Chain Yourself Down: Why Spectacle Chains are the Enduring Accessory

When Vogue declares spectacle chains “a thing” you can be pretty sure it’s safe to celebrate one of the most-maligned accessories around.


Whether you go for the full-bling, thick-chain gold statement piece or find a chain that tones with your glasses, you know this is an accessory that will hold up it’s end of the bargain (pun shamelessly intended).

Victorian-era ladies wore massively long chains on which to hang their lorgnettes, to ensure they were always on hand should one need to look down one’s nose at something. They were a status symbol and the absolute height of fashion.

Those of us trying to figure out what to do with our glasses today are more likely to have grown up with an image of one of the following:

  • The 1960s secretary wearing cat’s eye spectacles on the end of her nose with a thin chain swinging around her ears.

  • The leather-skinned man in Speedos on the beach at Corfu or Mallorca, sunglasses held in place with a strip of black leather.

Frock, lipstick and specs chain coordination. Skill.

Frock, lipstick and specs chain coordination. Skill.

We’re sure he’s on this beach somewhere.

We’re sure he’s on this beach somewhere.

It’s little wonder, then, that many of us think of spectacles chains as sitting next to Crocs’n’socks on the fashion pyramid.

But it’s time for us to celebrate the adaptable and practical hero of frequently-misplaced glasses everywhere.

All hail the spectacle chain!

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