Sometimes it can take a while for a fashion trend to reemerge in our style-hungry culture. Well, it took nearly 200 hundred years, but it seems monocles are making a fashionable return.
The monocle did not become an article of gentlemen’s apparel until around the early nineteenth century. It was introduced in the late 1790s early 1800s, as THE high fashion accessory. Now apparently more men are wearing monocles again – as the single eyepiece is popping up on the likes of rappers and in magazine spreads, though some still see it more as a fashion faux pas.
Some Twitter tweets taunt the fashion forward trend saying:
Move over Jared Leto; it turns out Mr. Peanut is the male style icon du jour https://t.co/TDxX3nyoOt
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 7, 2014
NYT says monocles are next big thing. @TheEllenShow would rock one, dontcha think? https://t.co/n6z1TO3Ogh pic.twitter.com/gUdMagoFrS — WTOP Living (@WTOPLiving) March 7, 2014
First it’s glasses with no lenses now it’s monacles. Will someone please get these hipsters to an ophthalmologist… https://t.co/82Q0yw3k9M — Alonzo Bodden (@AlonzoBodden) March 8, 2014
Jokes on you, Twitter. @NYTimes is right. Monocles are back in style. Everybody wants one: pic.twitter.com/dombQH8cUj
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) March 6, 2014
Hipsters are wearing monocles as a new fashion accessorySo remember, when you punch them, go for the other eye.
— Soraya (@sorayasaikal) March 8, 2014
During its initial heyday, the monocle was generally associated with wealthy upper-class men. Monocles have been iconically allied with characters like the Mr. Peanut and Clue’s Colonel Mustard, but it seems according to a recent New York Times piece, monocles have been declared the newest must-have hipster chic fashion accessory.
A monocle is a type of corrective lens used to enhance the vision in only one eye. It consists of a circular lens and a wire ring around the circumference of the corrective orbit that can be attached to a string, fob, or wire.
Advances in optometry – which allowed for more accurate refractive error measurements, thus permitting further availability of varying corrective prescriptions in each eye, and the comfort/ease of traditional glasses in comparison – was responsible for the decline in the use of the cycloptic eyepiece.
However, the newest innovation on the monocle is to don one sans the corrective lens.
Still doubting the growing popularity of monocles? Vanity Fair reports, Ray Gallagher, a British proprietor who has been in the optical business since 1963, has seen sales at his online store The Monocle Shop double over the last five years.