Broke and Bespoke

A site meant to inspire penurious sartorialists everywhere... Follow me on Twitter @brokeandbespoke


* Unless otherwise noted, all images and written content are my own. Please credit brokeandbespoke if you use any of said content and link back to brokeandbespoke.tumblr.com
Aviators by American Optical

Aviators by American Optical

Pocket Square: Japanese silk fabric scrap, free
Sunglasses: Classic Specs ‘Neptune,’ courtesy of Classic Specs

Pocket Square: Japanese silk fabric scrap, free

Sunglasses: Classic Specs ‘Neptune,’ courtesy of Classic Specs

Classic Specs: A Chat with Andrew Lipovsky

Many of you know I’m a fan of a good deal, and nothing makes me happier than when that deal is attacheded to some quality merchandise. 

Since I wear glasses every day, and since eyewear is rarely something one can thrift for—frames, sure, but adding Rx lenses to those vintage frames at your local optometrist can set you back hundreds of dollars—I’m always happy to come across new online eyewear merchants that offer well-made and stylish frames at reasonable prices. 

Warby Parker seems to dominate the affordable online eyewear airtime on tumblr, but the most affordable and perhaps best I’ve yet found can be had from Classic SpecsWarby Parkers and Lookmatic frames will set you back just under $100 with Rx lenses, but Classic Specs are priced to sell at $89 shipped to your door, with a hassle free free return policy to boot. Not bad. And they have an amazingly large selection of frames to choose from.

I recently had a chance to chat on the phone with Andrew Lipovsky, one half of the duo behind Classic Specs, which got its start in—and remains based out of—Brooklyn, NY. We spoke of a lot of things, most of it eyewear related, including Andrew’s passion for vintage eyeglass frames and the influences of growing up around a friend whose father was an optometrist.

One thing our conversation made clear to me was that the personal approach Andrew takes to running an eyewear business doesn’t stop with nostalgia for his youth and a bent for the vintage—he’s truly committed to creating affordable eyewear that speaks to his client’s tastes and desires. I often feel that stumbling across a retailer on the web automatically creates a sense of impersonality—real, or illusory—but my conversation with Andrew really made me realize that Classic Specs is a pretty small operation, and a definitively local one if you live in NY.

Each weekend Andrew and his business partner can still be found at the Brooklyn Flea Market interacting with customers and taking notes on their feedback, which they then bring with them back to the drawing board as they design new products. This level of personal interaction with clients floored me. I was even regaled with stories of some things that customers pined for, were given, and have not had the staying power one might have hoped for. There is an openness to experimentation in what Classic Spec’s is doing that I find quite admirable.

Though Classic Specs got its start as a stall at the venerable Brooklyn Flea Market, they now have a showroom that you can visit too if you live in the area, or if you are ever in NY for a visit. It’s in Williamsburg (not far from a Blue Bottle Coffee, so I’m told…), at 85 N. 3rd St, Ste. #112.

I’ve posted some pictures of a pair of Classic Specs that Andrew was kind enough to send me, and I can say I am quite pleased with them. Most, if not all, of the acetate that Classic Specs uses for its frames comes from Italy (many from the same factories that produce acetates for high-end writing instruments), and the acetates are turned into frames at a production facility in China. The quality of my frames was excellent, and the fit and finish left nothing to be desired. Best of all, for Rx sunglasses, customers have 4 tints to choose from. I went with the Neptune frame in ‘Moss’ (a translucent olive green) w/ an Amber tint. The lenses are all polycarbonate (which are lighter and stronger than regular CR-39 plastic lenses, and impact and shatter resistant as well), and come with scratch-resistant and anti-glare coatings. Additionally, all sunglasses come with polarized lenses that are made by NuPolar, which can set you back some serious money if you get them from other sources, but they’re priced amazingly low at Classic Specs.

The nailed my prescription perfectly, and the crispness of image I’m getting through the lenses is actually better than that of any of my other prescription sunglasses. If you’re in the market for some new glasses, definitely give Classic Specs a shot. For many reasons, but if for nothing else, it’s a risk free proposition and 6% of your total purchase price is donated to New Eyes for the Needy—a charitable organization dedicated to helping those less fortunate obtain the correctional eyewear they need to get along.

Though he could not say what it was, Andrew promised me that something big is in the works for Classic Specs, and (fully cognizant of the cheesy metaphor) he cautioned patience, and instructed me to just “wait and see…” I definitely will.

Check them out at:

Classic Specs

85 N. 3rd St.

Ste. #112

Brooklyn, NY. 11249

Fits and food. Deets and eats.

Fab.com is having another 50% off deal on Lookmatic eyewear. That means prescription sunglasses or regular glasses for $47 shipped, and non-RX eyewear for $32 shipped.
These are solidly crafted frames at a great price. I myself own 4 pairs of Lookmatic sunglasses which I’ve purchased through various deals, including an earlier 50% off Fab coupon…
The red frames above are the “Ricky” model, and are very similar to the Moscot Lemtosh, and the other pair is called the “Austin,” and they owe a debt to the Ray-Ban Clubmaster.

Fab.com is having another 50% off deal on Lookmatic eyewear. That means prescription sunglasses or regular glasses for $47 shipped, and non-RX eyewear for $32 shipped.

