Palin's designer glasses frame latest fashion spectacle

She's the moose-hunting mother of five, the hockey mom who rose from small-town mayor to governor of Alaska. GOP vice presidential pick Sarah Palin is all that – and she's got cool glasses, too.

Trendhunter.com, a Web site that ferrets out the latest crazes across the globe, says the Palin frames have fueled a “designer-eyeglasses frenzy.” Marie Claire magazine declared the specs, by Japanese designer Kazuo Kawasaki, “a style hit.” They're a pricey one, too, starting at $375 just for the titanium frames.

Some media outlets, including the Huffington Post, wondered if the glasses were “the new Hillary Clinton pantsuit.”

Some pundits call Palin's style the “naughty librarian” look. But could it be that we take the former beauty queen more seriously when she's behind a pair of specs?

“It shows how little we've advanced, that we're focusing on hair, makeup and glasses,” says Karen O'Connor, founder and director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University in Washington, D.C.

But, O'Connor says, “Historically, people attach intelligence to people who wear glasses. So if there's a question about how smart you are, or how ready you are for this office, you're going to keep those glasses on.”

“Hillary Clinton – I'm sure she's blind as a bat, but you don't see her in glasses. Hillary did not have to have a pair of glasses on to look intelligent.”

Whatever their political persuasion, would-be buyers will need deep pockets. By the time the glasses are ordered and finished (the particular model is the Kawasaki 704), the tab can reach $700 to $1,000, according to opticians.