Choosing a new pair of glasses can be fraught with difficulty. And with designer frames costing hundreds of dollars, it is very frustrating to feel you are settling for less than perfection. There are so many decisions to negotiate:
Neutral or bright? Retro or contemporary? Iconic or edgy? What do you look for in terms of fit? This post looks at some of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a frame. Once you have finished reading this post, why not look at our designer glasses section here.
Trying to get one pair for every occasion…
A pair of glasses is a bit like a pair of shoes. There is no perfect pair that works in all scenarios. You might have ten pairs of shoes for different purposes. Why then do we think one pair of glasses will do the trick? After all, the first thing a person will look at when they meet you is your eyes, not your shoes! Ideally, you can build up your collection year by year, with comfortable everyday frames in versatile colours and perhaps a statement pair for occasional use. The same goes for sunglasses, where you can have your work-a-day pair with comfort and UV protection as your priorities but you might like a cool aviator or an over-sized frame in a graduated tint for glamming up the weekend.
If you do just want one frame, make sure it caters for what you do 99 per cent of the time rather than what you do very occasionally. It never ceases to amaze me how many people buy a frame that will look nice for a wedding or other event when the other 354 days a year it doesn’t quite work. Your main pair should be compatible in colour with your wardrobe but this doesn’t mean you need to go for a neutral! If your working wardrobe is full of staples in neutral greys, navies and whites, you can afford to go for a bright shade in a colour that compliments your skin. Light, northern European skin tones can look terrific in berry shades of raspberry, plum and blackcurrant as well as tortoiseshells, and translucent shades. Darker skins can pull off stronger colours such as royal blue, blood-orange and lime.
Choosing on your own…
If you’ve ever brought a pile of swimsuits into a change room and found none to be flattering then you will appreciate the value of a skilled sales assistant. Often they can have one glance at your body and return with the most flattering cossie you ever tried. It’s similar with choosing a frame. An experienced frame specialist can instantly assess your face-shape and colouring and return within moments with a range of styles guaranteed to flatter. They will also help you avoid some of the classic pitfalls such as:
• Too big. Small faces can still pull off the BIG look but they need to bear in mind the proportions of their face. Going deeper rather than wider can help achieve the look without swamping your face.
• Too short. Men in particular often choose a frame they like from the front with little regard for the fit of the frame behind their ear. A frame that sits perched on top of the ear will slip down the moment you lower your head to read.
• Too high / too low. A poorly fitting frame can sit too high on the bridge of your nose or too low on your cheeks causing problems that are more than simply cosmetic. Multifocal lenses have the best chance of success in a frame that sits properly on your face, with approximately one third of the lens above the horizontal mid-line of your eye and two thirds below.