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


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette and
our series on eyeglasses. In today’s video, we give you a brief history
of my glasses, we’ll discuss the anatomy and construction of eyeglasses, and we’ll talk
about 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 new
addition to our team. Welcome with me Preston Schlueter to the Gentleman’s
Gazette! Preston: Thank you very much! Happy to be here! Raphael: Awesome! So, Preston, you’re a jazz singer, you like
30s style and classic men’s style. For how long have you been wearing glasses? Preston: I’ve worn glasses since I was three
years old so it’s been quite a long time. Raphael: Alright and what’s the style you
are wearing right now? Preston: Well these are basically a classic
round frame in a tortoiseshell color with a keyhole bridge and if that doesn’t make
sense to you right now, we’ll cover those terms later in the video. Raphael:Yeah, so with that being said, Preston
is 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 just
going to cover a brief history of eyeglasses and how long they’ve been around. The first mention of eyeglasses, as we know
them today, which is to say two lens corrective frames, comes all the way back from the 13th
century in Italy. With this said, however, it’s also true that
other cultures around the world had been experimenting with similar kinds of ideas. It wouldn’t have been perfected until this
point in the 13th century however, for example, there’s an Arabic text from the 11th century
called the book of optics which essentially laid the foundation for modern eyeglasses
but again, it wouldn’t be for another hundred years that we would really see something resembling
the first modern pair. Bifocals which are lenses with two optical
powers date to roughly the 1760s. They may have been invented by Benjamin Franklin
but we’re not absolutely sure about that. What is known is that he definitely had a
hand in creating them. A short time later in the early 1800s, a British
astronomer named George Airy created lenses that can correct astigmatism which is a fancy
word for blurred vision. Handheld glasses or lorgnette were the first
style to be used. Followed later by pince nez or glasses that
were secured just on the bridge of the nose. Of course, we also have to mention the monocle
which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That’s a single lens held in the orbit of
the eye and it was popular among the upper classes in that time period. By the late 1920s, glasses with temples or
arms fitting over the ears became the dominant style. Well into the 20th-century, eyeglasses were
still considered primarily a medical appliance and weren’t designed with fashion in mind. But by the 1970s, designers caught on that
there could be a market in designer eyewear and since then, we’ve seen all kinds of different
fashion forward frames abound. So what does that mean for eyeglasses today? Basically, they’re no longer an accessory
to hide but instead, they’re a stylish accent that you can use to complement your wardrobe
or 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 can
correct your vision, we’ve got contacts and laser corrective surgery. You can wear them as often or as seldom as
you like. Another big plus is that glasses today are
much more affordable. Especially now that online retailers have
gotten into the game and we’ll send you multiple pairs to try on at home for a relatively low
price. It’s easier than ever to find frames that
you’re going to love. Furthermore, retailers these days are offering
a wide range of materials other than just plastic or metal so you can definitely find
something that will suit you. Finally, it must be said that glasses make
you look smart. It’s not just a stereotype, it’s actually
been scientifically proven. Also, glasses can add maturity to youthful
faces and the youth to mature faces. If you find the right pair, they’ll do what
you need them to. So now let’s get into the basic anatomy of
what my glasses eyeglasses. As you might well imagine, they’re constructed
of several different parts that work together. Most pairs typically consist of a pair of
rims which secure the lenses. A bridge which connects the rims, and temples
which extend over the ears. Depending on the style of glasses, other details
may 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 construction
materials that can be used to make eyeglasses starting with plastic. Cellulose acetate is a plastic polymer that’s
made from wood pulp and then molded into sheets. Individual frames are then cut from these
sheets and hand polished. This is a little bit more labor-intensive
than using simple extruded plastic so that’s where a little bit of the extra cost comes
from. As a plus, acetate is stiffer, heavier, and
more durable than standard plastic so that’s why it’s a good choice for eyeglasses. Multicolored patterns such as tortoiseshell
are far more beautiful and acetate since the pattern was created over an entire sheet. If it were extruded plastic, that pattern
would 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 than
metal and they can be a little bit heavier. They’re also
slightly 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 easily
adjustable construction material, metal. Often you’ll see glasses constructed from
titanium, aluminum, or various alloys. They’re typically corrosion resistant which
is a good thing if they’re going to be sitting on faces that might sweat. Metal is particularly well suited to thinner
frames especially in round or rectangular shapes. At the same time, there are a few disadvantages
