Forget sunglasses, this season the fashion crowd are turning to good old specs to make a statement. It’s a surprising accessory renaissance; for years, those of us without 20:20 vision have been battling with contacts. Brands like Bailey Nelson may have made prescription eyewear cool again, but now those who don’t need glasses are turning to the trend.
East London hipsters were some of the first to wear ‘faux’ specs as a style statement – ever since Shoreditch was gentrified and Brick Lane become a hub of trendy eateries, edgy guys and girls alike have been donning prescription-free glasses. The reason? Hipsters like to be taken seriously.
Once upon a time, fashion was the reserve of the silly. ‘Serious’ women didn’t concern themselves with the latest trends, the coolest brands or the designers to know. Those who wanted high flying careers or a professional public persona eschewed femininity and fashion – as a Guardian article from 2014 states, “dressing in a more conventionally feminine way is somehow more frivolous, and can undermine perceptions of a woman’s intellectual and professional skills”.
Thankfully, times have changed. Whether it’s the Hilary Clinton or #GirlBoss effect, in recent years it’s become increasingly acceptable for professional women to show an interest in style; Theresa May’s decision to don £995 Amanda Wakeley leather trousers for a December 2016 photoshoot may have helped the cause. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a hangover from the decades of anti-sartorial thinking. You can spot a fashion girl a mile off – this season she’s in vinyl pants, a teddy bear coat and white kitten heeled boots. If said fashion girl is heading to an interview, a blind date, a book club or frankly anywhere at all, deep in her subconscious there may just be a need to prove she’s a little more serious (read: intelligent, acerbic, well-read and well-educated) than her get-up would imply. Enter glasses.
Rightly or wrongly, glasses insinuate you should be taken seriously. You’re bookish, bright, academic and trust-worthy. And even card-carrying members of the style set want to convey a little bit of that. From Hoxton-loving hipsters to the street style parades at fashion week, trend-conscious individuals everywhere are turning to speccy frames to give their look a little intellectual gravitas – and who can blame them? With everyone from Chloé to Zara creating cool designs, the accessory is now a bona fide way to express your interest in both the high and the low.
It’s rare that a look first adopted by this metropolitan set trickles down to the fashion mainstream – colourful bobble hats and Santa-worthy beards have yet to be spotted on the runway – but this is one we’re most definitely on board with.
Shop our favourite faux frames below...