Hair grows out and outfits change, but a pair of eyeglasses is a constant in one’s outward identity. Therefore, a good pair of glasses should not only fit your face, but also transition between casual and formal settings, and span all four seasons. The market for eyeglasses is saturated with options, so we picked a number of notable frames that stand out from the pack. None are overly flashy, so they allow your personality to show through — but each has a distinctive shape. Each frame is paired with a book, similar in style, so when you upgrade your glasses you can take advantage of the new visual clarity and enjoy a good read.
Featuring a black head-on with a tortoiseshell reverse, these GLCO glasses are modeled on the mid-century P3 design. Refined and unique, this design has a distinct element of nostalgia. For a first read, pair with Jim Harrison’s Wolf: A False Memoir, a meditation on youth, America and nature.
These glasses from Oliver Peoples, handmade in Italy, are a throwback to a style popular in the 1950s. Worn by seminal figures like Malcolm X and Lyndon B. Johnson, this iconic style complements many face shapes. Pair with the 1943 book Human Mourning, by Jose Revueltas, an impressionistic penning recounting the time after the Mexican Revolution.
These tortoiseshell glasses are modeled after Any Warhol’s favorite pair, and have slim metal arms and a keyhole bridge. It’s an intellectual look with an edge, perfect for reading Listen to This by Alex Ross, an exciting and erudite reflection on a wide swath of music, from the Renaissance to Led Zeppelin.
Bold frames have been the stylish choice of strong personalities for decades, and with these glasses, Cutler and Gross adds a fine polish the iconic shape. For a first read with these new frames, reach for Howl by Allen Ginsberg, a 20th-century ode to America and an homage to Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”