to metal frames too. First of all, they can be easily bent or misshapen
and because metal often has a strong memory, they can’t necessarily be reformed to exactly
the way they were before if the bending was severe. There are people out there with metal allergies
and they may run the risk of reacting to metal eyeglass frames as well. Finally, coated metal frames can also lose
their 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 generally
more expensive, you are still able to find natural frames and such materials as wood,
bone, or shell. Wooden frames are a more recent trend and
they’re constructed similarly to plastic frames, for the most part. They’re typically made from hardwood and then
finished with a more precious wood on top. Horn is another option often from a buffalo
or a deer they’re usually hand-carved and then polished and because of their striations
and matte finish, they end up being a really elegant choice. Tortoiseshell is largely illegal these days. Any shell that was harvested after 1973 is
not allowed to be sold but if you’re particularly determined, you could probably find a pair
at a vintage retailer. Be warned, however, they are fairly expensive
because they’re so rare. Overall, natural materials can be a distinctive
choice but they require a little bit more effort and maintenance on the wearer’s part
so metal and plastic might be easier choices to go with at least at first. Next let’s talk about some recommended styles
of eyeglasses. Fortunately, for the stylish gent, there are
many types of classic frames that are currently back in fashion. Note that there are many variations on all
of these styles so if you don’t think that some of the samples we’re going to show today
would necessarily suit you, there’s a retailer out there that will probably have a slight
variation on what we are showing that might fit you a little bit better. First, let’s talk about brow line glasses
which are defined by a top-heavy strong frame along the brow line and across the temples. The frame is completed along the bottom by
thin metal wires which have the general effect of drawing the eye upwards towards the more
defined part at the top. This style is particularly evocative of the
1950s and 1960s when it was worn by notable figures including Malcolm X or President Lyndon
B Johnson. This style is particularly good at adding
maturity to youthful face but if you are an older gentleman, be careful with the type
of brow line frames you choose because they can risk looking a little bit dated. Browline glasses are great for creative people
or those who are simply looking to blend a bold statement with a more classic style
of frame. Round metal frames have typically been the
choice for the counterculture, youth culture, and other sorts of resistance movements, and
in 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 bit
outside of the mainstream. Overall, round metal frames are great for
people who are creative and a little bit quirky. Unlike round metal frames, round plastic frames
with a keyhole bridge are the epitome of stylish mainstream menswear. These frames can add maturity to youthful
faces but unlike browline glasses, they also work perfectly well on seasoned gentlemen
too. For example, my own glasses happen to be in
this style with a little bit of squaring across the top and just a suggestion of a keyhole
bridge. So they’re a little bit more modern but definitely
still in this mold. Finally, in this section, let’s talk about
rectangular 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 adding
youth 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 right
eyeglasses 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 to
find the right pairs of sunglasses for your skin tone and your face shape which you can
check out here and luckily they cover much of the same territory but we’ll still discuss
a few of the key points here. The biggest difference between eyeglasses
and sunglasses is that most men are typically wearing sunglasses for only a brief stretch
of time. On the other hand, you could be wearing eyeglasses
as often as all day every day so you want to make sure that you’re choosing the right
pair for you. So stay tuned for part two of our eyeglasses
guide which we’ll discuss in depth how to pick the right frames for your face shape
and skin tone and also the best ways to shop for glasses. To wrap up today’s video, glasses are now
treated more like fashion items than the medical appliances they once were. They strike a unique balance between fashion
and function and they can often be a great visual shorthand for a wearer’s personality. So if you wear glasses, what kind do you wear
and 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-hair
jacket and a green shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt the tie from Fort Belvedere is silk and features
a houndstooth pattern in pearl gray and bottle green also from Fort Belvedere are the cufflinks
which are gold-plated sterling silver they’re an Eagle Claw design and they feature tiger’s
eye as the stone furthermore the boutonniere is an Edelweiss also available from Fort Belvedere
I’m wearing an English silk pocket square the green echoes green elsewhere in the outfit
and its primary colour which is a burnt orange ties in with the various shades of brown that
I’m wearing my trousers are plain brown my socks are green and feature a zig-zag pattern
and my shoes are tan derbies which feature full broguing and as always don’t forget to
subscribe to the channel so you never miss another one of our videos

