The Holiday Catalog Has Arrived

Our Holiday Catalog has officially arrived! To celebrate, we’ll be sharing the hottest styles from inside the catalog pages, so you can take a closer look at popular brands like Oakley, Under Armour, Maui Jim and more.

The cover photo features the Oakley CrossLink and Short Cut eyeglasses. Both pairs have become customer staples with their streamlined yet sporty look. If you want to read and shop the entire catalog now, click here!

Eyewear For The Big Game

Sports Eyewear

REVO RayBan Oakley RayBan RayBan Oneill Nike Carbon Plate Frame

The sport season has officially kicked off, and we’re here to share with you the best eyewear for the big game. Don’t miss out on the winning play because the sun is in your eyes. Make sure you pick a frame with a polarized lens and UV protection. And if the sun isn’t an issue, try a sleek and sporty style like the Oakley Carbon Plate. We also have many other sporty options for you to check out here. Go team!


Mens Sunglasses Soccer

For the Love of the Game: Bold Sunglasses Frames

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Dads and Grads

Dads & Grads | Awesome Eyewear Gifts

Celebrate with Huge Savings! | Great Eyewear Gifts for Father’s Day & Graduates

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Dads and Grads

History of Eyeglasses

The History of Eyeglasses

What is the history of eyeglasses? When did glasses start being used for vision correction? Who invented glasses? No one knows the name of the inventor of magnification, but between 1000 and 1250 AD, reading stones appeared — spherical magnifying glasses you could lay over your manuscript to enlarge letters as you read.

According to Antique Spectacles, though Greek and Arabic scholars had described the idea of convex (or converging) lenses, it was a thirteenth-century English Friar, Roger Bacon (one of the founders of modern science), who confirmed the idea with experiments. Bacon experimented with lenses and mirrors and recorded his observations about reflection and refraction.

The first pair of what we would consider eyeglasses appeared in the late 1200s in Pisa, Italy. These eyeglasses actually looked like two small magnifying glasses (made with convex-shaped glass) riveted together at the top of their handles. We do not know the name of the individual who came up with this idea, perhaps because he wanted to keep it secret to profit from it.

However, two monks in Italy hailed the new invention of eyeglasses a few decades later. Antique Spectacles provides this quotation from the earliest primary source, the monks Giordano da Rivalto and Alessandro della Spina: “On Feb. 23, 1306, Giordano mentioned them by stating in a sermon ‘it is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eyeglasses which make for good vision, one of the best arts and most necessary that the world has.’ He coined the word ‘Occhiale’ [eyeglasses].”

The Museum of Vision notes that early eyeglasses were mostly used by monks and scholars. Instead of having temples that went behind your ears, these spectacles were held in front of your eyes or balanced on your nose.

The exclusivity of eyeglasses changed after the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in 1452. Not only did that monumental invention open up reading to the general public, but it also brought about a rise in the need for eyeglasses, which led to the first “mass production of inexpensive spectacles.” The demand for eyeglasses increased again with the start of the first newspaper, the London Gazette, in 1665.

By the 1800s eyeglasses abounded, but not as we think of them today. You didn’t have lenses custom made; rather, you went to a jeweler, hardware store, or met with a traveling peddler to try on different pairs of eyeglasses until you found one that worked. The Museum of Science notes, “Eyeglasses were considered evidence of old age and infirmity.” So instead of wearing eyeglasses all the time, people often opted for handheld devices such as lorgnettes (spectacles with a single handle on one side) or scissor spectacles (where lenses moved on a hinge).

Scissor spectacles and lorgnettes were popular in France. Although we may associate the flourishing of these types of eyeglasses with the aristocracy, it was actually the French revolutionaries who used them the most. According to the United Kingdom institute The College of Optometrists, “Napoleon Bonaparte used a pair to correct his myopia.”

The next popular style of glasses was the “pince-nez.” These were inexpensive spectacles that perched on the bridge of your nose. Not surprisingly, they were uncomfortable and easy to lose. By 1890, spectacles also moved into the realm of fashion: “Fan spectacles were designed for ladies of elegance to use as a multifunctional accessory.”

The sides, or temples, that we associate with modern eyeglasses came late in the history. After various inventors took stabs at ways to better attach spectacles — such as an over-the-head, under-the-bonnet crown, or eyewear that attaches to a cap—it wasn’t until about 1727 that spectacles became eyeglasses with the introduction of sides.

In London, Edward Scarlett, optician to His Majesty George II, was the first to advertise eyeglasses with sides. These kind of glasses became known as the “Scarlett-type.” In this case, the sides ended in a flat spiral (later replaced by rings), which were designed to rest against the head, not go behind the ear as eyeglasses typically do today. For once, you could easily take eyeglasses on or off, and yet they didn’t interfere with your hair or your wig.

From there, the invention of different forms of temples took off. Double-joined temples folded back on themselves to provide more comfort, and turn-pin sides were long and curved around your head almost completely. In the mid 1850s curl sides were invented, which were curling wires that went behind your ears. Curl-side frames were especially common as children’s eyeglasses because they stayed in place while running or playing.

The American renaissance man Benjamin Franklin is credited with inventing bifocals in the mid 1700s. He split one lens in half, with the upper part being made for distance viewing and the lower part for near viewing. Antique Spectacles notes that Franklin wrote to London philanthropist George Whatley in May 1785, “As I wear my own glasses constantly, I have only to move my eyes up or down, as I want to see distinctly far or near, the proper glasses being always ready.”

By the end of the 18th century, Philadelphia store proprietor John McAllister opened the first optical shop in America. When the War of 1812 and the trade embargo with Great Britain hindered his importing ability, he began making his own frames out of gold and silver. He and his son also imported the first cylindrical lenses for astigmatism. Antique Spectacles calls him “the founder of the profession of opticianary in this country.”

