Men's Eyeglasses: Frames And Lenses

man wearing glasses

Comfort, fit and durability rank high with men when it comes to choosing their eyeglasses. While many men are concerned with style, they usually won't forsake comfort and fit just to look good.

According to a recent consumer survey sponsored by The Vision Council, 88 percent of men said comfort and fit were the most important factors when purchasing eyeglasses, followed by durability (59 percent).

When asked about other features that add value to eyeglasses, 52 percent said spring hinges and roughly 50 percent said a more flexible, less breakable eyeglass frame.

Comfort and fit

Here are some key areas to check out to make sure the eyeglass frames you choose will be comfortable and fit well.

To ensure that the temples don't dig into the side of your head, make sure the frames are wide enough for your face. The edge of the frames should protrude slightly beyond your face so that the temples don't touch your head as they extend back to your ears.

Next, make sure the temples are long enough. Opticians can order many styles in a variety of temple lengths.

The curve at the end of the temple should extend over the ear without pressing down upon it. The optician can reshape and adjust the curve at the end of the temple when your pick your eyeglasses up, but can't make the temples shorter or longer, so make sure you select the best length.

Also check the nosepiece for comfort and fit. Many glasses have adjustable silicone nose pads that allow your optician to fine-tune the fit. For frames without adjustable nose pads, make sure the fit is secure without pinching the bridge of your nose.

When you try on the frames, move your head up and down, bend over and pick up something from the floor and see how well your glasses stay in place. With the properly adjusted nose pads and temples, your glasses should stay in place without pressing on your face.


Men who want eyeglasses that are more durable than usual should consider frames made from titanium, stainless steel and flexible materials, such as Flexon.

Titanium and stainless steel are stronger and more durable than other metal frame materials. Flexon, a titanium-based alloy, will go back into its original shape even if you twist, bend or crush it. [Read more about these and other eyeglass frame materials.]

5 lasting trends in fashionable men's eyeglasses

Men's frame styling has become much more masculine, with older shapes and sizes being reborn with a modern twist.

  1. A masculine look: Masculine shapes and double brow-bar styles have re-emerged. Made with newer and often more durable materials, aviator glasses are back in vogue.
  2. Big, bold styles: Larger and bolder eye sizes and frame shapes are in. But be careful not to go too big if you have a small face. The small, "John Lennon" glasses are still around, and they still work well with smaller faces.
  3. Trim the rims: Rimless and semi-rimless styles, where the eyeglass lenses are held in place by screws (rimless frames) or a transparent nylon wire (semi-rimless frames), are perfect for the man who wants a modern or minimalist look.Combine a pair of rimless glasses with anti-reflective lenses and the glasses practically disappear. Men will appreciate the lightweight comfort provided by this frame and lens combination, while women will appreciate the classy look.
  4. Titanium — lighter, durable and stylish: Used in golf clubs, bicycles and space shuttles, titanium also is a big draw for men as an eyeglass frame material. Because the metal is super lightweight, non-corrosive, very durable and stylish as well, titanium frames rate high in both the function and the fashion categories. Other options such as stainless steel and aluminum also are popular and have lightweight and durable properties when formed into a frame. These materials often are used in designer eyeglass frames because of their high-quality finish.
  5. Plastic is forever: For a younger, hip or retro look, men are turning to plastic. Lightweight and comfortable, plastic frames come in a wide variety of styles, including thin plastics, bold, black '50s-style frames and layers of colored plastics laminated together to create a unique effect. Classic shapes in tortoise patterns also are likely to remain in style forever.

How frame sizes work

Ever read the size numbers inside a frame temple and wonder what they mean? Optometrist Dr. Burt Dubow explains, using 48-19-140 as an example:

"All frames have standardized size measurements to help manufacturers and optical personnel fit them for consumers: The first number, 48, represents the size of the lenses. The second number, 19, is the bridge size, which ensures that the frame fits your nose. The third number, 140, is the temple length (temples are the parts that hook over the ears).

"Each person is shaped differently, of course, and requires different frame measurements. To make it more complicated, frames vary by their shapes and sizes, so there is no set of numbers that would apply to one person for all frames. Each frame must be fitted individually.

"If you want an excellent frame fit, go to an optical boutique and get some help from the trained personnel — it will be well worth your time!"

Liz Segre also contributed to this article.

Page updated March 2018