Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Choosing Stylish Glasses: A Practical Guide

It's coming around to that time again. I seem to be getting more headaches than usual, my vision is getting blurry around the edges, and my messed up depth perception has me walking into the sofa every single morning when I wake up for work. Yep, I think it's time for me to get my ass down to the opticians and start thinking about getting some new glasses.

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Needing to wear glasses can be somewhat of a pain. They're expensive to buy, they break far too easily if you accidentally sit on them, and don't even get me started on contact lenses. However like it or not, especially if you're like me and have to wear them all of the time, they're often one of the first things people will notice about you, so it's important to get them right to match your style and personality. 

I've had glasses since I was 14, and in those seven years, I've had maybe six or seven pairs of glasses. I loved some, and hated others, and unfortunately the ones I hated, I tended to not wear and leave off at school, making my eyesight deteriorate faster than it probably should have when I was younger. At the moment, I'm rocking a pair of Specsavers 'Etta' glasses which I've had for almost two years now. They were affordable and I liked their colour and satin metal finish, but was initially a bit unsure about how big they were, but i've grown used to them since, and now really like them. Still, I'm thinking of a change. Here are some of the main things I think are really worth considering when choosing a new pair of glasses for everyday wear. 

Do they fit? 

You'd be amazed how much glasses vary in terms of size, weight and fit. Some can be re-sized and adjusted by the opticians, but many (especially many plastic frames) simply come as they are. If you have a particularly small head, it might be worth looking for Petite or Teen options, which offer a great range of options for the smaller framed among us. 

Will they last?

Lifestyles vary massively on a day to day basis, and it's really incredibly necessary to factor this in when choosing your glasses. If yours need to be able to withstand being chucked in a handbag with your keys, trodden on by the cat and played with by a toddler, it's maybe not the best idea to get a pair with delicate, intricate metal arms, or a super delicate coating.

Pretty - Yes. Able to fully withstand playtime with the dog and an excitable four year old - Probably not. 
I always get my lenses finished with a scratch resistant coating, just for good measure, but there's loads of other cool ways to make them last general life a bit longer as well. Look out as well for super strength titanium frames, ultra-flexible plastic, and reinforced glass or plastic lenses.

Do they suit your style? 

I like to think of my glasses as a super functional piece of everyday jewelry. I like their colour to go well with my hair and eye colour, the frame to be noticeable but not too 'in your face', the lenses to be mostly rectangular, and the arms to be slim and lightweight. Some people, though, like their glasses to be large, bright and striking, or rimless and practically invisible unless you look closely. It entirely depends on how you want to present yourself with them.

Are you going to get one pair for school/work and another for home, or are they going to be multi-functional? Do they still look good with your hair up and down? Are large frames going to get in the way of a fringe or eyebrow piercings? Do you prefer plastic or metal? Round or square? Modern or vintage? There are so many things to consider, so make sure you shop around and get a feel for all of your different options.

 Statement look, or barely there? Both can look amazing, but have very different effects. 

Sunglasses, or no sunglasses? 

Let me just answer this one for you - the answer is always sunglasses. Prescription sunglasses changed my life. I never knew until last summer that being able to actually see other people when outdoors in the sun was a legit option in my life. And don't think you have to be limited to the smaller range of assigned sun-glass frames either - most opticians can tint the lenses in ANY frames in order to make them into sunglasses. My current pair started life as a cheapie pair of plastic frames from the Men's selection and I love love love them. 

Just some of my glasses over the years - Top Right were a good example of ones that I didn't think hard enough about beforehand, and ended up hardly wearing. They were too big, uncomfortable and the wrong shape.
However you like your glasses to look, and whatever way you end up choosing them, just remember that unless you have multiple pairs to switch around all the time, you're probably going to be wearing them for a fairly long period of time, so make sure you're 100% certain about them before deciding on a pair. And remember, no matter how expensive or cheap our glasses may be, how intricate or simple, how modern or vintage they are, we've all at least got one thing in common - not one of us can see a damn thing clearly when we first wake up in the morning. 

Stay awesome, glasses wearers, and leave me a comment below if you're thinking of buying a new pair soon. Maybe you have other hints and tips on how to choose the perfect pair, or horror stories about hastily chosen and much hated specs? Whatever it is, feel free to let me know below! 

- Natalie XOXO