenni Optical offers black geek frames, which Holly himself might envy, for only $12.95 (at zennioptical.com, frame No. 3555).

And that's with the cost of the lenses, so there's money left over for tickets to your favorite concert this summer.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Nerd vs. Nerd

Old school geek or new beta male? A few hints:

Alcoholic Beverage of choice

Proto-nerd

Zima

Beta Male

Hendrick's Gin (rocks only)

Grooming products

Proto-nerd

Mennen

Beta Male

Baxter of California

Pop-Culture Stereotype

Proto-nerd

Urkel

Beta Male

Steve Carell

Man Bag

Proto-nerd

JanSport backpack

Beta Male

Jack Spade

PDA

Proto-nerd

Trapper Keeper

Beta Male

Palm Treo

Favorite Pastime

Proto-nerd

Magic the Gathering

Beta Male

Collecting celebrity Miis

Dream Job

Proto-nerd

CEO of Microsoft

Beta Male

CIA director of counterintelligence

Casual Footwear

Proto-nerd

Crocs

Beta Male

John Varvatos for Converse

Trousers

Proto-nerd

Haggar

Beta Male

Thom Browne

Dress Shirt

Proto-nerd

Van Heusen

Beta Male

A.P.C.

On the TiVo

Proto-nerd

"Star Trek"

Beta Male

"Ugly Betty"

Geek Crush

Proto-nerd

Princess Leia

Beta Male

Sarah Silverman

Mogul

Proto-nerd

Bill Gates

Beta Male

Steve Jobs

Signature accessory

Proto-nerd

Plastic pocket protector

Beta Male

Cotton pocket square

Default Neckwear

Proto-nerd

Piano-key tie

Beta Male

Band of Outsiders

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