when in seoul, one of the most telling sign
is the ubiquitous sight of black-rimmed glasses –
big ones, for all, but especially for guys.

i have always been intrigued by this signature style.
of course, this can be seen elsewhere,
but you can tell from an instance how the “look” adds up altogether
for a fashion-forward korean man, in his dispensible black glasses.

on my second day in seoul
i went on a little research for the reasons behind this.

knowing it would be ackward to walk up to a random guy and ask,
not to mention my basic korean (or the lack of),
i have instead gone into a 10-minute optical shop –
the ones where you can get your prescribed spectacles in a dash.

and guess what i found in the shop?

yes, black-rimmed glasses galore
with variantions in plastic, titanium, wood… you name it!

so i ventured on to ask
with plenty of body language and a bashful smile:
i notice that in korea, black glasses are very popular. may i know why?

the shopkeeper nodded knowingly, but shrugged at the same time.
he was not able to answer,
although he, too, was wearing black glasses.

not until later that evening when i met up with a korean friend
did she reveal the catch behind this trend.

it is believed that big black glasses would make your face look smaller,
and the colour black can compliment your eyes (asian feature) better.
some people even go as far as to don the glasses without the lenses,
while wearing prescribed contact lenses.

that said, i’d stick to my specs without frame.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *
Photo taken near the Hongik University, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

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