You're not in Kansas anymore…


It’s Wednesday again, and here at Vili Flik, Wednesday means vintage-day. As I picked up my fabulous new glasses yesterday, today’s column is all about that wonderful invention, and fashion statement, that eyeglasses represent.

Me proudly displaying my spectacular spectacles.

The spectacular spectacles on their own (a pun so good I used it twice!)

Personally, I have always wanted to wear glasses, but up until about a year ago, by eyesight was just too damn good. However, about a year ago, I became painfully aware that if I was to be able to read the lecture notes displayed at the front of the classroom, I needed glasses. I soon had my first two pairs of spectacles; one purple, the other black. My childhood dream has finally come true!

The spectacle has gone through many incarnation over the years, and in the 19th century, they became very fashionable and used not only to enhance vision but also as stylish fashion statements. Models included the pince-nez, a pair of glasses without earpieces, which was popular in the 19th century

… and slightly repopularised in the late 1990s by Laurence Fishburne’s sexy sunglasses in The Matrix (1999)

The Monocle is a one-lens eyewear also popular in the 19th century.

Usually when you think of the monocle, you picture a 19th century gentleman, perhaps combining it with a smart bowler hat or top hat and a cane. In this setting, the monocle can look very stylish, but keep in mind that it takes more than just a monocle to make you look sexy…

Exhibit A

The lorgnette is the sister of the pince-nez, held in place by a handle rather than earpieces.

This spectacle was most popular among women, not only as a visual aid, but also as an accessory. It has much in common with the opera glasses.

The scissor glasses are a kind of hybrid between the monocle and the lorgnette and were popular in both the 18th and 19th century. Less tiring to the eye than a monocle, they were also used as a fashion accessory in European high society.

Some spectacles have become iconic through the status of those wearing them, and some celebrities are hard to picture without their signature glasses.

Buddy Holly in his thick rimmed glasses:

John Lennon with round glasses

The ever stylish Jackie Onassis in her signature sunglasses

The outrageous styles of Elton John

Actually, these may not have helped the popularity of glasses as much as hindered it…

Today, the most common form of glasses is of course the “regular” pair of glasses with temple arms over the ears and a bridge over the nose. Luckily, even the regular kinds of spectacles come in all shapes, colours and styles. In the past few years, glasses have also made a comeback as a fashion accessory, with non-correctional lenses in fancy frames being sold in fashion shops. Especially popular right now are the  thick rimmed geek glasses, such as my newest purchase.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, some examples of great glasses, both vintage and contemporary:

With so many different styles and colours to choose from, everyone should be able to find their favourite. A good pair of glasses can be used to complement any outfit. Wear the spectacles proudly as a visual aid, a fashion accessory or both!

Love, Mari


2 responses

  1. arn

    Kaffe en dag snuppa? 🙂

    October 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    • Det høres ut som en plan! 😀

      October 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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