Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Re-spec-table? Spec-tacular? Can you SEE what's coming here?

I promised you a photo of my new specs, and I try to keep my promises. Here they are from a distance along with the outfit (Simon Chang jersey blouse with silk ruffles over pleated wool Wilfred pants from Aritzia) I wore to give a talk at the public library last week. (Sadly, no one showed up -- a combination of poor publicity, a too-early start time, in a location people are reluctant to come to in the evening. I'm obviously not taking it personally!)
Here's a closer view. Wonkier, but closer . . .

Can you tell they're tortoiseshell in colour? That's new for me -- somehow back in the days when we "got our colours done" I latched on to the notion of myself as a summer (burns-in-ten-minutes fair skin, grey-green-blue eyes, medium-brown hair) and stuck to cool colours, often in pastels. The last decade, as my hair often has a reddish (unnatural) tint, more and more people tell me I must be "an autumn" and I've found that I can, indeed, wear some warmer colours (although not much orange, almost no yellow), and so I decided to try going warm for glasses.
These are by a company called Chrome Hearts, and they feature some gorgeous vermeil decoration along the arm and at the upper, outermost points of the frames.
With a progressive lens in my strong prescription (which mandates a more expensive lens to minimize thickness), these beauties, I told the young saleswoman/fitter, cost more than my first car. And then I corrected myself, remembering that I/we've actually owned four cars that cost less than these glasses -- if you live long enough, I told the bemused (bored? tolerant?) young thing, you get to say things like that.
But besides the fact that these double as jewelry -- I wish I'd managed to capture the three gold fleur-de-lis at the temples -- glasses can't be beat for a Cost-Per-Wearing item. Turns out my last pair, which ka-chinged in at $1300 were seven years old -- so less than $200 per year, and worn daily!
What about you? Do you resent paying for glasses? Do you manage to find bargain frames? Do you splurge on a CPW basis?
And what kinds of cost comparisons do you find yourself making with back-in-the-day budgets? You know I love to hear from you . . .

14 comments:

  1. I say Speck-tacular!
    Fun and hip and not predictable, edgy...good choice.
    Simon Chang has a friend here at the Bungalow!

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  3. I've just had to shell out for my first pair of varifocals - £300! Seemed a lot til like you I worked out that wearing them everyday for at least the next couple of years.
    and as they had a buy one get on free offer the second pair will give me the option to change the look occasionally :-)

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  4. Wow! $1300 7 years ago! I desperately need a new pair of glasses but am reluctant to get them here as they seem to be very expensive. Clearly I need to stop being such a cheapskate!

    Those frames are fantastic - I've always loved tortoiseshell. However, I have a problem with plastic frames that don't have the separate nose thingy (isn't that the technical term?) - they always slip down my nose, especially in summer.

    I love the look of your whole outfit - what a shame that you didn't have the audience you deserve.

    I try not to compare prices from long ago - mainly because I don't remember stuff like that very well. You can be sure that I'll be looking at prices for glasses a little differently from now on!! (That whole cost-per-wear notion covers a multitude of sins, doesn't it?)

    Patricia

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  5. These are fabulous, and perfect on you! I like how they really 'leave room' for you eyes and are playful and elegant all at once. I don't try to save on frames b/c they really are part of one's face, so nice ones matter. And re what things cost now, I picked up my watch and the service cost more than the watch had... okay, 31 years ago, but still!

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  6. They are fabulous, and look great on you!

    As soon as I could, I invested in good frames, by which I mean designer. I find they generally have a subtly better fit, proportion, style than low-cost or generic brands. And I wear them for years too (Low CPW! I figure - it's on your FACE, it darn well better look good. And a good looking pair of glasses makes me feel good, just like a great pair of shoes or clothing.

    In the US, at least in LA area stores, I've had good luck finding hot frames at Lenscrafters of all places :) It's a chain. You have to really look, and there's usually only a handful small enough to fit me and be that stylish. But it works out, and they have reasonably good prices and often have coupons/deals.

    I also get both indoor and Rx sunglasses at the same time. It was a splurge the first time, and now I will never be without prescription sunglasses. Worth every cent. This last set (in December)(Prada/Ray-Ban - oh my) I went the full whammy on the non-reflective coating plus polarized lenses on the sunglasses, to reduce eye fatigue. And I have to say, also worth it.

    Whew, long comment. Hope that's OK!

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  7. Thanks HHB -- and I've noticed you've picked up some Simon Chang pieces as well.
    Guernsey: Lucky you! Two new pairs! I'm pleased that I still like my previous pair enough to sub in occasionally although there's a slight diff in the prescription so I'm not sure I'll like that.
    Patricia: These seem to be well enough designed that the nose-sliding doesn't happen -- I hope, it's not summer yet, so haven't tried the sweat test!
    Duchesse: Yes! That's the kind of e.g. I mean! and thanks for the compliments on the frames.
    Jillian: Because my prescription itself is so expensive I have so far not done prescription sunglasses, but I'm starting to consider it. So far, I wear fairly good (Maui Jim) sunglasses over my contacts, but I really don't like to wear my contacts all day every day. Perhaps once I've absorbed the hit from this new pair, I'll have to check out Lenscrafters . . .

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  8. I only need glasses to read with so generally go cheapo. That said I do not hate wearing them as much as I thought and your new ones are good enough to wear as adornment.
    Emin actually spent £200 on a pair with plain glass in just to 'soften' his rather aggressive appearance, they drove him mad and he only wore them twice. Yours I think gave better value!

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  9. I can actually see you better with those glasses on! Very refreshing! I read that you too are a cool summer, brown hair and the grey-green-blue eyes. And I too have the progressive eyeglasses. The lenses are expensive. When I go to town, I wear my contact lenses. My daughter says that I look too strict with glasses ;) She is right.

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  10. I got my first pair of progressives last year and although I did go pale at the cost, they were worth it. I also have prescription sunglasses, and chose a fabulous pair of tortoiseshell Prada frames. I only get new glasses every five years or so, so it's easy to justify the expense - and they're on one's FACE, after all!

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  11. When I wrote out the cheque for my first pair of progressives last month, youbetcha I felt aggrived! They were worth a Macbook. I wish I could say that I had come to realise how useful/beautiful they are but I haven't;

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  12. Alison: That boy of yours really is a character, isn't he?! Pater wears glasses for reading only, and also goes with the cheapies. I keep urging him to upgrade just a bit, but then he'd be sure to lose them.
    Metscan: Thanks! Isn't it great having the option of both glasses AND contacts?
    Tiffany: You and Jillian are really making me want prescription sunglasses -- those frames sound fabulous!
    Lesley: Ouch! That's a painful comparison! On the other hand, I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like had I lived before glasses were so widely and easily available . . .

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  13. Gorgeous! Much cuter than the tortoise Chanel out there now...I do NOT resent paying for sunglasses or eyewear period. It is your MOST important accessory. Yes, even more important than your handbag, because you don't need your handbag to see better.

    I've missed you! Karen

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  14. Karen: I saw the tortoise Chanel and didn't find them as distinctive as these Chrome Hearts (altho' they were more affordable!) And I have to agree with you about the comparison with the handbag. Missed you too! Glad to have you stop by.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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