Archive for the ‘Eyeglass Fashon’ Category
In jazz slang, to say you’ve “got your glasses on” means you’re acting a little snooty.
But we think that expression’s jive, man, because we’re all about people getting their glasses on. After all, some of the coolest cats who ever blew an axe literally got their glasses on.
Don’t have a cow, man. We know Simpsons character Bleeding Gums Murphy wasn’t an actual jazz great. But plenty of real-life jazz musicians sported some pretty rad rims.
So in honor of April’s designation as Jazz Appreciation Month (with the appropriate acronym JAM), we’re taking a look at some of the baddest daddies (and a couple of fine ladies) of jazz who definitely got their glasses on – in a good way.
Composer, lyricist, and ragtime pianist Eubie Blake was one of the fathers of jazz.
Blake and his partner, singer-songwriter Noble Sissle, wrote the 1921 Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first written and directed by African Americans. That show gave the world the standard “I’m Just Wild About Harry.” Blake was just wild about horn-rim, wayfarer-style glasses. Check out similar Zenni frame 220421.
Clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman’s 1938 concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall was considered jazz’s coming-out party, and as such, one of the most important performances in jazz history.
The concert climaxed with the immortal “Sing, Sing, Sing,” featuring Lionel Hampton (left) on vibraphone, Gene Krupa on drums and Harry James (not pictured) on trumpet.
A big part of Goodman’s image is his rimless eyeglasses.
Goodman’s frame is similar to Zenni’s frame 322111, shown with lens shape 232.
If you want to copy Goodman’s style, go with lens shape 224.
Thelonious Monk was one of the first modern-jazz, bebop artists.
He was notable for a percussive style of piano improvisation with abrupt starts and stops. Monk first gained attention performing with Charlie “Bird” Parker and Dizzy Gillespie at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, where he was the house pianist.
Monk’s popularity took off when the Thelonious Monk Quartet played the Five Spot Café in New York, in 1957. Along with Monk on piano, the quartet included (from left) John Coltrane on sax, Shadow Wilson on drums, and Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass.
Whether it’s “ ’Round Midnight,” or any time of the day, Monk looks great in his glasses. You’ll look just as cool in Zenni frame 690111.
Or, to get the Monk look in non-prescription sunglasses, go with Zenni frame A10120421.
Ella Fitzgerald was known as both the “First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz.”
She was the first African-American woman to win a Grammy, at the first Grammy Awards ceremony, in 1959. She actually won two Grammys that night, Best Female Vocal Performance for Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook, and Best Jazz Performance for Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook.
She went on to win 11 more Grammys. Her live version of “Mack the Knife,” recorded in 1960, is one of the landmark jazz performances captured on record.
Although she didn’t wear glasses in performance as a young jazz singer, Fitzgerald wore them in later years.
Her oversize, ornamented, full-rim style is similar to these Zenni frames (click on the images to see their specs!):
It’s notable that several of these landmark performances are in the late 1950s and early ’60s. In jazz, 1959 is considered the art form’s peak year, similar to the way film buffs consider 1939 the greatest year in movie history.
You’ve probably seen those three 1939 movies, which are so famous they need no identification. They are just a few of the many movie masterpieces that year.
Now let’s look at some classic jazz albums that were released in 1959:
Of the jazz greats behind these albums, only bandleaders Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis were frequently seen in glasses.
Check out Brubeck (at the piano) with his quartet (from left, alto sax player Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright, and drummer Joe Morello), all of whom are wearing glasses.
We love the Take Five cut “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” and the title track, which is so recognizable and popular it could almost serve as jazz’s theme song, although some would argue that John Coltrane’s version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” deserves that distinction.
As much as we love both recordings, we’re going to go with Brubeck, if only because he and his bandmates all wore glasses.
Brubeck’s signature frame is not unlike Eubie Blake’s wayfarer-style horn-rims, but let’s mix it up a bit (you didn’t think we were going to say “jazz it up,” did you?) with a rich-looking, brown wayfarer-style frame from Zenni, model 820415.
