So, here’s the thing about normcore: whether you think that the trend is nothing more than hipster posturing, or is just yet another example of privileged people appropriating the looks of the less stylish and, in effect, only amplifying the inherent differences between the haves and have-nots, or is actually a way of equalizing the style-based playing field, one thing that is undeniably true is that Fiona Duncan’s introduction of normcore into the public’s lexicon has brought about a good deal of intelligent dialogue centering around style trends and their sociological implications. Also, memes. There have been a lot of good memes.
But so, the New York Times Styles section (never a place that shies away from ridiculous, virtually non-existent trends, see: “hipsturbia” and man-buns) has decided to cash in on the fact that everyone’s talking about debatable fashion trends and published an article today about a brand new trend
that nobody in their right mind would ever participate in that’s apparently sweeping the nation: the monocle.
According to the Times, “the one-lensed eyepiece, an item favored by 19th-century military men, robber barons and Mr. Peanut, is finding itself wedged anew into the ocular sockets of would-be gentlemen seeking to emulate the stern countenances of their stuffy forebears.” And apparently, this isn’t just some sort of micro-trend only found in the deepest, darkest parts of Bushwick, but is actually sweeping the world! From Berlin to Miami to Cape Town, everyone is sporting a monocle, along with (in some cases) “tiny brass telescopes kept in satchels.” And at Manhattan’s NoMad, when a customer can’t read the menu in the dim light, a monocle is offered to said customers, which kind of makes no sense to me because wouldn’t a flashlight work better? The problem isn’t that the customers are far-sighted, it’s that it’s too fucking dark in there.
Anyway, everyone’s favorite monocle-wearing, anthropomorphic nut, Mr. Peanut, has weighed in on this whole ridiculous trend, saying, “It’s been brought to my attention that Hipsters are following in my stylish footsteps by sporting monocles. I guess they understand what success on a man’s face looks like… Focus on fashion first, try not to blink and remember that there is ‘only room for one monocle-wearing gentleman in a room.’”
Let’s hope that’s the final word on the subject and that the Times will let this story drop, so that we can never, ever talk about monocles again.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen