Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Glasses! Yea or Nay?

Last week, I worried that my glasses would clash with a fascinator. I contemplated ordering some contacts, but I somehow found myself trolling vintage eyewear sites instead. (Oops!) These lovelies were added to my cart, and the rest is history. I've been wanting a second pair of glasses for a while now; something that would contrast with the chunkiness of my regular specs. (Not that I don't adore the chunkiness too!)

But here's my question for you: are these the perfect pair? (I deliberately ordered from a place with a good exchange policy since getting the right specs can be a trial - so swapping these for another pair won't be a problem.)


I initially worried that these are too small for my face, which Jeff says is absurd. However, he does feel that they err on the side of "costume-y." It's always a good sign when Jeff likes something right away (he has great taste, if I may say so myself). He's hedging on these, which worries me.


Here's how they look when I'm cuddling Pip, which she is so clearly enjoying. (She has a strong pro-Jeff bias, which I totally get. And little Henry adores me enough to make up for any slights from Pippi.)

Being on the fence still about these, I decided on a back-up pair should I want to make an exchange. Pretty sweet, huh?


Because I'm indecisive, I need your help, readers. What's your opinion? Keep the black, or exchange them to try the tortoiseshell pair? Hey, I've even put in a handy-dandy poll so it's easy for you to make your opinion known!



And, of course, I love to hear your comments below! Thanks, friends.

Pippi says bye!


Update: Here's a link to the online shop I'm buying from. They're fantastic; all their glasses are never-worn optometrist's deadstock. New glasses for everyone! Hurrah!

95 comments:

  1. I saw try the others, post pics and compare to be sure!

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  2. Hey Gertie - I think the black cat eye frames are too harsh, and I agree with Jeff, a little "costumey". I think the tortoise shells are sweet, with the floral detail, and I think the slightly more rounded profile will be more flattering. But you can't tell until you try them on, so you were smart to shop at a place with a great return/exchange policy!

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  3. I also think the tortoise shell glasses might have a better shape for you. The color would also suit you.

    Of course we *need* to see them to be certain.
    :)Deb M.

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  4. Although you really suit the cats eye frames (they look like they were made for you!), I do think they err on the side of costumey. I love the look of the tortoiseshell ones, they have a similar look but are more subtle for everyday wear.

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  5. Hi Gertie - I already voted for the exchange to tortoise shell, but was thinking about the glasses and thought I'd comment. I actually agree with both you AND Jeff - they are costume-like because they are too small. Does that make sense? The frames seem heavy for the (smallish) lenses. I think the others would be a little lighter while still having plenty of impact!

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  6. If you're on the fence there is a reason. Try the tortoise ones!

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  7. I voted for the tortoiseshell frames because I think that'll give you more 'wardrobe variety', given your existing frames are black. Plus, I agree with Lexi that the tortoiseshell ones would look a little lighter and somehow balance the shape/size/style equation a bit more evently (if that makes sense!), and with Sherry that the tortoiseshell style is a little more subtle overall.

    (It took me years to find my current pair of glasses, so I'm impressed that you've acted and decided so quickly!)

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  8. The cat's eye frames are cute, but the tortoise shells are fabulous! The cat's eye frames are maybe even a little too similar to your others with the heavy-ish black rims. Since you already have a super cute pair like that, I say go for the tortoise shell. I love them!

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  9. I LOVE the black ones on you. They are great! The tortoiseshell frames are really lovely, and if both had been an option I would have voted that way, but I think you should keep the black.

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  10. this is gong to sound weird, and i have had enough wine so that i will say it... i voted for tortoiseshell, and this i why:

    your forehead isn't tall enough for the black ones.

    which is to say, your forehead is of perfect proportion, but these glasses are so wide, they seem to be meant to balance out someone with a great expanse of forehead, which you do not have.

    i'm off to get more wine.

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  11. Hi Gertie,
    I love your blog so much; now you're first on my list. Great tutorials! I pretty much go with the tortoiseshell ones, but I'm thinking I'd like them better without the floral designs. You have a lot going on patternwise with your tats too, so I think it would be softer without the flowers.

