Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Question of Size: Hoop Springs

For those who are new to the old world of pince-nez, it is not a "one size fits all" situation which is found with modern eyewear. The question of determining size for proper fit has been covered in great depth in two prior posts [post 1, post 2]. Hoop springs, by nature of their design, are more forgiving in terms of size latitude for fit. Nevertheless, one must exercise discretion in choosing a hoop spring for wear. I have tried on many hoop springs that did not fit.

So how does one select the right size of hoop spring for wear? Since many purchases are made online, you cannot try them on before the purchase. This is why we emphasize that buyers check out the return policy of seller before committing to the sale. With hoop springs, I recommend looking at the distance between the nose guards and the design of the hoop spring itself. I recommend using simple classifications: small, medium and large. Forget about measurements in millimeters. The nose is a three dimensional object.

Below are some example of different sizes. With experience, you'll be able to easily classify a hoop spring from a photo.




It does look like there isn't much difference between the medium and large examples in terms of distance between nose guards. The real difference is in the style of the hoop spring itself. The c-clip spring is snugger than the flat spring shown in the large example. I speak from experience as the large example with nose pads was too big for me. The medium example is my current hoop spring. I wear them with nose pads.

Remember that you will almost certainly want to wear nose pads with your hoop springs for comfort and security. This decreases the distance between the nose guards and has a marked affect on fit. You will want to try on your pince-nez with nose pads to determine proper fit.

As I've said before, a visual approximation is just that. An estimate. You need to try them on with nose pads for fit.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A British Journalist and his Pince-Nez

[The following text was submitted by Guy Fleming. He provided his email address for this story: ]

My consciousness of pince-nez awoke at an early age, since this was the style of eyeglass favoured by my paternal grandfather, a favourite uncle and a delightful teacher who taught me how to add up and spell! Also, as an open Gay. I noticed that a significant number of fellow-Gays and lesbians chose to wore pince-nez (I`m going back 35 years or so) and, in a sense, I felt attracted to them because of that. Now, however, I wear `em because I like `em!

However, I had no desire to wear pince-nez until my 40s when it was relatively easy to get hold of the right finger-piece. I wore them alternatively with standard frames but, a few years later, decided to go full-time with them. I have never regretted that. This was because I had noticed, occasionally, not only middle-aged and elderly men wearing them, but also fashion-conscious ladies both here in the UK and in Belgium, where I worked for some time.

Finger-pieces were by then more difficult to obtain, but visiting independent opticians, who had been in the business a long time, paid off. Most of them still kept a wide range. In all that time, no- one had scorned my choice of eyewear – at least, not to my face. Rather I have received such compliments as” snazzy,” “they suit you,” and the inevitable “how do they stay on?” Interestingly, no one even commented on my pince-nez when I was on the reporting staff of two daily papers, where you would think they might. Otherwise, all that was said was complimentary.

Just recently, I needed a fresh prescription, and the national opticians` chain to which I went, smoothly carried this through without any murmurs about “this may be difficult,” and so on.

Incidentally, I have noticed, looking at old photographs of statesmen, etc, I see that only the great Franklin D. Roosevelt wore pince-nez, but so did his predecessor President Wilson, and HIS predecessor, Teddy Roosevelt! In the Second World War, they were worn by Canadian Premier, McKenzie King, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, Soviet KGB chief, Beria, and outstanding British Parliamentarian, Leo Amery, among many others I am sure. So we are in great (and not so great!) company!

[Editor's Note: Guy's large round lenses clearly work for him. Nevertheless, we advise novices to start with the classic small oval lenses for best results. Ear loops are an optional item and not necessary for wear. ]

Sunday, August 7, 2011

LeDandy's New Fingerpiece

LeDandy's new fingerpiece! This is my second fingerpiece and it is a beauty. As previously mentioned, it is new old stock and looks like it was made this year. Fortunately it has the craftsmanship of a previous era.

I used a local optician and they did a good job with them.


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