The Jazz Emporium

Let's get our Vintage on!

Guest Post by Jessica: Spectacular Spectacles


Allow me to set the scene:
Age: 10
Event: 4th grade Native American Ceremony Reenactment
Costume: Mask fashioned from half a milk carton and papier-mâché.

The drums start beating and the rain dance reenactment begins. I should already be in place next to Tiffany in the 2nd row. Unfortunately I am not able to differentiate any of my classmates from this distance. My vision is too blurry and it’s dark. Freaking out, I begin to mentally prepare myself for what approaches: disaster + catastrophe = disastrophe.

What 10 year-old me does not realize is there is a simple solution: SPECTACLES!

My first pair was electric purple with a lens the size of a soda can. Throughout primary school I was a shy young thing, simply wanting to blend in with everyone else. My enormous eyeglasses made it seem impossible. I am relieved to testify that my fashion taste has matured considerably, and I’m no longer concerned with fitting in.

My style naturally gravitates towards 1950’s inspired pieces, as I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a lady of that time. Since the age of 15, I’ve been looking for a swell pair of cat eye specs, and even begged my Grandma to try and locate her old pair. Luck was not on my side, that is, until I scooted through a London market earlier this year. On a whim I tried on a pair of chunky black cat eye frames from a stall boasting vintage specs.


Mine! Mine! Praise Zeus they took credit cards, because I was not going to let those frames leave my face (stealing would have made things awkward). Additionally, I had to get my prescription put in them: expensive impulse purchase. But they now complete my look, which is a priceless concept. If I were a table, my specs would be the extraordinary centerpiece.

Nowadays, four eyes are better than two. Glasses are fashionable and make an individual appear just a bit more intelligent. Scandalous as it is, people who have perfect vision will wear frames that are purely for decoration. I support an individual’s right to fashion choices, but this particular spec issue is a major pet peeve. As a legitimate glasses wearer I should feel flattered, but I don’t. In fact, I take personal offense to these artificial glasses. If an individual is not in need of visionary aid, they should not have the privilege of wearing funky frames.

Folks always want to try on my eyeglasses, posing for a photo op. For a time, I was admittedly a bit of a spectacles slut, but I’ve turned over a new leaf. Recently I was getting down in Glasgow with some Halloween related fun when I encountered an uncomfortable situation. My pal and I had jaunted over to the Scooby Snack Truck to sample some of Glasgow’s famous late night delights (too much greasy goodness for this lady!). The chap ahead of us in the queue turned round for a friendly chat, complimenting us on our costume selection. I was dressed as an intelligent Little Red Riding Hood and my pal was a trusty witch (Editor – sorry to say we couldn’t find a photo of this stylish costume). The fellow then moved onto how amazing my specs were, and preceded to take them off my face! This was done without my permission and is a major breech of glasses etiquette. Being suddenly blinded against your will is uncomfortable. I am typically a happy-go-lucky gal, but at that moment I was obliged to take action. Feisty is what I became, forcefully speaking a few choice phrases (very unladylike) after recovering my dear spectacles.

What do you think about spectacles – practical or fashionable?


4 thoughts on “Guest Post by Jessica: Spectacular Spectacles

  1. to be able to find a pair of spectacles that make you happy! they should be both practical and o-so fashionable. to those that wear them strictly for fashion-bah! how can you look at yourself in the mirror? it’s so shallow,don’t ya see? (puns?) more! more!we

  2. i have been wearing glasses since I was 4, my first pair were red wire rims with a tiny Lucy (from peanuts) on the side. I have sported Sally Jesse frames, tortoise shell, and more. I love my specs, not only because without them I would likely be street pizza. I also lOve that I can tell what my mindset was in any picture by the specs I’m sporting, like a mood ring for my face!

    • Ahh, lucy a fellow young bespectacled one! Janine from The Jazz also was encumbered with face furniture from the age of 5, but with a much more disturbing glasses choices than Lucy’s nice sounding tortoise shell ones – my first pair was oversized, round, mottled pink plastic frames; moving on to Adidas turquoise wire frames with ‘fashionable’ spring details at the corner rims when the tweeny years kicked in. However, my biggest glasses fashion fail was the no-rimmed glasses; with wafer thin beige frame legs supporting the lenses. Do you guys remember that? Those awful ‘barely there’ specs that were in fashion before thick black frames claimed their glory back? The ones for the ‘business man/woman’ who wanted an uncluttered face look?

      Yeah, they were disgusting… Rock on cat eyes! Why mask the glory of the eye glass?

  3. Pingback: All Sixes: 05/01/12 – Geek Special | The Jazz Emporium

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