Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by amy
Choosing to wear acetate or rimless glasses is a personal preference. Both choices have pros and cons, and ultimately you should choose either acetate or rimless glasses depending on your lifestyle, fashion, and the cost you want to pay. Acetate and rimless glasses are available in men’s and women’s styles. Consumers often choose rimless glasses because they are less decorative and don’t restrict your eyesight. They make a pair of eyeglasses appear to be “barely there.” However, rimless glasses can be very efficient but may not last as long as acetate glasses. Let’s examine the significant differences between acetate and rimless glasses.
Acetate glasses are different than rimless glasses because they are made from nylon-based plastic, which is also hypoallergenic. This material was introduced in the late 1940s because of the need for increased durability. Nylon is a premier material for sports and performance, whether in acetate or rimless glasses. Nylon is typically made of materials that are very resistant to hot and cold but also very stiff.
You probably didn’t know that eyeglasses, whether acetate or rimless glasses, may contain castor seed oil. Traditionally castor seed oil was used as a laxative, soap ingredient, or lubricant for machinery; however, in recent developments, it is an effective additive to manufacture acetate and rimless glasses. Castor seed oil is non-petroleum based. It was an effective alternative to petroleum-based products because growing castor beans is much easier and more cost-effective than producing petroleum.
One downfall to acetate and rimless glasses is that they may age over time when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods. The abundance of sunlight can decrease the strength of your acetate or rimless glasses. The color may also fade in your acetate or rimless glasses. However, due to modern materials, these effects happen less often.
What are Acetate Glasses?
Acetate glasses are made from acetate film, a specific type of plastic material scientifically called cellulose acetate. Cellulose acetate is made from renewable products like wood pulp or cotton fibers. The chemical composition of acetate makes them more versatile than rimless glasses. The cellulose acetate is made by forming layers of plastic into large blocks, carefully slicing individual parts, hand polishing, and finally assembling them into the frame part of your acetate glasses.
Acetate glasses offer the broadest range of transparency-rich colors and finishes. More complex colorations can be produced in acetate glasses versus rimless glasses. Different colors can be achieved in acetate glasses by layering several colors or transparency. Acetate glasses are strong, lightweight, and flexible. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to acetate glasses versus rimless glasses.
What are Rimless Glasses?
Rimless glasses are a particular type of eyeglasses featuring the lens directly mounted to the bridge or temples. This construction is very different than acetate glasses. Rimless glasses do not have a frame that holsters the lens. Acetate glasses have a frame made from cellulose acetate with the lens wedged inside. Rimless glasses can be divided into two categories. Three-piece rimless glasses feature the lens mounted to a bridge and two separate temple arms. The second category of rimless glasses is rimways, also known as cortlands. Rimways are a type of rimless glasses that features a supporting arch that connects the temple to the bridge. This type of rimless glasses provides more durability for the lenses versus the three-piece construction.
Steve Jobs was a celebrity known for wearing rimless glasses throughout his life. Jobs wore the three-piece rimless glasses. He was one of many that popularized rimless glasses in the latter part of the 21st century. Rimless glasses were popular from the 1880s until around the 1960s. They were again popular once Jobs was spotted wearing rimless glasses around the 1990s. Jobs was a brilliant man. He wore his rimless glasses out of necessity, but Hollywood has often used rimless glasses to make a character appear more intellectual. President Theodore Roosevelt wore rimless glasses and is known as a great president in America. Regardless of who is wearing them, rimless glasses are a unique accessory that automatically classifies the wearer.
Acetate Knocks Out Rimless Glasses
Rimless glasses are more fragile and subject to damage, unlike acetate glasses with a frame encasing the lens. Statistics show wearers of rimless glasses are two to ten times more likely to require new lenses in the three-piece rimless glasses construction than any other design. The fragility of rimless glasses can also be directly related to the lenses’ composition. The rimways rimless glasses construction are structurally more resistant to high impact. No matter what the lens is composed of, many eyeglass manufacturers refuse to mount lenses in the rimless glasses construction due to their breakability.
Consumers of rimless glasses report the joint where the arm meets the lens is relatively weak, cautioning that if you fall asleep with them on, their feasible life will substantially be shortened. Another downfall of rimless glasses is they might appear too thick around the edges if your eyes are too myopic. Acetate glasses can hide a thick lens better than rimless glasses.
Choosing Your Glasses
Whether you choose acetate glasses or rimless glasses, picking the right shape for your face is important. Modern technologies have made it possible to create lenses in different shapes and sizes, even if you choose rimless glasses. A popular look to flatter various face shapes is the half-rim style of rimless glasses, a design that would look good on any face shape! Common face shapes are oval, round, square, and heart.
The oval face shape has balanced proportions, high cheekbones, a narrow forehead, and a slightly narrow chin. The best styles of glasses for oval faces include detailed embellishments, rectangular shapes, a retro cat-eye, a trendy square, and circular frames. The oval face shape is credited as the most versatile because so many different shapes look nice.
The round face has a wider forehead, full cheeks, and a rounded chin. The goal when choosing glasses for this face is to add contrast. Contrasting shapes will make this shape of the face appear thinner and longer. Consider glasses with prints, bright colors, strong brow detailing, or any other embellishment. Rimless glasses with a petite frame and details at the top of the lenses may make your eyes appear wider.
The square face often has a prominent jawline. This face shape has an angular bone structure. The best glasses for this shape include anything that is the opposite. Think about acetate or rimless glasses with many curves to soften your face. Circular frames, oval frames, or a retro-cat eye also complement a square face shape. Avoid acetate or rimless glasses with sharp angles since this would make your face appear more exaggerated. Focus on shapes that soften and elongate your face.
The heart-shaped face has high cheekbones and a jawline that tapers into a defined chin. This face shape is comparable to a heart because the widest part of your face is at the top. This shape often mimics an inverted triangle. The goal when choosing acetate or rimless glasses for this face shape is to minimize the width of the top of the face and make the chin appear broader. Choose rimless glasses like retro cat-eye shapes since they are wider than your forehead and have distinct endpoints. If you want some frames on your lenses, consider the dramatic cat-eye rimless glasses that include a half-rim. This type of rimless glasses successfully accentuates the heart-shaped face. Consider lighter colors or floral patterns to flatter a heart-shaped face.
Acetate glasses last longer than rimless ones, no matter your style. Acetate glasses have added stability because a plastic frame huddles the lens inside. This is different than rimless glasses that expose the lenses to all elements. In some scenarios, rimless glasses feature a half-rim that protects the rim wherever the half-rim is designed. The half-rim is a practical compromise if you are undecided. You get the durability of acetate glasses while keeping the streamlined look of rimless glasses. Rimless glasses have often been associated with intellect throughout Hollywood history. Many celebrities like Steve Jobs and even President Theodore Roosevelt wore rimless glasses. Rimless glasses have stood the test of time and have remained popular for anyone seeking a minimalist approach to a pair of eyeglasses. There is nothing overelaborate about rimless glasses. Anyone that elects a pair of rimless glasses either loves or loathes them. Be sure to choose a pair of eyeglasses that is comfortable to wear, affordable, and flatters your face shape, even if they are rimless glasses and are not as durable as acetate glasses.