(For the first part in this series, click here.)
Rimless Reader Upgrades
In the early 1900s, two significant upgrades for glasses emerged that made glasses more comfortable and thus more popular. Plastic lenses became available making glasses significantly lighter with over-the-ear frames that helped them stay on better. This combination of both comfort and improved functionality paved the way for eyeglasses to rise in popularity. Athletes and movie stars began sporting eyeglasses which caused the populous to accept them more as well. In the 1950s, glasses became used not just for utility, but for fashion as well. When Marilyn Monroe donned her cat-eye style, this popular frame swept the nation, a style that is popular to this day.
Pop Culture and Rimless Readers
Cultural movements have always brought about a specific style, unique to its time, like Mods and their angular frames. For example, hippies such as John Lennon and their round glasses or the oversized frames of Jackie Kennedy Onassis continue to go in and out of style.
Even rock and roll has played a huge role in style, with artists like Buddy Holly and his “chunky” frames, Joan Jett and her Aviators, and Bono and his futuristic styles. Each of these has defined a generation of eyeglass wearers. Eyewear fashion has continually evolved and pop culture has always played a part in that evolution.
In our modern world, fashions vary a great deal, not just from country to country but from city to city. Every generation tries to express and differentiate itself from the last. There are more unique expressions of individuality than ever before and eyeglasses have kept up. If you walk down the street in New York City within a block you will see bright colorful glasses, translucent nude glasses, cat eye glasses, large vintage frames, square frames from the seventies, round glasses, glasses bedazzled with Swarovski crystals, aviator glasses, black hipster glasses and more. Whatever look you are going for there is guaranteed to be a pair of glasses that will complete it.
Rimless Eyeglasses: Timeless and Fashionable
One style that has stood the test of time since the beginning, as popular now as they were when they first were available over 200 years ago, are rimless eyeglasses. This style is popular for sunglasses, prescription glasses, and rimless reading glasses. They are one of the best-selling styles in their market. Look around and you will see rimless glasses being worn by tech icons including Steve Jobs, actors like Patrick Dempsey, Brad Pitt, and Hugh Jackman, actresses like Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Aniston, musicians including Chris Brown and Ed Sheeran, and business magnates like Richard Branson – the list goes on. You will find rimless glasses on everyone from entrepreneurs to race car drivers and for good reason. They have a timeless style and are often the most comfortable glasses you can wear because they are lightweight.
Primary Subtypes of Rimless Eyeglasses
Rimless eyeglasses are defined by the way they are constructed, these eyeglasses are made by the lenses being mounted directly to the supporting parts, in this case, the temples or arms and the nose bridge. There are two primary subtypes for this construction method: compression mount and screw mount. While the compression mount is generally the more expensive construction method, this style gives you a cleaner look and often a sturdier pair of glasses. With the screw mount of rimless glasses, the cost to make them is often less and you have the visual appearance of the hardware and in some cases, the holes through the lenses for the bolt can lead to a crack in the lens.
Visualites Rimless Reading Glasses
The nose bridge is usually of two styles, either metal arms that are attached by screws to the lenses and then have rubber nose pads that sit on the face of a single molded piece of plastic that connects the lenses with wings that sit on the nose. There are advantages to both styles and Visualites has both available. Our Visualites 1 rimless readers use metal arms. Customers like these because you can adjust the metal arms in and out to customize the fit. Our Visualites 8 rimless reading glasses use the compression mount. Customers like these because of their simplicity and comfort.
This style has remained so popular because without a frame, the glasses are much lighter than full-framed styles, making them much more comfortable and less likely to leave marks on the wearer’s face. Also, because of the use of less material in construction, this style can be less expensive than full-framed glasses.
One thing is certain: while styles come and go, the adage of function over fashion has never lost precedence and is why this frame type has stood the test of time and shows no sign of losing popularity.
Jerry Willis is the owner of Lumen Eyewear and the computer glasses and reading glasses brand Visualites. Jerry has years of experience in eyewear frame and lens design and manufacturing of eyewear and is a member of the Vision Council of the United States of America. Lumen Eyewear is also a FDA licensed manufacturer and importer of reading glasses and computer glasses. Visualites is dedicated to bringing its customers products that not only improve their vision but the health of their eyes.