Spring’s on its way, so it’s time to evaluate your eyewear. Dowdy, mismatched frames will ruin your look, so take the time to coordinate your glasses to your spring wardrobe. Here are some tips that can help:
1. Focus on Accessories
Matching your glasses to your clothing is fine, but you may find it more effective to coordinate your glasses with any accessories you wear, including jewelry, hair accessories and scarves. Don’t worry much about handbags, though, because you typically won’t wear your purse all day. Instead, choose frames that pick up colors from your accessories. This can be particularly effective when you accessorize in colors that contrast with those of your garments.
Many people find that metallic frames to be incredibly versatile: Just make sure that you wear gold frames with gold jewelry/accessories and silver with silver. But don’t be afraid to make a statement, though: Brightly colored frames that coordinate with gemstone jewelry, for example, really make a statement.
2. Be Careful of Dark Neutrals
Brown, black, and navy are great neutrals that are often easy to pair with any outfit. But “easy” is no excuse for “lazy.” For example, wearing a dark, neutral frame with beautiful spring pastels is distracting. Lightening things up a bit with gray, beige or powder blue frames during the warmer months makes a huge difference in your appearance.
3. When in Doubt
Some outfits can be a challenge to accessorize, but there are a few options for making sure that your eyewear doesn’t distract from your clothing.
- The first option is a pair of tortoiseshell frame glasses that do not have any visible metal parts. The combination of colors in tortoiseshell goes well with most colors, and while your tortoiseshell frames may not be the most exciting pair of glasses you own, they should hold you in good stead throughout the seasons and changing fads.In fact, buying two pairs is a great idea: A light tortoiseshell for spring/summer and a richer, deeper pattern for fall and winter.
- Rimless glasses incorporate a minimum of hardware, so if you choose a pair with neutral temples, you’ll likely be able to get away with wearing them with most outfits.
- Choose a frame that blends well with your skin tone. Try rose gold for fair skin and shades of bronze, copper or brown for darker skin tones.
Do you have any special tricks for matching your eyewear to your clothes? Let us know about it in the comments!
Monday, February, 24 2014 by Lainie Petersen
You’re ordering glasses online.
You enter your prescription and your pupillary distance. (The pupillary distance, abbreviated PD, is the distance from the center of one pupil to the center of the other pupil. It’s as necessary as your prescription to get glasses online.)
The website reads these items then recommends a lens for your eyeglasses.
Here’s how. Each optical lens we offer, from standard index to high index, from single vision to multifocal, accommodates a particular prescription range. The website is configured to choose the thinnest lens for your eyeglasses.
The two broad prescription categories are single vision and multifocal. Multifocal prescriptions comprise bifocals and progressives.
Nearsightedness and farsightedness are corrected according to the numbers in the Sphere (SPH) section of a prescription. For single-vision prescriptions, we can cover prescriptions for nearsightedness that go up to -20.00, for farsightedness up to +12.00.
If you have an astigmatism, this will be indicated on your prescription by numbers in the Cylinder (CYL) and Axis (sometimes abbreviated “X”) fields. For single-vision prescriptions, meaning those with no numbers in the Near-Vision Reading ADDition section (NV-ADD or just ADD), we can fill prescriptions in the CYL section up to + or – 6.00. The numbers in the Axis or X section just refer to the angle at which the CYL, an actual cylinder that’s invisible to the wearer, is placed on the lens.
A tiny portion of eyeglasses wearers have prism corrections on their prescription. We can fill these for single-vision (not multifocal) prescriptions up to 5.00 in any base direction (base up, base down, base in, or base out).
For people who have numbers in the NV-ADD section of their prescription and want to get the type of multifocal glasses known as bifocals, which are eyeglasses with a lined reading-addition segment at the bottom of the lens, we can fill prescriptions for nearsightedness up to -9.00 and for farsightedness up to +6.00. We can go up to +3.50 on the NV-ADD.
The type of multifocal eyeglasses known as progressives are glasses with no visible line between the three different focal segments, which are distance (driving and watching TV) vision at the top of the lens, intermediate (computer) vision at the middle of the lens, and near (reading) vision at the bottom of the lens.
We can fill prescriptions with higher corrections for progressives than we can for bifocals. Our progressives go up to -10.00 for nearsightedness and up to +8.00 for farsightedness. Just like with bifocals or single-vision glasses, the CYL correction goes up to + or – 6.00. And just like with bifocals, the NV-ADD goes up to +3.50.
Here are our specific single-vision lenses, with the prescriptions they accommodate.
