Too sexy for my... Yeah, whatever.
April 4, 2006 2:21 PM   Subscribe

How does one wear an iPod (or any mp3 player) without looking like a tool?

If you're wearing a jacket with pockets, no problem. But warmer weather is approaching and I can't figure out an effective strategy other than clipping the damn thing to my belt and looking like one of those poseurs who do that with their cell phones or those wankers in the commercials. 30 gig, video, so too big to tuck away anywhere. Preferably, I'd like it out of sight (I don't consider an iPod to be a fashion accessory). I'd also rather not sit on it.
posted by converge to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (37 answers total)
Start wearing a fanny pack...that'll hold a 30gig ipod no problem!

Seriously, though...maybe an armband? They tend to make you look kind of sporty...
posted by johnsmith415 at 2:26 PM on April 4, 2006

Messenger bag?
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:27 PM on April 4, 2006

Use a purse. Or, if you're a guy, there's always the man-purse/messenger bag approach. It'll hold your lunch, too.
posted by mattoly at 2:28 PM on April 4, 2006

The problem with strapping it anywhere other than your belt is chafing. My girlfriend would run with one of those armbands, and it rubbed the skin raw. If you're talking about just walking around, though, maybe one of those travel money pouches that you wear around your neck, but under your shirt, would do the trick. Or just wear shirts with a breast pocket.
posted by team lowkey at 2:32 PM on April 4, 2006

How does one wear an iPod (or any mp3 player) without looking like a tool?

One doesn't. Same with cellphones.

But, to answer your question: messenger bag, backpack, or cargo shorts with side pocket. Cargo shorts require a longish headphone cord, sure, but it beats looking like a tool.
posted by pdb at 2:33 PM on April 4, 2006

Either a bag or just jeans with bigger pockets.
posted by chrispy108 at 2:34 PM on April 4, 2006

This is why I got a nano, it fits in my pocket. Would your ipod fit in your back pocket or is that a theft risk? Personally, by the way, I think armbands on anyone who is not exercising with their ipod looks tool-ish :)
posted by echo0720 at 2:35 PM on April 4, 2006

Use podiflage, and turn back time: nestle your baby in a pocket protector, and replace the telltale white cord/plugs with a Bone Fone!
posted by rob511 at 2:40 PM on April 4, 2006

I'm with you on not wanting the cell phone/iPod/whathaveyou as an accessory.

I always carry my MP3 player (which is slightly larger than an iPod) in my pants pocket. I've tried it a few times in a shoulder bag, but I always end up ripping the earbuds out of my ear or the cord out of the player.

If you need to play/pause or change tracks frequently, consider getting a remote. Then you don't have to pull the whole thing in and out of your pocket so much.
posted by turbodog at 2:50 PM on April 4, 2006

How does one wear an iPod (or any mp3 player) without looking like a tool?

It's also important not to sound like a tool with your iPod. Do not turn the volume up so much that everyone around you has to listen to the tinny chatter of your leaking earnoise. If we don't hear the iPod, we won't look around for the tool with the wind-up tin toys stuffed in his ears.
posted by pracowity at 2:55 PM on April 4, 2006

Would your ipod fit in your back pocket or is that a theft risk?

That may present more of a sit-on-and-crush risk than a theft risk, at least for me.
posted by pdb at 2:59 PM on April 4, 2006

The best solution to this problem is to realize it is you that has a problem, and use the solution that actually works best: the belt clip.

If you can't bring yourself to do that, you're stuck with cargo pants, a bag/backpack, or a man purse, all of which are very sub-optimal.

You can also get ties and underwear with Nano pockets in them.
posted by teece at 3:04 PM on April 4, 2006

When it's not too warm out I keep my cd player in one of my jacket pockets. It's accessible and out of sight there, so I'm happy. When summer hits it'll probably be going in my front left pants pocket.

I'm with turbodog on the remote thing. My cd player has one and I love it. I clip it to one of my buttonholes or my front pocket depending on the jacket, and keep the player in the inside pocket. If I've got my backpack I clip it to one of the straps. If I've got no jacket or backpack I just clip it to my shirt.
posted by benign at 3:48 PM on April 4, 2006

Stick it in your underpants.
posted by cellphone at 4:14 PM on April 4, 2006

Have you tried one of these?
posted by Sara Anne at 4:16 PM on April 4, 2006

Ack. Stupid link. These?
posted by Sara Anne at 4:17 PM on April 4, 2006

How about listening with wireless bluetooth stereo headphones and keeping the stupid pod in your pants?
posted by glibhamdreck at 4:24 PM on April 4, 2006

Look, the thing about "looking like a tool" is that the toolness comes from wearing it so that it can be seen -- showing it off, making it obvious -- and so you should simply think to yourself "I want to de-emphasize my mp3 player so that I am not a target for a quick mugging."

Also, wearing it on your belt doesn't make you a tool, it makes you a geek. This approach may or may not appeal to you, but if you're gonna do it, just make sure you let your shirt drop over it (don't tuck your shirt in.)

That said, here's the thing: you may be carrying a "portable" device, but it's still pretty sizeable, bigger than a shuffle or a nano or a small cellphone -- so no pocket for you. At that point, you're probably better off carrying a small backpack, or the aforementioned fannypack, plus then you'll have some additional convenience.
posted by davejay at 4:25 PM on April 4, 2006

Oh, yeah, and since it's an iPod -- ditch the white headphones. That single step probably reduces your tool quotient about 70%.
posted by davejay at 4:27 PM on April 4, 2006

The best solution to this problem is to realize it is you that has a problem

I agree with this, though I wouldn't word it this way.

