The material used in your eyeglass frames – whether plastic or metal – can completely change your look. And while it’s really a matter of personal preference, there are a few things to consider. Once you’ve made up your mind, our trained eye care associates will be ready to guide you through the whole selection process.
Metal eyeglasses have long been favored for their traditional styling, sleek profile and understated elegance. But newer metal options are reinterpreting the classics with innovative cutouts and latticework. And while metal frames can’t conquer the color spectrum in the same way their plastic counterparts can, they are available in more hues than ever before. Finally, the finish of the metal should also be considered – choose a flat, brushed finish for a casual feel or a shiny, polished finish for a more elegant look.
Stainless steel frames and surgical stainless are another alternative to titanium. Qualities of stainless steel frames include light weight, low toxicity and strength; many stainless steel frames also are nickel-free and thus hypoallergenic.
Stainless steel is readily available and reasonably priced. It’s an alloy of steel and chromium, and may also contain another element. Most stainless steels contain anywhere from 10 to 30 percent chromium, which provides excellent resistance to corrosion, abrasion and heat.
Flexon is a titanium-based alloy. This unique and popular material, originated by the eyeglass manufacturer Marchon, is called a “memory metal”: frames made of Flexon come back into shape even after twisting, bending and crushing. Flexon frames are lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant.
Unlike the sleeker silhouette of metal, plastic glasses often come in bold, chunky styles for a dramatic look. They’re also available in endless color options to complement almost any look. Can’t decide on a single color? Try a duotone frame with a pop of contrasting color on the temple. Different hues can also be layered on plastic models to soften a too-vibrant shade and create depth. Plastic frames are also a good option if you have a stronger prescription since they’re substantial enough to hide a thicker lens.
Frames that combine sleek metal and colorful plastic let you have it both ways. This popular combination adds visual interest to your look and really stretches the places they can go. They also offer the strength of plastic and the malleable nature of metal – so they’re durable but can be adjusted quite easily when needed. Titanium is another metal eyewear option that’s extremely lightweight, strong, durable and corrosion-resistant.