Desmond’s glasses are similar to Zenni frame 614212.
Wright is wearing a pair of classic brow line glasses, not unlike Zenni frame 535021.
Morello’s glasses, with a straight-line bridge, are similar to Zenni’s Christmastime tortoiseshell frame 624725.
Trumpeter Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue brought a new form of improvisation to jazz, using the songs’ scales rather than chords for his riffs. His 1960 album, Sketches of Spain, is just as revered as Kind of Blue, but we’re also extremely fond of a less heralded 1959 album by Davis and Gil Evans, their jazz version of Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin (music), DuBose Heyward (libretto and lyrics), and Ira Gershwin (lyrics).
When he started wearing glasses, Davis favored oversized frames, like these aviators.
Davis’s frame calls and Zenni responds, with similar frame 579721.
When you think of images of one of Davis’s modern-jazz forebears, Dizzy Gillespie, you probably think of two balloon-like cheeks rather than two round eyeglass lenses. But in his early years, the man credited by many as the originator of bebop, also known as modern jazz, wore round, full-rim specs that set off his not-yet “moon cheeks”.
Pop on similar Zenni frame 6290015, and start blowin’!
If Thenlonious Monk and Miles Davis are bebop, and Benny Goodman is “prebop,” then Herbie Hancock could be considered “post bop.”
Hancock is a true crossover jazz-fusion artist, bringing synthesizers, funk, soul, and modern classical music to his improvisations. His 2007 tribute album to occasional jazz artist Joni Mitchell, River: The Joni Letters, won two Grammys, for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and Album of the Year.
The full-rim, rectangular metal frames shown in his picture and on the album cover are not unlike Zenni’s frame 650312 (in gray) and 650315 (in brown).
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is the first jazz artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for music.
A prodigy who was performing in church by age 8, Marsalis won the Pulitzer in 1997 for Blood on the Fields, an oratorio about a couple moving from slavery to freedom.
With his participation in various PBS programs, including Marsalis on Music and Ken Burns’s Jazz, his several books on jazz, and his artistic directorship of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marsalis has become the leading ambassador of jazz.
The full-rim rectangular metal frame he’s wearing in his picture is similar to Zenni’s frames 552415 (brown) or 552421 (black).
Finally, sultry Canadian singer-pianist Diana Krall (shown with bassist Ben Wolfe) is one of the few ladies of jazz who doesn’t mind performing in eyeglasses.
That may be because she is married to Elvis Costello, whose glasses are an indelible part of his appearance.
Krall’s tinted full-rim rectangular glasses are similar Zenni’s frame 228721.
Costello’s are close to Zenni’s frame 638821.
Now you’ve got some crazy chops to break it down and find some gone frames in the mix. And that is all that jazz – in eyeglasses.
Monday, April, 14 2014 by Matthew Surrence
When did Presidents Day become all about white sales?
I mean, c’mon! What do towels and bedding have to do with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or any other president for that matter?
(All right, we know what you’re thinking, but please move along. There’s no Clinton joke to see here. There wasn’t any bedding, although towels may have been involved.)
But hey, it’s time to move on! So toss that rumpled bed linen in the hamper, along with the stained blue dress, and let’s get serious.
To properly honor our presidents, instead of sheets and pillowcases, our last three-day weekend before the long drought until Memorial Day should be all about … glasses!
Yes, glasses. Work with us here.
Now we know that when you think POTUS (the acronym for President of the United States) you may not immediately think GOTPOTUS. (That’s glasses of the POTUS, not a parody of a milk commercial or a sign the rest of the country will soon follow Washington and Colorado.)
But you should. Eyeglasses have played an important role in the lives of many U.S. presidents. And in the case – literally, the eyeglasses case – of Theodore Roosevelt, a lifesaving role!
Roosevelt favored pince-nez (pronounced “ponce-NAY”) glasses, which perch right on the nose and are held in place with nose pads.
