Men’s Eyeglass Frames
Find out what's hot in the fashion world for men's eyeglass frames. Use our guide to help you narrow down your search based on your facial features, skin tone and hair color.
Today’s styles show rectangles to be very fashionable for men. These shapes can be explored through many materials. The current technology can offer extremely light- weight and thin designs. The plastic frames offer a bolder look. Rimless styles are extremely popular. Titanium has broadened the choices in eyewear over the years. Its flexible strength has always appealed to men. Many of the rimless designs are made of titanium and are therefore much stronger than their predecessors. As with all fashion today, anything goes.
Most men enjoy contemporary styling in their eyewear but the classics still hold up. Aviator styles are still worn as sunglasses. Double bridge styles can still work on some men. Tortoise shell coloring works well on many men who desire a look with a statement. Work with a stylist or optician who can help you make an appropriate selection for your face shape and prescription.
There are several components to eyeglass frames, terms you will commonly read here. Let’s go over the basics:
- Lenses – this refers to your eyeglass lenses
- Temples – these are the side pieces of the glasses that rest on your ears
- Bridge – this refers to the nose piece or nose pads that rest on your nose
Men’s Eyeglass Styles
Men’s eyeglasses come in five basic styles, including:
- Full Rim – Full rim frames completely encircle the lens. There are several different shapes they come in such as circle, oval, and rectangle. Full rim frames offer several structural features such as the style of the nose bride to the temple fit.
- Rimless – Rimless glasses consist of the lenses, temples, and nose bridge. They are, rimless. The lenses attach directly to the temples, offering the lightest type of eyeglass frame. However, because they do not have the rim to protect them, they are the least durable style of frames. Depending on the brand and manufacturer, they may be more expensive too.
- Semi-rimless – Semi-rimless frames cover half of the lens, usually the upper half. They are slightly heavier than rimless frames and use a wire or screw to connect the lenses to the temple.
- Horn-rimmed – This style got its name from the fact that these glasses were traditionally made from horn or shell. They do not consist of nose pads, but instead feature a saddle bridge. Oftentimes, they are heavy in weight and have rectangular shaped rims and lenses with dark plastic frames.
- Brow Bar – The basic aviator design can be used to compare this style too. Brow bar frames are very similar to full rim frames, only they feature a double bridge, or brow bar, above the nose bridge to contact the top of the frame fronts.
Men’s Eyeglass Frame Materials
The most common materials used to make eyeglass frames for men styles are nylon, plastic and metal. Each can provide an esthetic appeal with comfort. Newer titanium frames are resistant to damage, making them appealing to men who may work in a hazardous environment or for those who love to participate in rugged events. Polycarbonate frames are another popular choice, as they are also resistant to damage. Many people who enjoy polycarbonate lenses prefer polycarbonate eyeglass frames too, especially those involved in sporting activities.
Traditional plastic frames are made of a material called zyl, which can be bent into a particular shape when heated and cooled. Zyl comes in a variety of colors and is one of the most popular materials used to make eyeglass frames. For people who want the strength of metal but the weight of plastic, carbon powder can be added to the plastic (carbon fiber). Carbon-fiber frames are durable and also come in a variety of colors. Cheaper plastics, such as cellulose proprionate are known to break easily and can be difficult to adjust. Many times, you will see these frame materials in your local store as reading glasses and sunglasses. With several types of plastics to choose from, it really boils down to the type of eyeglass frames that would benefit you most.
Metal frames are usually found in a gold color. However, they are rarely made from actual gold. Instead, eyeglass manufacturers use a process called electroplating to create a gold look on the metal. Aluminum is a popular material used to make men’s eyeglass frames. Aluminum is lightweight, yet very strong. It is resistant to corrosion and comes in a variety of colors. Typically, designs of aluminum frames are limited, as this material can not be soldered or welded very easily. Screws and rivets are used to connect the different sections of the frame.
