Fake spectacles are everywhere. Glasses, usually black-rimmed, are being worn by people who can see perfectly well. ''It's very fashionable,'' says celebrity makeup artist Paddy Puttock. ''I've done a lot of shoots where they put glasses on the models without any lens. Most shops are selling them - they're very stylish.'' Not that long ago people would wear contact lenses or squint rather than be seen in their glasses - and they were those who actually needed them to see. Now everyone wants to wear them. What's happened?
I suspect what began as retro street fashion - seen on individuals with style rather than followers of fashion - has evolved into a preppy trend that has now made its way to every high street and shopping centre in the land. It's cool to wear thick, black glasses with non-prescription lenses. They're the must-have accessory. But isn't it a bit daft?
Glasses have always been used by the perfectly sighted to give the appearance of intelligence when it was felt necessary. Glasses can also be temporarily adopted to get into role - I wore glasses at the computer at work long after I was told by an optometrist they were optional because they made me feel ''workified'' - ready to work, in the same way I rarely wore jeans to the office because they had the opposite effect. But to buy them and wear them out and about for fashion's sake? SpecSavers alone has sold almost 10,000 non-prescription frames in the past year - plenty of people are doing it. Does anyone else find glasses uncomfortable - hot in summer and heavy most of the time and a nightmare when reading lying down? Aren't sunnies enough? And don't they make makeup difficult?
Not so, says Ms Paddy Puttock, who has worn black-rimmed glasses for years. ''There's really not a lot of makeup rules with glasses. Less is more, anyway. if you're wearing prescription lenses steer clear of shimmer because it's usually magnified. If you're long-sighted use a magnifying mirror and remember natural light, not down light, is the best way.'' She says that for a lot of people glasses ''are their whole image and they look fabulous''. Are you one of them? Or do you, like me, think it's one sacrifice at fashion's altar you're unprepared to make?