Monocle Chronicles: This Age-Old Spec is Making a Comeback

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Mom always said, “What goes around comes around in the world of fashion trends.” According to a recent Fashion & Style article in the New York Times, this may be the case … with monocles!

Steampunkers, hardcore hipsters and those who appreciate all things Victorian are familiar with this quaint optical blast from the past. They became popular in 1830s England and beyond, conveying a sense of wealth, status and style upon the wearer.  Picture a classic English gentleman of that era reading the small print of a Sherlock Holmes novel with his elegant monocle in place. Truly this was a fashionable and functional affectation.

But is it relevant for today?  Is it practical to wear (and keep in place) this sort of corrective lens? Those with astigmatism may not be suited to wearing a monocle since that condition requires the lens to orient in a fixed position on the face.

See how lens technology has evolved.

It remains to be seen whether or not this develops into a full blown trend, but I’ve heard of one restaurant in New York that provides a monocle for customers who can’t easily read the menu.  In the meantime, we’ll keep an “eye” on the situation. Would fashion icons like Batman’s  Penguin, Harry Potter’s Mad-Eye Moody, or the beloved Mr. Peanut steer us wrong?


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