‘Geek chic’ fashion trending at Eastern

Click here for the independent video page for this video.Walking into Wal-Mart, next to the sunglasses, a shopper can find the latest fashion: glasses with no prescription. In other words, people are buying fake glasses.

On a college campus, students are buying into this fashion as a way to make themselves look smarter, stylish, older, younger or just different.

Brent Garner, a sophomore communication major, embraces this new fashion. He sports a pair of glasses without lenses. Wearing just frames, his fake glasses are obvious to his friends and classmates.

“People notice,” Garner said. “They give you a second look and ask, are there lenses in there?”

Megan Lau, a sophomore sociology major, boasts that her fake glasses were supposed to be $10, but she paid only $5.

Surprisingly, Lau actually needs glasses. She has actual prescription glasses, but wears the fake ones because they are “cuter.” She has an astigmatism in her left eye, but chooses looking cute over seeing clearly.

“I have Prada glasses, but I don’t wear them,” Lau said. “I wear these fake ones.”

Garner really likes the look of glasses, but never needed them. He had seen people wearing fake glasses before and just wanted to try something different.

Garner’s no-lens glasses served as a joke more than a fashion statement to him, calling the glasses “ginormous” and “goofy.”

Garner would use his glasses to play jokes on people. He would take the glasses off and do something, then put them on and do something else, just to see if people would notice.

Lau’s fake glasses allow her to have a thicker frame and a brighter color than her real glasses, plus they match her hair color.

“A lot of girls, they come up and they’re like, ‘Your glasses are so cute,'” Lau said. “Most of them don’t ask if they’re real, but the people I know ask if they’re real because they’re like, ‘Oh, you just started wearing these.'”

Lau sees her glasses as the new fashion accessory.

“I just needed a new look,” Lau said.

Garner figures that he will have to get glasses eventually.

“Everyone else in my family wears them,” he said.

Garner has a pair of fake glasses with nonprescription lenses in them, but he wears both pairs, saying they still “look fake.”

“Some people just want to be different without being different,” Garner said, pointing out that glasses are a normal thing to wear.

Most nonprescription glasses look fake because they are based off of the style of sunglasses instead of the traditional styles of reading glasses. Some fake glasses even offer UV protection, effectively making them sunglasses.

Initially, fashion magazines like Glamour wrote articles about fake glasses as a fashion for women. Celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba were spotted on the red carpet or in movies wearing fake glasses.

Then, male celebrities like Kanye West and Josh Hartnett were seen with frames on their face and glasses were in style for all.

In the times of John Lennon and The Beatles, a similar fashion statement took place with real glasses. Lennon would perform almost blind. He did not like wearing glasses because they were not “groovy.”

Then one day he put on those iconic circle framed glasses, and the rest of pop culture followed.

Today, pop culture still wants to wear glasses, even if they are fake.

The new trend has been referred to as “clear glasses,” “nonprescription glasses,” “fake glasses” and the phase most popular with the fashion community: “geek chic glasses.”

A poll conducted by thebudgetbabe.com asked 679 people if they would wear geek chic glasses. Of those polled, 59 percent said yes, 35 percent said no and 5 percent were undecided.

According to Glamour magazine, the glasses infatuation may be embraced by Hollywood, but it started elsewhere.

Glamour suggests that America went geek chic with a certain vice-presidential candidate.

Sarah Palin launched onto the political scene in 2008 and quickly made headlines with her 21st-century vision of “librarian chic.” Pointing to her bun-style hair and frame-less glasses, Glamour suggests that Palin stepped into America’s living room and put glasses on the faces of Americans.

For those that have not tried glasses, geek chic college students have some simple advice.

Garner suggests to try wearing glasses even if you do not need them, just to try it. He says some people look better or smarter, but that they never know unless they try on a pair.

Christopher O’Driscoll can be reached at 581-7944 or [email protected].