I am often complemented on my glasses, and asked where I got them, especially whilst wearing steampunk or dieselpunk. The answer is simple: Theo, or more specific: Somers Opticians, their Antwerp flagship store, which is Theo frames as far as the eye can see (pun intended). The brand that has been innovating glasses-fashion since 1987.
Now, Theo isn’t a retro or ‘punk brand in itself. It is, however, a brand that specialises in thinking outside the box when designing frames. They don’t care about mainstream, and instead create extraordinary glasses for people that want something a little different. They, of course, carry some classic frames in their very, very extensive range, but the main focus is definitely on being original. Something they succeed in marvelously. I’ve been wearing glasses by them since 2001, and unless they go out of business, I will never wear glasses by anyone else ever again. The company catch phrase is “Theo loves you”, well the feeling is very much Mutual.
That’s a map of Antwerp in that bottom right frame, by the way.
Of course, the great thing about Theo and the reason for this piece, is that they are inventive and because of that, cater to all kinds of subcultures by simply doing what they do best. Right now, they have a ton of frames that anyone looking for glasses that would both suit their steam- or dieselpunk garb as well as every day oufits, would love. A good amount of their frames even comes in a lush dark bronze, beautiful brass, copper tones or even real gold plated. That’s right, _real_ gold plated.
They also have wood frames.
The best about this is, as you can see from these photos, that these glasses also work wonderfully in daily life, with regular fashions, just as well with steampunk or dieselpunk.
(Photos by Claire Van Laere and Lunie Chan)
So yes, you’d be investing in a pair of glasses that is more expensive than just getting a standard pair from a main stream optician, but you get a pair that is nigh indestructible, beautiful and literally suited for every occasion because Theo aims and succeeds at being incredibly versatile.
Theo may be a Belgian brand, and their flagship store may be in Antwerp, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are hard to get. The brand is distributed in 1400 stores over 50 countries, so if you like what you see in this little piece, check out this section of their website, and see if you can find a pair near you. I guarantee you’re not likely to regret it.
Coincidentally, their shop window looks super dieselpunk at the time I’m writing this.