While you should totally feel good about your current look—hair, clothes, makeup—we all know these things are forever changing. Year to year, we begin to wean out old looks, incorporating new trends and slowly moving along with the crowd, or glossy magazines more likely. Even celebrities do it (have you seen how fabulous Ariana Grande looks in glasses?) The evolution of personal style is fun. After all, who wants to look exactly the same year in year out? In most cases, we slowly weed out old trends at the same time we’re adding in new ones, so there’s not typically a blunt switch; it’s just something that sort of happens over time. But when you place some distance in there, like, a decade for instance, a look will become almost alien—how could I have worn that? Who hasn’t looked through old photos and found themselves in mixture of laughing and groaning at the same time, wondering why you didn’t just opt for some daily disposable contact lenses like your mom suggested? Well, eye trends are no different, and we’re super happy these five never quite caught on—or have unhitched themselves anyway.
1. String strung Glasses
We’re going to start this off going waaaaaaaaaay back in time to the 1400s. The history of glasses is a long and, well, sometimes awkward-looking one. Glasses had first been invented in the 1200s, and two centuries later were widely used throughout Europe—we’re sure it was a huge relief for so many people. By this point in time, they were also generally affordable, making them available to people of different classes. The earliest pair of frames didn’t actually have arms on them, to hook behind your ears. Instead, they employed the use of string, which you would loop around your ear instead. You also had the super cool option to tie them around your entire head, too. Maybe it’s just us, but that just doesn’t seem very comfortable, right? Anyway, we’re just glad the string idea died out and eventually got us to awesome, comfortable lenses like Biofinity and Air Optix Aqua.
2. Drop-down Eyewear
Ok, moving right along in history, we’re upping it a few centuries, to the early 1800s to be exact. Now, was this ever really a trend? We don’t think so—more so a funky Victorian invention someone came up with and tried to have it catch on. And we’re so glad it didn’t. The original ad featured a top hat with glasses that could drop-down for instant use. Granted, the hat also included a cigar holder and trumpet box, a real “all in one” if we ever head it. Now, had this actually caught on, could you imagine current baseball hats or other hats with this drop-down feature? NO THANKS.
Steadily moving our way through eyewear history, we’re ready to discuss the thankfully long-gone monocle. A single, small, round lens, it was meant to sit directly over your eye, wedged between your upper cheekbone and eyebrow bone. They first became popular in fashion in the late 1700s, and came and went for another 200 years. They were mostly last popular with upper-class men, in the early 1900s. While we can appreciate anything that helps one see better, we’re pleased to no longer have to rely on the small lens. In today’s world, we think they’re better left to jewelers and watchmakers, who often still use monocle-like devices to see tiny parts when working.
4. Oversized Yellow Lenses
Now, for one we all might remember, the oversized, yellow lenses popular through the 1960s-1980s. We’re specifically talking about the oversized versions from the ‘80s though. The small, rounder styles favored by the likes of John Lennon and other hippie types were pretty sweet, even as we admit we won’t be looking for our own pair anytime soon. Now, we’re talking about the aviator style, large and in charge. Maybe it’s the combination of style, size and color that makes us shudder, but this style just screams 1980s high school gym teacher to us, or Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico—he most definitely had a pair of these.
5. Google Glasses
Now, we can’t blame all bad eyewear trends on the past, where time lets us look back and laugh. First introduced in 2013, Google Glasses had everyone buzzing about this nifty new invention by tech behemoths Google. Sure, you were essentially wearing a computer on your head, in an extremely compact way, but come on, the design was fairly hideous. No matter how many models they put them on, it just wasn’t working. Perhaps the company has realized this, as they’ve recently announced they will be discontinued. They’ll continue to work on the glasses, and we really hope part of that will be the aesthetic design.