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  12. I think you should keep looking. The black frame is indeed too costume-ish, and I think the tortoiseshell frame is too busy to wear with hats.

    Have you thought of getting '80s-'90s era Alain Mikli cats?

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  13. Although I think both glasses are cute,I have to agree that the cat eye one's are a bit costume-y, and I actually think the tortoise shells might be too...detailed? I actually really like your current glasses better than either of these, even though they're fun; I feel like they're (your current pair) retro, but not so literal. I dunno, I have my beer glasses on ;-).

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  14. They're cute, but I agree with Jeff that they are a bit costumey. I think it is because they are so pointy on the sides, and the black is such a contrast against your fair skin. I think the color of the tortoiseshell ones will be more flattering!

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  15. Gertie - I love em. Yeah, they are a bit edgy but I think that is what you were going for. I do like the tortoiseshell but if you feel as if you must return them - I think a non-dark shade might be fun - red? Fun color? Something to think about.

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  16. I like that you are looking at narrower frames but this pair are too pointy.

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  17. As I was looking at the pictures, I was planning to leave a comment suggesting you look for a tortoiseshell pair, and then I saw the picture at the bottom!

    The ones you bought are super cute, but they aren't a huge contrast from your other ones, and I think the tortoiseshell pair will look good with your hair and coloring.

    I might be biased because I have both a chunky black pair (with light blue on the inside) and a cats-eye style tortoiseshell pair - but at least for me I find that between the two, one pair or the other seems to go with every outfit.

    Good luck deciding!! (can you have both!?)

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  18. I think the black ones are a bit cartoony. That's not necessarily bad in my opinion, and with the right outfit I think they'd be great. I voted for the tortoiseshell ones though, because A) I think they'd look better with a fascinator because they're more subtle and a bit fancier, and B) they're more different in style from your chunky black pair than the cat-eye ones, so you'll have two very different looks to choose from.

    Also, I don't know if this is your style, but I was in a vintage store the other day and saw several pairs of clear and silver cat-eye frames (many with rhinestones), similar to these: http://vintageeyeglassesonline.com/tartopticalshereepinksatin42-19.aspx

    How great would those look with a pink fascinator and a lucite purse?

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  19. I'm voting for the tortoise shell, because they're lovely. But my immediate reaction is that the pointy ones are distracting...all folks are going to see are the glasses, not you. And that's not the point. ;-)

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  20. I think they are both cute, but maybe they draw a little too much attention to themselves. When I see your photos, I always think, "I'm jealous, she's so cute!" but with those glasses on, all I can see is the glasses, not the whole You.

    btw, I meant for that to come out in a flattering way, not a creepy way :)

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  21. In the interest of full disclosure... I'm a fellow eyeglass wearer who adores vintage/vintage style specs. My first thought was the black were too small. And I don't think they're costumey at all. The tortoiseshell are quite cute but without seeing them on you, I wouldn't recommend them over the black. However, you do already have a black pair...

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  22. My vote is you should totally come to Portland and pick some out at the rad vintage stores!

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  23. I love the cat eye, but I think they need to actually be wider...kind of? I think the lenses are too small, and don't show enough of your eye area. But the style is super cute!

    Maybe try the tortoise shell and see...haha, get it?

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  24. I have to agree with the majority here that these glasses don't really offer you a big change from your other glasses, color or style-wise. I would go with the tortoisshell or even something lighter . . . or brighter. I'm a glasses only gal and have collected over the last few years (after I found the rockbottom prices at some of the eyeglass websites) black, red, peach, silver, and a tortoiseshell. Mostly retro shapes . . . and I think the most I spent was $40 for a pair, and a couple for $10. Anyhoooooow, I think a clear/lucite pair in a retro style would go great with a fascinator and also really shake up your look (which I think is fabulous, but variety is the spice of life!) Ciao bella!

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  25. I'm in a bit of a minority - I think the catseyes look great - are very cool - and suit you very well. I'm a fellow glasses wearer as well - and have several pairs - although none that are specially vintagey. I must say - I'm not sure if they're the perfect pair for a fascinator - I quite like the idea of the lucite ones for that. I just think they look GREAT on you.

