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Monocles: Not Just for the New Yorker's Mascot
March 9, 2014 2:57 PM   Subscribe

In its constant endeavor to identify emerging trends, the New York Times has uncovered a boom in monocle wearing... again. But they're not the only ones ever to be manipulated by the Monacle Lobby.

Maybe they were just reacting to Warby Parker's awesome Monocle for Dogs. (that IS an awesome dog)

Still, some people consider this a shark-jumping moment for "The Paper of Record's" "Bogus Trend Factory". (Is shark-jumping still a trend?)

NOTE: This post contains no direct links to the NYT. they don't deserve it for this.
posted by oneswellfoop (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I'm waiting for spats to come back.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:00 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I used to wear spats AND a cummerbund... as part of my 1970s High School Band Uniform (and NEVER since). I'm surprised nobody has gotten rich selling "Benedict Cummerbunds".
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:04 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Surely this...
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:05 PM on March 9


Lubricated Monocles, A modern take on an old classic.
posted by FallowKing at 3:10 PM on March 9


Until it's seen in McCarren Park or a Bushwick loft party, it's not a trend.
posted by Sara C. at 3:23 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


The Paper of Record my ass.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:26 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


As someone who has worm pince-nez glasses as my primary eyewear since 1994, I look upon this faddish attraction to monocles with great disdain.
posted by AzraelBrown at 3:28 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I am so glad someone posted this - I saw it this morning and it turned my weekly hateread of the Style section into a loveread. Seriously, it is the best trend story since the one about hipsters with potbellies.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:28 PM on March 9


In this house spats came back years ago.

*sneers from behind lorgnette *
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


I assumed the Warby Parker (for people, not dogs) monocle was a way of selling (faux?) glasses to the steampunk crowd more than an actual fashion item for daily wear sans costume.
posted by immlass at 3:34 PM on March 9


Yeah, I'm fairly sure that Warby Parker offers it as a thing one can buy for novelty purposes, or to cater to a particular niche of people who need a monocle for Reasons (theatre costume, steampunk accessory, being The Whelk).

To me, just because a company somewhere sells a product doesn't mean there is an actual trend.
posted by Sara C. at 3:42 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


When I was in high school my German teacher wore a monocle. He claimed it was for a rational reason, but I forget what he claimed it was. I recall mentioning this to my father, who had a negative take on his behavior, claiming it was an "affectation."

This happened about 35 years ago, so I'm afraid I now have a conditioned response to hearing the word "monocle" which is to have the word "affectation" immediately follow in my mind.
posted by Tube at 3:52 PM on March 9


After looking at the WaPo link with accompanying photo of Mr. Peanut, I notice that he's also wearing skinny jeans slacks. Maybe the trend-spotters are onto something after all...
posted by ChrisTN at 3:54 PM on March 9


Lubricated Monocles, A modern take on an old classic.

For my friend's bachelor party in 2012, another friend came direct out to the cabin (where the bachelor party was happening - keep up) from some sort of Comic-con, and braught a Hot & Crusty bag full of the Gentleman's Unlubricated Monocles that Zach Weiner had given him for the purpose (it was a Hot & Crusty bag because that's where Weiner got lunch that day, I guess.)

I still have mine. Because you never know.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:01 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I thought the only reason monocles existed was so we can know who the squares are in '80s hair metal videos.
posted by Cash4Lead at 4:13 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Monocles are for Poppin'
posted by The Whelk at 4:18 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who sees "Monocles" and spends a couple of seconds trying to remember in what Greek tragedy he was a minor character?
posted by changoperezoso at 4:32 PM on March 9 [15 favorites]


Sorry NYT, but when I think "monocle", the only thing that comes to mind is that kooky Nazi, Col. Klink.
posted by freakazoid at 4:34 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Poor vision in one eye, been wanting a monocle for some time...
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:38 PM on March 9


Lubricated Monocles
Another modern take.
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:44 PM on March 9


Tube: "When I was in high school my German teacher wore a monocle. He claimed it was for a rational reason, but I forget what he claimed it was. I recall mentioning this to my father, who had a negative take on his behavior, claiming it was an "affectation."

This happened about 35 years ago, so I'm afraid I now have a conditioned response to hearing the word "monocle" which is to have the word "affectation" immediately follow in my mind.
"

And this, my dears, is successful parenting.
posted by chavenet at 5:00 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]


Am I the only one who sees "Monocles" and spends a couple of seconds trying to remember in what Greek tragedy he was a minor character?

