Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Glasses 101

Glasses are pretty amazing, if you think about it. First of all, they can make half-blind people (I sadly include myself in this category) see. How cool is that?! We take it for granted most of the time, but it is a pretty fantastic thing. Also, as you can see in the above picture, they can transform a person's face, thus changing how the person is perceived.

Which just goes to show that when you buy glasses, you better be pretty damn sure that they look good on you and send the message you want to send. Remember; many glasses-wearers take their specs off only to sleep. If you are one of these people, keep in mind that the glasses will be a semi-permanent part of your appearance - which means you better like them. They can be hugely expensive, once you add on the cost of the lenses, so it's not like you can trade your pair in for a new one on a whim; unless you're really rich, it's best to buy a pair that you know you will still love years from now.

Yep, it's difficult to buy glasses. It can be hugely overwhelming to stare at racks upon racks of frames, wondering which of the hundreds of pairs will be your miracle pair. Where do you start? What should you try on? How much should you spend?

Not to fear, dearies. I've got your back.

Let's start by discussing my glasses.

Above you will see my glasses in all their glory. The pictures have been hanging around on my computer for ages, hence the intact pixie cut that is no longer. Please note that the scarf-and-hat combo on the left was a joke. No, I did not actually think it looked good.

Anyway, I love my glasses. They are a source of constant compliments, and even though I've been wearing them for years, I'm still not sick of them.

Let's talk about why they work for me:

They flatter my face. I have such a small face and such pale skin that the biggest issue in glasses-hunting was making sure that the frames didn't overpower me. I originally wanted chunky black frames, but some experimenting showed that black was too dark for the skin, and thick frames covered too much of my face. Brown was a much more flattering color for me than black. As for the shape of the glasses. . . well, I'm not going to lie and say that I know exactly why it's flattering for me. All I know is that the relatively small size of the frames helped keep my face the focus, not my glasses.

They are unique. I didn't want something too out-there, but I did want my glasses to be fun and funky. The shape of the glasses is semi-unique, but what I really like about the glasses design is that there is a gap between the lenses and the frames on the sides. I have never seen another pair like this, which I love. The glasses make anything I wear look kind of "alternative" - a plus for me, since I don't like to look like everyone else.

They are versatile. For me, since I planned to wear these every day, I needed glasses that would look good with anything I wear. Because they are a nice, neutral color and not too wild, I can wear them anywhere and everywhere, and they don't restrict my clothing choices in any way.

Alright, so what can you learn from my little glasses bio? I'm hoping that it will give you an idea of how to go about searching for your perfect frames. For example, here's a good way to begin:

♥ Before you hit the stores, think about what you want from your glasses. What styles do you like? Observe people and do some internet research to decide. Do you want to wear your glasses for a long time? If so, it might be safer to look for pairs that are relatively simple, so that you don't have to worry about them going out of style. How much do you want to pay? Give yourself a price limit ahead of time. Write a list of the things that are important to you.

♥ Now it's time to shop! Head to the stores, list in hand, and try on some frames that meet your criteria. Pay attention to what looks good (it may be a good idea to bring a friend for a second opinion.) You may need to make some compromises in the name of flattering your face (in the way that I had to forgo the chunky black frames), or you may decide that you like a style enough that you don't care how it looks on you.

♥ It's best to look through several glasses stores before making a decision. Because each store boasts different stock and different sales people, you may find that your taste has changed over a couple of days of shopping. This happened to me when I bought my first pair of frames; after a few days, I went back to the first store I had gone into, and was shocked to find that a pair I had been lusting after was no longer enticing to me. Go figure! It's safest to give yourself some time.

♥ Think you've found your miracle glasses? Have you given it a few days, and they still give you that shivery "I've-found-the-One" feeling? Buy 'em! Then stare at yourself in the mirror for hours, try your new glasses on with all sorts of different hairstyles, and go out to show off your hot new look! Stylin' glasses are fun - so have fun with them!

Here are some girls looking amazing in glasses, just in case you need inspiration.

Fierce! Big frames, small frames, candy colors, neutral colors, chunky, thin, nerdy, cool - they all look amazing! The lesson? Any style of frames can be super-stylish and pretty, as long as they are right for you!

Don't need the glasses but still crave the look? Forever 21 is currently selling two pairs with clear lenses (1, 2), as is Urban Outfitters (they are called readers but have no magnification.)

Do you wear glasses? What do you think of them?


The Clothes Horse said...

I love the easy to hard comparison! So true! My glasses have grown on me, but it annoys me when people wear them as a fashion statement. I mean, they're made to improve vision--not to be quirky cute for a day!
I do find boys in glasses quite attractive though...my, I am a walking contradiction!

WendyB said...

Your glasses look great. I really should get reading glasses but am resisting because it makes me feel old >:-(

Leila said...

