Chosen carefully, the right pair of glasses can suit you down to the ground and many people do wear them well. But with that in mind, why would you want to wear something that you see other people wearing every day before they become just another generic face blending into the crowd? If you want a more distinctive appearance to show the world just how classy you are then the monocle is for you.
Our only claims to gentility were our monocles. Always take a monocle on a vagabond tour: it is a never-failing source of amusement and passport of gentility. No matter how ragged you are, if you can screw a pane in your eye you can awe the yokel or the tradesman.
(Christopher Morley, from Shandygaff, 1918)
Once considered the height of fashion before losing popularity following the outbreak of war in the early 20th century, the monocle remains a milestone in the history of men’s fashion and has lost none of its effect over the years.
There was a time when only the wealthy could afford such an adornment. It was for this reason that the monocle was always associated with power and prestige but time has been kind and these days it has become a much more affordable and accessible addition to one’s attire. Regardless of your background, donning a monocle will instantly give your appearance a boost of sophistication and set you apart from the crowd. It is difficult to look at a man sporting a monocle and consider him to be anything less than intelligent and thoughtful. Indeed it takes some concentration to hold a monocle in, although this will become second nature, and any man who can wear one without a second thought while focusing on other matters must be anything but a fool.
Even in the 1960s men’s magazines were advising on the merits of wearing monocles to social functions:
“Just looking at a man wearing a monocle I am reminded of someone sinister-but pleasantly so,” one such woman explained recently. “He is mysterious–but not frightening. He gives the impression of knowing everything there is to know. He looks like he is wearing a glove of iron concealing a velvet hand, if you know what I mean.”
(Marvin Kitman, from Escapade, 1961)
Using the facial muscles to hold the monocle in place can cause one to sneer to an extent but this is not to be misinterpreted as a bad thing, in fact if one gets the balance just right it can add to your appeal, projecting confidence and suggesting an icy exterior that will give way to a much more thoughtful personality underneath. This will only add to your intrigue.
Despite being made with fashion in mind, the monocle can be used for visual correction. The standard monocle lens usually provides basic magnification to varying degrees, much like reading glasses, but some suppliers will make prescription lenses specially when provided with your prescription information. These are particularly useful if only one eye is affected, which is the case for many people, as the vision can then be completely corrected without the need for glasses. Prescription lenses may cost a bit more but are still an affordable alternative to glasses.
Even in today’s society, the monocle remains an effective indicator of sophistication and can be used in many a situation. Whether you are browsing in the library, working in the office, enjoying a drink with friends, or simply relaxing at home, the monocle is the perfect accessory for the most distinguished gentleman. It can be enjoyed by men and women alike and remains an essential part of the fashion enthusiast’s wardrobe.