Style: Eye Catchers

Unisex Glasses | BCBusiness

Geek goes chic with fashionable, unisex specs

Historically, glasses were a necessary evil viewed as a sign of weakness, a mark of bookishness or social awkwardness. Algonquin Round Table wit Dorothy Parker once famously opined, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” It was a sentiment embraced by Marilyn Monroe as ditzy Pola Debevoise in the 1953 comedy How to Marry a Millionaire, wherein the matrimonially minded, blind-as-a-bat bombshell would rather walk into walls than mar her beauty with Coke-bottle glasses.

On the other end of the spectrum, a simple pair of horn-rims kept Superman’s alter ego a secret from the populace of Metropolis. And Groucho Marx was said to be unrecognizable to fans without his iconic specs. (Ironically, what began as a costume piece became indispensable to the comedian as his eyesight deteriorated later in life.)

With the arrival of geek chic and fanboy culture in the last five years, glasses came into focus as fashionable accessories. Faux frames can now be found on the racks at youth-oriented retailers like TopShop and H&M. Even retailers specializing in corrective eyewear have seen a rise in the sale of clear lenses. “In the last three years, a whole separate market for non-corrective glasses has really opened up,” says Bruce Eyewear partner Nada Vuksic. “It’s a completely new market segment for us.”

ABOVE The Rapp Lou frames are square, but whoever can pull these off won’t be ($549,

RIGHT Day-Glo is alive and well in these electric blue and acid green Dusty Kirk Originals frames ($469,


LEFT They’re made of feather-light titanium, but the bright red of these David glasses by Roger punch outside their weight class ($329,


RIGHT French manufacturer XIT recalls the steel girders of the Eiffel Tower in these gracefully feminine frames ($439,