100 thoughts on “The Eyeglasses Guide for Men, Part I: History & Style Overview

  1. Good advise, I have glasses similar to what Preston has. Round but a little bit flatter on top. Important for me is that my eyebrows are not hidden becouse they are quite nice looking, while I try to make my small eyes look bigger with the round shape. In the meantime is has to blend a little with my face so brown is a nice collour since it is my hair collour. My glasses must not be my 'big face item' becouse I have a curled imperial moustache that has to steal the show.

  2. Preston is great.?
    Loving the details he laid out from the history to how the modern style is.
    I'm a woman and can't stop watching these videos.

    Great video as usual Gentleman's Gazette!!

  3. Okay a new guy, I’m not initially opposed to this, I know that Sven needs a day off now and again, but don’t make a habit out of it. I subscribed for Sven, not his interns

  4. Cool style new guy! Love the camel jacket. Very informative I didn't know any thing about glasses before, now I know and can inform others that may not.

  5. I like the kid. He looks like a good egg. 😉 Oh, and I wear Kenneth Cole Reaction eyeglasses. They're a elongated modern take on a browline style.

  6. Great to see the team growing and Preston looks and speaks the part very well. Informative topic as always. Thanks. Keep up the good work!

  7. Preston fits right in with the aesthetic of the channel yet has a wonderful personality and presentation! Congrats on the new addition! Looking forward to more videos!

  8. Hello Preston, welcome to the club! 🙂
    I am curious to see what you are going to present in the future and excited for what you bring to the table.
    I'd like to note, that the audio profile will have to be adjusted for Prestons voice, the recording is not as balanced as Raphael's is.

  9. This channel is a treasury of knowledge about the classic menswear. You are doing a colossal work in oder to help people like me look dapper! Thank you a lot!

  10. it happens very seldomly that i actually like change, especially in the shows that i watch. But you have choosen Preston very wisely. Perfect Fit!! Really an awesome addition.

  11. I have way too many glasses. But the ones that I'm wearing all the time are my frameless glasses (they're made out of titanium).
    They look modern and are de facto timeless pieces (unlike framed glasses). When I look back at what was considered hip 20 years ago I realize that it's best to just stick to a more timeless look. I don't want to change my style every couple of decades.
    Also, since my glasses are silver I can combine them with pretty much any outfit.

  12. I'm 25 and I started wearing rimless style since I was 20 years old. My current occupation is paralegal so my daily outfit is business formal, normally plain white shirt and dark navy sharkskin suits.
    My daily wear is Lindberg spirit titanium, with thin, rounded, polished silver colored temple and rectangle lens.
    Before rimless I was wearing Oliver Peoples acetate rounded rim with turtle shell pattern. However, once I went rimless there is noway for me to go back. To me, rimless is the true timeless classic that will never go out of style.
    A little bit disappointed that you did not cover rimless frame style in this video.

  13. Do you think you can make a video on how to dress in the tropics? It's pretty hot and humid in the Philippines. It's usually 22 degrees Celsius.
    I would really like to dress classy like you guys.

  14. Since my days in the USAF, I've preffered metal, pilot-style glasses. I was talked into plastic frames when they became trendy in the 70s, but soon returned to aviators. Glasses shouldn't overpower your face. I like them to be less prominent than many of today’s choices, which I feel are a fleeting trend.

  15. I don't know why, but Preston seems to me like a secretary of propaganda in a dystopian world, where everything is perfect. Just like him.

  16. An excellent presentation gentlemen! I learnt something important in my life since I have been wearing glasses for more than Thirty years. Bravo!!

  17. impressed by this video, it's like the definitive glasses video. Well researched, well written, pleasantly and engagingly presented.
    *****
    Oh, I also like the outfit. Need to get me a camelhair sports coat.

  18. Hey Raphael! You should have team members do videos more often. It is nice hearing other points of view. Keep up the great work?

  19. Love the way Preston speaks, he is a welcome addition for sure. He might seem a little stiff but he'll definitely soften in with greater experience.

  20. This Preston's outfit is bodacious! Thanks for informative and quality video. Just an ideal debut for a young gentleman!

  21. Sorry but Preston's my new fave because he seems so excited to be here. Men would also carry small magnifying glasses (literal looking-glasses) and these could be quite ornate, they were mostly reading glasses. You can see them in European antique shops.

  22. I find it amusing that I LOVE this channel, as I'm a late middle aged lady with questionable fashion sensibility, while my husband dresses very well and with a gentlemen's aesthetic. Your appeal is wide ranging! 🙂

  23. I am slowly getting this channel… initially I thought you were weird, but I think the video delivery has improved so much now and u guys are more likable

  24. The tan vintage jacket is beautiful, but with the large leather sleeve buttons surprised to see you wear cufflinks they seemed overshadowed by the buttons, Great video???

  25. Great video!
    Which glasses are you wearing on it though? You mentioned every piece of clothing you're wearing except for them. Would love to get my hands on a pair of those!

  26. Like you, I've worn them since pre-school. I'm happy to embrace the classic nerd image and really like Buddy Holly, so I've gone for his style. I'm considering round like John Lennon or, after seeing this, possibly the browline next.

    Rimless are cool but can be a pain as the holes holding the bridge through the lenses work loose because they don't have full frames. I like the look of thick wraparound arms but wearing them, I lose peripheral vision, so that's a no.

  27. BOTTOM LINE: LOOK FOR CORRECT SIZE, CHOOSE FRAME AS PER YOUR FACE TYPE, AND INVEST MORE ON LENSES LIKE BLUE LIGHT FILTER, ANTI GLARE AND OL THAT

  28. your glasses bridge are too wide… the glasses seem to be resting on your cheeks which they shouldnt, they should rest on the your nose bridge… the nose bridge for round glasses such as yours are usually wide, which are probably too wide for your nose bridge.

  29. I just got my eye exam and new prescription so I got new frames, which are silver titanium round wires. They're so comfortable and just the right size 🙂 They look great and help me see

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