Eyeglass Trends—Most popular Styles & Shapes for 2019
Minimalist: Retro Browline Glasses (Clubmaster)
Oversized: Hipster Square Glasses
Unique and Original Aviator Glasses
Vintage Cat-Eye Glasses
Thin and Lightweight Metal Eyeglasses
Big & Bold Statement Glasses
Wearing glasses has been a challenge for me since I was first diagnosed in the 8th grade as being nearsighted. Sister Mary Helene noticed me squinting during her math class, and suggested to my parents that I was not participating because of my eyesight. (More like I didn’t know the answers to complex math equations.)
My parents took me to an ophthalmologist, along with my younger brother Mark, who was having his own vision problems. After a thorough examination it was determined that the nun was right, I needed glasses. Picking out a frame was based on price, not on being cool, and my first pair was ordinary.
Somehow, there was a big mix-up, not only with the prescription, but how it was filled. I remember walking out of the office taking huge steps, thinking there were stairs in front of me. After a few weeks of high stepping, the problem was identified and corrected. I could actually see the chalkboard, but still didn’t know the answer. I chose to wear my horn-rimmed glasses in class, but never during recess or, heaven forbid, on a date.
It’s only been in the past few years that I got over the four-eyes stigma. In the 60s I chose large, round sunglasses that had interchangeable tinted lenses, in the 70s it was a Gloria Steinem aviator style. The 80s brought round, Annie Hall-inspired specs. In the 90s, a sleek, metal mix, and the 2000s: retro cat eyes.
Eyewear has evolved dramatically since those days, when you wore the same pair of glasses for a lifetime. Fashion has influenced this trend, with top designers licensing their names to stylish frames available to the vision-impaired public, including John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Jackie O, Carol Channing, Bono and Clark Kent, aka Superman. Local celebs Ed and Sally Brennan, and my Mom, have cemented their unique image with eyewear.
My new glasses are designed by Vera Wang and are oversized black frames with copper sequin stems. I have had mixed reviews on their size and style. An older gentleman recently yelled out, “Elton, Elton!” to get my attention. I have found this new look to be empowering, and most importantly I can see the chalkboard!