Monday, May 24, 2010

Vintage Eyewear

Here is a picture of me wearing my 50s vintage black acetate cat eye glasses. I usually wear contacts but there are days when I cannot be bothered with putting little plastic disks in my eyes. I tend to wear my glasses on 'lazy days' and at night when I take my contact lenses out. I also wear vintage sunglasses during the day when wearing contacts. As for these frames pictured here, I found them for 30.00 USD on eBay about a year ago. I have found many great eyewear finds on eBay but as of late, I have discovered that is the better site for vintage goods, particularly eyewear.

Here are some tips:

When searching for vintage eyewear, read the description and condition stats! Look at the pictures carefully to see if there is any warped plastic, warped metal, flaking paint, missing rhinestones, or missing parts like temples and/or screws.

If you are buying sunglasses and you wear a contact prescription or if your eyes are normal, try to find lenses that are prescription free. If you need a prescription, then the original lenses will not be an issue since you will have them replaced by your optician anyway.

If the lenses show extreme wear and/or are made of older acetate (plastic), you run the risk of having the lenses fail on you. This is especially the case when you need glasses made into your prescription. In order to fit acetate lenses, opticians need to heat up the frames so they can put the lenses in correctly. If the acetate is weak, the glasses themselves could snap! I have experienced first-hand that many modern opticians or optical places will not touch older glasses if they are not in good shape! Therefore, when buying vintage glasses (both indoor and outdoor) that will be fitted with your prescription, look for glasses in excellent condition. If possible, try to find ones that are "new old stock" or "deadstock."

When it comes to pricing, some online auction sites and seller sites like Etsy will have great prices and over-the-top costs. Know your budget. I have seen a few sellers on eBay charge 200.00 USD for glasses and these were glasses with major flaws! Talk about shameful!

When it comes to sizing, take a current pair of glasses you own and read the measurements. You can often find this information listed on the inside of one of the arms. If you cannot, you can measure with a ruler. For the length across the glasses themselves, measure across the entire front. When measuring the length of the arms, take a string and follow the shape of the arm from the area where it is screwed in to the end of the bent part. Compare these numbers to the item's description and try to stick with that figure roughly. If your new glasses arms are too short, if the lenses do not adequately cover the eye region, or if they pinch the sides of your head, then they are more than likely too small. If the opposite is true and the glasses are falling of your face or sliding off your ears, then they are too big.

I hope I am able to help those in need of vintage eyewear! Happy hunting!

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