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Sunglasses for women!

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by Sunny, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Sunny

    Sunny One Too Many

    I'm just full of questions this week. Or, well... I'm putting off studying for my midterm. :p

    There are a couple good threads here on vintage and vintage-style sunglasses, and I feel I have a decent grasp now on what men's glasses look like. But what about women's, from the 1930s and 1940s? Are these styles unisex? If not, how do I know what to look for? I'm not interested in cat's eyes styles, or this would be a lot easier. And what about color of tinting? Is green pretty much ubiquitous, or are other options period? There are a lot of vintage glasses on ebay, of course. Is it possible to get tinted lenses put into regular vintage frames, or does it depend on the style of frame? How about repros - where to get them?

    If you have any pictures of women wearing sunglasses, I'd love to see them! I'm a real visual learner, and the more I see of the real thing, the better equipped I am to find just the right thing. Thanks!
  2. Marq

    Marq Familiar Face

    we have a stall over here in the uk that seem to have a supply of vintage sunny's all of the sunglasses from that era are generally rounded shape.it's just what fits.I do think however ladies look good in a nice round pair of vintage sunglasses.I have a deep interest in ladies fashion of the time from an astetic point of view and i get askled of my opinion from my lady friends what i think from a straight male point of veiw .All the girls know i can be brutal with my opinion but i am fair with it too if it don't look good you ain't wearing it.Round sunglasses depend on your facial type so if you have a slim face go for it if your face is more rounded you may want some later glasses as generally in the 30's 40's they were kind of new and there were only one real type modelled on spectacles.These sunglasses are not cheap either as a decent pair will probably set you back $50 minimum...............Paul
  3. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

    they're sort of catseye, but they're from the '40s or so.
  4. Glasses in general were pretty much unisex until the postwar era -- and that's when you started to see the fashion-type sunglasses starting to become popular. Before the war, sunglasses were more of a practical accessory (except in Hollywood, where they were a badge of office for those in the movie business or those who wanted to be), and a lot of the same sorts of frames that would be worn for everyday -- the metal "P3" types, or the less-conspicuous Rimway styles, could be had fitted with sunglass lenses. For those who already wore glasses, clip-on sunglass lenses were common.

    The main philosophy behind pre-war eyeglass design was that they should be as inconspicuous as possible, and while you could find sunglass styles that had flair, they weren't as prevalent as they'd become after the war. The wearing of sunglasses was still unusual and "Hollywood" enough that it might be considered an outrageous affectation if you lived in a small town.
  5. Snookie

    Snookie Practically Family

    I have my heart set on a pair of white plastic framed 1940's sunglasses -- a la what's-her-name in Pearl Harbor -- but when I asked the rep at Allyn Scura about it, he said that white was considered a male color for sunglasses. I don't quite believe it, though. Do you think he's right?

    (I hope I haven't asked this before -- I'm losing track of what I've posted and what I've merely thought about!)
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  7. Sunny

    Sunny One Too Many

    Lizzie, that's precisely what I wanted to know. Thank you so much! :eusa_clap It's also very encouraging, since I've never been a big wearer of sunglasses and don't like them to be hugely obvious. But I've begun a long drive commute, and in Texas it doesn't matter if you're not driving into the sun - it's just BRIGHT. Everywhere. I've found crows' feet around my eyes that are probably due mostly to squinting while driving.

    Paul, that's a good tip. I've never worn glasses so I've never had to look for frames before. But my face is definitely more long than round; "slim" in proportion to length, at least. :)

    Hey Dinerman, I like those. The main reason I don't want cat's eyes is that they scream 1950s, and that is not my period. But those just look feminine and don't remind me of cat's eyes at all. I'm especially intrigued by the straight earpieces. Is that a common feature?

    Thanks for the pics, olive. Those Polaroids are pretty wild!
  8. Miss_Bella_Hell

    Miss_Bella_Hell My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I am a big proponent of the transitions lenses! They are much better than they used to be (no more constant semi-grayness), and I HATE walking around squinting because I have glasses on, or changing to sunglasses that are non-prescription and being half-blind. So, when I'm in a glasses mood the transitions are perfect.

    This might be a good solution for you as well if you wear glasses normally, get a 40's pair and put your prescription in 'em with transitions.
  9. Snookie

    Snookie Practically Family

    OK, here's more food for thought -- eye health and safety! Modern sunglasses are treated to filter (or reflect?) UV rays, but vintage ones won't have that. This is extra important to consider when wearing sunglasses, b/c the artificial dimness allows your pupil to enlarge, which allows more UV rays to enter. BUT! I believe this is only a concern if the lenses are plastic. I asked my optometrist and he said that all glass filters UV rays naturally.