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  26. An earlier poster said that the black glasses seemed too cartoony. I think she's right. They remind me of Gary Larsen's Far Side cartoons.

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  27. The black ones look really good on the shape of your face, but it's true they will distract the attention from you to your glasses. It will look costumey if in addition you will be all dressed up in vintage looking clothes, I think.

    But what is more important to me, I actually think softer colors suit you better (but you really seem to like these blacks and bright reds instead of coral red or something) and that the black is too harsh on your skin. I think the tortoise shell would be more beautiful on you :)

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  28. I voted for the tortoise shell, but I would love to see a comparison.

    Trudy
    www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

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  29. I think you have the good fortune to be able to rock either of those pairs although maybe would lean to the tortoiseshell ones.
    But I won't be able to decide unless I see you with a pic of Henry.
    More gratuitous cat shots, please!
    (sort of begs the question, what would your cats look like in cat's eye frames?!)
    I got new glasses recently too but they are nowhere near this adorable and therefore will not be making an appearance on my blog .. ever.

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  30. I say....get BOTH!

    the black cat eyes are super cute on you...but, they're a little extreme. I don't think they look exactly 'costumey,' but they do have somewhat serious wings at the side. Which I think actually look great on you, but will probably compete with a fascinator even more than your usual pair of specs. The tortoiseshell/rhinestone glasses somehow seem more practical. Practical rhinestones:-)

    But, if possible, I say both!

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  31. I think the tortoise shell ones will give more focus to your face and eyes rather than to the heavy black frames. And yes, the black ones were a little too "Hey, look at me, I'm vintage!" :)

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  32. (oops, didn't mean to comment anonymously...just in case anon post is deleted: )


    I think the tortoise shell ones will give more focus to your face and eyes rather than to the heavy black frames. And yes, the black ones were a little too "Hey, look at me, I'm vintage!" :)

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  33. Both pairs of these glasses remind me of some my grand mother had in the early 80's. I'm not sure if thats a good thing or not though. I think you have quite petite features and the cats eye glasses are too much for you face but I'm not really loving the tortoise shell ones either. Sorry!

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  34. I agree with Jo; if you're not sure you're not sure, regardless of what we think! Glasses are right there on your face every time you look in the mirror and if you have doubts it's worth it to wait for the perfect pair. Keep looking, I say! (FWIW I thought your regular glasses looked ace with the fascinator!)

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  35. Since you ask for opinions, (I would never say anything if not), when I saw this post, my first thought was: "Oh no!" I just remembered why I liked your blog from the beginning when I found it, it was a post where you discussed the "how vintage can you get?"-question. If i remember correctly, you wrote something about your glasses, saying something like you liked the fact that they were a nice contrast, and that you wasn't very interested getting the whole vintage style 100%. (I can't remember if this was one of your early posts or a more recent). I'm a bit curious: have you changed your mind on the matter?

    And as for the glasses: I liked the tortoise better i think, of the two, but I liked your original opinion most :)
    (If my language isn't proper, excuse me, English isn't my first language. Sometimes it gets wrong.)
    Thanks for a wonderful blog which i always enjoy!
    /Ida

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  36. Both are pretty but the tortoise shell are a bit softer... try them!

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  37. It's hard to say how the turtoise glasses will look. Especially with glasses I think you should try them on to see what they are like.

    I must say I don't really like these black ones. Too sharp, pointy, I think. It makes your face less soft and friendly, and indeed a bit caricature, I think, which is a shame, because I think you have such a sweet and charming face.

    Good luck with the choosing!

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  38. I love them and think that they suit your vintage style. That said, the black seems very similar to what you already have, so perhaps the tortoise shell ones will add more to your wardrobe, and the lattice pattern makes them appear less "solid", yet are still funky with a retro theme. That said, you have a pretty face and can get away with lots of drama!

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  39. I agree with oonaloona, they're just a little too wide for the length of your face. I wear cat's eye specs because I have a narrow face and a forehead the height of, oh, something very tall indeed, and need to balance it out. But your face is more in proportion and the width of the black ones throws it off somehow.

