I’m one of those guys who can typically get by without wearing glasses, or at least until you put me at a fashion show, in a dark pub, or outside at dusk. In one of those situations, I’ll be squinting through astigmatic eyes that render distant shapes indistinct. The amount of screen time I get at work doesn’t help matters much, either, and recently even collection previews bathed in studio lighting have started leaving me with sore eyes at the end of the day.
Now, I know I could solve my little problem by sucking it up, opening my desk drawer and donning the specs inside. So, why don’t I? They have rectangular lenses and thick, black rims with Versace’s Greek key at the temples. Unfortunately, the lenses are too narrow to be useful and the shape’s all wrong for my face. In short, I wish the younger version of me who picked them out had known what I know now.
I just bought the above pair from Bailey Nelson, an Australian company that recently opened a boutique on Queen West. I love how their tortoiseshell frames make a statement, not to mention how large and accommodating the lenses are. To make the choice even easier, the company prides itself in offering their specs for $145 all-in — frames, prescription lenses, adjustment, taxes, you name it. First, however, I did a bit of research and asked for some advice to ensure I didn’t repeat my earlier mistakes.
I found out I was going about the shape all wrong. According to the optician who helped me, people with longer faces like mine can pull off almost any frame shape. However, angular features are better balanced with circular frames, while people with rounder faces should consider edgier ones in the shape of a square or rectangle. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but the distinction helps if you’re wondering whether you can pull off that trendier design.
Picking frames in the right colour can be a bit like picking the right tie. The ideal pair complements your features, preferably one that defines your face. Frames in tortoiseshell work great for guys with darker hair, while coloured glasses can be used to emphasize your eyes. For those lucky enough to rock the salt-and-pepper look, check out two-tone or transparent rims. Get the picture? Oh, and if you’re undecided, just about anybody can wear a neutral black frame and call it a day.
As for frame width, think a combination of scale and utility. If you have a narrow face, stick with frames less than 50 mm in width. On the other hand, frames 54 mm or wider may be required to balance out a broader mug. You should also think of what purpose they’ll serve you. For example, I chose wide frames that obstruct less of my view because I’ll be wearing mine everywhere. If your pair is for reading or design work, a more compact version may suit you better.
Now, get out there and experiment. You’ll know it the moment you strike upon the perfect glasses for your face and style. When that happens, pull the trigger and be prepared to see (and be seen) in a whole new way. I’m already enjoying the compliments I’ve been getting, and I’m sure you will, too.