Eyewear Dictionary

We throw a lot of industry terms your way, so here's a little glossary of what a lot of them mean.

Acetate - or, more specifically, cellulose acetate—is the caviar of plastics. It’s durable, hypoallergenic, and capable of holding exceptionally rich colors, which makes it an ideal material for eyeglasses. It’s our signature material.

Anti-reflective Coating - coating applied to lens to assist with glare from computers, tablets, cell phones and other electronics 

Arm - Also known as the temple, this is the part of your glasses that runs alongside your head and holds them in place. This helps people with very high cheek bones, wide faces and/or a nose bridge that is lower on your face (pupil level or lower)

Asian Fit - (See Universal Fit) This is a fit of glasses that offers a thicker nose bridge, a shorter and wider lens and a more reduced frame curvature

Bridge -  This is the part of the glasses that sit on the bridge of your nose

Cat-eye Frames - are a shape of frame that swoop upwards, yes, like…cats' eyes. 

Eyewear Fit -  Here's how you know if the fit is right for you. 

  • You should see your pupils near the center of the lens.
  • Unless you're playing a part in the Sopranos, lenses should not extend past the side of your face.
  • Make sure you can see your eyebrows above the glasses.
  • The glasses should NOT sit ON your cheekbones but they SHOULD sit ON your nose (not slide down it).

Frame - This is the outer metal or plastic shape of the glasses.  They can come in a multitude of different styles.

Harlequin Frame - first cat-eye frame designed by Altina Schinasi Miranda fashioned after the eye holes from harlequin masks

Keyhole Bridge - A keyhole bridge looks like a very simplified keyhole. It’s lightly curved giving a vintage look. 

Lens - This is the glass or polycarbonate (or other material) that sits inside the frame and is, where all the technology lives to help you see better.

Lens Width - Measurement across the lens from one side to another. This is the most common measurement in determining what will fit your face and head.

Nose Bridge - refers to the slope of the nose in between your eyes. Your eyewear should rest comfortably atop the bridge of your nose

Nose Pads - The eyewear pads that rest on the sides of your nose to guarantee a snug fit.

Pince-nez - a vintage style of glasses from the French word (Pince-nez) meaning “pinch-nose”. Apropos as these glasses stay in place ONLY by sitting on and pinching the bridge of the nose.

Polarized Lenses - Polarized lenses help to eliminate glare, especially useful when driving. Horizontal light rays cause most of that glare and the Polarized sunglasses reduce that  with vertical filters that prevent horizontal light waves from entering. On the other hand, Polarized lenses make it difficult to fly a plane, drive a Prius or use any other electronic devices (phones, tablets etc).

Readers - If you're over 40 you know what these are. As presbyopia descends upon us, readers are a cost-effective alternative to getting your arms stretched longer so you can actually read again.  They are extremely fashionable now and come in any number of magnifications from 1.0 - 4.0

Snellen Chart - This is that classic eye chart with letters like E FP TOZ in large font at the top (making you think you can read like a 20 year old) to the itty bitty tiniest of letters at the bottom (that no one can read without the Hubble Telescope). This chart will help you determine which strength Readers to get.

Temple - Temple Arm or Arm. This is the part of your glasses that runs alongside your head and holds them over your ears.  This is also where you will find the manufacturer name and model numbers for authenticity

Titanium - This frame material is strong, durable and lightweight (think Golf Clubs)  making it comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Though metal, it never rusts.

Tortoise Shell - Centuries ago the shell from a tortoise was a prized used by artisans in their decor. Thankfully, modern day tortoise shell is not from the actual animal, but a processed used to color acetate in a way that is reminiscent of the shell. Tortoise Shell is typically quite dark while the newer Havana is the same idea but a slighter shade

Ultraviolet Light -  is a form of electromagnetic radiation eminating from the sun that we cannot see.  Don't let that fool you...It's there whether you see it or not. So just like you use suncreen to protect your body from overexposure to those potentially harmful rays, make sure to protect your eye from the same rays with a good pair of sunglasses.



Universal Fit - (See Asian Fit) This is a fit of glasses that offers a thicker nose bridge, a shorter and wider lens and a more reduced frame curvature