Is Your Current Eyewear Style the Best for You?
Does your eyewear style keep up with your overall personal style? You work out. You’re up-to-date with your wardrobe, your hair style. Are you forgetting something important, right in front of your eyes? Ill-fitting, poor quality glasses can be the equivalent of being a decade off in denim wash. Don’t let your frames undo the good style you’ve built up! No one wants to look outdated. Unknowingly picking a bad shape or making a color mistake can detract from your look.
Great glasses and sunnies are like the perfect-tailored blazer or top: you can mix and match with your wardrobe, and they can instantly update your look by a decade. Jennifer Anniston, Cate Blanchett and Steve Carell are just a few examples.
How do you know if your glasses are unknowingly earning you a “thumbs down” ?
Here are a few tips to make sure you get a great look.
Not all retro is good.
We can all agree that parachute pants or a piano key neck tie are bad ideas. Wearing the same eyewear year after year can leave you stuck in a trend, too. While a few evergreen styles in glasses exist, most trends go five years before it all changes. Style, thickness, metal versus acetate, and mini trends in between. Similar to a well-tailored suit, you can’t rely on the glasses that worked 10 years ago to work today. Just turn on Seinfeld or Friends for a dose of how frames come and go! Round metal frames are coming back, the narrow rectangular clear ovals that Elaine Benes wore are out. Instead, look for something more elegant. Where detail speak for themself with a deeper, more contemporary, rounded shape like the P3.
Semi-rimless and rimless frames can also be great alternatives today depending on face shape. Oversized frames that were in style the past few years are starting to die out. Today’s thinner, more translucent colors can be a good alternative. Metal aviators with clear lenses, popular in the 70s, are coming back with modern styling in the form of unique shapes (but this might be a little early for some.)
Want to go bold? Be sure you can back it up.
Very few people can get away with a bright red pair of glasses, or go ultra-glam. You might want to re-think the decision, unless it’s your signature color and you can back it up! Quirky styles and an irreverent approach to eyewear can quickly backfire after repeated wear. Your glasses start wearing you, rather than the other way around. To wear quirky glasses well, you need to have a funky look from head-to-toe (and perhaps your own glam squad). You can become the quirky lady with pink sparkly glasses if you want, but don’t do it by accident. Instead, consider blending your eyewear with your personal style and still have fun doing it.
Complement your personal style/profession.
A great pair of glasses should complement your personal style. If you are dressing in pant suits in an ultra-conservative office, you might not want to wear a fashion-forward, contemporary round oval that doesn’t match your setting. But if you work in a creative profession? Absolutely. If you’re an architect or designer, a bolder, Danish-style round in a rimless lens may also work. For more conservative styling, go for subtle hints of color. Take a more gradual creative approach, perhaps with blue tortoise versus conventional grey or an over-the-top sparkly frame.
Fine tune the fit.
Just like a great dress, if it’s too big or small, it won’t look right. In the case of glasses, this may not help you to see any better either. Ill-fitting glasses can have a wild effect, making your eyes look too small or comically big. Here’s where a qualified optician needs to perform all of the necessary measurements to determine how your eyes should fall within the frames. Make sure to ask for an optician’s fit from online retailers, and brick and mortar stores.
Have enough frames to fit your lifestyle.
If you have a broad sense of style but not enough frames—perhaps you’re in a business setting during the week and trendy clubs on the weekends—you might be in a iffy fashion situation. Parties, interviews, weddings: there’s always a reason to have more than one pair. And even that “great blazer” can only take you so far. Expanding your collection and rotating through just two to three pairs of glasses, versus one, can exponentially expand your wardrobe range. More options for your lifestyle are never a bad idea, giving you that always pulled-together look.
How can you pick the best frames for your face and personal style? Consider what’s on point today, follow trends in publications and brands you trust, check out what people you admire are wearing, get advice from a friend, and ask your optician. A good optician will not only ensure a great fit, but can also serve as an style expert. He or she should know the differences between eyewear lines, what your face shape and look are, what your Rx is, and which contemporary frames will best capitalize on the looks you want to achieve.
When you put on the right frame at the right time, you instantly communicate your personal style and accentuate your best facial features. A great pair of glasses can immediately bring your eyewear style and appearance light years forward. It’s a huge step in the right direction that can make a big impact.
Dave Barton is CEO of David Kind, and formerly of Oliver Peoples. He draws on over a decade making eyewear for the best brands in the world, having traveled across the globe in search of the best materials and style options.