July 16, 2012

glasses and sunglasses- the bane of my existence no more

So this is a long overdue girley post about sunglasses/glasses for Asian faces. I, like many women, love the mysteriousness that a great  pair of dark shades can give you...they're so good for so many reasons. In addition to keeping you from having to squint (and create more wrinkles), they can make you look cooler than you feel. For example, there are days when you might feel sleepy going to work or even coming home on the subway. Popping on a pair of great shades allows you to snooze in peace while making it seem as if you're just hungover or way too cool for the other passengers-- and you can do this while you dream of wooley sheep (I am particularly fond of sheep-- they're so, well, sheepish).
photo comes from here
As an additional plus,  wearing sunglasses in the subway also allows you to stare at people to your heart's content :).

However, this is hard to do for a lot of Asians because just as you get situated those cool looking shades will undoubtedly fall halfway  down your nose and now you just look like a sleepy dud (yes, dud) with sunglasses half-way down your nose. Of course you could always go with those wire-rimmed versions with the nosepads, but really they just don't look as cool as a pair of big "I spend my summers at the Riviera" plastic frame type sunglasses-- think Audrey Hepburn. 

This was a perpetual problem and I always wondered if I was the only one who had this problem. Well, thanks to the Internet, I discovered I wasn't! See Vanessa Lau's article in Wmagazine or just google "Asian sunglasses" and browse some of the forums.

In recent years, an increasing number of designers have started to offer sunglasses specifically for Asian faces or "Asian fit glasses." I've seen people who swear by Oakely's Asian Fit frames: http://www.oakley.com/store/products/women/sunglasses/asian-fit. I owned these Rudy Project sunglasses (model Jak 90) for years (this will become important later on):
And there are even entire fashion lines now devoted to Asian fit frames. See these: 
But as happy as I am to see these developments, many of these are very expensive shades and I lose just about everything. So I was somewhat reticent to spend $200-$300 on a pair of sunglasses that I may well lose.

And here's where my Rudy Project sunglasses come in handy. Years ago, I bought these Rudy Project sunglasses for a little more than $100. What I loved about these sunglasses was that they have a nose bridge that made the sunglasses fit my little Asian nose. What I didn't love about my Rudy Project sunglasses was that they inherited the sporty design style that Rudy Project is well known for. However, Rudy Project sunglasses are also designed with replaceable parts. So I removed the nosepad and bridge-- looks like this:
To give you an idea of how they're attached, here are a few more pictures: 

As you can see there are little "feet" and a center screw that attaches the piece to a pair of sunglasses. Rudy Project sunglasses have drill holes that fit this part perfectly. But I figured I could do the same. I found a pair of great sunglasses similar to these: 
What you're looking for is a pair of sunglasses with a thick enough bridge to handle the bridge piece. I drilled two holes so that the Rudy Project nosepad's "feet" would fit and used a glue gun (with very little glue!) to attach the bridge. Here's the finished project:
As you can see in the photo below, you can barely see the nosepads and they're practically invisible when they're on.
The drilling works better if you have a tiny drill. In fact you might want to use a fingernail drill or jewelry drillMy drill bit was bit large so it made the screw hole for the center screw a little too large. Nonetheless, the glue gun worked perfectly and I have the best fitting shades I've EVER owned!

By the way, the Rudy Project nosepads are available as replacement parts for about $15 from e-Rudy.com so no need to buy a pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. What you're looking for are Ergo 4 Max Nose Pads. In fact, I just ordered a couple more for future sunglasses projects! :)


  1. just stumbled on your post--thanks for the details and pics! i was just looking at fei wang sunglasses, but at $300+ i figured i'd give your way a shot first...

    1. @jay dee, thanks for reading! I still love my sunglasses-- no regrets whatsoever-- in fact, I was thinking of making another pair! :) The only thing I'd change is that instead of using a glue gun, use something like crazy glue or something similar. I ended up using something from Henkel Pattex; unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available in the US. Good luck!