WASHINGTON -- What do Mr. Peanut, DC Comics' The Penguin, Sesame Street's The Count and the future breed of hipsters all have in common? Why that would be the monocle, of course.
Think of the monocle as half of a pair of eyeglasses. It's essentially one lens used to enhance the vision in only one eye, and it's usually attached to a rod, a chain or a wire.
Monocles have been around for hundreds of years, but the New York Times is declaring it the next big accessory for modern-day trendsetters.
This statement is only natural, seeing as how the wire-rimmed eyewear, often associated with wealth and status, pairs perfectly with the common hipster ensemble of a tweed jacket, a roughed leather satchel and slim-fitting pants. All of this worn with a splash of arrogance and indifference.
The New York Times reports the monocle has long appeared in Berlin cafes, Manhattan restaurants and fashion magazines, but it's becoming more common on the streets, thanks to what British trend forecaster Martin Raymond calls the rise of "the new gents." And no, these are not your typical J. Crew gents.
Just because uber-underground European and New York hot spots are seeing more monocles, does that mean this trend will transfer to the District?
Blink Optical on P Street NW in Logan Circle has handmade water buffalo horn monocles in stock from the eyewear brand Hoffman. In the three months Grace Minkarah has worked at Blink, she has not received any requests for a monocle.
Douglas Warden of Dupont Optical has worked in the optometry industry for more than 30 years. He says in that span, he has fit two monocles -- but both requests were more than 20 years ago … in Pennsylvania.
Vintage collector and owner of U Street's GoodWood Anna Kahoe says she has come across maybe three monocles in the past 10 years of her business.
All the vintage and antique goods she sells are purchased at auction, so Kahoe says if she gets a monocle, it's most likely because it was in the drawer of a desk she purchased or was one piece in a package of several.
"It's not like we're out sourcing monocles," Kahoe says.
A quick check-in with Dupont Circle's Proper Topper says the store also hasn't seen much of a demand for the monocle.
Despite the monocle's lackluster presence in Dupont, Logan Circle and the U Street Corridor, the Hill is home to the Monocle -- quite literally. The Monocle Restaurant has been serving steak and seafood to Congress members, lobbyists and neighbors since 1960.
So what say you, D.C. hipsters? Will we be seeing these one-eyed, wire-rimmed vintage gems roaming the back streets of Shaw, Columbia Heights and Petworth? Or will we leave monocles to the comic book characters and Brooklyn elite?
Some Twitter reaction to the claimed monocle trend:
I'M IN FORT GREENE AND I DON'T SEE ANY DUDES IN MONOCLES WHAT AM I DOING WRONG— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) March 7, 2014
thanks a bundle, new york times. now there's huge lines at all the monocle stores in the monocle district— Ben Detrick (@bdetrick) March 7, 2014
AGH! Ever since I tweeted that NYT article about hipsters wearing monocles, every site is showing me monocle ads! pic.twitter.com/jj5SjS3wko— Bill Oakley (@thatbilloakley) March 6, 2014
BREAKING MONOCLE UPDATE: The Washington Post has received an official statement from Mr. Peanut. http://t.co/HZGu30nUIS— Mark Berman (@themarkberman) March 6, 2014
[CARRIE V.O.]: Aidan's monocle only covered one eye. That's all it took for him to see *I* was not the one -- just a monocle- lewinsky.— Sex and the City 3 (@SATC3quel) March 6, 2014
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