When you are searching for a new pair of vintage glasses online it can be hard to know if the frames you fall in love with are going to love you back. We put together this guide to buying vintage glasses frames online so that you can avoid the pains of unrequited love! So without further ado here is everything you need to know to find your perfect frames for you.
Check The Measurements Of A Frame You Love
Picking the right frame for you takes a little more than just going with a style you like, the key to finding a great looking pair of glasses or sunglasses is to choose a frame that will fit your face. On the Ed & Sarna Vintage website, all of our vintage glasses frames come with five distinct measurements in their descriptions.
Arm Length - The length from the temple to the end of the arm.
Bridge - The distance across the bridge of your nose.
Lens Width - The horizontal diameter of one lens, often referred to as eye size.
Lens Height - The vertical diameter of one lens.
Front Width - The entire horizontal width of the frame from the furthest point either side.
If you have a pair of glasses that you already love the fit of they will be the best place for you to start your search for more statement frames. Most frames manufactured over the past 50 years will have three of the key measurements above etched or stamped on the inside of the left arm. If you can't find it there then take a look at the back of the bridge or underneath the bridge as they are sometimes hiding here.
The largest number will relate to the arm length and this will typically vary from around 110mm to 150mm.
The smallest number will relate to the size of the nose bridge and we have seen these range from 10mm to 25mm.
The other number is the lens width of a single lens, it is usually found right next to the bridge measurement and is sometimes separated by a little box icon. These can be between 35mm to 70mm even on some sunglasses frames.
Often the biggest issue for people trying to find out these numbers is the fact they can't actually see the small print without their glasses on. If this is you then grab your camera phone and take a few snaps of the inner arm and then put your glasses on to see the details in HD.
With these three measurements to hand, it is time to have some fun and start browsing for some amazing vintage glasses frames. When you have found a frame or five you like the look of check their measurements against yours to see if they are a close match. Their number will not need to match up exactly but if the arm length and lens width is is within 5mm and the nose bridge within 2mm then these should usually work for you.
Get Yourself A Recent Prescription
If you are going to order lenses alongside your frame, check out our pricing charts here, then it is vital that you have a recent prescription test ready to upload from a fully-qualified optician. In the UK it is a legal requirement for an optician, following on from your eye test, to provide you with a written copy of your prescription. In the US typically a test will be around $25 to $100 and can be covered by some insurance companies so take a look at the details of your family policy.
We recommend that you get a new eye test completed at least every two years and once a year if your eyesight is more acute.
Know Your PD - Pupillary Distance
Pupillary distance is the gap between the central pupils of both eyes in millimetres. When you wear your vintage glasses the lenses need to fit so that they are centred on your pupils and don't cause distortion to your vision or require you to strain.
The PD measurement is usually included on your prescription but if not it is a pain-free process to find it out. First off give the opticians that completed your test a call and see if they have it on file. If not head down to your local optician and ask them to measure this for you, it is a simple process and whilst they might charge you for the time it is not likely to break the bank. There are also a number of online tutorials available on youtube if neither of these options works for you.
Extra Lens Coatings
Many online opticians will hook you in with a very low opening price and then charge more for every component part of a lens most of which you will actually want. Things like anti-reflective coating, ultraviolet protection, hard coatings and colour tints are all available. At Ed & Sarna we prefer not to take the Ryanair approach and we include all these options as standard so all you need to do is know the right lens index for your prescription. If you would like prescription sunglasses we can offer a number of different tint options which can all be selected in a dropdown when you are adding the frame to your cart.
Choose A Frame That Works With Your Face
When picking out glasses we often find ourselves coming back time and again to the style of frames that always seem to work. This is no coincidence be it rounds, cat eye, aviators or wayfarers whatever your poison it is likely that you have the face shape to match. Take a look at our guide on picking the right style for you to find your perfect match.
So now it's over to you, start shopping for your new vintage glasses frames and get in touch if you have any questions at all about this guide, your prescription or a particular vintage frame.