Designer Frames 101: Quality by Design

Amy Spiezio
October 20, 2016

Glasses are glasses are glasses, right? Well, not really. When it comes to designer eyewear, there’s value built into every phase of product development. Going beyond the surface and into the construction of eyewear, it becomes clear that a quality model is a worthwhile investment.

glasses-01Etro – ET2624-280

First things first, a good frame is a well-made frame. The design is thoughtfully created to fit correctly. Just like designer jeans fit just right and make you look and feel great, designer eyewear has been created to wrap the face appropriately, giving consideration to a proper fit. And like jeans need to fit your waist and leg properly, high quality eyewear takes into consideration your nose, or bridge, as well as the length between the front of your face and the back of your ear with well-fitting, smartly balanced temple tips.

Those are the basics of a good fit, but there’s even more behind the best frames.



Part of the frame selection process is deciding if you’d like a metal, acetate, combination, or alternative material style. Here again, the quality designer styles offer the best materials that promote style, great comfort, and durability.

Practical metal is a longtime favorite in eyewear. It’s enduring, good looking, and can provide a timeless style. Many metal frames are made of stainless steel, which is hypoallergenic and can be formed into very thin and strong frames in edgy designer styles.

Titanium can be even thinner and lighter, creating a nearly invisible, but quite luxurious, eyewear look for those who want the comfort and lightweight of an alternative to contact lenses. Finally, for those who need a bit of stretch, beta-titanium frames blend a touch of titanium with other metals for flexible styles with splashes of color.

glasses-03Lacoste – L2771-424

Plastic eyewear has come into the forefront of eyewear fashion in designer styles that boldly proclaim color and shapes that derive their looks straight from the runway. Italian cellulose acetate, or zyl, is some of the best on the market, with complex and beautiful patterns with hand finishes for striking styles. Eyeglasses made from acetate have a nice feel, substantial without being too heavy to wear on the face all day. In addition, this material has a clarity that makes the patterns pop.

Combination eyewear brings the best of lightweight and durable metal temples or frame fronts contrasted with lovely acetates. Want a wild pattern, but you’re not quite ready for a full frame look? With a combination frame, you can have a traditional style on your face with a peek of color or pattern on the outside of the temple, or even the inside of the eyewear so the boldness is a treat for you alone!

Wood looks provide a fresh, organic take on eyewear. Generally, quality wood frames may feature some non-wood aspects for proper fitting, such as plastic temple ends, so the eyewear can be custom adjusted to your face. Often wood in designer eyewear is used as an inlay in the temples, so there is a touch of nature without the weight and high maintenance of solid wood styles.



Once you’ve selected your color and material, you’ll probably go on your happy way. But there’s more to the frames than you may realize that make the style you selected comfortable and wearable for the future. When putting together high-quality designer frames, there are other parts manufacturers consider to make the eyewear the best possible experience.

Hinges are something we take for granted, like the zipper on your designer jeans. But like that zipper, if there’s a problem you are not going to be happy. As a result designer eyewear opts for the best metals and innovative designs for hinges. Often opting for fine German designs for high quality eyewear, these little technical masterpieces can take a number of forms, from the invisible to the decorative. All of them ensure that you’ll be able to take off your glasses many, many times without losing their shape or flexibility.

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The bridge of eyewear is also a major comfort consideration…a solid acetate frame may have a saddle bridge carved out of the same material as the frame. Designer frames ensure that these bridges are not only in proportion with the design, but also in proportion to the face so they don’t constantly slide down the nose. Some acetate styles and metal styles attach nose pads, particularly for Asian-fit eyewear. Typically made of silicone in a variety of shapes, they are virtually invisible, but vitally important for a good fit.

When selecting eyewear, opting for a designer look helps guarantee you’ll have a good fit and happy wearing experience. The best eyewear does the work to give you high quality construction details and leaves you with the enjoyable job of picking what looks fantastic on you.

* Not all styles shown available in all stores.