For the mildest of single-vision prescriptions, those ranging from -2.00 to +1.00 or lower on the SPH and +/- 2.00 or lower on the CYL, the recommended lens is the 1.50 standard-index lens, which is free at Zenni Optical.
This lens is made of CR-39 plastic. CR-39 plastic is a polymer (a polymer is a large molecule composed of many repeated subunits, known as monomers) that gets its name because it was the 39th formula of a plastic developed by the Columbia Resins (hence “CR”) project in 1940. The first use of this plastic was to help create glass-reinforced plastic fuel tanks for the B-17 bomber in World War II.
Also free with single-vision prescriptions is the 1.57 mid-index lens. This lens is often described as “polycarbonate composite,” because in addition to polycarbonate the lens is composed of other polymers and resins that keep the lens thinner than the 1.50 lens. Its range is -4.00 /+2.00 or lower on the SPH and +/- 6.00 or lower on the CYL.
These are the two free lenses that come with single-vision glasses at Zenni if your prescription qualifies you for these lenses.
The 1.53 mid-index Trivex lens is a polymer lens that is the most impact-resistant lens available. It covers the same range as the 1.57 mid-index lens: -4.00/+2.00 or lower on the SPH and +/- 6.00 or lower on the CYL. It’s recommended for rimless, children’s, and sports eyeglasses because of its unequaled impact resistance. However, unlike the 1.50 and 1.57 lenses that are free with single-vision glasses, it’s $29.95. Also unlike the 1.50 and 1.57 lenses, it cannot be tinted.
If $29.95 is more than you would want to spend on an impact-resistant single-vision lens, the 1.59 pure polycarbonate lens, for $9.00, may be preferable. It covers the same prescription range as the 1.57 polycarbonate composite and 1.53 Trivex lenses, -4.00/+2.00 or lower on the SPH and +/- 6.00 or lower on the CYL. Also, it’s the second most impact-resistant lens available, just down a notch on impact resistance from the 1.53 Trivex lens, making it a good, less-expensive alternative for rimless, children’s, and sports eyeglasses.
However, like the 1.53 Trivex lens, it cannot be tinted, although it is available in glare-reducing polarized sunglasses and photochromic “auto-tinting” lenses, which turn dark in the bright sunlight and become clear again when you are out of the sun.
Occasionally, some people who have ordered rimless or half-rim glasses with 1.59 pure polycarbonate lenses have reported some chromatic aberration, meaning rainbow-like reflections, around the outer edge of the lens.
The 1.61 high-index polymer single-vision lens provides a thinner lens for stronger prescriptions than mid- and standard-index optical lenses do. It is suitable for SPHs of -6.00/+3.00 or lower and, like all the others except for the 1.50 standard-index lens, CYLs that go up to +/- 6.00.
A high-index lens reduces the edge thickness for nearsighted (-) prescriptions and the center thickness for farsighted (+) prescriptions. In addition, it has a flatter, aspheric lens surface, which improves the visual quality the wearer experiences while reducing distortion of their eyes when others are looking at you.
Next comes the 1.67 high-index polymer single-vision lens. It provides a thinner lens for stronger prescriptions than the 1.50 standard-index, 1.53 Trivex, 1.57 mid-index, 1.59 polycarbonate, and the 1.61 high-index lenses. It covers SPHs of -20.00/+10.00 or lower and CYLs of +/- 6.00 or lower.
Just like the 1.61 high-index lens, the 1.67 lens reduces the edge thickness for nearsighted (-) prescriptions and the center thickness for farsighted (+) prescriptions. Just like the 1.61 high-index lens, its aspheric lens surface improves the visual quality the wearer experiences while reducing distortion of the wearer’s eyes as seen by others.
The highest index single-vision lens we offer is the 1.74 high-index polymer lens. It’s for nearsighted (-) single-vision prescriptions only. It provides a thinner lens for SPHs of -8.25 to -10.00 or lower and covers CYLs of +/- 4.00 or lower.
Just like the 1.53 mid-index Trivex and 1.59 polycarbonate lenses, the 1.74 lens cannot be tinted. It’s unavailable as a polarized or photochromic lens. Like the 1.61 and 1.67 high-index lenses, it has an aspheric surface, improving the wearer’s visual quality while reducing distortion of the wearer’s eyes as seen by others.
Anti-reflection coatings are good for any optical lenses, but they are especially recommended if you’re getting high-index lenses. They reduce glare and reflection and allow more light to pass through the lens, improving contrast, which improves visual acuity.
That covers our single-vision lenses.
For bifocals, we offer two lenses. Both come with the flattop 28 D-style near-vision reading segment lens. What that means is that the top of the bifocal segment lens is flat and the bottom is curved, making the bifocal lens appear like the capital letter D laid on its side. It’s called “flattop 28” because the widest part of the bifocal segment lens is 28 millimeters (mm) across.
