I Found My Mom’s Vintage Monalisa Sunglasses


This Butterfly Doesn't Have Wings

Recently, while rummaging through a stack of sunglasses, I found exactly what I expected to find… sunglasses. They were mostly from the era where glasses were invariably large; an era where you wouldn’t find an eye-sized pair of glasses [you know, one of those that are no larger than the size of your eye] let alone sunglasses anywhere.

Back to the sunglasses I found, most of them were my mom’s and I found a pair that she rarely used, not even when it was new. She doesn’t remember when she bought it; she said maybe around the 80’s or early 90’s. There’s “Monalisa Sunglasses” printed on the case. I don’t remember seeing that brand nowadays, probably because there is none around. I was curious, so I did a quick online search but there was little information; except that there is a few individuals selling variations of the Monalisa sunglasses, and a range with the same name from a completely different brand called Clariti Eyewear.

M is for Monalisa... and a bunch of other things.
Anyway, the Monalisa I have is made of a type of plastic. The shape is very retro, a butterfly shape; the colour is black, with red accents on the temples; the lenses are in gradient brown, which I really like.

So, the thing is huge. I mean it covers almost half of my face. You’d think a big frame like this would be heavy, but it’s not. It’s light and comfortable enough and barely puts a strain on my nose and ears. I have to admit that I haven’t worn the glasses long enough to make an accurate assessment, but I rarely use sunglasses a few hours straight. 

My mom is generally quite careful with her stuff so these glasses are still in good condition, except for a little spot on one of the lenses that I can’t get rid of. I have worn them outdoors a few times and once, on a very sunny day, I was quite shocked to take them off to find out that the sun was really blazing. From that experience, it’s safe to say that the sun-blocking is effective - the light I mean, not the actual sun.

Me&M in B&W
Anyway, the Monalisa is mine now but my mom doesn’t know it yet. I mean I will tell her eventually. Or I could just keep quiet and let it slowly sink in to her that it’s mine now and there’s nothing she can do about it.


& More


- How much would you spend on a pair of sunglasses? I saw a pair by Matthew Williamson at Asos but thought it was too expensive, not even when it was on sale. But I thought the sunglasses were so ‘me’ - the transparent frames, the red accent around the lenses, and the round lenses. But I could not justify the price, I almost bought them but didn’t. And now that it’s not available anymore, I feel a bit weird.

- On another note, it’s not common you find a brand dedicated to reading glasses. I stumbled into one called The Book Club Eyewear. I like the designs they have, and even more, the names of their glasses, such as A Tail of Two Kitties, Bothering Sights, and Cents and No Ability. You don’t have to have a prescription to buy them and you can even buy them without the magnification.

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