Americas best eyeglasses were once a marvel of science, but these practical accessories have grown into garments of their own, able to amend eyesight and entire outfits in one fell swoop. Today, glasses are more than a practicality. Switching on a sleek pair alters an entire look in seconds. Meanwhile, eyeglasses protect and repair our sight, the sense most people rely on above all others. They’re a multifaceted accessory capable of protecting you from sunlight and computer screens alike.
As I may have mentioned before, I spent three years working at a swanky glasses boutique on Madison Avenue. As a result, I have more opinions about Americas best eyeglasses than your average individual. I can tell you from this insider perspective that an information disparity dominates the eyewear industry, lorded over by a small handful of multinational conglomerates disguised as many entities through plentiful licensing deals. High costs (particularly on lenses) are tolerated by customers who simply couldn’t know better. PLEASE–always barter when buying glasses with lenses from any company on this list.
To help you begin your search for Americas best eyeglasses with completely clear vision, we’ve outlined every factor to consider before starting your journey.
The advent of modern technology has increased accessibility across the board. The internet has given rise to new means for commerce, lowering barriers to entry and enabling a vast expanse of exciting new eyewear designers to connect with customers. The internet has also allowed fashion trends to take off at astronomical speeds, with hot new styles spreading like wildfire across social media and pop culture outlets. Most importantly, however, search engines connect consumers with a wealth of information to help dwindle that daunting information disparity.
To help you begin your search for Americas best eyeglasses with completely clear vision, we’ve outlined every factor to consider before starting your journey. Read on to learn more about Americas best eyeglasses brands running the 21st century market today!
What to Consider When Buying Eyeglasses
Eyeglasses are typically measured in terms of three dimensions. Lens width (usually the first measurement listed) describes the millimeter width of ONE lens. DBL (distance between lenses) describes the millimeter width of the nose bridge. Finally, temple length measures the millimeter length of the temple, which extends back over your ears. If your prescription lists your pupillary distance (the millimeter distance between both of your pupils) then you can use that to estimate some of these measurements. If not, focus on the eye width. The average width for most men is about 54 millimeters–based on your face size, adjust accordingly.
Different glasses shapes suit different face shapes. A good rule of thumb: go with the glasses shape opposite of your face shape. For instance, my rounded cheeks look better with a more angular, square frame. A square face craves softer lines. Then comes the additional question of full-frame, rimless, or semi-rimless glasses. There’s a wealth of resources across the internet to help you determine which shape works best for you, but the best solution is either an in-person or virtual try on. No one rule will determine which frame works best, it’s a balance always in flux.
Most men’s glasses come in muted tones, but this trend is changing in tandem with the great explosion of styles resulting from the internet’s incessant growth. Color contributes to the visual affect of your glasses. Consider what will compliment your wardrobe, lifestyle, and complexion, along with more practical considerations like whether your desired color can translate across climates and seasons. Most importantly, though, the color should make you feel happy and comfortable!
The material your eyeglasses are made from will impose a surprising impact on your experience wearing them. Acetate (commonly confused for plastic) is the most popular material across the board, because it’s comfortable, versatile, and primo for crafting expansive colorways. However, acetate can dry out and crack under fluctuations in temperature and humidity. It’s also prone to discoloration. Metal offers a popular alternative, but these frames can prove less comfortable (albeit more lightweight!) Looking for something more couture? Exotic materials like buffalo horn, wood, and precious metals also abound across the market.
Eyeglasses Nose Pads
This oft-forgotten eyeglass feature makes a world of difference regarding comfort and fit. Acetate glasses typically sit on the nose just by the bridge, but nose pads help lift glasses from the cheeks, especially optimal for individuals with low nose bridges, wide faces, or a sensitivity to the fog often caused by wearing masks and glasses at once. This one’s a matter of personal preference, but definitely try both options to determine which feels more comfortable.
All necessary cosmetic considerations aside, your eye health should always reign preeminent throughout your search for Americas best eyeglasses. Certain frames work better for certain prescriptions. For instance, if you need progressive lenses with reading on the bottom and distance up top, you’ll also want a larger frame to accommodate those multiple prescriptions. Very strong prescriptions, on the other hand, work better with smaller, rounded frames. Additional features like transition shades, blue light coating, and anti-reflective coating may only be available with particular models.
No matter how much you’re investing into your new spectacles, you want to work with a brand that’ll help you fine tune to perfection. Check in on the company’s policies regarding warranties, returns, repairs, and adjustments to make sure you and your glasses are cared for up to the very end.
