frequently asked questions
Are the vintage frames reproductions or are they actually old?
These are the real thing -- vintage eyewear from the 1800s to the 1980s (unless otherwise stated). Within our Vintage and Antique Collections, all of the pieces are ophthalmic-quality eyeglass frames. Most have never been used (aka "new old stock"), and were acquired from various optical distributors. Pre-owned items are in excellent cosmetic and functional vintage condition.
What kinds of lenses can be put in the vintage frames?
Lenses of your choice -- prescription (including single vision, bi-/tri-focal and progressive lenses), sunglass, reading or clear lenses. In most cases, vintage frames are as easy to complete as contemporary frames off the rack. Similarly, most of the sunglasses in our inventory are of ophthalmic quality (i.e. designed for prescription use) that we've completed with UVA/UVB sun lenses. As such, sunglass lenses can be replaced with your rx lenses.
Can my local optician put lenses in the vintage frames?
In most cases, the answer is, "yes." You can go to an independent optician or many large chains to take care of your lens work needs. However, we have heard of some opticians preferring not to work with products they do not sell. If you are unable to find a store that will complete your job, please contact us and we can assist you or check our "Suggested Opticians" page.
What is your return policy?
While we try to provide accurate descriptions and pictures, we realize it's not a substitute for trying on the frames in person. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed, and authorized returns are accepted within 14 days of receipt provided the item(s) are in their original condition. The purchase price, less the initial shipping & handling charges will be refunded upon receipt of merchandise. Return shipping and insurance are the buyer's responsibility and is non-refundable. All lost or damaged claims must be filed with the carrier. Items returned after the 14 day trial period could be subject to a 15% restocking fee.
Labwork costs associated with custom-made lenses are non-refundable.
What happens if the frames are defective and/or break?
We provide a one year warranty from date of purchase against defect on all products we sell (unless specified). We will repair or replace a frame that has broken under normal usage conditions with a product of equal or lesser value. Subject to availability.
What vintage brands do you carry?
We carry some of the best eyewear brands from around the world including the U.S., France, Italy, Germany, England, Spain, Switzerland, Eastern Europe and British Hong Kong - brand names like American Optical, ArtCraft, ArtOptic, Bausch & Lomb, Criss, Flair, Foremost, Graceline, Imperial, Jason, Liberty, Pathway (POP), Rodenstock, Saphira, Shuron, Styl-Rite, Swank, Tart Optical, Tura, Universal, Univis, Victory, Zylite and more.
We also stock a large supply of vintage fashion and couture brands including Anne Klein, Bill Blass, B&L Ray Ban, Bollé, Carrera, Cazal, Chanel, Christian Dior, Courrèges, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dunhill, Emmanuelle Khanh, Geoffrey Beene, Givenchy, Gucci, Izod Lacoste, Lanvin, Laura Biagiotti, Liz Claiborne, Nina Ricci, Oscar De La Renta, Paloma Picasso, Pierre Cardin, Playboy, Porsche Design, Ralph Lauren, Ted Lapidus, Terri Brogan, Vuarnet, Yves Saint Laurent and many more. This collection is always changing -- please visit us at an upcoming show or our Instagram page to view examples of our collection.
How does sizing work and what do all the numbers on the frames mean?
These numbers indicate the size of the frame fronts and temples. Specifically, numbers on the frame fronts refer to widths of one lens and the distance between lenses (aka DBL), respectively. Usually conveyed in millimeters, the numbers 48-22, for example, mean the width of one lens is 48mm; bridge width or the distance between lenses is 22mm.
The numbers printed on the temples usually refer to the lengths of the temples. Before the eyewear industry shifted to the metric system exclusively, temples were often measured in inches. Given there are about 25mm per 1 inch, a typical 5"-6" temple measures 125mm-150mm by today's standards.
Another measurement we can provide is the overall width of the frame and/or hinge-to-hinge width. You can use this measurement to compare to a frame that you have that is similar in style.
Keep in mind that optical sizing is not consistent like shoe sizing. For example, if you wear a size 10 shoe, that's pretty much your size from shoe style to shoe style. However, with eyeglass frames, you might wear a size 40/20 in an antique wire frame, a 46/22 in a 1950s horn-rim and a 58/16 in an Aviator. Although they are wildly different in terms of optical sizing, they may each fit the same face both physically and cosmetically.
Finally, frames are designed to be adjusted by an optician. A frame off the rack or after shipping -- particularly during hot and cold months -- may become too loose, too tight or crooked. If a frame looks good on the face, but doesn't fit properly, don't worry, it can be adjusted at the time of lens installation.
What is the best way to communicate with your company if I have questions or comments?
When we first started in this business, things were much simpler. We engaged with our customers either face-to-face, via telephone, snail mail or facsimile. Today, we receive messages from over a dozen different sources: email, text, Instagram message, Facebook Messenger, Twitter message, LinkedIn messaging, Zoom, Yelp message, Square Feedback, WhatsApp, fax, mail, landline, cell phone and perhaps the best, face-to-face! Email may be the 2nd best and most ubiquitous form of communication that typically leads to the quickest response.
Do you ship outside of the U.S.?
Yes. In fact, we have online customers in all six inhabited continents of the world. Typically, we use US Postal Global Priority and Express services to handle international shipments (about $36.95 for Global Priority and $63.95 for Global Express).
Is your entire stock on the website?
No, we have over 100,000 vintage frames, so most of our stock is not shown on the website. If you don't see what you're looking for, please feel free to visit us at an upcoming show, call (707) 829-2020 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a retail location?
No, we do not. The best way to try on frames in person is to visit us at one of the many shows we do throughout the year. Our complete Show Schedule for the year can be viewed online. Free passes to indoor shows are typically offered on our Show Schedule page.
Do you have a catalog?
We do not print catalogs due to the finite and everchanging selection of our vintage productline, as well as our efforts to reduce paper consumption. For best selection, visit us at one of the many shows we do throughout the year.
What are the basic parts of a standard eyeglass frame?
Please see the diagram below.