I’ve always believed in Karma, but the fact that glasses are now cool is almost too good to be true for the recovering awkward, I-broke-my-glasses-at-recess, last-picked-in-dodge ball, frizzy-haired, uncoordinated “funny friends” (you know, the girls who hung out in the popular crowd because they served as hilarious foils to the Elle Woods-esque queen bee) among us. Finally, a chance for our optic mediocrity to translate into trendy fashion statements, with our “four-eyes” turned into a stylish edge. Glasses wearers everywhere, carpe diem: may our near-sightedness translate into far-reaching fashion victories.
Wish you were a starving artist, minus the starving? Interested in moving to Brooklyn, but not ready to give up your Upper East Side digs? Want everyone to think you’re a vegetarian? Just slip on some thick-rimmed, black plastic hipster glasses (yes, the kind your dad wore in 1990) and voila! Instant downtown cool. The only accessory ever to make Scarlett Johansen look even remotely androgynous, the “hipster” lenses are recommended to those with a larger face, a drastic haircut (think bleached blonde, pixie, or stark bangs) and a propensity toward thrift stores and indie films.
The Supermodel On Her Day Off
Yes, anything Alyssa Milano wears will look stunningly sexy. But there’s something to be said for her “you can tell I don’t usually wear glasses, but these glasses make me look approachable and adorable” look. Perfect for that Monday morning class, exam week slump, or especially painful morning-after—medium-rimmed black plastic rectangular frames scream “I’m cute in glasses, but you should have seen what I looked like last night.”
Some of us have dry eyes. A fear of contact lenses. A nostalgic relationship with a favorite pair of childhood frames. Whatever the reason may be, classic, thin-rimmed plastics are the perfect look for an everyday wearer. Not too flashy, but still trendy (find an ovular lens that sits between the bottom of your eyebrows and the tops of your cheekbones)…the everyday glasses have never looked better. They’re the go-to for Tina Fey when she’s not mocking Sarah Palin.
Is the girl wearing the rimless-bottom glasses your graduate student TA? A sexy librarian? An up-and-coming political superstar? Whoever she is, she’s smart and she means business. The glasses version of the mullet (they’re “party on the top, business on the bottom”), the half-rimmed glasses are perfect for the young professional who wants to look serious without looking 45. POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Do not get this style in a “fun” color…if you do you will end up looking like you sell tapestries at art festivals.
If the only problem with borrowing your grandpa’s frames is the difference in prescription, check out ‘The Artist.’ The style is characterized by big, thick, rounded frames that are almost entirely (or at least partially) made of light-colored, translucent plastic. Warning: this look is almost exclusively pulled off by people who are cool. Like, really cool. Wearers oftentimes have—but are not limited to—amazing vintage closets, lots of bright lipstick, an art portfolio, bicycles, and guitars. Bonus: wearing this style may get you automatic invitations to rooftop parties and gallery openings. At the very least you’ll fit in at museums and independent, fair-trade coffee shops.
Sporty girls are generally thought of as die-hard fans of the contact lens (probably because the sport goggles they had to wear to 6th grade soccer camp scarred them irreversibly), but even Olympians have to rest their retinas and slip on a pair of glasses every once in awhile. Luckily rectangular, wire frames go perfectly with a jersey, tracksuit, or team hoodie. Watch your game footage (or enjoy your off-the-field life) in style, and find solace in the fact that—unlike most of the rest of us four-eyes—you probably weren’t a frequent last-pick in gym class.
We get it. You have over a 3.9, you quote Foucault in casual conversation, you know the difference between mitosis and meiosis, and you can build a computer from the ground up. How do we know? Because of your circular, tortoise-shell “I’m kind of nerdy but still cute” glasses. (And the fact that you’re actually taking notes in your 9am lecture.) Not only will you feel smarter just slipping on a pair of geek-chic frames, your chances of getting a Fulbright increase by at least 25%.
What kind of glasses do you wear? Leave a comment!