    I've voted tortoiseshell because they're softer and will give you a bit more variety in terms of colour to boot.

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  40. I've got two 'bugs' about the black ones: The sharp points at the edges produce a really harsh horizontal line and the color seems to harsh for you also. I'd go with the tortoise ones or look for one that is not so 'pointy'.

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  41. I much prefer the tortoiseshell frames; they look a bit softer and don't scream "50s cat eye!". Which while wonderfully fun, I think do tend to go a bit from retro to costumy. I myself wear glasses quite a bit and have toyed wit the idea of getting some cat eye frames, but tend to shy away because they can be a bit too over the top. I like the tortoiseshell as they don't have the harsh points the black ones sport, and also are a color that will blend a bit better with your coloring. :)

    Just my $0.02! ;)

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  42. There's nothing wrong with the first choice; however, the tortoise shell frames are softer so people will still see your face first and not your glass frames.

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  43. I think the tortoise shell glasses might have a better shape for you, they´re sweet.

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  44. IMHO, the black frames form such a strong horizontal across your face, I see glasses rather than you. It's the difference between saying, "What a lovely dress," and "You look lovely." The tortoise frames are softer and would dominate less, but you won't know until they're sitting on your nose. Good Luck!

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  45. Maybe I missed it in a previous comment, but could you divulge the site where you found these lovely vintage frames? Thanks!

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  46. You always look stunning, and those specs are kinda cute, but to be honest I think they could look a bit cliched, especially when they're teamed with one of your 50s/60s dresses. Also, yes, they are possibly a little small for your face (not that you've got a big face, the glasses just look really small!). The tortoiseshell are pretty and a bit more unusual, and the colour would make a change from your other black ones.

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  47. I like them both but I like the tortoiseshell pair better. They are so pretty!! You would look great with either pair.

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  48. I like the 2nd pair better. some thing about the roundness of the corners makes them less exaggerated and costume-y

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  49. I love the black ones!!! They look amazing on you! I wish I could pull those off!!

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  50. Both pairs are very Dame Edna Everedge.

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  51. The glasses you are wearing in the photos are great - BUT - the tortoise shell glasses are so sweet and refined. I voted for them :)

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  52. Girl! Either one is beautiful...You have the best stye and I am a bit jealous. BTW, where'd you get them so i can bite your style?
    -I'm wiggling my eyebrows at you (not in a creepy way).

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  53. I LOVE THE TORTOISESHELL ONES!!!

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  54. I'm not sure if the black cat eye frames are the right shape for your face. Maybe something more angular? I also agree with others above and I think they are a little too "costumey". The colour also seems a little too harsh for your complexion -- maybe something lighter (the brown ones?)

    Below is a brief article about face shape vs. glasses shape. Keep us posted on how it goes!

    http://www.allaboutvision.com/eyeglasses/eyeglasses_shape_color_analysis.htm

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  55. Sorry, I am NOT a fan of over-the-top glasses - in any color.

    I understand that they can be a fashion accessory, but I don't think they should. I truly believe that glasses should be elegant and demur - thus allowing for others to see the beauty of one's face, eyes, and hair.

    I would recommend something much less costume-y and more elegant.


    I think you should research the types of glasses available during the 40-50's!

    And the black ones scream - 1970!!!!

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  56. I love the black ones but for some reason I think the tortoise shell would compliment your hair and skin color better! I love cat eye glasses! I am obsessed with the 50's and wish I had a 50's dress for everyday of the week! You look amazing in the black ones too though! Good taste eyewear altogether!

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  57. Not a fan of either pair. I think both fail on the requirement "something less chunky than my other glasses".

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  58. As a fellow myopic, I think you should get both! Glasses are like jewelry for the eyes. The black ones make you look like Catwoman who, in my opinion, is quite lovely.

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  59. Hi Gertie,

    I love your sense of style, but I have to agree with Jeff and the other commenters: the black glasses are too costume-y and harsh. They're fine if that's what you want to go for, but I think they are a bit too much...

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  60. The black ones really suit your face but, were I Jeff or the kitties, I think I'd be a bit scared that any show of affection might take my eye out. That said, I love how striking and original they are, so given a 'Both' option, I'd have probably gone for that!

