The Eyeglasses Guide for Men, Part I: History & Style Overview

Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette andour series on eyeglasses.

In today's video, we give you a brief historyof my glasses, we'll discuss the anatomy and construction of eyeglasses, and we'll talkabout different frames and what they say about you.

If you have watched this channel for a while, you know that I've never worn eyeglasses and frankly, I just wore them for this video, however, I know someone who has a long history of wearing eyeglasses and he's also a newaddition to our team.

Welcome with me Preston Schlueter to the Gentleman'sGazette! Preston: Thank you very much! Happy to be here! Raphael: Awesome! So, Preston, you're a jazz singer, you like30s style and classic men's style.

For how long have you been wearing glasses? Preston: I've worn glasses since I was threeyears old so it's been quite a long time.

Raphael: Alright and what's the style youare wearing right now? Preston: Well these are basically a classicround frame in a tortoiseshell color with a keyhole bridge and if that doesn't makesense to you right now, we'll cover those terms later in the video.

Raphael:Yeah, so with that being said, Prestonis the expert and I'm not so I'm heading out and he's taking over.

See you later! Alright so let's get to it! Part one of the eyeglasses video.

In the first part of this video, we're justgoing to cover a brief history of eyeglasses and how long they've been around.

The first mention of eyeglasses, as we knowthem today, which is to say two lens corrective frames, comes all the way back from the 13thcentury in Italy.

With this said, however, it's also true thatother cultures around the world had been experimenting with similar kinds of ideas.

It wouldn't have been perfected until thispoint in the 13th century however, for example, there's an Arabic text from the 11th centurycalled the book of optics which essentially laid the foundation for modern eyeglassesbut again, it wouldn't be for another hundred years that we would really see something resemblingthe first modern pair.

Bifocals which are lenses with two opticalpowers date to roughly the 1760s.

They may have been invented by Benjamin Franklinbut we're not absolutely sure about that.

What is known is that he definitely had ahand in creating them.

A short time later in the early 1800s, a Britishastronomer named George Airy created lenses that can correct astigmatism which is a fancyword for blurred vision.

Handheld glasses or lorgnette were the firststyle to be used.

Followed later by pince nez or glasses thatwere secured just on the bridge of the nose.

Of course, we also have to mention the monoclewhich was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

That's a single lens held in the orbit ofthe eye and it was popular among the upper classes in that time period.

By the late 1920s, glasses with temples orarms fitting over the ears became the dominant style.

Well into the 20th-century, eyeglasses werestill considered primarily a medical appliance and weren't designed with fashion in mind.

But by the 1970s, designers caught on thatthere could be a market in designer eyewear and since then, we've seen all kinds of differentfashion forward frames abound.

So what does that mean for eyeglasses today? Basically, they're no longer an accessoryto hide but instead, they're a stylish accent that you can use to complement your wardrobeor accent your own personal style in general.

So what's to love about eyeglasses today? First of all, they're optional.

Since they're no longer the only way you cancorrect your vision, we've got contacts and laser corrective surgery.

You can wear them as often or as seldom asyou like.

Another big plus is that glasses today aremuch more affordable.

Especially now that online retailers havegotten into the game and we'll send you multiple pairs to try on at home for a relatively lowprice.

It's easier than ever to find frames thatyou're going to love.

Furthermore, retailers these days are offeringa wide range of materials other than just plastic or metal so you can definitely findsomething that will suit you.

Finally, it must be said that glasses makeyou look smart.

It's not just a stereotype, it's actuallybeen scientifically proven.

Also, glasses can add maturity to youthfulfaces and the youth to mature faces.

If you find the right pair, they'll do whatyou need them to.

So now let's get into the basic anatomy ofwhat my glasses eyeglasses.

As you might well imagine, they're constructedof several different parts that work together.

Most pairs typically consist of a pair ofrims which secure the lenses.

A bridge which connects the rims, and templeswhich extend over the ears.

Depending on the style of glasses, other detailsmay also exist including nose pads, temple tips, or a brow bar across the top.

But we'll get into those details later.

First, let's talk about the various constructionmaterials that can be used to make eyeglasses starting with plastic.

Cellulose acetate is a plastic polymer that'smade from wood pulp and then molded into sheets.

Individual frames are then cut from thesesheets and hand polished.

This is a little bit more labor-intensivethan using simple extruded plastic so that's where a little bit of the extra cost comesfrom.

As a plus, acetate is stiffer, heavier, andmore durable than standard plastic so that's why it's a good choice for eyeglasses.

Multicolored patterns such as tortoiseshellare far more beautiful and acetate since the pattern was created over an entire sheet.

If it were extruded plastic, that patternwould have to be painted on which generally doesn't look as nice.

There are a few disadvantages to acetate eyeglasses.

In general, they're harder to adjust thanmetal and they can be a little bit heavier.

They're alsoslightly more prone to snapping.

Overall, because of its beauty and durability, we would definitely recommend acetate as a choice for your eyeglasses.

Next up let's talk about a lightweight easilyadjustable construction material, metal.

Often you'll see glasses constructed fromtitanium, aluminum, or various alloys.

