This season, fashion week proved that we’re in for a reawakening of the certified dweeb. Snug knit cardigans and colorful stockings aside, there was one major trend emerging from the catwalks that simply can’t be ignored: reading glasses. Now, the “geek chic” phenomenon is nothing new. In the late 1990s up until the early 2010s, stars like Megan Fox, Leighton Meester, Lucy Liu, and countless others were seen on multiple occasions wearing thick boxy frames and, in true noughties fashion, styling them with midriff-baring baby tees or low-rise jeans.
During the peak indie sleaze era, “geek chic” evolved and got a rebrand via the then-popular hipster phase, leading people to sport oversized specs with striped tees and combat boots. It wasn’t until Miuccia Prada brought out a new uniform for Miu Miu’s Fall 2023 runway, reminiscent of the brand’s 1996 collection, that she redefined the look in a modern way. One that is ironically ugly but still cool. Alongside Alessandro Michele’s Gucci era right before, the crisp and sleek clean girl aesthetics are slowly phasing out. Instead, fashion is starting to embrace the maximalist, frazzled nerd — a blend of workwear-meets-preppy academia via knits, stockings, cluttered purses, and rectangular frames to complete.
Since its reappearance on the runway, the “geek chic” glasses (also called “librariancore” and a slew of other hashtagable alternatives) are climbing up the FYP, nodding to the still-ever present Y2K trend in an even more niche way. Bayonetta Glasses, with “Bayonetta” referencing the main avatar in the 2009 cult-favorite video game, typically take on small rims and a rectangular or oval shape. With over 42 million views on the hashtag #BayonettaGlasses on TikTok, the sleeker and sexier approach to optics is already one of the most viral trends of this year. Across social media, creators are showing off their thrifted Bayonetta collections and filming tutorials on how to style them.
Bella Hadid has long been an avid glasses wearer pre-Fall 2023 but, since then, other celebrities have started to reintroduce the buzzy frames into their wardrobes. Models like Gabbriette and Devon Lee Carlson have recently sported a pair of rectangular glasses on the feed. Emma Chamberlain wore a rounded tortoiseshell version at Miu Miu’s latest showcase. Even rapper Sexyy Red is notorious for being seen in her go-to pair of black glasses, on and off stage.
With the rise of nerd-adjacent fashion trends and the emergence of the “literary it girl”, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see more people popping up all over our feeds in plastic frames. A new generation—who may or may not pretend to be nearsighted for the sake of an outfit—have officially been onboarded, Bayonetta-style. Below, shop the Bayonetta-inspired glasses we’re currently eyeing, ranging from glossy specs to vintage designer finds.