Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Night on the Town: Pince-Nez Gets Noticed!

Last night I had a traditional bachelor party for my wedding next week. A friend of mine took me out for a wild night on the town. It was a bachelor party with a straight theme: a trip to a gentleman's club and doing some guy things (e.g., cards, darts, drinking). There were four of us last evening including my neighbor, his friend (Bill) and his friend's girlfriend (Amy).

We started out with some drinks at my neighbor's house. After a couple of drinks, Bill looked at me and said "Your glasses don't have any arms. I can fix that for you." He was even more astonished when I told him that these glasses don't have arms but grip the nose.

Later we went to a "gentleman's club" in San Jose called the Brass Rail. They don't have topless bars down there so the girls were attired in very skimpy bikinis. Not very erotic but fun for a bachelor party. While talking to a young stripper, she noticed my hoop springs. "Those glasses don't hang on your ears!" she exclaimed. Nearly naked women and she was shocked by my pince-nez. Of course everyone had to see how my glasses stayed on my nose.

I don't think that I converted anyone to pince-nez but I did spread an awareness.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Bad eBay Purchase

pince nez hoop spring trial fitting set
A few weeks ago I was very excited a purchase I made on eBay. I "won" a a trial fitting set of twelve hoop spring pince-nez in a a beat up case. The price was $43.74 and I was ecstatic. Twelve hoop springs for $55 which included the shipping price? That was less than $5 a hoop spring. Plus I received the case. There were three pictures and they gave a flattering image of the set (photos in this post are mine). Clearly not all the hoop springs were original to the set but at this price it didn't matter.

pince nez hoop spring trial fitting set
A week after the auction I received the set. Pure crap! I don't recall ever being so disappointed with a purchase. Ten of the twelve hoop springs were a very cheap rimmed variety with significant rust. I never dealt with rimmed lenses on a pince-nez. According to my friend, these hoop springs were the cheap mail-order issue of the day. There were two other hoop springs which had minimal value. One of them fit me but it was nothing special. Below are photos of two hoop springs which were typical of the quality of the others.

pince nez hoop spring trial fitting set
pince nez hoop spring trial fitting set
I contacted the seller and asked for a refund. I mailed the set back and received a refund of the purchase but not shipping. If the set would have been decent, I would have been set with hoop springs for life! Nevertheless, I'm glad that I tried.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

LeDandy's Progress Report

I have been wearing pince-nez on a full-time basis for the past three months. It is time to give a progress report on what it is like wearing them. Did they fall off? Does anyone notice them? Are they comfortable?

I'm thrilled to give great answers to these questions.

First of all, I alternate between a fingerpiece and hoop spring with daily wear. They are both equally comfortable and I often forget that I have them on. This is in stark contrast to my first fingerpiece which was too tight and caused discomfort after two hours of wear. Both of my current pince-nez leave no redness after wear and cause no irritation. I do wear silicone nose pads on both pair.

Furthermore, neither pair has fallen off. There were not even any "close calls" where they were in danger of falling off my nose. A touch of super glue applied to the nose guarantees security. Just kidding! The nose pads really do help with a secure fit on the nose.

A few times each week I receive comments in public. All positive of course. Last week I was in a Toys R Us buying a gift for my nephew. A woman behind me in line asked how the glasses stayed on my face. I had my hoop springs on at the time and showed her how they work. She was delighted. Interestingly, most of those who talk with me about pince-nez are Asian women. Several people at work notice them as well and inquire as to how they work without bows. Then of course there are many others who do not say anything due to shyness.

Yes, it has been a good three months wearing pince-nez and I look forward to a lifetime of wearing these wonderful glasses.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Ear Loop

pince nez ear loop earloop security
I've been writing this blog for almost a year and this is my first post on the ear loop. Usually the ear loop makes a strong impression on someone when encountering pince-nez for the first time. During the pince-nez heyday in the period 1885-1919, ear loops and other security devices such as the ribbon or chain were used by some wearers. The glass lenses of this period were extremely fragile, unlike the polycarbonate lenses of today. One fall and they were certainly guaranteed to shatter.

For contemporary wear, I am not a fan of the ear loop or any other security device. The beauty of the pince-nez is in its simplicity. Aesthetically, the ear loop severely impairs the look. It ruins the lines and creates the presumption that the eyewear is not stable. I wouldn't even consider wearing an ear loop.

Of course this is the author's opinion. These days one has the benefit of silicone nose pads which ensure a secure fit on the nose. Apart from historical reenactment, there is no need to wear such devices.

Please write in with your opinion on the subject. The comment section is important!


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