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From cats-eye glasses, to heavier men’s frames with horned-rims, to the return of ’40s, ’50s and early-’60s-inspired oval shapes in women’s eyewear, retro continues to be extremely hot.
The great thing about retro-inspired eyewear and fashion is that their shapes, cuts and colors tend to be classical and enduring.
There’s a reason why vintage or vintage-inspired eyewear never really completely goes out of style: It works on a lot of different faces and can easily be matched to complement or contrast against a person’s own personal style.
One of our favorite retro-inspired women’s eyeglass frames is the FT-5117 from Tom Ford Eyewear.
Tom Ford doesn’t name his eyeglass models, choosing instead to use numbers versus words, so we usually end up developing nicknames around the shop to refer to different numbered models. So the the Tom Ford FT 5117 is affectionately known around Urban Optiques as “that sexy librarian frame.”
Which pretty much describes this unique, half-moon acetate frame that’s meant to sit down just a tad on the bridge of your nose (or all the way down for that really smart, flirtatious-I’m-looking-over-my-reading-glasses-at-you-vibe.)
This frame feels like it’s straight out of a Mad Men episode: Fuzzy sweaters, pencil skirts and all.
While this Tom Ford frame would be perfect on countless women in the secretary pool (if there still were secretary pools), it’s actually a very versatile, sophisticated style that would work great on a lawyer, doctor, teacher, young aspiring New York (or Detroit) fashion designer and yes …. even a librarian.
From a style perspective, the frame can match up with a lot of different looks and goes from office to martini bar effortlessly. It has an extremely unique shape unlike any other woman’s frame we stock or have seen, so it’s almost guaranteed to to get you noticed (in a good way.)
It’s actually a fairly dainty frame — lightweight and not at all heavy on the face. The shape makes it ideal for a designer reading glass, but the lens height doesn’t lend itself to a progressive lens, so it’s really best for a woman with a single vision prescription.
But be forewarned: No matter how much you love the frame in photos, it may or may not actually work on your face.
It definitely looks stunning on Karen Elson (the British supermodel featured in Tom Ford Eyewear’s promotional materials and wife of Detroit’ s Jack White of the White Stripes), but she’s a supermodel and you could put a pair of $10 black plastic Limited Edition eyeglasses from China on her face and people would rant and rave.
So it does take a certain face to wear the Tom Ford FT 5117 eyeglasses. Oval-shaped faces look great in this frame (but then again, they look great in most frame shapes), and women with high eyebrows and cheekbones seem to really shine in it.
But you should never let this discourage you from at least trying it on, since there is really no way to know whether any piece of eyewear will work until you put in on your face.
We currently stock the Tom Ford FT 5117 in two colors: The brown tortoise featured on Karen Elson and a similar color and pattern with a bit of a blue tint on the bottom half of the frame (which looks fantastic on women with blue eyes.)