From Descartes to Your Shopping Cart

May 25, 2011

Hey point-dexter… Yeah, I'm looking at you four-eyes.

Don't worry, I'm not interested in your lunch money or that sartorially suited Filson messenger bag. It's your aesthetically pleasing spectacles, neatly reclining on the bridge of your nose. Yes, your glasses.

Let's face it, whether you'd like to admit it or not, glasses, in recent years, have emerged from the doldrums of hipsterdom and have transformed into a staple of any aesthete's wardrobe. I know, you're clumsy… right? You always lose your glasses, so you opt to purchase a pair of cheap ones from your local supermarket -it's in aisle 6, if you're wondering - right next to the "As Seen on TV display." But I, as a preacher of aesthetics, consider it my obligation to free you from the shackles of optical monotony, and usher you into the light of a beautiful world populated by eye wear donning menswear mavens, where one of the ten commandments is: It's the little details that are most scrutinized.

While your parents might have told you you were unique as a child, one thing remains true: the shape of your face is unique: uniquely important in assessing the proper frame-shape for your glasses. Generally the shape of one's face falls into one of the following categories: Square, Oval, Round, Diamond, Rectangle, Triangle, or an Inverted triangle. I won't bore you with the specifics of each shape, but knowing the shape of your face is essential in creating a good foundation to start your search for some stylish 'specs - crowd favorites, like Moscot, actually allow you to take a photo of yourself and try on a virtual pair of glasses.

Some Examples from Moscot's wonderful visual guide.

Now that you've embraced the disintegration of your uniqueness to 2-dimensional geometric shape, it's time to find a color that suits you best. This, of course, varies from person to person and preference will come into play here, but there are some general guidelines that I have found myself following time and time again. If you have brightly colored irises (i.e. blue and/or green) you want your frame to be a color that will complement and bring out the color of your eyes - so it's often best to avoid a black frame, or, if you do decide to indulge in gray-scale monotony, make sure that the frames are not thick. Otherwise people will begin to mistake you for Buddy Holly, and not the musician, the buddy holly who works at your local municipality, wears ill-fitting clothing, and has his dress shirt buttoned all the way up - sans tie. Yeah, you know exactly who I am talking about. And while many people will argue that a darker frame adds a sharp contrast to your obscenely luminescent irises, pursuing a dark frame can be a dangerous task - even for the most sensible menswear aficionado.

For lighter shades you can go the conservative route and decide on a lighter tortoise colored frame or a semitransparent frame.

So my congregation of optical orphans, begin your pilgrimage to clarity (because, odds are you don't have 20/20 vision) and start scouring the web for some great glasses. I've shared some of my favorite pieces already, but here are a few more to satiate your ocular appetites.

A few things to keep in mind: Shop around. While I always encourage people to buy local, often times you can find the same frames online for over 100 dollars less than the list price in a store and it's worth saving your money on the frames so that you can invest in good glass for your prescription - think anti-glare, anti-scratch. But try your best to have your prescription filled in person at an optician's store - they'll offer you some excellent advice when it comes to more technical details about your prescription (gradient, bifocals, etc) and nurturing a solid relationship with the eye glass maker will ensure that your prescription will be filled correctly and, if not, corrected free of charge.


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