Whether by design or accident, what we put on somewhat defines us; it becomes part of our identity. This is even truer for things that we put on our faces. (As a side note, throughout this article it would seem as though I am just posting pictures of my face – which feels weird enough. But no, I am posting them to show the frames in proportion to my face. And this brings home the point that frames become part of your face and your identity.)
You can wear the best fitting bespoke suits with the most sculptured bespoke shoes, yet people will still first take note of and remember how your face looks. Apart from hairstyle and facial hair (both of which are natural) and, in very rare instances, facial tattoos and piercings, there is not much you can do to affect how your face looks. And frames are so central on one’s face that at times it is difficult to imagine someone without the frames. Even Clark Kent is instantly unrecognizable when he removes his frames. Joking aside, try imagining someone like Mohammad Hatta without frames. I certainly cannot.
I’ve had my Lemtosh since 2016, the longest I’ve ever continuously worn a pair of frames. And the reason is quite simple. It’s not the construction, it’s not the material; it’s simply because the proportions of the frames fit my face. The outer edge aligns with the outer edge of my face, which I find to be the most important aspect. The top doesn't cover my eyebrows, which is a personal preference. And the bottom doesn't dig into my cheeks.
The second reason is the shape of the rims. It’s not round, and it’s definitely not square. It’s just right. Timeless.
It has since become part of my identity. Not in a way that I would take offense if someone criticizes my frames or lose my sense of self if they are removed – no. But rather in a way that if someone pictures me, they would probably subconsciously picture me with the Lemtosh on.
And this was a big consideration when I was first considering getting the Lemtosh. I remember having a discussion with my then-girlfriend (now wife) that I wouldn’t want my frames to define me, e.g., “Nikki who? Nikki that wears Johnny Depp’s glasses?” After coming to my senses and realizing that nobody thinks like this, I decided to purchase the frames.
The Lemtosh comes in a number of sizes, 44 (narrow), 46 (average), 49 (wide), and 52 (extra wide). The store I went to only had sizes 46 and 49, both of which I tried on. Size 46 was too narrow, so I went with size 49. The size is obviously very crucial. I’d argue that it is more important than the shape or color of the frames. Too narrow and my cheeks take the spotlight. Too wide and the frames look like goggles. I cannot comment on the virtual try-on on Moscot’s website, so I would advise trying the frames on in person.
The available colors are more than I care to discuss in this article, but the colors I considered were matte black and tortoise. I ended up going with tortoise because the frames are already thick as they are; the matte black looked a bit overwhelming on my face. For this reason, when I decided to buy another one, I went with brown ash (discussed below).
The Lemtosh can be fitted with clip-ons (cheekily named the Cliptosh), which are sold separately. Prior to wearing the Lemtosh, I remember carrying a separate set of shades with prescription lenses. This is obviously not ideal as it would take up a lot of space in my bag, or worse, my pocket.
The clip-ons are made with flexible metal and are secured with metal prongs. No magnets here. I’ve never had any issues with the clip-ons accidentally coming off or anything. The only issue I have is when I wear a mask and accidentally fog up my lenses; the fog would stay longer between the two lenses, which I imagine is an issue that is universal for all clip-ons.
The frames are made of acetate. Moscot’s website states that it is Italian acetate – how Italian acetate differs from non-Italian acetate, I don’t know. But what I do know is that the acetate is one of the main issues I have with these frames. After a few years of daily wear, a white residue has built up on the surface. From my five-minute armchair research this is not a Moscot-issue, but rather a more general acetate-issue resulting from oxidation.
I’ve asked Moscot stores in Jakarta and London and neither said they could do anything about it. I’ve read that toothpaste works to remove the residue, but I’ll leave that for a future project. Thankfully, the white residue can only be seen around the temples, right above and behind my ears. So, it’s mostly not visible.
[2023 edit: I have since found someone that can polish acetate frames. And he has successfully removed the white residue.]
Aside from the white residue, the issue I have with these frames is the price. It’s common knowledge that prices of frames are unjustifiably expensive. On Moscot’s website, the frames cost USD 300 a pop and the clip-ons USD 110 (local Indonesian prices seem to be higher). So be prepared to spend around USD 500 if you are going to buy them with prescription lenses. These are, to date, my priciest frames. Had it not been for the benefits that my previous office provided, I don’t think I would have bought these; I simply cannot justify the price for acetate frames.
But I do very much enjoy wearing the Lemtosh. So much so that (thanks to an annual reset of my benefits), I bought another one. Same size, different color. Slightly lighter. And this time with a metal nose bridge. The metal nose bridge makes the frames sit a bit higher and further away from my lashes (which is good so there is less chance of smudging). But I found that the frames slide off more easily, due to the pads being more slippery. So for now I just have them as my back up.
I don’t feel the need to discuss on which occasions these frames can be worn, because I wear these frames on all occasions. With a tux or half naked submerged at the beach and everything in between. They really do go well with anything.
This brings me back to my point that the frames have, as a result, become part of my identity. The vast majority of people, when they look at me, they look at my face, and when they do, the look at the Lemtosh. So, be mindful when choosing your frames.
Considering the significance of frames on one's face, I'd say that it may be worth splurging on a pair of Lemtosh – but only if it really fits your face. However, that is not to say that I wouldn't recommend purchasing another model from another maker (so long as they are not counterfeit) if the price is more reasonable.
Written by: Nikki Krisadtyo