He was running as the Progressive Party candidate for president in 1912 after he failed to wrest the Republican nomination from his successor as president, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt was on his way to make a speech in Milwaukee when a would-be assassin shot him outside his hotel. Here he is, just before he was shot:
Although the bullet pierced Roosevelt’s skin and lodged against one of his ribs, its trajectory toward the former president’s heart was stopped by Roosevelt’s bulky overcoat, his folded lengthy speech, and (wait for it) his steel-reinforced eyeglasses case.
Was that sound we just heard the sound of you moving your eyeglasses case to your breast pocket? Don’t worry, you’re probably safe, unless you live in Florida.
Roosevelt, whose machismo was unimpeachable, was the first president to be photographed wearing glasses. He knew he wasn’t a namby-pamby, or if he secretly knew he was a namby-pamby, he made sure his well-publicized exploits indicated otherwise.
But most presidents, being politicians and as vain as actors – heck, they are actors! – have preferred not to be photographed (or painted) wearing eyeglasses.
That’s why you won’t see a pair of glasses anywhere on a dollar bill – not on Washington, not on the pyramid’s eye on the greenback, and certainly not on the eagle-eyed eagle. But our first president was also the first president to wear glasses, and he rocked them, in a frame of solid silver:
Washington also sometimes read with a lorgnette (French eyeglasses on a stick), a cherished gift from his Revolutionary War comrade the Marquis de Lafayette.
Washington’s prescription in his silver-frame glasses is +3.50, making them fairly strong reading glasses. He apparently did not favor bifocals as his non-president contemporary Benjamin Franklin did. Although the invention of bifocals is frequently attributed to Franklin, this claim has been plausibly debunked, as reported in our blog on the History of Eyeglasses.
Nevertheless, those Founding Fathers were a bunch of four-eyed geniuses.
Washington’s vice president and presidential successor, John Adams, was farsighted both politically (the Massachusetts Constitution he wrote became the model for the U.S. Constitution) and optically. He had basically the same prescription Washington did: +3.50 in his right eye, +3.59 in his left.
The history of presidential glasses goes fairly quiet until Lincoln, whose first purchase of eyeglasses has achieved the near-mythical status of Franklin’s bifocals. It’s been written that Lincoln bought his first pair of eyeglasses in 1856 in Bloomington, Illinois, for 37 ½ cents. (In today’s dollars, that would be around $10.00 – still more costly than the least expensive pair of Zennis!)
But scrupulous historians now believe that Lincoln’s first pair was purchased in the same state but in Springfield, in 1854. Two pairs of reading glasses confirmed to have been worn by Lincoln are in the Library of Congress. The first picture shows Lincoln wearing one of these pairs of glasses as he reads to his son Tad. The second shows the glasses he was wearing the night he made his ill-fated trip to Ford’s theater.
An example of Lincoln’s legendary wit – or at least whimsy – is reported in a story about one of his debates with senatorial opponent Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln held up a copy of a speech Douglas gave the night before, disparaging Douglas’s remarks.
“Read it!” yelled a member of the audience. Lincoln replied:
“Gentlemen, reading from speeches is a very tedious business, particularly for an old man who has to put on spectacles, and more so if the man is so tall that he has to bend over to the light.”
The audience laughed, the newspapers reported the next day.
Early 20th century presidents, who wanted to display their technocrat cred, became more relaxed about being photographed in their glasses. Woodrow Wilson, formerly the president of Princeton, didn’t mind the egghead image his pince-nez glasses conveyed.
Herbert Hoover, who remained active in public life long after the last Hooverville shantytown gave way to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, appeared before the U.S. Senate in 1950 in a pair of glasses that would be considered a super cool geek-chic frame today:
In addition to suffering from polio, FDR was nearsighted and started wearing glasses as an undergraduate at Harvard in 1900. One of the pairs he wore was in the pince-nez style, intended to emulate his cousin Theodore.
Roosevelt’s last vice president, Harry Truman, who became president when Roosevelt passed away in 1945, favored translucent full-rim plastic frames, which are very popular today.
