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What to Look for When Buying Vintage Glasses

Vintage glasses are becoming more and more popular. They are a fun accessory to add to daily wardrobe, offering a retro look with maybe a bit of history. They are also a must for costumes, television shows, movies, and theatre.

If you are looking to get your first pair of vintage glasses, this advice can help you figure out to how to start your search and what to look for before you purchase to help you get the perfect pair of vintage glasses.

Choose the Right Glasses

Glasses have been around for centuries and the world of vintage glasses includes hundreds of different styles, shapes, and materials. You can narrow down your search when you have a better idea of what you want. Start by considering how you will use the glasses and what styles appeal to you. Some styles are better for daily wear while a costume may need a particular style. The most popular vintage glasses styles are:

  • Civil War Era Glasses – True antique glasses, spectacles from the late 1800s have small frames and lenses and are generally made of metal.
  • Gold Rim Glasses – Gold rim glasses are a great vintage style. You can choose from round glasses, oval glasses, square glasses, and ovoid glasses.
  • Cat Eye Glasses – Most popular in the 1950s and 60s, cat eye glasses for women have a dramatic upsweep and fun embellishments.
  • Horn Rimmed Glasses – Horn rimmed glasses have thick frames made from tortoise shell, animal horn, or plastic, and come in many shapes.

Beyond these styles, there are colors, brands, and decades that can further refine your search. Looking at pictures of glasses from different decades can help you get an idea of what your favorite retro glasses are.

How to Find Quality Glasses

If you are buying in person – say you found some glasses at an antique store, garage sale, or vintage store – you will want to check the quality before you purchase. Look for:

  • Plastic that has cracks or crazing.
  • Bent frames or temples.
  • Plastic that is discolored.
  • Metal plating that is worn away.
  • Missing hardware like screws or nose pads.

These signs could mean that the pair of glasses is more likely to break or they might make it difficult to add your own lenses, so it may be best to continue your search for glasses.

Another way to find vintage glasses in good condition is to shop on Eyeglasses Warehouse. All of our glasses are hand selected and we take care to describe the quality so that you can be sure you are getting a beautiful pair of antique glasses that will last for years.

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