Today, in the 21st century, you can find thousands of styles of eyeglasses in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You can even order eyeglasses online by visiting a retailer like The inventors of the past have created a product that is more than popular: Today, the Vision Council estimates there are over 149 million adult eyeglass wearers in the United States (more than half of U.S. adults).

Related – Eyeglass Lens Prescription Explained, Vision Patients: Asking the Right Questions, Medical Reasons for Wearing Sunglasses, Presbyopia, Eye Anatomy: Important Definitions, Pupil Distance – How to Measure Your Pupillary Distance (PD).


Glasses to Fit My Face: on MyFox 9 was featured in a video segment on “How Do I Choose Glasses to Fit My Face?” on MyFox 9, KMSP-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul. The report includes some terrific information on choosing frames for various face shapes as well as other tips, including links to some of our top eyeglasses.

Related pages & posts – Video: Verifying Your Prescription, Face Shape Guide Videos, YouTube Channel, What’s My Eyeglass Frame Size?, Try On Eyeglasses Online, Video: Eyeglasses Lens Quality, Frame Size Guide, Frames Direct Discount Promotions.

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Mothers Day

Eyewear: The Perfect Gift for Mom!

Spoil Mom This Year! Find the Perfect Gift for Mom in Our Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

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Woman Sunglasses

The Best and Brightest Sunglasses Sale

Here’s a Bright Idea: Save Up to $70 on Designer Sunglasses. Sale Ends April 9th

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Ray-Ban's Rare Prints Augmented Reality

Go Big This Spring with Bold New Sunglasses

Playful Prints to Spice Up Your Spring with Bold New Sunglasses
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Polarization Advantages in Fishing Sunglasses

Best Sunglasses for Fishing

play video costa wingman

Video: Costa Del Mar Wingman Sunglasses are terrific fishing shades.

If you fish for sport or just for fun, sunglasses are almost as important as your rod and reel. Fortunately for anglers, there are a few sunglass companies out there that specialize in fishing sunglasses, like Costa Del Mar and Maui Jim. When shopping for the best sunglasses for fishing, here are a few things you should look for.

UV protection of 100%

This is the minimum recommended by the FDA and since you are going to be under the sun all day long (assuming that you are daytime fishing), you need to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Don’t risk the chance of photokeratitis, cataracts or macular degeneration by exposing your eyes directly to the sunlight.

Polarized Lenses Give You Fishing X-Ray Vision

Polarized sunglasses block the sun’s glare on the water and other reflective properties so you can literally see through the water down to the bottom, given the water is clear enough. This not only enables you to see fish, it’ll help you spot riverweed, moss, tree branches, and other debris so you can avoid getting your line caught on something. Save your lure and spot the fish by purchasing sunglasses with polarized lenses.

Cover All Light Sources

Your best bet on seeing fish and staying alert is blocking any sunlight from hitting your eyes. This way, you won’t be distracted by the sun creeping into your peripheral vision when your line is shaking from a bite. To get the best coverage, buy a pair of sunglasses that have top and side shield lenses. Costa Del Mar, Oakley, Rec Specs, and other brand names have models with these features, which enable the sunglasses to be snug up against your temples and forehead.

Lens Color: Depends on the Weather

There is no “all-in-one” lens color for fishing, simply because lens colors react differently to different weather situations. Many fishermen prefer the amber shades because they offer a tint that is easy on the eyes, but amber is actually best suited for cloudy days on account of it adding color to the monotone gray scenery. For sunny days, gray lenses are the best because they offer a full spectrum of color. The angler pros have different sunglasses for all types of weather conditions, what lens color you decide on should depend on the type of weather that is most frequent in your fishing area.

Costa Del Mar Brine Sunglasses

Costa Del Mar Brine Sunglasses are right at home in a saltwater environment.

Lens Materials, You Have Some Choices

Glass, Plastic, Polycarbonate, or Hi-index? Those are your options. Each one has pros and cons, but for fishing, polycarbonate is your best bet. This lens material has all the benefits a fisherman needs: 100% protection from UV rays, more impact resistant than all other lens materials, and it’s lighter than plastic or glass. The only downsides are that it is not as light or as scratch resistant as the hi-index materials, but its impact resistance exceeds both. Having your sunglasses fall off your face and getting scratched is one thing, having them shatter is quite another.

Anti All the Way

Should you invest in anti-reflective coating for your fishing sunglasses? Absolutely. An AR coating on the back your lenses eliminates the sun’s reflection into your eyes when it is behind your head. Since fishermen are typically looking down at the water, their reel, bait, the tackle box, or the fish they just caught, the sun is frequently behind their head. Get rid of that annoying sun glare by getting an AR coating on the back of your lenses.


A few accessories for your fishing sunglasses can add to their lifetime and a productive fishing experience. Safety straps will keep the sunglasses from flying off of your face when you jump out of your seat to grab your reel. For safe measures, get the 16 inch or shorter straps that are small enough to grip the back of your neck, not the kind that lie on your shoulders. The shorter straps will keep your sunglasses on your face, rather than flying around in a whirlwind while you’re reeling in that largemouth bass. Plus, the floating straps will help your sunglasses stay afloat in case they fall into the water. If you have a problem with your sunglasses slipping down your nose, nose pads are another useful feature.

Related – Polarization Advantages in Fishing Sunglasses, Great Summer Sunglasses, Video: Maui Jim Sunglasses, Video: Dr. Cooper on Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Protective Sports Eyewear, Sunglasses 101 – Outdoor, Tennis & Sports Sunglasses, Costa sunglasses, Costa C-Mates Bifocal Readers Sunglasses, Costa Eyeglasses, Costa Omni Fit Sunglasses and Costa Prescription Sunglasses.