Vintage eyewear is more than just a fashion statement. It’s a unique piece of history that tells a story about the era in which it was used and created. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in vintage eyewear, and many brands have started to offer new versions of classic designs.
Vintage eyewear provides a unique style, offers quality craftsmanship, and usually holds its value; not to mention, they’re a sustainable fashion choice. But you have to be ready to pay higher prices and ensure you’re prepared to deal with unique fits unless you’re getting custom glasses made for you.
Still, the question remains: is it worth investing in new vintage eyewear? We’ll explore the pros and cons of buying new vintage eyewear and help you decide whether it’s right for you.
The Pros of New Vintage Eyewear
There are several reasons you should consider investing in new vintage glasses. If you’re ready to switch up your frames, you may look at vintage options for:
A Unique Style: One of the most compelling reasons to buy vintage eyewear is its unique style. Vintage eyewear encompasses a wide range of styles, from the iconic cat-eye frames of the 1950s to the oversized and colorful frames of the 1970s. By wearing vintage glasses or sunglasses, you can add a touch of retro flair to your wardrobe and stand out from the crowd.
Vintage eyewear often features unique designs and materials not commonly found in modern eyewear. For example, vintage glasses may feature intricate metalwork or colorful acetate frames. They may also have distinctive details — such as engravings or embellishments — not commonly found in modern eyewear.
Quality Craftsmanship: Another advantage of buying vintage eyewear is the quality craftsmanship that often goes into making them. Many vintage glasses were handcrafted with high-quality materials that are no longer used in mass-produced eyewear today.
For example, vintage frames may be made of high-grade metals such as gold, silver, titanium, or cellulose acetate, a plant-based material more durable than modern plastics.
The quality of vintage eyewear is often evident in its construction. Vintage frames may feature intricate metalwork, filigree designs, or hand-engraved details not commonly found in modern eyewear. This attention to detail can make vintage eyewear more durable and long-lasting than current glasses or sunglasses.
Collectible Value: Vintage glasses or sunglasses can be valuable collectibles, especially if they are from a well-known brand or designer.
Many vintage eyewear brands and designers have a storied history and are highly sought after by collectors. For example, vintage frames from iconic designers such as Ray-Ban, Persol, or Cartier can be highly valuable, particularly if they are in excellent condition and still have their original packaging.
Like other collectibles, the value of vintage eyewear can appreciate over time, making it a potentially lucrative investment. Vintage eyewear can be a great way to own a piece of fashion history. Owning a vintage frame from a well-known designer or brand can be a tangible connection to the past and give you a glimpse into the trends and styles of a bygone era.
Sustainability: Buying vintage eyewear is also a sustainable choice for those looking to reduce their environmental impact. By purchasing vintage frames, you are helping to reduce waste and support sustainable fashion.
The fashion industry is notorious for its negative impact on the environment. From producing raw materials to manufacturing and distributing finished products, fashion has a significant carbon footprint. Buying vintage eyewear reduces the demand for new products and helps to divert existing products from ending up in landfills.
The Cons of Vintage Eyewear
While vintage-style eyewear can be a great way to up your fashion game, it doesn’t come without drawbacks. Vintage eyewear takes a little more maintenance, and you’ll have to learn to be conscientious of the following:
Fit: One of the biggest challenges of buying vintage eyewear is finding a pair that fits well. Vintage glasses and sunglasses may have been designed with different sizing and shapes than modern eyewear, making it difficult to find a comfortable pair that fits properly.
Vintage eyewear may also have been designed for a different time and place, which can affect its sizing and fit. For example, vintage glasses from the 1950s and 1960s were often smaller and narrower than modern frames, which may not fit well on larger or broader faces.
You can get new vintage eyewear custom-made to fit your face at select glasses retailers.
Condition: Another potential downside of buying vintage eyewear is that the state of the frames may not be optimal. Vintage glasses or sunglasses may have been worn extensively, and over time, the frames may have become scratched, bent, or otherwise damaged.
In some cases, you can repair these issues, but in others, they may be irreversible. For example, if a vintage frame has a deep scratch on the lens or is severely bent out of shape, it may be impossible to repair without compromising its original integrity or affecting its value.
Cost: Vintage glasses or sunglasses can be expensive, especially if they are rare or from a well-known designer.
In some cases, the cost of vintage eyewear may be higher than that of comparable modern frames. This can be due to various factors, including rarity, collectibility, and the demand for vintage eyewear.
To add to this, the cost of vintage eyewear may be exacerbated by the additional costs of repairs or maintenance. For example, if a vintage frame needs new lenses or repairs to the frame, the cost of these services can add up quickly and make it more difficult to justify the expense of buying vintage.
Availability: The availability of vintage eyewear can vary depending on various factors, including the age of the frame, its condition, and its popularity among collectors. Some vintage frames may be relatively easy to find, while others may be scarce and require extensive searching or traveling to acquire.
Get New Vintage Eyewear at the Spectacle
If tracking down old, vintage eyewear sounds like a hassle, consider custom-made new vintage eyewear frames from the Spectacle. You’ll find glasses that reflect vintage styles for a unique look and comfortable fit.
Call us at 801-359-2020 or fill out our online form to get started on finding your perfect pair.