Eyeglass frames are manufactured using many different materials, and made into a wide variety of shapes. Frames have evolved over the years as materials have improved and fashion tastes have changed. Certain frames are designed for specific lifestyles and fashions, some being preferable for athletes, some being ornate, and some made exclusively for functionality. Picking the right frame is a matter of personal preference and lifestyle, and many prefer to own multiple pairs of eyeglasses for varying occasions.
- Metals: Many different types of metal are used to make eyeglass frames. The most popular is Monel, which is highly malleable, yet able to retain shape without losing overall strength. Some frames may be crafted from Carbon Fiber, Stainless Steel and Titanium. These materials are slightly harder to manufacture, and more expensive to produce, but typically offer a stronger, light-weight, corrosion resistant frame in comparison to other metals. Other frames are made using memory alloys, which allow frames to be flexed and adjusted without losing shape.
- Plastics: Plastic frames have some key advantages over metal frames. Plastics won’t cause allergic reactions like some metal frames would, won’t retain shape deformities, and can be made in thicker fashions without creating excess weight. Plastic frames are typically made from nylon composites, which can be made in almost any given color. The downside to plastic frames include a greater vulnerability to breaking, and a small potential for color fading.
- Popular Shapes: Frames come in many different shapes, and vary in size and diameter. Most shapes feature rounded edges, although a few frame styles feature hard geometric angles. Most common among eyeglass shapes are rectangle, circle, square, tear-drop, cat-eyed, and oval shaped glasses. It’s not uncommon to see novelty shapes like hearts and stars, although it’s rare to see eyeglass shapes like these worn for the purpose of correcting vision.
- Eyeglass Types: It’s important that your glasses match your lifestyle and fashion sense, while also correcting your vision. People who are highly active often use sport-eyeglasses as a durable, lightweight way to support their lifestyle. Retro fashions are popular for people who want a stylish, sophisticated look. Rimless glasses are also fashionable and practical for people who don’t want the added weight of a rim. Plastic colored glasses offer an enormous range of styles, including famous “geek” glasses, fun colored glasses for kids, or flirty feminine styles. Finally, the traditional wire-frame, rectangle shaped glasses are a great choice for an office environment, parents, or people who want a conservative choice for eye-wear.
- Feminine vs. Masculine: Many eyeglass frames are distinctly feminine, or distinctly masculine. Feminine styles typically feature rounder shapes, cat-eyed shapes, along with more colorful patterns and designs. Mens eyeglasses are often larger, and feature less color than female counterparts. While many glasses are clearly defined as feminine or masculine, there are a wide array of unisex eyeglasses that are stylish both for men as well as women.