How To Buy The Perfect Vintage Frames
For years I never thought about the glasses I put on my face. I started wearing glasses when I was 8 and at first, my Mom would let me pick out the prettiest frames I liked. Soon she realized that I’m a total klutz and usually stepped on them within a month or two and so I was forced to downgrade from the pretty frames to the sturdy frames. Looking back I can’t blame her.
It instilled in me this utilitarianism in my eyewear. Until just a couple of years ago, I would get one pair of eyeglasses and one pair of sunglasses and wear them for a decade or two. Then along came my husband who is a sunglass fiend. I’ve always loved his sense of style, but multiple sunglasses?!?
Naturally, I thought he was crazy for disagreeing with me, but then he asked me this. Do people look at our feet or our face first? Duh, our face. Ok, so why do I have a closet full of shoes and only one pair of glasses? Hot damn the man had a point.
First impressions matter. As a believer in fashion for good I want everything I put on my body to express who I am in a single glance. I want to convey a sense of style and individuality. A bit of quirk and a bit of class. Most importantly I want everything I put on my body to have a purpose. Looking around at my local opticians I didn’t see that. It was row after row of the same boring frames for hundreds of dollars each. Sure, some of them were cute, but they weren’t making the world a better place. Looking at them all I saw were hunks of petroleum destined for a landfill.
An estimated 4 million perfectly good pairs of glasses are thrown away each year. Which doubly sucks because 1.1 billion people in the world need glasses and don’t have access to them. There’s just so much wrong with that equation there was no way I was going to contribute to it.
My first solution was buying vintage glasses. Or at least I thought that was going to be my first solution until I actually tried it. Most shops I looked at only have a few pairs, so I spent hours going from shop to shop looking for a decent pair. Y’all I’m a busy lady, I don’t have time for that nonsense. Then when I finally found a pair I liked I called my optician and asked if they could put lenses. Sure they said, but it’ll be twice as expensive than if I bought frames from them and they couldn’t guarantee that the frames I brought them wouldn’t break in the process.
For a while I was stuck until thanks to the magic of the internet I discovered Retrospecced. Retrospecced is a mother daughter company that recycles and refurbishes designer and vintage frames turning them into your new favorite glasses and sunglasses. I could get the glasses (and lenses) in one place with none of the guilt!
Partnering with Vision Aid Overseas’s donation center Retrospecced is able to find stunning frames that would’ve otherwise ended up in a landfill. The awesomeness continues once you purchase a pair of frames. Retrospecced gives 20% of the profits directly to Vision Aid Overseas to help them continue their work restoring eyesight to people in developing countries. According the the World Health Organization restoring eyesight is the most cost effective health interventions to reduce poverty. Buying from Retrospecced is a win for my style, a win for my fellow people, and a win for the planet. Count me in!
To be honest though, I was really nervous about buying glasses online. Buying glasses online is almost as stressful as buying jeans. Sure you make like the way the look on the screen, but will they look good on you? I always have the hardest time finding frames because I’m petite and a lot of frames just take over my face. As a costume designer once told me “Your porportions can’t handle a lot of stuff” But I was so intrigued by Retrospecced I just had to give them a shot. Plus with their price point (29-35 pounds) and generous return policy there was nothing to lose.
I ended up getting two pairs that I absolutely adore. The first is a vintage pair of Club Masters by Ray-Ban from back in the 50’s. When I wear them it gives my wardrobe a bookish funky quality that gives my look an edge. While these babies make me feel like a boss babe ready to conquer the world! They're retro L'Amy frames, a French brand with a long history of crafting glasses. Both these frames make me feel fabulous and I know they're totally unique!
Want to give Retrospecced a try yourself, but overwhelmed on how to shop for glasses online? Here a 4 easy tips to help you shop like a pro!
I guarantee if you look at your current frame selection you’ll see a trend. Are they round? Cat-eye? Square? When you’re looking online stick to that style and you’re sure to love it. I have a squarish face so I love structured and straight tops and softer rounded bottoms like these.
You’re buying vintage here so play with which era sets your heart fluttering. If you want to feel like a disco queen keep your eyes peeled for 70’s frames. Still miss Barb? Snag a pair of Deirdre Barlow styled specs.
Faces are different sizes (wouldn’t it be weird if they weren’t?) and so are frames. If you have modern frames look either inside the arms or bridge of the glasses and you’ll find numbers like this “57/14”. The first number is the width of the lenses and the second is the width of the bridge. This will give you an idea if you need small, medium, large, or extra-large glasses. Click here for more help.
Fashion should be fun. Once you know your style don’t be afraid to push your boundaries!
I’ve fallen in love with my frames and can’t wait to find the perfect funky pair of vintage frames to turn into sunglasses. Want to give Retrospecced a try your self? Use code BENITA15 for 15% off your order!
What’s your favorite frame style? Do you use glasses to change up your look? Let me know!