Of all the colours that lenses can be - and believe us, there’s quite a few - none have captured the collective imagination quite like pink. Since the mid 19th century, rose tinted glass has been picked as a way of painting people as eternal optimists, even naively positive.
In 1843, in Godey's Lady's Book, Mary Davenant decided that she looked “at people with my own eyes, instead of through rose-coloured glasses.” Even earlier than that, in 1834, another Mary, Mary Boddington, was using the phrase a little more positively in her awkwardly titled, Slight Reminiscences of the Rhine, Switzerland, and a Corner of Italy, saying, "what a delicious thing it is to be young, and to see everything through rose-coloured glasses."
"We reckon there’s got to be some kernels of truth behind the old idiom..."
So how did the turn of phrase come to be? It probably started somewhere along our long history of love for the colour pink. While loads of other colours are linked to negative emotions - like red with danger and green with envy - pink has escaped with only good connotations. Now mainly associated with all things girly, the colour has been the hue of choice for representing things that are sweet, gentle and soft as far back as the 11th century.
It’s thought that this was why, when the Victorians started using coloured light and glass as a form of pseudo-scientific treatment, the pink lens was chosen as a means for lifting moods. In the American Civil War, soldiers that were down in the dumps were given rose coloured glass to cheer them up. By the start of the 20th century, references to the treatment had started to find their way into everyday language. Et voilà! The phrase we still use today was born.
While there’s no concrete scientific evidence to back up the positive effects of pink-tinged glass, we reckon there’s got to be some kernels of truth behind the old idiom. For starters, the splash of colour provided by pink lensed shades won't do a dreary outfit any harm. More importantly, taking a look at the world from behind a pair of rosy tinted specs does a good job of warming those chilly tones. Anything's got to be better than grey, surely?
To celebrate the pink lens in all its rosy glory, we've chosen some of our favourites from our collection. From subtle classics to ostentatious oversizers, take a look at our top pink picks...
Garrett Leight Wilson M
An absolute contemporary classic, Garrett Leight’s Wilson M sunnies are the perfect frames for putting a positive spin on things. All metal with some tasty filigree detail on the temples, they add mood-lifting class and sass in equal measure.
Garrett Leight Vista in Rose Gold
The featured pair of the piece, a semi-rimless flared cat-eye with a winged metal framing and copper gradient lenses. The Garrett Leight Vista, frames that wield a rare touch of sophisticated glamour, the kind that will get you to the front of any beach bar queue with a quick flutter of the eyelids.
Jacques Marie Mage Heart
If there was an all time favourite of feminine frame designs, it would probably be the cat eye. If you were going to improve on that classic recipe, you’d probably add some pink lenses. Well, Jacques Marie Mage has gone even further, with these shallowed Heart sunglasses they've made the sharpest cutting pair of cat eyes we've ever seen at Seen.
Jacques Marie Mage Wyatt
If you like a dollop of opulence served with your sunny disposition, then you’ll probably dig these Wyatt frames from Mr Jacques Marie Mage. A hat tip to the wild, wild west, the frames are jam-packed with sumptuous touches like beta titanium frames and hairline rim wire details. Fancy a pair? You better hurry, they only ever made 350 of these bad boys.
Garrett Leight Garfield Clip
Are you a glass half full kind of person? Thought so. Ever considered topping up that glass with something delightfully pink? Try these Garfield Clips from Garrett Leight. They give your squashed square Garfield lenses a good old fashioned boost of positive vibes. Yay.