One of the bifocal lenses we offer is the 1.50 standard-index bifocal lens in CR-39 plastic. It’s just like the 1.50 standard-index single-vision lens, except it has the bifocal segment. This lens is good for SPHs of -3.00/+1.50 or lower with CYLs of +/- 6.00 and an ADD of +3.50 or lower.
The bifocal segment line is located 2 mm below the center of the lens. So if you get a lens that is 30 mm high, the minimum lens height for a multifocal lens purchased at Zenni, the bifocal segment will be at 13 mm up from the bottom, 2 mm below the 15 mm center line.
We also carry a 1.61 high-index aspheric bifocal polymer lens that provides a thinner lens for prescriptions with SPHs of -9.00/+6.00 or below with CYLs of +/- 6.00 or lower and an ADD of +3.50 or lower.
As with single-vision high-index lenses, an anti-reflection coating is recommended for high-index bifocal lenses.
Now let’s look at our progressive lenses.
Our progressive (no-line multifocal) glasses follow the same pattern as the single-vision lenses in terms of the index of the distance portion of the lens. They deviate a bit from the bifocals regarding the near-vision reading segment. Our progressive lenses are the style called “free-form,” which has a reading corridor of approximately 14 mm, roughly half the width of the bifocal lens.
The 1.50 standard-index progressive CR-39 plastic lens covers SPHs of -2.00/+1.00 or lower with CYLs of +/- 6.00 or lower, and an ADD power of +3.00 or lower. The 1.57 mid-index progressive polymer lens covers SPHs of -4.00/+2.00 or lower, CYLs of +/- 6.00 or lower, and an ADD power of +3.50 or lower.
The 1.53 mid-index Trivex progressive lens has, like the single-vision Trivex lens, the highest impact resistance of all the lenses we carry. Also like the single-vision Trivex lens, this lens cannot be tinted. It’s a little thinner than the standard-index 1.50 index lens. It covers SPHs of -4.00/+2.00 or lower, CYLs of +/-4.00 or lower, and an ADD power of +3.00 or lower. It’s recommended for rimless and sports eyeglasses, but unlike the single-vision Trivex lens, it’s not recommended for children, who are prescribed multifocal glasses only in rare instances.
The features of the next progressive lenses, the 1.59 mid-index pure polycarbonate progressive lens, and the high-index 1.61 and 1.67 lenses, follow the same pattern as the single-vision lenses. The 1.59 progressive lens, which, like the Trivex lens, cannot be tinted (although it can be ordered as polarized, glare-reducing sunglasses or with photochromic, “auto-tinting” lenses), covers SPHs of -4.00/+2.00 or lower, CYLs of +/- 4.00 or lower, and an ADD of +3.00 or lower.
The high-index 1.61 progressive polymer lens covers SPHs of -6.00/+3.00 or lower, CYLs of +/- 6.00 or lower, and an ADD of +3.00 or lower. The high-index 1.67 progressive polymer lens covers SPHs of -10.00/+8.00 or lower, CYLs of +/- 6.00 or lower, and an ADD of +3.00 or lower.
As with single-vision lenses, anti-reflection coatings are recommended with high-index lenses.
Now you know all the features of all the prescription lenses Zenni carries!
Friday, February, 21 2014 by Matthew Surrence
It may be the end of Presidents’ Week, or as the posh prefer to call it, “Ski Week.” And end to celebrating George Washington’s birthday is no reason to stop planning a fun ski trip for you and your kids in their hot new Zenni glasses.
There are a number of reasons to get your kids out on the slopes, assuming you can drive there for a short day or weekend trip. The biggest is that skiing and snowboarding are truly unique experiences that engender a lifetime of passion in many people.
You might have simpler goals, like a desire to spend some quality time together during this short school holiday. You still need to outfit your children in the right gear no matter why you take them skiing, and if they wear glasses, their eye wear warrants special attention.
Nearly any kid-friendly pair of glasses works. However, more durable frames such as all those shown here are the safest option. Goggles are the the most important piece of eye wear, even more so for children with glasses.
First, they keep snow and sunlight out of their eyes. Second, goggles protect their glasses. If the child falls face first, the impact won’t break their glasses. If they wipe out and slide 50 feet down the trail, they won’t have to blindly hike back up the mountain to find them; you the glasses are the first thing to come off in a good spill.
Fortunately, most goggles have room for kids’ glasses underneath. So they can stay safe, look like they know what they’re doing, and keep their sweet Zenni frames unscathed through a day of hearty learning.
