Monday, March 28, 2011

I wear my sunglasses at night

Generally speaking, I try not to be completely against most fashion trends.  Usually the problem with the trend is the person wearing it, or the styling or the context rather than the actual clothing item itself.  Also, I've had a tendency to judge things too quickly and then come around to them.  When this happens, I feel stupid. (See: leggings and/or tights, gold jewelry, structured shoulders.)  However, there is one despicable and pervasive eyewear "trend" I cannot, will not and should not ever get behind.

That's right, wildcats.  I'm talking about Transitions lenses.  Those horrible glasses with lenses made from photochromic glass, which allows them to "adjust to the changing light" in order to function as both sunglasses and traditional glasses.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky.  And then watch the commercial below.

This is not a good look.
When I was a kid, I remember seeing the commercials for Transitions lenses (Now just called "Transitions" since apparently they've now become so famous they no longer need a qualifier.  Sort of like Lindsay Lohan.) and assuming that this would be the wave of the future. (But I also thought the same thing about mini disc players, so I wasn't much of a technical trend forcaster back in the day.) 

I inherently understood the appeal of such an innovation.  Imagine, one pair of glasses to take you from day to night and back again!  No more switching glasses when you walked outside, or buying expensive prescription sunglasses, or -- god forbid -- wearing those clip-on flip-up sun shields to attach to your normal glasses.  Plus, the science is just sort of mind buggling -- glass coated in silver that you could see through? Amazing!

Jack Nicholson is an icon.
But not a fashion icon.
In short, Transitions seemed an ingenious solution to glasses wearers' sunglasses dilemma.  There was just one problem -- they don't work!

As everyone who has ever been to an early bird special or an Old Country Buffet knows, Transitions lenses get dark (sort of) and never get completely light or clear again.  Ever.  As a result, thousands of Transitions lens loyalists have been force for two decades to look like Jack Nicholson at all times.  And that's definitely not a compliment.  The wearers of Transitions lenses seemingly never notice or acknowledge that they are wearing sunglasses indoors, but that is clearly what's happening.  It's unclear to me whether this individuals think that is this is makes them looks cool, or if their eyesight is really so bad that they just don't notice they are shrouded in darkness much of the time.  Maybe they are just mad that they too were doped into paying hundreds of dollars for glasses that don't work. 

This is weird. But Transitions lenses are even
Another unintended consequence of Transitions technical short-comings is that I absolutely hate them.  I think they are quite possibly the least attractive and most ridiculous eyewear of the last half-century.  (I would include all time, but the monocle was pretty silly-looking and unpractical as well.)  And I'm including those shutter shades popularized by Kanye West a few years ago.  I have yet to see anyone that looks good in Transitions.  Everyone looks like an elderly creeper.  And, for some reason that I can't quite pin-point, also like a smoker.  I just don't understand how this trend still has legs and, yet, I still see people in Transitions all the time.  Don't people understand that they don't look good?

So, wildcats, I turn to you.  Tell me, I beg of you, what am I missing? What is the appeal of Transitions lenses? And why oh why are people still wearing them?

xo kate


  1. I agree! They're hideous and ridiculous. Wear sunglasses with a prescription if you're that bad, problem solved.

    I think they look like smokers too because of the grey lenses matching their ashy, grey (oxygen starved) skin. That's my logic anyway.

  2. I hate transition lenses and judge people who wear them accordingly.

  3. I'd like to think I (well, really Alan's mom) had something to do with the genesis of this recent post. You know my feelings on the matter. That said, I do sort of like when people wear transitions. It allows me to judge them without having to take the time to ever talk to them. You know how busy I am with all the bad TV I watch. Transitions help me weed out people in an efficient manner so I have more time to do the important things in life, like catch up on The Jersey Shore.