What do Hackers wear?

Excerpts from my blog: Hackers and the Open Source Revolution

Strangulation Device

Hackers dress for comfort, function, and minimal maintenance rather than for appearances (some, perhaps unfortunately, take this to extremes and neglect personal hygiene). They have a very low tolerance for suits and other “business” attire; in fact, it is not uncommon for hackers to quit a job rather than conform to a dress code.

When they are somehow pushed into conforming to a dress code, they will find ways to subvert it, for example, by wearing absurd novelty ties. Most hackers I know consider a tie as a strangulation device that partially cuts off the blood supply to the brain… which explains the behaviour of tie-wearers. A tie could bestow upon you the reputation of a super-loser, a suit-wearing super-user with no clue — someone with root privileges on a UNIX system but no idea what he is doing; the equivalent of a three-year-old with a 1919 machine gun for a toy.

3-year old with Machine Gun

In times of dire stress, he may roll up his sleeves and loosen the tie about half an inch. It seldom helps.

Female hackers almost never wear visible makeup and many use none at all.


  1. How to become a Hacker – an essay by Eric Steven Raymond
What do Hackers wear?

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