4 bizarre attempts to make the monocle the next big thing in fashion

As recently as May 2014, people have tried to make the monocle into the hot new fashion accessory. It’s fallen short each time, but that doesn’t stop people from trying.

We went back and found four strange attempts to make the monocle the hot new thing. For now, it only looks good on Mr. Peanut.

1. The Monocle Girl has arrived

They called her Miss Monocle.

In 1913, The Daybook (the Buzzfeed of 1910) pointed out that women were in love with monocles. The trend supposedly began when a horsewoman named Annie Tinker wore one. From there, it ballooned.

It may have been part of a larger trend of Chappyettes—monocle-wearing Annie Hall style hipsters who wore trendy items. Sadly, the monocle didn’t stick.

2. Monocles and a life of crime

The most famous criminal with a monocle is The Penguin. But for a while, the monocle was in a couple of criminals’ disguises.

In 1912, a man going by the name Beau Brummell ran off with a cash drawer containing $150 (a princely sum at the time). He wore a monocle and carried a cane. A similar aristocratic disguise tripped up Oakland’s police force the next year (with the help of a fake Scottish accent).

3. Monocles for soldiers

Yes, monocles were martial.

It’s difficult to confirm how true the legend is, but multiple sources say the monocle was for warriors. The reason? British officers weren’t allowed to wear eyeglasses, because poor vision would be seen as a defect. The officers used the monocle as a workaround, and it resulted in years of stereotypes and a new reputation for the single eyeglass.

4. Monocles as the ultimate endurance test

It makes sense that there would be monocle wearers and really cool monocle wearers, and a man named Pertinax was the coolest.

What made his monocle skills so impressive? Pertinax was able to hold his monocle in his eye longer than any other man, even while blinking.

Yes, the monocle used to be cool. Just be careful if you try it, kids—it could put your eye out.

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Will the monocle ever make it big?