    If asked to come down one way or the other, I'd probably go for the tortoise-shells though as they are really very very cute.

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  61. I LOVE these glasses on you. I would never have said costumey -- there IS a lot of drama there, but you've never shied away from drama (tattoos?). I think they look great. Go for it! (As a side note, as I get older I'm wondering why I didn't take more risks when I was younger. Gertie, if not now, when? They look fantastic.)

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  62. Having worn glasses since before my 1st birthday and living for costume! drama! and all that, it's tough with glasses. You want something "you" but you don't want something that sort of takes over your face. It's a fine line. I've crossed over the dark side a few times...lets not speak of the 80's, the Sally Jessey Rafael frame years.

    Ahem, sorry. Yeah, I love the glasses but I do agree with Jeff that I'm on the fence which means run away. Anytime someone takes pause to think when looking at your face, well, not a good thing.

    Your style is so you and fabulous that you need glasses (like your previous ones) that add to your overall look.

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  63. Why don't you try (and post some pics of) how they look with a fascinator on?
    As they are to be worn with it and it has a veil, if i remember correctly, it's a little hard to decide like that.

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  64. Maybe you should have a glasses wardrobe and wear the pair that suits the day! I love your cat and like that you presented your cats-eye glasses next to a real cat.

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  65. Did you try Fabulous Fanny's in the East Village? That was my go-to spot for vintage frames.

    --Your pal from the City Quilter, now enjoying life in Portland OR

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  66. I think the cat eye glasses look great on you! why not have two glasses? i know TONS of people that have more then one pair and is always nice to see a different pair on them...but it would be nice to see the other pair too!

    xo,
    cb
    www.thecitybirdsnest.blogspot.com

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  67. Advanced BeginnerJuly 30, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Your taste is very different from mine, but I think the black frames look very good on you. Yes, they are somewhat out there, but I think you can carry it off.

    I also like the tortoise shell pair and if I were buying vintage glasses for myself, I'd probably choose those.

    One more thing, although you didn't ask: No more tattoos. They're distracting. It's hard to see your design work for the body decoration.

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  68. the tortoise shell ones are amazing but black goes with everything, I have a black pair as well as some other colors and the black get used twice as much as the others.

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  69. I think there's too much 'wing' on the black pair, so my eye is drawn to the corners of your glasses and not to your face. Plus, you're on the fence, which means it's not love.
    I voted to try the tortoise-shell pair. How awesome to get over 50 second opinions! :)

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  70. I say compare and contrast - order the other pair as well!

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  71. I used to fit frames on people in a previous job, which I totally loved, and I think these look good on you but they are a little harsh... I think the edges are a little too pointy and find the other ones you have lined up would be more suiting. :)

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  72. I have to admit, "costumey" was the first word that came to mind when I saw these, even before I read the post. They're cute, but if you're wearing them with retro clothes, I think the overall look is too much.

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  73. Funny I also had black square-ish vintage frames for years before picking vintage cat eye tortoise shell ones! I love them! I say go for the tortoise shell (but as some others have said, perhaps without the floral detail?)
    Really love your blog-read it every day.

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  74. I haven't gone through all the comments, but I will say that I think the frames are too heavy for your face and, while the cat's eye works, the the shape of the inner frame - where the lens sits - is not quite right. I think you do better. PS: Kudos for trying such an interesting pair of frames. I find it v. difficult to find frames to suit and I'd never do it online - I have to try on every pair in the store before I find the right one.

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  75. Just to clarify: I'm not saying you shouldn't do it online - I'm just saying I don't have the nerve. (Mind you, I now buy bras online and that's the nuttiest prospect ever, IMO)

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  76. I like the black ones and I don't think they're too costumey, especially with your everyday style. That said, I do love the tortoise shell ones. I just don't think they will look that different.

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  77. I voted in the poll, but I also want to say I really like the black glasses. I feel like they are a fun alternative to your regular glasses, and the slight retro cartooniness is fun. I don't think they are a perfect for everyday, but there's something fussy about the tortoiseshell pair that is the anti-modern. What a terrifically cool site! Did you have them put your lenses in for you?