They're typically corrosion resistant whichis a good thing if they're going to be sitting on faces that might sweat.

Metal is particularly well suited to thinnerframes especially in round or rectangular shapes.

At the same time, there are a few disadvantagesto metal frames too.

First of all, they can be easily bent or misshapenand because metal often has a strong memory, they can't necessarily be reformed to exactlythe way they were before if the bending was severe.

There are people out there with metal allergiesand they may run the risk of reacting to metal eyeglass frames as well.

Finally, coated metal frames can also losetheir finish over time which will cause them to age faster than plastic frames.

Lastly here, let's talk about natural frames.

Though they're a bit harder to find and generallymore expensive, you are still able to find natural frames and such materials as wood, bone, or shell.

Wooden frames are a more recent trend andthey're constructed similarly to plastic frames, for the most part.

They're typically made from hardwood and thenfinished with a more precious wood on top.

Horn is another option often from a buffaloor a deer they're usually hand-carved and then polished and because of their striationsand matte finish, they end up being a really elegant choice.

Tortoiseshell is largely illegal these days.

Any shell that was harvested after 1973 isnot allowed to be sold but if you're particularly determined, you could probably find a pairat a vintage retailer.

Be warned, however, they are fairly expensivebecause they're so rare.

Overall, natural materials can be a distinctivechoice but they require a little bit more effort and maintenance on the wearer's partso metal and plastic might be easier choices to go with at least at first.

Next let's talk about some recommended stylesof eyeglasses.

Fortunately, for the stylish gent, there aremany types of classic frames that are currently back in fashion.

Note that there are many variations on allof these styles so if you don't think that some of the samples we're going to show todaywould necessarily suit you, there's a retailer out there that will probably have a slightvariation on what we are showing that might fit you a little bit better.

First, let's talk about brow line glasseswhich are defined by a top-heavy strong frame along the brow line and across the temples.

The frame is completed along the bottom bythin metal wires which have the general effect of drawing the eye upwards towards the moredefined part at the top.

This style is particularly evocative of the1950s and 1960s when it was worn by notable figures including Malcolm X or President LyndonB Johnson.

This style is particularly good at addingmaturity to youthful face but if you are an older gentleman, be careful with the typeof brow line frames you choose because they can risk looking a little bit dated.

Browline glasses are great for creative peopleor those who are simply looking to blend a bold statement with a more classic styleof frame.

Round metal frames have typically been thechoice for the counterculture, youth culture, and other sorts of resistance movements, andin the last few years, we've started to see them re-enter the mainstream again.

Favored by people including Steve Jobs, Gandhi, and John Lennon, they're a choice for somebody who feels that they are just a little bitoutside of the mainstream.

Overall, round metal frames are great forpeople who are creative and a little bit quirky.

Unlike round metal frames, round plastic frameswith a keyhole bridge are the epitome of stylish mainstream menswear.

These frames can add maturity to youthfulfaces but unlike browline glasses, they also work perfectly well on seasoned gentlementoo.

For example, my own glasses happen to be inthis style with a little bit of squaring across the top and just a suggestion of a keyholebridge.

So they're a little bit more modern but definitelystill in this mold.

Finally, in this section, let's talk aboutrectangular frames which can make a variety of statements.

Long thin frames are more simple and pedestrian, while thick rectangles in darker shades make a bold statement for a man of any age.

This style is particularly good at addingyouth to more mature faces particularly if you opt for a bolder color such as dark blue, clear, or tortoiseshell.

Next, let's talk about how to find the righteyeglasses for you since finding a pair that suits your own personal style, skin tone, and face shape, can require a little bit of trial and error.

We've done some previous videos on how tofind the right pairs of sunglasses for your skin tone and your face shape which you cancheck out here and luckily they cover much of the same territory but we'll still discussa few of the key points here.

The biggest difference between eyeglassesand sunglasses is that most men are typically wearing sunglasses for only a brief stretchof time.

On the other hand, you could be wearing eyeglassesas often as all day every day so you want to make sure that you're choosing the rightpair for you.

So stay tuned for part two of our eyeglassesguide which we'll discuss in depth how to pick the right frames for your face shapeand skin tone and also the best ways to shop for glasses.

To wrap up today's video, glasses are nowtreated more like fashion items than the medical appliances they once were.

They strike a unique balance between fashionand function and they can often be a great visual shorthand for a wearer's personality.

So if you wear glasses, what kind do you wearand more importantly, how do you pair them with your outfits? Share with us in the comments below! In today's video I'm wearing a vintage camel-hairjacket and a green shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt the tie from Fort Belvedere is silk and featuresa houndstooth pattern in pearl gray and bottle green also from Fort Belvedere are the cufflinkswhich are gold-plated sterling silver they're an Eagle Claw design and they feature tiger'seye as the stone furthermore the boutonniere is an Edelweiss also available from Fort BelvedereI'm wearing an English silk pocket square the green echoes green elsewhere in the outfitand its primary colour which is a burnt orange ties in with the various shades of brown thatI'm wearing my trousers are plain brown my socks are green and feature a zig-zag patternand my shoes are tan derbies which feature full broguing and as always don't forget tosubscribe to the channel so you never miss another one of our videos.