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The New

Ultimate Accessory

November 05, 1987

Dorothy Parker was wrong. Men often DO make passes at girls who wear glasses, and vice versa. In fact, both men and women with squintless 20/20 vision are opting for what is probably the ultimate yuppie fashion accessory: plano glasses.

The non-prescription glasses are favored by lawyers who want to project a more serious image, young bankers who want to buy instant wisdom and fashion plates who merely want frames to match their red, purple or tiger-striped outfits.

"It's the ultimate fashion accessory," says Robert Abend of Optica in Beverly Hills, who sells about five pairs each week. "People think it makes them look more intelligent."

Christine Nariss, assistant manager at Lens Crafters in Sherman Oaks, says sales have jumped to about 10 pairs weekly.

"It's become very trendy," Nariss says. "I've had women lawyers come in. They say glasses give them a more professional look."

Typically, the plano lenses run $20 to $30, including a tint. Frames, on the other hand, can range from $10 to several digits more.

Planos bestow the power look on yuppies desperately seeking success, vision retailers say.

But Rio Valentin, a 21-year-old from Granada Hills who wears planos, takes them less seriously. "It's like any other fashion statement you might make with clothes," he reasons. "It gives me a more professional look. It changes my appearance totally.

"It kind of makes me look geeky. My girlfriend wears them, too. It makes her look more intelligent."

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