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The New

Nerdy Sunglasses

March 26, 1987

The rage in sunglasses is a blast from the past: thick, plastic frames on top with thin, U-shaped wires on the bottom holding the lenses--dark, dark lenses.

These are eyeglasses like those your grandpa once wore; eyeglasses worn by high school nerds who respond to the call, "Hey, four-eyes." But now the nerds are getting their revenge.

That supercool TV detective David Addison--played by Bruce Willis--on "Moonlighting" set the standard for summer shades, according to Dan Travis of Val Surf in Northridge.

"Some people come in here, they don't even know a thing about surfing and they're looking for the glasses," Travis said. "They're more of a fashion glass."

Scott Raphael, an optician at Lenscrafters in Northridge, said the glasses are so popular he keeps them in a special display area. The biggest demand is from students at California State University, Northridge, he said. Senior citizens also are in the market for what he called "combination frames," though they usually use them for regular glasses rather than sunglasses. "They've been wearing them for years," he said.

Joseph Reich of See World in Woodland Hills said the trend for the sunglasses at his store began with teen-agers, but is now reaching into yuppie pocketbooks. Some are ordering prescription glasses in the combination frame, Reich said.

Travis said the basic pair of sunglasses can run from $15 to $30, depending on quality and the maker. There are special frames for women that include rhinestone studs embedded on the front.

Pop singer Belinda Carlisle wore the basic combination shades in her recent music video, "Mad About You." She completed the '50s look by wearing those tight, black stretch pants that Mickey Mouse Club star Annette Funicello made famous.

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