Tuesday 27 March 2018

Rose-Tinted Glasses

The latest post over at the very amusing blog Ask The Past got me wondering, whither the fashion for coloured glasses? It would seem that the jaunty man-about-town had a rainbow of colours to choose from in the 17th Century but today we are given only to choose from the drab palette of brown and black. No fun.

The Georgians fancied coloured sunglasses and the very fetching D-Spectacle was invented around the same time. Skipping forward another couple of centuries, when we are introduced to long-lost transatlantic Montdore heir, Cedric Hampton, in Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate, we learn that, at least fictitiously, Van Cleef & Arpels was still producing blue lenses in the Art Deco era.
Railroad or D-Spectacles

To be sure, coloured glasses would have been rather pricey in their day, but given all desirable consumer goods have become more affordable with time, you would think they'd be rather mainstream by now.  Looking around, there are plenty to be had, but it takes a particular person to don them today. Either you need a reason to wear them (and the theory of chromotherapy certainly divides the masses), be making a fashion statement or just be downright eccentric.


  1. How about photochromic specs which turn a fetching shade of grey in sunlight? Mr Stringfingers has (at last) traded in his old faithfuls for a dual-purpose pair.

    1. Ah, photochromic spectacles, something I've not seen in ages. Good to know Mr Stringfingers is being daring. But he didn't want to choose a wilder colour, like lavender? It's nearly grey.


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