Photo by Salt Water New England

Friday, January 21, 2022

Classic Eyewear

 

A reader question:

I have been a contact lens wearer since my early teenage years, but I find as I grow older (and now work extended healthcare shifts) they are not as comfortable as before. Looking to purchase my first pair of glasses in the near future. Any recommendations from the community regarding manufacturers of well made frames in classic, timeless styles?

Thanks so much.


 

30 comments:

  1. Check out Eyebobs...fairly good quality at reasonable prices. Good selection of tortoise shell colored frames.

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  2. I have 3 pair from Warby Parker. Love them

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    1. Ah yes, Warby Parker. The Starbucks and Tesla of the eyewear industry…love ‘em as well!

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    2. Another vote for Warby Parker!

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  3. Anglo American

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  4. Anglo American is a good source, and so is LaFont of Paris. Ben Silver has a good selection, but they are pricey. The Old Glasses Shop UK has a good selection of smaller plastic frames, and can supply a lot of European manufacturers which are otherwise hard to find here in the States.

    A newcomer which I would highly recommend is Cult Frames out of Paramus, NJ. They have perfectly recreated the "Mansfield Square" frame from the now-defunct Universal Optical; they call their version the "Fairmount". These are the frames famously worn by James Dean, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Truman Capote, and a score of other quietly stylish individuals. Besides the history of the frame, Cult does a great job of manufacturing them, working closely with a factory in China, where they are handcrafted. I know the Chinese manufacturing part could be a turn off for many readers here, but I have two pairs of these frames, and I can attest that the quality is on par with - if not exceeding - frames I have owned from Anglo American and LaFont.

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  5. Anglo American! Thanks!

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  6. Zenni is our favorite.

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    1. I've been very pleased with the several pairs of Rx glasses I've purchased from Zenni over the last few years. The company has a very large selection of frames and lenses, the prices can't be beat, and the customer service is very good. The only downside is that they will not put new lenses in frames (whether frames they sold you or frames you purchased elsewhere). I think this is wasteful, but Zenni's frame prices are so low that I don't lose any sleep over it.

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  7. Oliver Peoples are superb. Round tortoiseshell. Had mine since 2010, repaired twice, several rounds of new lenses. Still look as good as the day I got them.

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  8. I love Oliver Peoples (the frames are made in Italy). Classic, comfortable and well-made.

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  9. Ben Silver! Ben Silver! I’ve been wearing the The Pantheon Shape for years. They also have clip sun shades for this shape.

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  10. I recommend the Pantheon Frames by Lafont at Ben Silver. I've worn them for years, and they're about the same price as Oliver Peoples (which I hear are also very good).

    https://www.bensilver.com/Pantheon-Frame-in-Demi-Blond,3807.html?b=d*6153&s=d&p=1&c=14#.YerivP7MKUk

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  11. Another vote for Anglo American 406s (although they are increasingly difficult to get) and the Ben Silver Pantheon in demi-blond.

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  12. Anglo-American 406's are great looking frames, but they're heavy and not very springy, so the pair I had tended to slip down the bridge of my nose a lot. (I have a huge head and bought the largest available size, if you have an ordinary head these frames might work better for you.)

    I just got new glasses a few days ago. I paid extra for Oliver Peoples frames (the "Finley Vintage" and "Codner" models), and they are well worth the price. We'll see how durable they are, it's too soon to tell, but they're the most comfortable frames I've ever owned, and they look very nice.

    You can find a lot of name-brand frames at discounted prices on Amazon and at independent mom-and-pop optical shops. If you buy online just make sure you are careful to order the right size. Many frames come in different sizes and if you're buying online you need to check the size to make sure you're not getting something too big or too small. Then you can have new lenses installed at your local optician, that's another way to save.

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  13. I just bought my second pair of Salt Zissou last summer (different color ... toasted toffee). Beautiful, comfortable, well made frames.

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  14. I switched from contacts to Silhouettes several years ago.

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  15. Anglo-American 406 frames are the same, unchanged frames that were the standard Ivy League/Trad model as 50 years ago. They are available from The Old Glasses Shop in the UK, and delivery is as quick as if they were ordered from a domestic US shop. Highly recommended. Despite "Unknown"'s comment above, they are certainly not heavy. (I have several spare pairs in my desk drawer for the day when they are no longer available.) Moscot and Oliver Peoples have models that are similar, but not the same look.

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  16. Two photos of JFK wearing the Anglo-American 406 frames:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2nlbl7yHr3o/TPlOGErhpYI/AAAAAAAAAdI/EitXV_-vpoo/s1600/rfkjfk.jpg

    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lqlHnZ-7xgA/V0vpv-LfZwI/AAAAAAAAkg4/QJK3Vr8be6gwxgU1vlokNHq8n5Chqb2jQCLcB/s1600/jfk%2Bjohn%2Bf.%2Bkennedy%2B1958%2Bsenate%2Beyeglasses.jpg

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    1. JFK may be wearing AA 406s in the second link, but in the first link, he's very certainly wearing the Universal Optical Mansfield Square frames mentioned in a comment, above.

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  17. I only wear Caddis' frames (Miklos), great company.
    And for this bunch here, I would recommend an American Co., Shuron as old school as it gets
    https://www.shuron.com/sidewinder.htm

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    1. I'm writing this with my Shuron Sidewinders that have a prescription just for the distance to my monitors. My everyday frames are the Ronsir ZYL with the optional clip on lenses or MacArthur sunglasses.

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  18. Lindberg eyewear. Its high end stuff but I have worn glasses my whole life and you get what you pay for (and take care of) when it comes to glasses. Lindberg rimless are unparalleled in style and quality and worth the investment if you wear glasses full time.

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  19. I am a longtime Zenni customer for sunglasses. Lasik surgery is the best thing I ever did. No more discs in my eyes,

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  20. Dear Fellow Reader,
    So many varied suggestions here, but as a longtime wearer of classic frames, I heartily agree with those who have recommended the Anglo-American 406 frames. They have been around for a long, long time, and so many others are simply copies of the AA406.

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