The story about George Washington chopping down his dad’s cherry tree and then admitting it, saying “I cannot tell a lie, pa,” may be a fabrication, but if you give your kids their first awesome skiing experience, you can bet they’ll tell you the truth about how much fun they had on ski week. Just remember to take the necessary steps to keep them and their eyes safe with Zenni glasses.
Friday, February, 21 2014 by Dave Schreiner
Can you even remember the last time we had a Valentine’s Day on a Friday? What luck! Good if you’re into weekend-long celebrations of love, less so if you balk at the idea of planning for three days. If you’re on the hook for something that looks good last minute, Zenni has you covered with these Valentine’s Day special glasses.
The never-ending debate about a “Hallmark greeting card holiday” gets tired, and the issue comes down to one thing anyway; do you want to use a day set aside for people to express romantic affection to their partners/ spouses/ significant others for that purpose or not? If you do, a pair of glasses might be the perfect way to start.
There are two paths to take when planning a Valentine’s Day thing. One is to make an event of it, dressing in the right style and taking your partner to dinner at a fancy restaurant. The other is to keep it low-key and casual, perhaps cooking a meal at home or just going on a walk (down memory lane) to keep things personal and unassuming.
An interesting thing to consider is that while everything you wear matters, it doesn’t all have to explicitly match the tone of the evening, and certainly doesn’t have to be “Valentines-y.” These tortoise shell glasses are a perfect example. The frame shape is a bit quirky, but that could be quirky romantic, quirky formal, or quirky trustworthy best friend and amante.
They may just be glasses, but Valentine’s Day is also just a holiday. Given the right attention, both can be awesome.
Friday, February, 14 2014 by Dave Schreiner
But if you have a strong prescription and you’re ordering your glasses online, figuring out how to get the thinnest lenses possible can be perplexing.
Not to worry!
We’re going to make it easy for you.
All you’ll need is your prescription and a handy online tool that will estimate how thin your lenses will be.
This handy online tool is the Lens Thickness Calculator. It can be found here, at the OptiCampus website.
Before we talk about how to use the Lens Thickness Calculator, let’s look at the factors that can thin your lenses:
1) Your prescription. This you cannot change to get a thinner lens. Doing so would be counterproductive, in that you would not be able to see well if you take it upon yourself to lower your prescription below what your eye doctor has prescribed.
As a general rule, single vision prescriptions result in thinner lenses than multifocal prescriptions, all things being roughly equal. Multifocal prescriptions are those with an NV-ADD (Near Vision reading ADDition). Having an NV-ADD, or just an ADD, as it’s usually written, enables you to get bifocals and progressive glasses.
In addition, prescriptions with astigmatism corrections – if you have this, there will be numbers in the Cylinder (CYL) and Axis (sometimes abbreviated X) fields – generally result in thicker lenses than those without astigmatism corrections.
2) Your lens index. The lens “index” is short for the lens’s “index of refraction.” That means how much the lens bends the light that enters it. That’s what refraction is. Bending the light focuses it right into the middle of your visual sweet spot, the retina, so you can see well.
You can change the index to thin the lens, up to a point. After that point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. The lens that is recommended for your prescription will be the thinnest lens. Choosing a lens index that’s higher than the recommended lens index won’t make the lens thinner, and you’ll end up paying more for no improved result.
If this is confusing, don’t worry. We’ll clearly explain where the point of diminishing returns shows up when we look at the various lens indexes. In addition, you’ll be able to see it too, when you start playing with the Lens Index Calculator.
3) Your lens width. This can have a considerable effect on your lens thinness. Once you have settled on the correct lens index, having determined that going to a higher lens index number won’t result in a thinner lens, the lens width – also known, weirdly, as the “eye size” – will be the last, and in some situations, the most important – factor in thinning your lens.
OK, are you confused enough yet?
Yes? Let’s fix that right now.
We’re going to look at a prescription to see how different index numbers can make the lenses thinner. We’ll change the lens width – remember, that’s also known as the “eye size” (even though it doesn’t refer to the size of your eye) – to see how this affects the thinness of the lens.
To do this, we’re going to use a fairly common prescription. Most eyeglasses wearers are nearsighted, which means that the number in the Sphere (SPH) section on the prescription will be minus.
Most people who have an SPH correction also have an astigmatism correction. So we’re going to create a common prescription, with an average Pupillary Distance (meaning the distance between your pupils measured in millimeters, PD for short), 63; an average lens width (all together now: also known as “eye size”), 50 mm; and an average bridge (that’s the part of the frame that goes over your nose), 18 mm.