Truman had a strongly farsighted prescription. His glasses let him see up close, so he could easily tell where the buck stopped. When the buck stopped he could pick it up and put it in his pocket.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, who followed Truman into the White House, wore glasses although he was rarely photographed in them. When he was, you’d see him wearing the same style frame as Truman.
A poignant story emerges regarding Eisenhower’s successor, John F. Kennedy, who, with his wife, Jackie, brought a new sense of style to the presidency, no more so than in their choice of sunglasses.
A letter written by the American Optical Company’s director of public relations and advertising, H.P. Brigham, dated Nov. 19, 1963, recounts a visit by an eye doctor to the White House to examine JFK’s eyes. After fitting the president with a pair of reading glasses, the optician who accompanied the eye doctor showed Kennedy a pair of bifocals with no correction on the top half of the lens and a mild +1.00 on the bottom.
Kennedy was so taken with these bifocals that the optician was called back to the White House the next morning and asked to produce a pair of these glasses before the president’s press conference that very day.
They cranked out the glasses in roughly an hour and a half and got them to Kennedy in time for his press conference. He liked them so much he called back and asked for three more pairs.
At the bottom of the letter describing these events, a note was scrawled: “The day I received this Kennedy was shot.”
Kennedy’s vice president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was the last U.S. President, so far, who was frequently photographed in glasses. Not unlike the split between guns and butter LBJ was unable to bridge, he favored two different styles of glasses. He wore the presidential style favored by Truman and Eisenhower: full-rim plastic translucent glasses.
But he also wore the brow line style that was very popular in the 1960s and is popular again now in the 2010s. LBJ didn’t have much else in common with civil rights leader Malcolm X, but they both liked the same type of glasses.
In the archives of the Johnson Library are two eyeglasses prescriptions for LBJ, one written in 1957, the other written in 1962. The two prescriptions are very close, but they represent a curiosity many eyeglasses wearers experience, when they see a prescription that calls for an astigmatism correction written with negative Cylinders (CYLs), as optometrists write it, and another one with positive CYLs, as ophthalmologists write it.
Whichever way you look at it, it still comes out the same.
Just like history.
Saturday, February, 8 2014 by Matthew Surrence
The Pantone Color Institute has spoken: 2014′s color is Radiant Orchid 18-3224.
Described by Pantone Color Institute’s executive director as “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones,” this color doesn’t quite stand out like last year’s Emerald Green 17-5641. Instead, it adds a bit of subtle cheer wherever it is found. Decorators and fashionistas who need to stay conservative, but want to jazz things up a bit, can make great use of Radiant Orchid.
How to Use Radiant Orchid at Home
If you really like Radiant Orchid and want to use it in a big way, use it on one wall in a sunny room. If you aren’t up to painting, consider an orchid sofa along with a neutral hardwood or glass coffee table.
On the other hand, if you like the color, but don’t want a major commitment, select some smaller accent pieces, such as candles, throw pillows, or even fresh orchids in a gorgeous container. The nifty thing about this color is that while it’s definitely fresh, it can work throughout the year.
Wearing Radiant Orchid
Radiant Orchid flatters most skin tones, so you can wear it in dozens of ways:
- As eyeshadow, lip gloss and nail polish
- Hats and hair accessories
- Tops, blouses, skirts and dresses
- Try a few streaks in your hair!
How much Radiant Orchid is appropriate? Depends on the situation, your coloring, and your style. If you aren’t comfortable wearing purple, try something small: A pair of earrings, a necklace or a tie. Willing to go bolder? Try a purse, or switch up your eyeliner or eyeshadow: This shade can really make blue eyes pop.
Another option is to swap out your regular eyeglass or sunglass frames for something in the Radiant Orchid scheme. Here are some options:
Frame #797517 is an oval shaped frame that looks decidedly hip without being over the top.
Rimless glasses, such as #3990, flatter most face shapes and have the advantage of helping you to see while also keeping your face free of distractions. The beautiful temples add just a touch of color to your look.
Half-frame glasses, such as #650717, are great for balancing heart-shaped faces.
