Let’s first start by saying the term “Asian fit” is as rude as it is unnecessary. The way an eyeglass frame is constructed should have nothing to do with an entire race of people.
I’ve never heard of a frame referred to as “Caucasian Fit,” even though most eyeglasses manufactured in the eyewear industry for years have clearly catered to more European features. That being said, after reading this article, you will understand why the name just doesn’t “fit” at all.
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What Makes Asian Fit Glasses Special?
Searching the controversial term “Asian Fit” will yield results but so will searching for “global fit”, “low bridge fit”, “universal fit”, and my personal favorite, “alternative fit”.
Unlike classic eyeglass designs, alternative fit frames were developed to fit people with lower nose bridges, flatter noses, and rounder facial features.
There are many people, not just Asian individuals, who can benefit from this fit. If the top of your nose bridge sits level with or below your pupils, you have a rounder face, or are blessed with high cheekbones, the universal fit was developed just for you.
If you have any of the facial features mentioned above, selecting a frame with alternative fit design traits is crucial for a proper frame fit.
Classic eyewear styles are made with temples that are very straight and perfectly perpendicular. Alternative fit eyewear is constructed with added temple curvature to accommodate broader faces.
Curved temples allow this frame to fit the curve along the side of the head—eliminating temple indents from frames that are too tight.
Reduced Frame Tilt
Another trait of alternative fit frames is they are constructed with minimal frame tilt. The optical term for this is pantoscopic angle.
Pantoscopic angle describes the angle of the frame front relative to the temple. The more a frame angles, the more chance it will touch your cheeks.
For people with higher cheekbones, this is a big concern. On alternative fit frames, the angle is reduced, so the frame lies parallel with the face and doesn’t rest on the cheeks.
Extended Nose Pads
Nose pads are one of the most effective ways to get a proper eyewear fit on your bridge. If you decide to go with an acetate frame, alternative fit frames offer raised or “built-up” nose pads.
This nose pad design extends further back and lifts the frame up and away from your face. Regular fit frames tend to have flat bridges that slip down the face due to wider bridge sizes.
Adjustable Nose Pads
Adjustable nose pads are a must-have if you have a flatter nasal bridge or a broader nose. These nose pads are available on both metal and acetate frames.
Buyer beware though. Many frames have adjustable nose pads but do not fall into the universal fit category. To be considered an alternative fit, they would have to have either the minimal tilt and/or the curved temples.
If you’ve ever had a hard time finding eyewear to fit your unique facial features, the availability of universal fit frames is a game changer. You can now experience a proper fitting frame in an array of styles.
Who Offers Alternative Fit Frames?
Many retailers offer alternative fit frames. Here is a partial list of eyewear shops where you can locate a wide range of alternative fit frames.
Search the website for: Low Bridge Fit
Warby Parker offers eyeglasses, sunglasses, and prescription lenses. They have a free home try-on that allow you to “test drive” your eyeglass selection before purchasing. They also offer a virtual try-on option with their iOS app for iPhones X and above.
Search the website for: Asian Fit
TC Charton are alternate fit design specialists. Their frames are available to purchase at over 280 optical retailers worldwide in addition to the online shop. They offer virtual fittings appointments done by the designer, Alexandra Peng Charton. She will analyze your face and determine the best frame styles for you.
Search the website for: Alternative Fit
J!NS is a top Japanese eyewear company that offers alternative fit eyewear at affordable prices. Eyeglasses, sunglasses and prescription lenses are available.
If you are a heavy user of digital devices, J!NS Screen blue light coating is a great lens add-on. You can also upgrade to thinner lenses at no charge with the purchase of a complete pair of glasses. Virtual try-on is available for most frames on the site.
Search the website for: Asian Fit
Mott Optical is a brick-and-mortar shop based in New York City. If you are in search of a designer brand with an alternative fit, this is the shop for you.
They offer a range of luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, Lindberg and Cartier to name a few. You can also order your prescription lenses on the website but only single vision lens options are available. They do not offer a virtual try-on feature.
Search the website for: Low Bridge Glasses
Kraywoods is a Canadian eyewear brand with a focus on sustainable eyewear. The collection is inspired by nature and features wooden details on every frame.
Eyeglasses, sunglasses and prescription lenses are available. There is no try-on tool available on the site but they do provide detailed sizing instructions.
By partnering with the One Tree Planted organization, Kraywoods is committed to planting a tree with every purchase to help with the reforestation efforts in Kenya.
“Necessity Is The Mother of Invention”
The availability of alternative fitting frame styles is the perfect example to explain the meaning of this quote.
After reading this article I hope you understand why the term “Asian Fit” just doesn’t apply. Frame designs have merely evolved to fit the more diverse face shapes and features of our global population.
Cynthia is a published author and freelance writer that has enjoyed a career in the eyewear industry for more than 25 years. In 2016, she decided to combine her passion for writing with her experience as an Optician and launch her company, Pizzini Writes. She now dedicates her days to writing about the latest optical-related news and trends for various publications and independent retailers.
Learn more about her at www.pizziniwrites.com