Confession: I hate those damn black rimmed glasses in fashion right now

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Harold Lloyd in black rimmed glasses

Some may well call me a fascist fashionista for my negative view of the all-popular black rimmed spectacles everyone from Tina Fey to Michael Cera to Anne Hathaway¬†are donning these days. While you may have it right that I’m intolerant of the eyewear fad, I’m neither a fascist nor a fashionista. Additionally, I believe that adopting a fad fashion style says very little of your own personality and individualism, most people are bad at selecting proper, fake eyewear for themselves, and let’s face it, black rimmed eyeglasses are ugly.

So, let’s start with my argument about black rimmed eyeglasses being ugly, since I’m sure that’s the easiest one for me to tackle. And, let’s keep it real: this is my blog, I can do what I want, and yeah, I just had two points so there. But back on topic, black rimmed frames came about because there were these people…and they were blind as bats. They were so myopic or hyperopic or astigmatic that mere mortal lenses didn’t work for them, and the world couldn’t have these bump-a-lot illiterates walking around the world’s boulevards. So, some brilliant doctor-inventor (in my unsubstantiated history of eyeglasses) created thicker lenses and frames that likely matched in weight to support these more robust goggles. Even from the early days of glasses there was a stigma (pun intended) associated with the wearing of glasses, and horn-rimmed eyeglasses were among the first styles to make a fashion statement. On the other hand, metal frames are thinner and lighter and meant to let your face frame itself, as opposed to fake horn-rimmed ones (which is what most people wear, I’ve noticed) made of plastics and synthetics that are not only bad for the environment but can’t possibly feel good on your skin. Honestly, I think that the pince-nez eyeglasses would be a far better fad for everyone as they’re more interesting, less wasteful and much less prominent on one’s face. Maybe those ugly frames are trying to distract us from something?

So, why do people select frames that don’t look good on them? Most don’t have style, but I’ll get to that in a bit. But, even more heretical to the Church of Fashion is that one would go ahead and select a big, black frame that’s the wrong shape and size for his or her face! Come on, people! Go to any Sunglass Hut (or even use a Web assessment to find your eyeglass style) and they can help you find a good frame that suits you. Instead, you walk through your nearest department store, thrift shop or bargain basement retail location and grab a cheap-o pair to dash off to the next hipster gathering with folks also wearing frames to suit a chimpanzee’s facial shape.

When you choose a pair of glasses to fit in with other people today, you’re making a statement just as much when you select laser eye surgery so that you don’t have to wear eyewear. That statement is that you have no style of your own. We have so many options today and selecting clothes from those options is the testament of your true individuality and your values. I don’t primarily¬†buy high-fashion clothing. In truth, I buy affordable clothing at department stores (some higher end than others) and frequent thrift stores in cities as I travel to snag an evergreen, essentials piece here and something unique there. Altogether, I’ve found my own personal comfort (my personal fashion value statement) and style in what I wear. I’ve also had the antithesis of luxury to have almost all of my clothing lost recently, so rebuilding my wardrobe from the ground up has been both exciting and premeditated. Eyeglasses are something that I’ve dabbled with over the years; an astigmatism here, a pair of fashion frames there, and soon another pair of reading glasses to catch up with my macular degeneration and weary eyes from overuse. I think that you don’t need to wear glasses to wear glasses. I am rather more handsome with a pair of good fashion frames, I’ve been told. Although, in logging onto and ordering a shipment of black rimmed glasses would defeat my personal style goals and likely many of the people wearing them if they only sat for a moment to think of their own.

In the end, I’m sure I’ve only pissed off the few people I know that read this who also probably are wearing a pair of those unsightly frames right now. Therefore, call me a fascist fashionista if you’d like, but take off the glasses when you do it so I can take you seriously.


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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