If memory serves, it was the same one as "Testicles".
posted by stirfry at 5:22 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


How do monocles even work? You just wedge it in there and squint to hold it in place? That can't be that comfortable, and I know from reading things like Tintin that they tend to fly out whenever you see something surprising.
posted by Flashman at 5:35 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


How do monocles even work? You just wedge it in there and squint to hold it in place?

You need a spike helmet too
posted by thelonius at 5:52 PM on March 9


I've been keeping an eye on this trend.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:01 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


About thirty years ago my father, who was an Englsh teddy boy in his youth and can still rock a mean bespoke suit, ordered a monocle because buying two lenses seemed silly when he is blind in one eye. He wore it for one day and returned it. If he can't wear it without being embarrassed then no one should be wearing them unless they are in cosplay.
posted by saucysault at 6:02 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


His name is Eustace Tilley.
posted by sy at 6:12 PM on March 9


(I knew that, but not everybody does and I didn't want a "WHO?" derail; besides a New York Times article merited a specific side reference to The New Yorker)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:26 PM on March 9


I've been keeping an eye on this trend.

I see what you did there.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 6:28 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The tag is misspelled. It's "monocles", not "monacles".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:45 PM on March 9


fixed... at least I didn't misspell it on the title...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:49 PM on March 9


Manacles is the evil twin of Monocles in the Greek comedy The Two Gentlemen of Acropolis.
posted by GrammarMoses at 7:08 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


...and don't forget his little clone, Minicles.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:04 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I believe in monocles
posted by Flashman at 8:06 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


It's also worth noting that Warby Parker has been selling monocles for years now - I don't know why it's suddenly a "trend".
posted by maryr at 8:45 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I actually researched getting a monocle a few years ago, because I wanted to be able to read in bed with my CPAP mask on. (It used to be that if I was alert enough to put the mask on, I was too alert to fall asleep in less than 20 minutes, and there's no way to wear glasses with the thing.) Then a dear friend convinced me that (1) there was nothing restful about scroonching up one quarter of your face to keep a hard plastic disc from sliding off; and (2) unless I was super, super careful, my dog would eventually find it tangled up in the sheets and eat it.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:46 PM on March 9


(I mean, the dogocle is probably an April Fools joke, but even the product page for the actual Warby Parker monocle is pretty jokey and ridiculous.)
posted by maryr at 8:49 PM on March 9


Christ, what a monochole.
posted by islander at 11:03 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


i have the same amount of cringe as when capes made a comeback.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 11:28 PM on March 9


I should get a monocle. I'm starting to need reading glasses, but I don't want to carry them around. I don't want to get bifocals either, because I HATE wearing glasses. I use the contacts you leave in for a week at a time, and have for 22 years. Glasses used to give me carsickness, headaches, and sores on my nose.

They seem much more convenient than reading glasses.
posted by lastobelus at 3:21 AM on March 10


It's hard to ride a fixie wearing a monocle.
posted by caddis at 4:07 AM on March 10


AzraelBrown: "As someone who has worm pince-nez glasses as my primary eyewear since 1994, I look upon this faddish attraction to monocles with great disdain."

Serious question - don't those really hurt your nose?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I'll just leave this here.

Le Monocle de Mon Oncle
posted by ersatz at 7:17 AM on March 10


So technically, it's okay to hit a man wearing HALF-glasses, right?
posted by hell toupee at 7:41 AM on March 10


Only if he's being a prick.
posted by maryr at 8:20 AM on March 10


Anyone familiar with Steampunk has already known for years what has driven this uptick in monocle usage.
posted by k8oglyph at 8:27 AM on March 10


Personally, I'm have shitty distance vision AND I need reading glasses. Progressives are the way to go for me. Mostly.

But I've also lost boo-coo fat & traded it for muscle relatively recently, so the vanity quotient has risen a little, and yeah, I could see dumping the frames for contacts when I'm getting all tarted-up for a night of live music.

I have for some time thought distance contacts w/ a monocle for moments of up-close reading would be both practical & stylish.

My message to the monocle haters is the same to the fedora haters.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:46 AM on March 10


Chrysostom: Serious question - don't those really hurt your nose?

Nope -- they grip lightly, and the glasses themselves aren't very heavy so it doesn't have to hold too tight. Sometimes the wind catches them and they fall off, but other than that I can't think of the last time I've lost them. I don't think the pressure on my nose is much more than the weight of a regular pair of glasses.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:59 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


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