If you are a conservative type, try this classic frame. Straight on, you see subtle purple frames around the eyes, but #256217 has a trick up its sleeve: The temples feature an intriguing pattern in many shades of purple.
Monday, December, 23 2013 by Lainie Petersen
You’ve probably seen drugstore sunglasses labeled “polarized.” Maybe you looked at those next to sunglasses that weren’t polarized, and wondered what the difference was. Or maybe your eye dr. recommended getting polarized lenses, but you weren’t sure how they worked and what benefit they offered.
Well, we’re going to tell you! Very simply, here’s what polarized lenses do: they reduce glare by blocking horizontal light rays.
Why horizontal? Here’s a little background on how polarization works: light comes from the sun in all directions, and it is reflected in every direction, too. When it reflects from light-colored horizontal surfaces – such as a white sidewalk, a white-sand beach, snow, or sunlight reflecting on water – it is said to be polarized horizontally. Light that is polarized horizontally is responsible for most of the glare that interferes with our vision.
How do polarized lenses work? To understand this, it’s useful to think of window blinds. Let’s start with Venetian blinds, which are horizontal. When Venetian blinds are open, light comes into the room in horizontal stripes, depending on the angle of the sun and the angle the blinds are open.
Polarized lenses are more like vertical blinds. When vertical blinds are open at a certain angle, light comes into the room in vertical stripes. Since horizontally reflected light is responsible for most of the glare we see, the polarized tint is placed on the sunglass lens in vertically angled strips. These vertical strips of tint allow vertically reflected light into the eye but block horizontally reflected light – greatly reducing horizontally polarized glare.
Most polarized lenses are sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are especially popular with boaters, since water is a very reflective surface on a sunny day. Polarized sunglasses are also great for other outdoor activities, such as golfing and tennis, since they can help to sharpen the focus on the ball. They can also be good for driving, since polarized lenses reduce the glare that reflects from the shiny hood of a car, or the glare from the surface of the road on a hot, sunny day.
However, in some situations there can be drawbacks to polarized lenses. They can be problematic for skiing, since blocking the reflected glare off an icy patch might prevent the skier from noticing and steering away from a potential hazard.
In addition, it can sometimes be difficult to read liquid crystal display (LCD) or light-emitting diode (LED) screens on a boat or plane’s instrument panel while wearing polarized sunglasses. This could interfere with the pilot’s ability to clearly read and quickly respond to the information on the instrument panel. This could also apply to the global positioning system (GPS) and other displays of a car’s dashboard, a smart-phone, an ATM, or a self-service gas pump.
An oddity you may notice while wearing polarized sunglasses is that when you look at your car’s rear or side window from the outside, or perhaps the windows on an office building, you may see splotchy, iridescent spots. When you remove your polarized sunglasses, these spots are invisible.
This effect is created because you are looking at heat-tempered glass. The heat-tempering creates several stress points on the glass, enabling the glass, when broken, to crumble into small, granular chunks, which are safer than splitting the glass into sharp, jagged shards. The stress points also reflect the light in different directions from the parts of the glass that don’t have these stress points. The stress points prevent the polarized lens from filtering out the light evenly across the surface of the glass, creating the splotchy, iridescent effect.
If you are unsure if your sunglasses are polarized, here’s a fun, simple test to see if they are. Hold your sunglasses up to a computer screen, which has an anti-glare coating similar to the anti-glare coating on a polarized lens. Angle your sunglasses about 60 degrees, with one side of the frame at 10 o’clock and the other at 4 o’clock. If the lenses are polarized, they will turn black.
You could also take the test with two pairs of polarized sunglasses – hold one pair at a horizontal (180-degree) angle. Now hold the other pair in front of the first pair, but rotate this second pair of sunglasses a half-turn, till it’s straight up and down, at a vertical (90-degree) angle. You will see that the lenses of both pairs of sunglasses turn considerably darker where the two lenses overlap when they are perpendicular. This is because when you angle one polarized lens to another perpendicularly, they block glare both horizontally (the horizontal pair) and vertically (the vertical pair).