    So I guess that wearing plastic lenses while driving might be OK (since the windshield would filter the UV?), but frequent wearing of plastic lenses in the open could be a problem. Please consult an optometrist if you plan to wear vintage sunglasses regularly -- eye health is not something to mess around with!
  10. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    I have sunglasses that snap on magnetically to my prescription glasses. Makes it easy.
  11. Sunny

    Sunny One Too Many

    This is fantastic advice! I've even seen a number of clip-on shades on ebay. The only problem... I don't wear glasses regularly, and never have. :eek: I'm slightly nearsighted in my dominant eye (-1.5), and for a while I wore contacts, but I don't really need them. That'll likely change, though, as I get older. Both of my parents have glasses now (neither is yet 50) but didn't need them when they were young. Maybe now's a good time to look for real frames, before they get scarcer and more expensive 15 years down the road.

    Snookie, that's really interesting. I've never really understood the big deal about UV protection on all the sunglasses today. All of the 1930s and 1940s ones I've found so far seem to have glass lenses, which is a good thing. And really, I'm only going to use sunglasses when driving. I have a real thing for seeing things in literally their true light. It took a long time for me to ever start wearing sunglasses, and I really haven't worn them for the last couple years. I still hate heavily-tinted car windows! I think it's just the concentrated brightness and inability to look away that's making me really need them for commuting. When I'm actually outside, I much prefer hats. I'm glad that my idiosyncrasies are actually pretty good! ;)
  12. I'm not sure if it's just increased sensitivity with age or environmental change or a combination, but I never used to need sunglasses at all until about four years ago -- never even thought of wearing them, but once I passed 40 it got so I couldn't go outside in the summer without some kind of eye protection. I don't go with anything ultra-UV-scientific -- just a pair of cheap clipons that I don't have to worry too much if I lose or break -- but they do make a real difference.
  13. I have always had very sensitive eyes. I have heard that blue eyes especially are sensitive to light. I am glad the comment was made about true vintage shades not being up to snuff with the UV protection.I really cannot survive at all without good shades,so i think i were to ever buy sunglasses from the 40's (as i have been meaning to, i would only wear them in situations where i don't really need the protection(like when i am under an umbrella sipping martinis;) )and I just want to look wavishing:D
  14. i was thinking about the UV protection of vintage sunglasses too. all 3 pairs i have, have plastic lenses. not that i ever wear any of them, since i destroy a pair of sunglasses in 2.5 seconds on average. and if they last that long, then i lose them! i just got this year's first pair at torrid. the don't look vintage by a long stretch but i tried them on with my pendleton (i know, i know... wool jacket and sunglasses?) last night and they looked pretty good anyway!
  15. Sunny

    Sunny One Too Many

    Gee, I hope not... my eyes are very blue (dark, not light) and not particularly sensitive. Either way. Dad has always gotten on me for reading or doing homework with dim light.

    Snookie did say that true vintage shades with glass provide natural UV protection. It's the vintage plastic lenses that are the danger. I guess this is good news for those of us who really like the old ones, before plastic became the Queen of Materials! lol But I know you'll look "wavishing" no matter what kind you wear. ;)
  16. do you or anyone else happen to know when plastic lenses came into play?
  17. AWWWW... thanks,sunny!i don't know if i trust myself with a pair of glass lens sunglasses!! I guarantee you they would not last!!lol
  18. Sunny

    Sunny One Too Many

    Oh golly! No, I don't really know. But I suspect it would be after the war. All the prewar frames I've seen (in my extensive researches of the past two days :rolleyes: ) have glass lenses, whereas frames that are postwar in style are often made of true plastic material. I haven't paid attention to the lense material for those, I'm afraid. But I'm sure it would be possible. I know that later-war airplanes started getting plexiglass canopies; I suspect plastic was another technology that was delayed and then jump-started by the war.
    [/total speculation] I'm sure someone else knows for sure!
  19. As a matter of fact, I was just reading an article yesterday in a 1943 "Better Homes and Gardens" about eye care, and they made a big deal about how molded plastic lenses "were now being used to provide sun glasses and safety goggles to our fighting forces" -- and after the war we'll all be enjoying them!

    Took a while, though -- I didn't get my first pair of plastic prescription lenses until 1997.
  20. Sunny

    Sunny One Too Many

    From the listing of Daisy's new Fundamentals of Dress book. I'm putting it here for documentary purposes.


    1941 - College girl, wearing sunglasses to (presumably) study. The reflection of the book on the lenses makes it hard to tell, but they look pretty round to me. The frames look like wire/metal and not any kind of plastic.

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