Saturday, September 27, 2008

2008 Understatement of the Year


I watched about twenty minutes of the presidential debate last night. While discussing the proposed Wall Street bailout package, Barack Obama said that $700 billion is a lot of money. Clearly this is the supreme understatement of the year. For the purposes of this blog, however, I direct your attention to another statement.

I read an interesting ad for a pince-nez on eBay. The text is as follows:

"The Pince Nez spectacles were quite the prominent optical style in the 1890’s to the 1930’s when they fell from favor. They were quite the in-thing 40 plus years ago when these vintage spectacles enjoyed a renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s. The word is that they are coming back in style again."[emphasis added]

Yes, they are coming back in style! I know that I am biased since the purpose of this blog is to promote pince-nez. Nevertheless, I receive many emails and occasionally photos from readers who wear pince-nez on a daily basis. This morning I received an inquiry from a reader who has a strong desire to wear this eyewear. Yes, there is a small yet dedicated and growing group of people who will keep pince-nez alive.

Isn't the focus on eyewear a bit silly?

Absolutely not. Look at the intense focus on fashion and appearance. It is a tremendous industry and rightfully so. Of all the elements of one's wardrobe, I strongly believe that eyewear is most important. I write another blog, LeDandy (of Northern California) which discusses men's fashion.* Early last year, I wrote that if I could splurge on only one fashion item it would be eyewear.

Think about it. People notice your face more than anything else. Beautiful eyewear enhances one's appearance while ugly or inappropriate eyewear will detract from one's looks. Yet the average person spends about a half hour selecting frames at a high volume eyewear store like LensCrafters. He/she will wear these glasses daily for years. It doesn't make sense. Even if you go with conventional eyeglasses, spend some quality time selecting your frames. Visit several stores and try on dozens of pairs if necessary.

Pince-nez isn't for everyone. Physically, you must have some prominence to the nose bridge. The good news is that many people meet this requirement. Mentally, you must have a strong, independent spirit. It is a different look and you will be noticed. I believe, for myself, that the demands are well worth the final result. It is a classic, timeless look which enhances one's appearance through minimalism.

Then again, there are the mainstream designer alternatives which do not believe in the minimalist approach. In fact, often their focus seems to be on the advertising their brand name instead of assisting the wearer! Eyewear shopping is a real challenge.




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*Shameless self promotion!

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