When it comes to accessories, one item has been left out in the sartorial cold. One Italian firm wants to change that
Bespoke and made-to-measure accessories have seen a welcome resurgence over the last few years.
It's no longer enough for the astute man about town to look the business, he must be seen wearing something unique and only to himself.
Watches and jewellery have embraced this notion for decades, producing limited edition timepieces, colour-centric bracelets and personalized jewellery for men that add a dash of panache, but never flamboyance, to any ensemble.
So too has the leather goods industry, with custom-built bags and luggage, along with shoes – never forget footwear – from a simple pair of custom-made Oxfords from the likes of Santoni or JM Weston, to a totally unique pair of textured-leather Wingtips from George Cleverly.
Even umbrellas have received the custom treatment, with London stalwarts Lockwood now offering a bespoke brollie service, making use of materials such as Oak, Hickory and Chestnut.
One accessory that has firmly been left out in the sartorial cold, however, is that of the humble spectacle.
While almost certainly one of the first accessories anyone will see upon walking in to a room, men have deftly ignored the idea of changing-up ones glasses, preferring instead to wear a single pair 'to death'.
How any stylish man can own six or seven pairs of shoes, but only one pair of glasses, seems counterintuitive, as (just like with footwear) each item should change with the situation.
As the old adage goes, your belt, shoes and watchstrap all must match. If that be true, then so too must your trusty face furniture.
This is certainly the ethos behind Italian brand FEB31st, a firm that has embraced the notion of bespoke facewear to the extreme.
It not only offers a range of styles in many different colours, but allows you to create a pair of specs using a chromatic sequence of wooden layers.
To the spectacle-making layman, FEB31st glasses are made out of many very thin layers of wood, which are then layer by layer stuck together to create a structurally strong pair of frames.
Not only does this make use of natural materials and add strength to each pair, but every layer of wood can be custom-coloured. That makes for a pair of glasses with a near infinite amount of customisation options.
The process begins in the same way as choosing a traditional pair, figuring out what you want.
The sheer number of options is as daunting as walking in to your first tailors, but like on the Row, FEB31st offers some handy guidance in this regard.
First, there is no need to worry about rims. FEB31st ditches the notion altogether, instead using structural components made of titanium to hold each lens in place.
Not only does this provide additional strength (there is less give if you were to try and bend one of the arms, for example) but allows you to swap out each lens (from polarized shaded to clear at night) on a whim, and with aid of a simple screwdriver.
A number of shapes exist, from Draco, which channels a bit of 80s Don Johnson-esque nostalgia, to Tycho, a pair more akin to that of a classic wayfarer.
Choose the basics, and then comes the fun part – customisation. The sheer number of colour combinations will boggle the mind, so for your first pair it's recommended to stick with a pair of two-tone.
Naturally, brighter wooden hues with bright accents made an ideal pair for the day. While jet-black, brown, or grey colours will do your evening attire justice.
Your selection is then sent to the home of FEB31st, Italy, where it is put together by a master craftsman before being sent back to the UAE around six weeks later.
The result is a pair of stylish frames that look like no other. Better yet, you'll have the peace-of-mind knowing not only that they are unique to yourself, but that your glasses can now change to suit any occasion. Here's to your second pair.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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