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  78. I like the second one as they seem to be a totally different look from your current glasses. I am for you adding another dimension to your glasses wardrobe. PaT PS I wore a pair of glasses that were a dark brown with a hint of red that were like the cat-eye glasses in 1957. I looked really cool in them. :) But I say go for what you want.

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  79. 1. If you're dead set on the cat eye, I'd do the tortoiseshell ones.

    2. I agree with Jeff, they are a bit costumey, for you, and I don't know if the toroiseshell ones escape this (I just can't tell). If you were a normal person, and dressed in mostly modern clothes, I'd say they'd inject a nice vintage pop into your wardrobe. But because you are fabulous and already rock the modern vintage look, the glasses move you dangerously towards being a character (not that WE would ever think of you that way, dear Gertie). IN other words, trust Jeff.

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  80. I think your other glasses are black so I voted for exchange so you'd have some that are a lighter shade.

    I always think styles with that uplifting line are flattering.

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  81. Hi Gertie, I think you should keep the black ones. They probably seem wierd to you because you're used to your other, more squarish shaped glasses. The cat's eyes look great on you, not costumey, with just a bit of vintage elegance.

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  82. My grandmother had those exact glasses... in green

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  83. I think you looked so pretty in the fascinator without glasses. I thought, wow, she looks so nice. You have a delicate beauty that gets overshadowed by the black glasses. I would go for the tortoise shell for a different pair because they might suit you better, but I think you should get contacts for sure.

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  84. I love them both!! The black ones are super cute for everyday but the torties could be your dressy glasses!

    I'd love to wear vintage glasses but since I have a child sized head, I don't usually find any that fit.

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  85. They are too pointy...seems like the shape of the black is wrong somehow and I think that is why they seem so costumy. I think the tortoise shell is more appropriate for your style. I had (still have) a pair of vintage baby blue cat eye frames and they were great. I also agree that the tortoise shell will give you more variety since you already have a black pair.

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  86. Since you asked...no. I'm not that keen on the others either, sorry. But in the end, it is what makes YOU happy, not others.

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  87. Pippi is priceless! I'd say keep the black ones for occasions, they'd look fabulous with a simple black dress, just imagine! and get the other pair too, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Jeff's reaction!

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  88. Gertie, I already voted, so I wanted to give you a heads up. It has been suggested that Peter of Male Pattern Boldness may need your help selecting a new pair of glasses for Cathy, his identical cousin for whom he sews. You might share your glasses link with him. If you are not familiar with Peter, know that he has been sewing only a year, and his blog is great fun.

    http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-glasses-for-cathy-yea-or-nay.html

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  89. I don't mind the glasses themselves - they're only too costumey if you're dressing in a costumey way (think... leopard head to toe, an actual poodle on your skirt, etc). But they're too distracting. You have a very pretty face, and they not only hide it, they take away from it. You should find a pair that doesn't mask you.

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  90. OK! Coming in late to the game, and haven't read all the comments, but I really liked the black ones, but I know from my own experience (just got new glasses last week and am a black plastic glasses girl myself!!) that the tortishell will make for a little more versatility - you already have a pair of black, get the turtles for when you're having a brown day! Also, the design on the tortishell ones is AWESOME!!

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  91. Nay!!! Too pointy, too costume-y.

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  92. I think they do look costumey. I think the points are too exagerated. Try the other ones. Good luck.

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  93. This post came up down the bottom of the page sayings "you also may like".... I know it's nearly a year ago now but I am dying to know - WHICH PAIR DID YOU GET GERTIE???

    I really like the tortoise shell ones....I hope you got them. They are not as harsh as the cat eye ones, and they are a really feminine contrast to your regular, glam, chunkies. xxxx

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  94. It's funny, I am new to this blog( love it!) and I was just thinking"She should have some cat eyed glasses" then I saw this page. lol any way...Keep looking for the cat eyed... maybe not that particular one.. but there gotta be bigger and more sublte(I had those in the 60's) ones out there. The ones you have now are more 1990's( i had those too)Either way...love your look and your blog!Thanks for sharing!
    Bruja

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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