At Zenni Optical, we offer polarized sunglasses in our 1.50 and 1.59 index single-vision and progressive (no-line bifocal) lenses, and in our 1.49 index bifocal lens. All of our detachable sun shades, whether magnetic or clip on, whether standard (the same tint color and shade all the way through) or gradient (the tint is darker at the top, getting progressively lighter toward the bottom) are polarized.
A note of caution regarding drugstore sunglasses that are not polarized. If the lens is a non-polarized, darkly tinted lens not treated to block UV rays, it could be more dangerous to the eye than wearing clear, un-tinted glasses that have 100-percent UV protection. This is because the dark tint could cause the pupil to dilate, allowing more harmful UV rays into the eye.
You can rest assured that on every pair of glasses Zenni Optical makes, tinted or clear, we include a 100-percent UV-protection coating – for free.
In addition to polarized sunglasses, Zenni Optical also offers a different kind of sunglass lens that sometimes people confuse with polarized: photochromic lenses, which turn dark in the bright sunlight and become clear again in the shade or indoors.
Although you may have heard about a new technology that adds polarization to photochromic lenses, Zenni Optical does not offer these lenses at this time. Our polarized lenses are permanently tinted sunglasses that greatly reduce glare.
Friday, November, 15 2013 by Matthew Surrence
When you’ve got it, you’ve got it and Brad Pitt still has it — “it” being that desirable movie star combination of looks, charm, intrigue and not to mention, talent, that keeps movie goers in theater seats. Pitt will hit the big 5 Oh on December 18, 2013 and of course, all the celeb gossip rags and big magazines want to know how he feels about it. Brad Pitt insists that, at least so far, the idea of turning 50 years old doesn’t faze him at all because he’s at a good place in his life, now engaged to Angelina Jolie, and raising their six kids together.
He’s also making the humanity-centered films like the recent 12 Years a Slave that Pitt says is the reason he got into acting in the first place. Pitt wore a producer hat and also acted in the movie which is about antebellum American slavery.
Pitt wore cool, mirrored sunglasses similar in style to the ones above while he was in Berlin, Germany in the summer filming what is so far his greatest box office hit film to date, World War Z. We also love that Pitt’s worn mirrored aviators with a tux to the Cannes Film Festival as well as with a casual olive green ensemble to the airport when he was reportedly making wedding plans with Angelina Jolie in France.
It’s no wonder the Zenni aviator frame above is sooo popular as it’s sturdy and just $6.95! (Click on the image above for more details and to access the Zenni online catalog system.) You can add an amber tint for only $4.95 more to get Brad Pitt’s classic sunglasses look he’s worn for many years now. Just indicate your tinting choice in the add-on section of the order form in the catalog system.
Brad made quite a stir looking like a hipster wearing glasses very similar to the black frame shown above to the Hollywood premiere of The Land of Blood and Honey. Just click on the glasses image to see the other color options. They’re all available in single vision, bifocal and progressive prescriptions.
This is a New Arrival, men’s rectangular tortoiseshell frame and we love this style on Brad Pitt. Don’t be afraid to try it as anyone can wear tortoiseshell and rectangular-shaped frames tend to flatter most face shapes. Zenni Frame Fit makes trying out the look fun and possible online. Just click on any of the glasses images on this page to enter the Zenni online catalog and you’ll find Frame Fit, in which you can upload your own photo or view glasses on our models, on the right hand side of the page.
Brad Pitt Gossip:
Rumors have been circulating that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are secretly married! It’s no secret that the couple became engaged in April 2012 with Brad giving Angelina a half million dollar engagement ring. But when a new ring was spotted on Angelina’s finger while she and the kids were in Australia while Brad was in the UK filming Fury in October, that’s when the rumor mill started churning.
According to the IMDB website, the couple did sign a pre-nuptial agreement which basically states that they would each keep their own money if they should part and would have joint custody of their six kids. Do you think Brangelina have secretly tied the knot?
Wednesday, November, 13 2013 by Ryan