Here it is:
SPH -2.00, CYL -1.00, AXIS 90, PD 63, Lens Width 50, Bridge 18.
(For the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume that the prescription is the same for both eyes.)
Let’s put these numbers into the Lens Thickness Calculator and see what we come up with when we use different lens indexes.
With nearsighted prescriptions, the lens is concave. With farsighted prescriptions, the lens is convex. A concave lens is thinner at the center, thicker at the outer edge. A convex lens is the opposite.
You will see then, that with nearsighted prescriptions, the Center Thickness of the lens will be a lower number than the Edge Thickness.
Here’s what our formula yields with the 1.50 standard-index lens, which comes free on an order of single-vision glasses:
Center Thickness (CT): 2.0 mm / Edge Thickness (ET): 4.4 mm
Nice and thin at the center, but maybe not as thin as it could be at the outer edge. Let’s try it with the 1.57 mid-index lens and see what we get:
CT: 1.5 mm / ET: 3.6 mm
That makes the lens thinner at both the center and edge, and the lens is still free. Now let’s try it with the 1.59 pure polycarbonate single-vision lens, which costs $9.00, and see what happens:
CT: 1.5 mm / ET: 3.5 mm
You’re spending $9.00 for this lens, which is not a huge amount, but this slightly higher index doesn’t make the eyeglasses lens perceptibly thinner than the free 1.57 lens does. Now we’re starting to see the law of diminishing returns come into play.
However, even if the lens would be just as thin with the 1.57 lens, it would be worth it to spend the $9.00 on the 1.59 pure polycarbonate lens if you’re getting rimless glasses or if you’re buying glasses for kids who can be expected to treat the glasses roughly.
That’s because the 1.59 lens is a more impact-resistant lens than the 1.57, which is still a fine lens for people who treat their glasses with care.
Now we’re really going to see the law of diminishing returns at work when we go up a notch, to the 1.61 high-index single-vision lens. Here are the results of this lens:
CT: 1.5 mm / ET: 3.5 mm
No change, and you’re now (theoretically) spending $19.95 on a lens that isn’t any thinner than the 1.59 pure polycarbonate lens that’s $9.00, and is only a tiny bit thinner than the 1.57 mid-index lens that’s free.
But even after you’ve selected the lens index that will give you the thinnest lens, you can still thin the lens further, if you narrow its width.
Let’s lower the lens width to 48 mm and see what happens with each lens. First, the 1.50 lens:
CT: 2.0 mm / ET: 4.1 mm
The Edge Thickness is a tiny bit better, 4.1 mm as opposed to 4.4 mm on the 50 mm-wide lens. How about the 1.57 lens?
CT: 1.5 mm / ET: 3.3 mm
Now we’re talking! We’ve shaved half a millimeter from the center and almost a whole millimeter on the edge, just by lowering the lens width.
How about with the 1.59 lens?
CT: 1.5 mm / ET: 3.2 mm
No change on the center, only one tenth of a millimeter on the edge. Stand and salute the diminishing returns on parade!
Let’s take a quick look at the 1.61 lens, just to make sure it doesn’t make the theoretical eyeglass lenses any thinner:
CT: 1.5 mm / ET: 3.2 mm
That would cost $10.95 more for no improved result.
So unless you want a pure polycarbonate lens for its impact-resistance feature, you’re wasting your money by spending $9.00 to get a higher-index 1.59 lens that won’t be any thinner than the free, 1.57 mid-index lens.
But once you’ve confirmed which lens index that will result in the thinnest lens for your prescription, and you want to thin the lens even further, play around with the lens width on the Lens Thickness Calculator. Go as low as you can and still keep the lenses wide enough for a comfortable field of vision and attractive look.
For example, the 48 mm wide lens may be just as narrow as you can go without making the glasses look too small. But if you can narrow the lens even more, you will see that the lens will continue to become thinner.
If you do check out the Lens Thickness Calculator to see the estimates of different thicknesses that different lens indexes and lens widths yield, keep a few things in mind: When you are selecting the Lens Material Type, the categories listed on the Lens Thickness Calculator don’t exactly correspond to the lens index categories on our website, although they are basically the same.
For example, the Hard Resin lens is the 1.50 lens. The 1.56 mid-index is essentially the same as the 1.57 mid-index. The polycarbonate lens is the 1.59 mid-index lens. All of the 1.60 lenses on the Lens Material Type list are the equivalent of the 1.61 high-index lens.
So to recap, stick with the lens that our website recommends when you enter your prescription. That will get you the thinnest lens for your prescription, if you also select the lowest lens width that will also work well for your face size and shape.
Thursday, February, 13 2014 by Matthew Surrence
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