Help me find the best pair of glasses in the world...again.
June 27, 2016 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Or something extremely similar. Pictures and details inside. I've had this amazing pair of glasses for roughly 18 years. They never lose their shape and seem to be nearly indestructible. And that's why I'm scared. I'm afraid I'm going to lose them and end up with a new pair that's inferior. I never see anything similar to them anywhere. Help me find similar glasses, so I'm not up a creek without my eyewear when that terrible day comes that I can't find them.

Uncompressed pictures of my glasses, so you can hopefully see every detail.

The brand is Perry Ellis. I got these in roughly 8th or 9th grade, so somewhere around 1999, give or take a year.

You can see how everything is narrow and thin on these--the temple bows, the frames, etc.--and I love that. I like the narrow lens shape as well. Everything is made of metal.

The real key to these glasses is the hinges and where the bows connect to the lens frames. Unlike almost every pair of glasses I've seen, the hinge is right up against the eye wires. There's no short piece of metal protruding backwards from them with the hinge set back from the lenses about a centimeter to a half an inch.

Anyone who wears glasses knows that these little pieces of metal at the corners bend all the time requiring the user to carefully bend them back, hopefully without snapping them. My glasses do not have that problem. The hinge is also somewhat springy, so it doesn't bend the rest of the glasses if one of the bows gets torqued. This short hinge on mine also allows the glasses to fold extremely flat, which is great and can seen in the pictures.

So, first of all, does anyone know the proper terminology to describe these glasses? Is there a specific name for this type of hinge without the extender piece? It seems rare. I have never seen another pair with this type of hinge.

Second, I don't suppose there's any way to actually find another pair of these exact glasses, is there? I doubt it. They are from nearly two decades ago. Still, if I'd had known at the time, I'd have bought a lifetime supply of these frames. I don't know the model number or name for the model of frames, unfortunately, only that they're Perry Ellis.

Third, where can I go to find something similar? The hinges are essential. The general look and construction of the glasses can have some wiggle room. I've looked in the past for glasses like this and come up empty on the internet. But there are always places I don't know about. And that's why I'm here.

Help me, please. These things are like family to me.
posted by KinoAndHermes to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Best answer: So glasses shopping in general - you'll need to go to a lot of stores/opticians. There are hip places usually in downtown neighbourhoods that have much more specialized selections of much better quality frames in my experience. Mall places are generally terrible and sell terrible frames - not just in the fashion sense, but in terms of the construction details you note.

You could ask about titanium frames which come in styles similar to the pair you have and are really, really durable. Like, basically unbreakable under normal circumstances.

Those hinges don't seem especially unusual to me, but all frames are slightly different. There are hingeless designs out there that bend and there are a lot of hinge designs including ones without fasteners or screws if you look around enough.

But in short - you need to go to a lot of stores. Like the last time I went glasses shopping seriously I went 50 miles away to browse stores.
posted by GuyZero at 11:43 AM on June 27, 2016

You might want to take a look at Silhouette glasses. They make minimalist frames or frameless glasses and use titanium. They are very durable (mine are still like new after 7 years) and light because of the material. They have some models with the kind of hinges you want. Take a look at different models here, here or here, for example.

A warning though - everyone I know who bought Silhouette glasses once has never wanted to wear any other kind of glasses afterwards because they're so light and you can barely feel them. Unfortunately, they're not cheap, but worth the price in my opinion, especially if you have no problem with wearing the same frames for years and years.
posted by amf at 12:56 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Do a search on eBay for Perry Ellis glasses and follow that search. You'll be able to follow what is being offered for sale, keep watching until you see the frames you are looking for.

I found a 25 year old pair of vintage sunglasses I had been looking for in this way, it took two months for the one I wanted to show up in the search.
posted by IpsoFacto at 12:58 PM on June 27, 2016

I had a pair of unbreakable Silhouette titanium glasses and they only lasted me about three years before the arm snapped off.
posted by aniola at 6:05 PM on June 27, 2016

Try on other glasses. Technology has improved. Those glasses were probably designed in Windows 95 CAD software. Stress testing wasn't a thing back then like it is today. Nobody used titanium back then. Steel frames haven't gone away, and neither have your options.

Make sure you bring your glasses with you.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:57 AM on June 28, 2016

Response by poster: I'm going to look at titanium styles. Wasn't aware before that they existed. I'm also going to do what GuyZero said and see what I can find at more specialized shops in my city.

Thanks everyone.
posted by KinoAndHermes at 5:41 AM on June 28, 2016

Came in to say titanium, and also many glasses have a little sprain in the hinge now so if the arm gets bent outward, it springs back into place. My 1 year old regularly grabs my 3 year old glasses off my face and bangs them on the floor, and they show no signs of abuse.

I just went in for new glasses yesterday and I think you'll be able to find something that will suit you and be really strong and tough. Every time I get new glasses I'm amazed at the cool stuff they have come up with since last time.
posted by cabingirl at 5:49 AM on June 28, 2016

Mr Corpse had a pair of titanium frames that eventually broke -- and he was able to have them repaired. Who knew?
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:34 PM on June 29, 2016

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