Eyeglass Aesthetics: Jewelry for your face

When I was in tenth grade, or thereabouts, things started getting blurry.

I’ve worn glasses since eleventh grade, and I actually like wearing them — unless I’m playing Ultimate Frisbee or photographer. Eyeglasses are face jewelry, and I wish I could afford a new pair every six months, just for fun. Three things, in my opinion, make (or break) a good pair of frames.

The Face: Different people, believe it or not, have different faces. Some are square, some are round and some are light-bulb shaped like my own. Not ever pair of frames works on every face. For instance long faces, like my own, can very rarely pull of a round frame. Better suited to such light-bulb countenances are a wider design, something oval or rectangular.

prodesign-denmark
A hot pair of specs from ProDesign:Denmark

The Frame: Don’t be afraid to show off a little frame. I walk into the local post office with some regularity. I recognize all of the clerks when I go in, and immediately took note of one’s new specs. They were wild — and gorgeous — and I made a point of saying how much I liked them. She replied by saying that they were way more risky than her usual conservative self. She went for them anyway, and it paid off. Seek out good design, of which there is an abundance in frame design if you know where to look, and find something that pops! If you have to wear glasses in the first place, don’t pick something that’s going to pretend to be invisible on your face. Use it as an opportunity to save the world.

Proportions: Keep in mind proportion (in all things, not just eyeglasses), both of the frame to the surface of its lens and the eyeglasses as a whole to the size of your own head. All of a sudden aviator glasses are back in style, especially for sunglasses. All of a sudden aviators are back in style. The original 1937 design was fairly innocuous, but I’ve seen some modern takes on that classic design that are more like windshields on a person’s face than sunglasses. I begin to wonder where the windshield wipers are and if I should look out for errant sprays of blue washer fluid. Not only is this potentially problematic in how much glass is covering up a person’s eyes — and eyebrows, and cheeks, and ears and . . . — but the amount of frame to lens is enervating.

The kicker here is that good frames aren’t cheap. In fact, their prices often seem more a little outrageous for something so small and pretty darn simple. I’ve found some very good deals on Ebay in the past on unique frames, and in years past I actually bought a pair of reading glasses that I had Walmart put lenses in.

But you get what you pay for generally. The reading glasses fell apart almost immediately, and the two frames I bought off of Ebay never fit very well. The Ebay sellers did provide measurements, but only trying a particular frame on will tell you whether or not it’s comfortable. Further, Walmart doubled its cost for lenses a couple years ago.

My last pair, a Bellagio design, I bought from a stellar local place called Childers. They purposefully carry very unique frames (in light of which it’s hard to believe they’re still in business here in Siloam Springs) and the customer service is great. Not only that, the cost of their lenses was half of Walmart’s new price.

There are a lot of internet outlets offering deals on frames and even lenses anymore. However, I’d encourage you to look into local businesses that will give you what you pay for, in service and design.

And remember to show off a little frame.

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

4 Responses to Eyeglass Aesthetics: Jewelry for your face

  1. Jim Janknegt says:

    I wear glasses frames that originated in the 50’s. They look like this:

    The photo is of Father Kentenich, a Catholic priest, who started the Schoenstatt Movement we are involved with. It is just a coincidence that we have the same glasses frames.

    One of the things I like about the frames is they are often still used in movies and TV shows. I just started watching the TV series Heroes on Netflix and the bad guy (I think he”s the bad guy.) wears these glasses.

  2. pNielsen says:

    Who is and isn’t a bad guy on Heroes changes with almost every episode, particularly this season. So much so, this season, that I’ve almost given up on the show. It’s become way too complicated and comes across as quite aimless.

    But the first two seasons were good! Hopefully they right the ship soon.

  3. Jim Janknegt says:

    I’m enjoying Heroes-I’m up to episode 9 of the first season. But there is a major plot point that I am having trouble getting past. The missing painting that was sold to the guy in Vegas holds the key to saving the cheerleader. Do you know of any artist or gallery that would sell a painting without documenting it by taking a photo of it? I mean come on…. all you would have to do is ask to see a photo of the painting to solve the puzzle and save the cheerleader. It really bugs me, but I’m watching it anyway.

  4. pNielsen says:

    IIRC there was a picture of it, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen those episodes so I probably just don’t remember . . .

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