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Your eyewear wardrobe

I suspect that the opinion I am about to give, at first glance, will have more appeal to a female audience, but I would like to urge all the guys to read and consider my advice. Some of the most satisfying make-overs I took part in, whilst a practising optometrist, was on men.  Generally, men are of the opinion that they don’t look at themselves, so it does not really matter what their glasses look like. Moreover, if the glasses do the job, that is all that matters. In my opinion, a man with the right frame, combined with the right look , can strike an awesome picture. Taking the time and a bit of effort, can be very rewarding. I think most women would agree. So, I urge the guys out there to take care when considering their frame choice. Men do not have the same width of options in accessories and clothing to express themselves as women do, but with the right arsenal of eyewear, you can certainly bolster your image in a flash.

When you begin to consider your eyewear wardrobe, I want to start by comparing it to your shoe collection. I am pretty sure that no one reading this, owns only one pair of shoes. Most of us have shoes for formal functions, shoes for everyday wear (in various different styles), we have performance shoes for sports and different shoes for relaxing at home or on holiday. The same goes for handbags. Even though I have my one staple that matches most of my workwear, I do have many other bags that I use, based on my outfit, my needs, or the way that I feel on the day. Our shoes are on our feet and our handbags are generally over our shoulders, but our EYEWEAR IS ON OUR FACES. When people look at us, the first thing they look at (or should look at) is our eyes. When we face people, we express ourselves with our eyes. If you wear glasses, this becomes even more important. Firstly, you should have the best quality lenses in your eyewear, the best you can afford. An anti-reflective coating is very important, as well as the cleanliness of the lenses and frames, as the view that someone has of your eyes through your glasses should be crystal clear. You don’t want your eyes obscured by ugly reflections off the lenses. The fit of the frame on your face is also very important. A frame that is drooping on one side, too far or close from your eyes, or angled poorly, can really retract from the image that you were after.

When I choose my eyewear in the morning, forgetting about visual function for just a moment, I focus on the following:

COLOUR: The colour of my outfit because it is important that your eyewear coordinates with what you are wearing. It should be of a similar or complimentary colour.  For example, I enjoy wearing bright red frames with an all-black outfit to create interest and make an eyewear statement. In the same way, a black or brown neutral frame can top off any bright or patterned outfit. I would also consider the colour of my accessories such as jewelery, handbag and shoes. When choosing my frame, I would prefer to match gold with gold or at least have a story going around the combination of all of the aspects mentioned.

ACTIVITY: The activities I am engaging in for the day also come into play. If I am planning to spend a fun-filled day with my daughter or engage in physical activities, I would choose a pair that is light, fits well and is as comfortable as possible.

IMAGE: If I am attending a meeting with a client, I would make sure that my eyewear is in line with the image I would like to portray. For example, I have formal black frames that give me an extra boost of confidence and helps to put across a serious or formal message on the day, if necessary.

MOOD: My choice of eyewear for the day can also depend on my mood. Some days I just fall back on my good old faithful frames which make me feel safe and close to invisible. Other days, I like to play at being younger, older, more serious or playful. My eyewear helps with this. I love wearing a pair of really retro Tom Ford frames to a craft market. In certain crowds, there is greater appreciation for the detail, colours and material used in the manufacturing of an item. 

By virtue of my job, I own more than a dozen pairs of glasses, and I realise, that most people will not be as privileged as I am. However, I do think you should consider the following when selecting your next frame:

  • Buy something that suits you, not the lady in the store or the model on the picture. There is timeless elegance in an item that works on your face. This goes for colour and proportions. Every pair that you buy should be seen as part of a collection and not the new pair to take over from all others.
  • Consider your needs. If you are corporate or formal, make sure that your eyewear matches this lifestyle. If you spend most of your time at leisure or outdoors, select your frames accordingly.
  • Work with colours that compliment your complexion and personal preferences. If you buy a frame in your favourite colour and it works with your skin tone, it will go a long way to enhance your look and mood when you wear it.
  • Express the level of fashionability that you are comfortable with. The best advice I can give here, is that you need to find a frame stylist that you can trust. Optical dispensing staff should care enough to ensure that your needs, wants and image are aligned with your final choice of eyewear.

Approach the next purchase with care. You now have the opportunity to start building a collection of frames, to enhance your look and make you feel as great as you deserve to feel on a daily basis.

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