Titanium, as mentioned above, is very resistant to damage. It has impressive durability and strength, and is one of the lightest metal materials offered. Because of its natural features and due to the difficulty it takes to weld or mold this material, titanium men’s eyeglass frames are usually more expensive than other types of metal frames. One unique feature of titanium-composite frames is their ability to return to their natural shape if bent. These frames literally twist around on themselves and return to their original shape. This is why this material is known as ‘memory’ metal. Stainless steel is another type of metal used to make men’s eyeglass frames. Stainless steel usually consists of 67 percent iron and 18 percent chrome. It can withstand corrosion, but is known to be brittle.
NASA developed a material called beryllium that is now used to make eyeglass frames. However, because it is expensive, it is oftentimes combined with other metals, such as copper, to make frames. Still, beryllium is strong, lightweight and resistant to damage.
Nylon frames are usually seen with sports and safety glasses. When new, these frames are known to be unbreakable. However, as time passes they lose moisture and become brittle. Nylon frames should never be your choice if you are looking for long-term eyeglasses. Polyamide is a blend of nylons used to make eyeglasses. This material is durable, lightweight, flexible, scratch-resistant and comes in a variety of colors. One problem with polyamide frames is their inability to be around heat, as they are known to lose their adjustment.
What’s Trending in Men’s Eyeglass Frames
Here is what is trending in men’s eyeglass frames:
Style: Brow Bar
Average Retail Price: $175.00
Brand: Oakley Deringer
Style: Full Rim
Average Retail Price: $250.00
Materials: Plastic and Metal
Average Retail Price: $125.00
Brand: Tag Heuer
Average Retail Price: $350.00
Brand: L Amy W-Port
Style: Full Rim
Average Retail Price: $150
Choosing Frames for Your Face
The first thing you should do when choosing eyeglass frames is determine which shape your face is. One vision expert recommends pulling your hair back off your face (if needed) while looking in a mirror and outlining your face with lipstick or a similar substance. Common face shapes include oval, circular, rectangular, diamond, triangular, heart-shaped, and square. In general, your frames should contrast with your face shape. Here are some additional tips for choosing the right frame for your face:
- The top of the frame should be at or just below your eyebrow line
- Your eyes should be close to the center of the lens
- If you have a long nose or eyes wide apart, try a thick, darker colored bridge that rests low on the nose
- If you have eyes that rest closer together, look for a high, thin, lightly colored bridge or a very thin frame
- If your face is short or wide, try a highly placed temple
- If your hair lays around your face, try a thin, light frame
- Bold frames look best on people with minimal or sleek hair around the face
Other factors to take into consideration include your skin tone, hair color, makeup, clothing and lifestyle. If possible, try to find an experienced optician who can help you choose the best eyeglass frame for you.
Talking to Your Eye Doctor
Here are some suggestive questions to ask your eye doctor about eyeglass frames:
- Which style of frame do you think would look best on my face?
- Based on my lifestyle, which material would be best for my frames?
- Which colors can I choose from?
- Are you running any promotions such as ‘buy one get one free?’
- How durable are the frames I’m interested in?
- How easily can my frames be adjusted for comfort and fit?
If you are between the ages of 20 and 40 and are looking for the newest style and trend in eyeglass frames, check out ClearVision Optical. They have partnered with Marc Ecko to create a new collection, called Cut & Sew, with men in mind. This new collection offers modern, contemporary looks with hidden details such as microphones and military components. They come in a variety of colors such as olive, black, blue/black, and green khaki. The Marc Ecko Cut & Sew collection will become available in September of 2011.
Did you know…According to a study conducted by Firmoo.com, most men do not consider the comfort or fit before purchasing eyeglass frames.
- PR-USA.NET, Welcome to a Whole New Dimension in EyeWear, May 2011, http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=736152&Itemid=30
- J. Anshel, MD “Smart Medicine for Your Eyes” (SquareOne Publishers, 2011) 347-350
- J. Weizer, MD; J. Stein, MD, MS “Reader’s Digest Guide to Eye Care” (Quantum Publishing Ltd. 2009) 34