Best Brands to Buy Americas Best Eyeglasses
Coronado by Leisure Society
Leisure Society lives up to its name. These rates may speak to the yacht crowd, but there’s substance behind the price tag. CFDA member and designer Shane Baum has crafted the company from his guiding principles: the value of complete sumptuousness, afternoons alongside loved ones lived in unmitigated leisure. The craftsmanship of these ultralight, elegant titanium frames exhibits the possibilities available upon stepping just beyond the mainstream.
PLD D418 by Polaroid
The brand name evokes vintage cameras and candid snapshots, but Polaroid’s proprietary technology revolutionized far more than photography. In 1928, 19 year old Edwin Land revolutionized the process of polarization, which means “removing glare from bright light” as explained by The Atlantic. Where the process had once required cumbersome hunks of crystal rock, Land distributed shards of these crystals into a thin plastic sheet, creating the “polaroid.” As the owner of the patent, his work can be found in car windows and, you guessed it, eyeglasses.” With a history like this, these American eyeglasses are practical, reliable, and functional.
Instabone Square Eyeglasses by Chrome Hearts
Those in the know regard this brand as one of the peaks of luxury throughout the eyewear market. Richard Stark, John Bowman and Leonard Kamhout founded the brand in Los Angeles during 1988, crafting high-end products from silver, gold and diamond-studded leather. A favorite of icons like Guns N’ Roses, Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones alongside Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens, eyeglasses by Chrome Hearts feature impossible details and outrageous materials. They’re difficult to find online, so use a discerning eye and make a trip to their boutiques if you have the chance.
Arthur by Moscot
Family-owned neighborhood optical shop Moscot has operated since 1915, serving New Yorkers (and more recently, the world!) with their smart sensibilities. A timeless favorite for the trendy downtown crowd, frames from Moscot offer more accessible price points without sacrificing an ounce of attitude. Their wide range of experimental frames come in an impressive number of colorways, marking this brand as most definitely behind some of Americas best eyeglasses. Sometimes, it’s just a numbers game.
Truesdale by Warby Parker
A household name even amongst those blessed with 20/20 vision, Warby Parker’s big splash on the scene changed the eyewear market irrevocably, pioneering super low prices and virtual/at home try-ons that bring Americas best eyeglasses right to your doorstep. The NYC-born brand maintains a classic lineup of versatile shapes with sophisticated names. Their collection shifts from time to time, maintaining freshness without throwing customers through a loop. Check out their website today, and head to a store in-person if you can–there’s all kinds of interesting goodies to explore at their Upper East Side location!
Sekton by DITA
Definitely on the luxury end of the spectrum (but still not even the most expensive option on this list) DITA is my personal favorite eyewear designer on the market today. Perhaps I’m biased by my love for the song “Black Barbie” by Nicki Minaj (furry moon boots, shades DITA) but then again, A$AP Rocky also mentions Linda Farrow on “Fashion Killa” and you don’t see me pining after those. Anyways, this LA-based brand takes itself seriously, and then offers the designs to back up that ego. I think they’re hot, sturdy, and truly unique. Exceptional.
Rico Eyeglasses by SPY Eyewear
Let’s not forget the crucial function of a tactical pair of eyewear! San Diego-based SPY Optic started their company to capture the essence of youth culture. What they inadvertently created, however, were affordable and tough glasses in modern shapes that can party on rooftops and backroads with the rest of them. “Our world-renowned Happy™ Lens Tech is the only patented therapeutic lens on the market to not only enhance color and contrast, but is also scientifically tuned to boost mood and alertness, providing a visual experience unlike anything else,” the company’s website reads. Most of their glasses are loaded with a spring hinge for extra comfort and durability. If your eyeglasses need to ride along on even your most insane adventures, then SPY has the goods to keep you styling and all in one piece.
RMNYC 206SM by ROBERT MARC NYC
Perhaps the most classic eyewear brand from the most American city, optical mainstay Robert Marc has blended New York City’s unstoppable creative energy with “classic French savoir-faire.” As a result, their website explains, “the true beauty of ROBERT MARC NYC frames is the marriage of style and fit.” With heritage like this, paired with impeccable design and sem-reasonable price points, their glasses offer the best fit for professionals looking to move into a new phase of life, from slapdash spectacles into Americas best eyeglasses.