You only look like a tool (whatever that means — you kids nowadays!) if you think you look like a tool. The best way to wear an iPod is to do whatever works best for you. If it's most convenient to wear it on a beltclip, then wear it on a beltclip. If it's most convenient to wear it on an armband, then wear it on an armband. If it's most convenient to wear it around your neck, wear it around your neck.

I have all three of the above, and mostly I wear mine around my neck. It's just most convenient for me. If I think it'll look too dorky (is that "looking like a tool"?), I tuck it under my shirt or sweater, but still keep it around my neck, but mostly I don't care. I'm listening to my books or lectures or music. I don't give a rats ass what other people think I look like. I'm not trying to impress them.

Do what works best for you; who cares what other people think?
posted by jdroth at 4:44 PM on April 4, 2006

One doesn't.
posted by Decani at 4:48 PM on April 4, 2006

I agree with everything I've heard so far (I especially like rob511's BoneFone - that's hilarious), but I don't consider carrying it in my back pocket (crushable) or carrying a man purse viable. Sticking in my underwear seems, well, odd and doesn't work if I ain't wearing any (ah, summer).

I guess I like the bluetooth headphone idea best (it would solve a couple of issues), but other than that, I guess I'm screwed.

Also - davejay - agreed with everything (I do want to hide my conspicuous consumption) save the fannypack , but what is the difference between tool and geek? Is this really a hair worth splitting? Haven't used the word in years, but I felt overly compelled.
posted by converge at 4:53 PM on April 4, 2006

I nth the pants pocket suggestion, but if your torso is as large as mine, you'll definately want to invest in longer headphone wires.
posted by potch at 5:05 PM on April 4, 2006

Heh -- it's just my opinion, but a geek would be wearing a technical object on their belt because it is truly the most convenient place, and they wouldn't care what it looked like. A tool would be wearing a technical object in an odd, "look at me" place because it is truly the most obvious place, and they care very much that everyone notice them. I've always taken "tool" to be short for "tool of the man", and so totally buying into conspicuous consumption and the requisite advertising of same on their person. But that's just me.

Somewhere between is where you (hopefully) are aiming -- you don't want to look like a tool, but you don't want to look like a geek, either. Ideally, you don't want your device to impact your look at all, and since that would likely mean leaving it behind in the summer months, your alternative is to put it somewhere inconvenient (so no geek) and inconspicuous (so no tool).

If done correctly, nobody notices -- and if done incorrectly, people look at you funny. ;)
posted by davejay at 5:15 PM on April 4, 2006

What about clipped to your belt in the small of your back with the headphone wires up your back, under your t-shirt. With your shirt untucked it should be almost invisible.

Is wearing your t-shirt untucked a faux pas with the kids today?
/old man
posted by quin at 5:22 PM on April 4, 2006

do what I do. I use a Marware neoprene case with a clip. I clip it to the back pocket on my jeans, run the ear phones under my jacket (or the t-shirt as the case may be) and into my ears. The only thing people can really see from front is two little ear buds (if they look closely). This is also comfortable when I sit down. The case just extends out of the side of my butt (so no crushing). Only thing is that the clip will slowly dislodge after a few hours so it wouldnt hurt to readjust once in a while. Heck, I even bike this way!

my $0.02
posted by special-k at 5:25 PM on April 4, 2006

I totally agree with davejay about ditching the white headphones -- they're just so "omg iPod!!!" Go for some nice neutral black ones instead, with long wires, and then stick the thing itself in a messenger bag.
posted by reklaw at 5:41 PM on April 4, 2006

You'll need a belt clip and this.

Instant tool-less look.
posted by IronLizard at 5:55 PM on April 4, 2006

Been said already-- Wireless headphones.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:52 PM on April 4, 2006

Huh. I guess my pants have big pockets, because I have a third generation 40GB and it fits in my front pocket just fine. If that doesn't work out, you might want to try a bag or purse -- I find that shirt pocket doesn't work so well.
posted by danb at 6:54 PM on April 4, 2006

My 30g video in it's hardcase fits into a front pants pocket almost imperceptibly. Is that not an option?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:17 PM on April 4, 2006

Yeah, there's no way I could fit it in my front pockets. Wear jeans most of the time. That ain't changing.
posted by converge at 8:42 PM on April 4, 2006

A third for the black headphones. People don't see the iPod iself. They see the BRILLIANT WHITE STRINGY SHIT HANGING OUT OF YOUR HEAD.
posted by scarabic at 8:57 PM on April 4, 2006

I have a purse with a wide over the shoulder strap that I clip my MuVo onto (near the bottom of the strap) which is easy to access, secure and out of the way.
posted by KathyK at 6:25 AM on April 5, 2006

Man purse is the only correct answer.
posted by dame at 6:38 AM on April 5, 2006

Yup. Black earbuds that you can run up the inside of a shirt from your belt. I have an EVO skin case on my iPod that lets me rotate it on the belt clip - so that the iPod itself can lie horizontal alongside my belt so that it is non-obstrusive when walking, and my jacket, hoodie, jumper or whatever will obscure it well. Obviously having a case that is a neutral colour or black helps too.
posted by jim.christian at 7:37 AM on April 5, 2006

I've always taken "tool" to be short for "tool of the man"

It's short for "tool," as in penis. In other words, it's a synonym for "dork."
posted by kindall at 9:31 AM on April 5, 2006

« Older Seasickness and stillness illness.   |   pub/restaurant to hold a party at in Vegas? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.