These are solidly crafted frames at a great price. I myself own 4 pairs of Lookmatic sunglasses which I’ve purchased through various deals, including an earlier 50% off Fab coupon…

The red frames above are the “Ricky” model, and are very similar to the Moscot Lemtosh, and the other pair is called the “Austin,” and they owe a debt to the Ray-Ban Clubmaster.

Fab.com/Lookmatic Half-off Sale Ends Tomorrow

Hi folks. I promise this is the last Lookmatic/Fab.com sale post, but I love a deal, and I love passing on a deal. I have no affiliation with either company. Until tomorrow morning 8:00am PST you can get 50% off Lookmatic glasses through Fab.com. If you follow the link provided below, you will get a $10 credit for signing up with Fab.com, bringing the total on your glasses to $19 for non-prescription eyewear, $34 for prescription eyewear, and $54 for high-index prescription eyewear. And if you buy anything from Fab.com in the next 30 days, I get bonus credits—win, win.

Buy Here

SALES ALERT/PSA: Half-Off @ Lookmatic.com

So, I just realized this deal for 50% off Lookmatic glasses from Fab.com is actually on until Sunday morning 8:00am PST. Also, if you sign-up for Fab.com through the link provided below you will get $10 credit (which I think you can put towards your sunglasses purchase, bringing them down to $34)! (**Again, I have no affiliation w/ either Lookmatic or Fab.com)

Buy Here

I’ve promised several times in the past that I’d do a post on these sunglasses. I bought them in Beijing, and they’re made by a Chinese brand called Mazzani, and are (hilariously) “Designed by Japan.” All joking aside, these are my favorite sunglasses. They are incredibly solid in their build and design, and the temples are secured to the frame using real seven barrel hinges (something vintage eyewear enthusiasts fetishize, and what was used on many old USA-made Wayfarers and other vintage eyewear) which only add to their toughness. I particularly like the bamboo temples, and how the shape of the frame falls somewhere between Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Oakley Frogskins. Classic and versatile.

In my opinion, the build quality on these surpasses the current Italian made Wayfarers, and I say this from personal experience. I bought them for $60 with prescription lenses, and have on occasion seen this same frame for sale on ebay. Just do a search for “Mazzani eyeglass frames”

I’ve been meaning to do a post on eyewear since I first started this tumblr. I saw some post on my dashboard this morning about the pervasiveness at Pitti of sunglasses with the keyhole shaped bridge, and thought I might as well post something about eyewear now.
I got these sunglasses from Lookmatic (they were, until recently, called spexonline.com), an online eyewear retailer that sells fashionable and well-constructed frames at an affordable price ($88 w/ Rx lenses—clear or tinted—shipped + free returns). This is the Warby Parker online sales model, which seems to be making its way across the web, which is only good news for us deal hunters. Right when Warby Parker started, I ordered the 5 pair home-try-on kit, and none of the frames fit my face well, and I thought the construction felt a little cheap, even for the price. They may have upped their quality a bit since then, I can’t say. But I can say that I find that these Lookmatic frames feel much more solid and robust than those early Warby Parkers. 
Lookmatic recently had a coupon code for 35% off in Lucky Magazine, which I used to buy my first pair of prescription sunglasses for just under $60. Then I was surfing the Lookmatic blog via their website, and found a link to a 2 for 1 coupon, and bought two more pairs of prescription sunglasses for $88 total. In my book, that’s a price that can’t be beat. This model is called the Hobbs.  

I’ve been meaning to do a post on eyewear since I first started this tumblr. I saw some post on my dashboard this morning about the pervasiveness at Pitti of sunglasses with the keyhole shaped bridge, and thought I might as well post something about eyewear now.

I got these sunglasses from Lookmatic (they were, until recently, called spexonline.com), an online eyewear retailer that sells fashionable and well-constructed frames at an affordable price ($88 w/ Rx lenses—clear or tinted—shipped + free returns). This is the Warby Parker online sales model, which seems to be making its way across the web, which is only good news for us deal hunters. Right when Warby Parker started, I ordered the 5 pair home-try-on kit, and none of the frames fit my face well, and I thought the construction felt a little cheap, even for the price. They may have upped their quality a bit since then, I can’t say. But I can say that I find that these Lookmatic frames feel much more solid and robust than those early Warby Parkers. 

Lookmatic recently had a coupon code for 35% off in Lucky Magazine, which I used to buy my first pair of prescription sunglasses for just under $60. Then I was surfing the Lookmatic blog via their website, and found a link to a 2 for 1 coupon, and bought two more pairs of prescription sunglasses for $88 total. In my book, that’s a price that can’t be beat. This model is called the Hobbs.  

Taken with instagram
Sunglasses: American Optical

Taken with instagram

Sunglasses: American Optical

Shirt: Huntington, made in USA, brown gingham button down collar, thrifted $2
Sweater: Banana Republic merino v-neck sweater, $20
Sunglasses: Mazzani w/ Rx lenses, $60. Half bamboo temples, and 7 barrel hinges. More on these at a later date.   
Book obscuring my face: Power: The Essential Works of Michel Foucault, 1954-1984, Vol. 3.

Shirt: Huntington, made in USA, brown gingham button down collar, thrifted $2

Sweater: Banana Republic merino v-neck sweater, $20

Sunglasses: Mazzani w/ Rx lenses, $60. Half bamboo temples, and 7 barrel hinges. More on these at a later date.   

Book obscuring my face: Power: The Essential Works of Michel Foucault, 1954-1984, Vol. 3.