I’ve always known Spectacles on Maiden Lane in Union Square for their vintage glasses, but now I’m excited about their house brand Archie Brower. The owner, Kevin Hershey, travels Europe every year searching out vintage stock from small glasses shops. Then he reworks his best finds into the Archie Brower line.

The latest style (shown above) comes in the most amazing colors: black, blue, green, pink, tortoise shell, you name it (Andrea, also above, is wearing the green ones). Some of them even have rhinestones. And as far as high quality, beautiful glasses go, they’re reasonably priced. The frames I’m going to buy are only $275, now I just need to decide between blue, pink, or green. Archie Brower makes men’s and women’s frames (I got so overly excited about the woman’s glasses that I forgot to take pictures of the men’s, whoops).

In addition to Archie Brower and other high quality modern lines, Spectacles carries vintage frames from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. This results in the most interesting and varied selection of frames I’ve seen in the Bay Area. The staff at Spectacles makes trying on frames fun and they each have great style. They’ve picked out most of my favorite glasses for me, including the vintage, gold with pearls sunglasses I’m wearing in the picture above.

One vintage frame I’m obsessed with right now is a huge 70’s men’s frame that makes anyone look like they’re about to land the space shuttle. They look hideous on me so Kevin won’t let me buy them. I keep telling him that I’m not trying to look attractive but rather, unapproachably insane. Still though, it’s obvious he just can’t stomach anyone leaving Spectacles looking repellant.

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the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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