I love that little gap-between-the-lens-and-frame detail of your glasses. A subtle difference goes a long way.

The cartoon you posted up there totally cracked me up. Lol it's a good point made.

I have a pair of reading glasses, cus' I only wear them when I'm reading, studying, school so I actually got the chunky black frame which totally shouts NERD! Lol it's quirky fun.

David Carruthers said...

I cannot agree more!

So many people just consider their glasses to be an annoyance, and begrudge the expense. Not realising how radically they change your face.

A question for you - if you realise how important they are to your look, and are obssessed with fashion, why do you only have 1 pair (I'm making an assumption here that you do only have 1 pair).

Why are we happy to spend a fortune on shoes and dresses, yet content to stick with the same glasses for years on end?

*open admission - I work in the glasses industry - doesn't matter who for - I write as an avid glasses wearer with 12 pairs of glasses rather than an employee/advertiser*

p.s. nice glasses

Kori said...

the clothes horse- Sometimes the wearing of glasses as a fashion statement annoys me, but then I figure why not? :)

wendyb- Thanks!

leila- Thanks, me too! Chunky frames don't always scream nerd...

david carruthers- I actually own two pairs, but my second pair is old and therefore no longer to my taste and of an outdated prescription. I don't own very many pairs of glasses for the same reason I don't buy designer clothing - too expensive for a high school student without a full-time job!

David Carruthers said...


Have you ever considered buying glasses online?

The company I work for sells glasses online (including lenses) for £15, or about $30.

I don't won't to turn this into an advert, but if you want to know about buying specs/glasses online then drop me an email. There's loads of options - and some massive cost savings available.

lady coveted said...

oh this is a delightful post... i always wished i needed glasses. but i do not. they have a way of functioning like a mask, and instead of hiding one's persona, they clarify it. lovely.

Kori said...

david carruthers- Wow, that's sooo much cheaper than what I spend on my glasses! I just got new lenses and they cost $240 ... although I'll be following up with the store because I'm pretty sure the last time I bought lenses from them they were much cheaper. I'm a bit hesitant about buying glasses online, though, because what I think will look good on me and what actually looks good on me tend to differ...

lady coveted- I wouldn't go so far as to wish you wore glasses! They can be a fun accessory, but in the end it comes down to the fact that I'd rather see clearly on my own than have to peer at the world from behind a piece of glass. It would be more fun to wear them on a whim than all the time.

David Carruthers said...

If you don't fancy getting the whole thing online, you can get frames in store, then get them glazed online. They often use exactly the same laboratories to put the lenses in, and you'll save a fortune.

Another good use of online glasses, especially when you're not sure, is to try out a completely different style to see if it suits you.

You can't really take a risk when they cost hundreds of dollars in store, but for $40 you can get a spare pair of glasses, if you like them, great! You've got another look! If not, you've got a back up pair in case the others get broken.

Anyway, sorry to keep banging on, it's something I really believe in.

susie_bubble said...

I've worn contacts since I was five and get quite frustrated trying to find glasses that won't slip down my nose.... and the fact that I'm allergic to a lot of frames.....

Anonymous said...

i wear glasses and i love them!!! only the lucky ones get the opportunity to have this have this awesome accessory. mine are black and tad thicker than yours. i desperately want the Chanel glasses!

Kori said...

susie_bubble- Since you were 5?! Wow...I never knew 5-year-olds could even manage with contacts!

anonymous- Glasses are fun, but I'd rather wear them by choice, not neccessity!

Rin said...

Awesome post! Can you do a post on glasses worn with semi-formal / formal wear? I can't wear contacts, and while I think my glasses look fantastic with normal wear, I feel that I look weird wearing them with semi-formal / formal dresses. It's so unfair that guys look hot when they wear glasses with their suits, but girls are expected not to wear glasses with their formal wear!!

There's this formal event coming up and I'd like to look good in my dress and glasses. Any suggestions / thoughts on this?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful entry! I've been wearing glasses and contacts since just before my teenage years. Contacts turned out to be too expensive per year for a college student ($140/yr, yikes!) and too unreliable when I managed to get a pack that two out of the end ripped in the case.

Now I adore wearing glasses, even if I would love to be able to see freely without them. Mine are pretty thick right now and I'm sure I'll go for something thinner in the future. This article has good information for starting out and has inspired me to be more proud of being a girl with glasses!

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optical laboratory scotland said...

It really is amazing as to how glasses can change a person's appearance completely.

kids aprons said...

but admit it Kori, you look pretty when you have your eyeglasses on. :)

Tess said...

I've had to wear glasses since I was 3ish and for years I despised them! Only recently have I come to realise that my glasses are a part of me and I think, given the choice, I would choose not to part with them.
I'm incredibly pale, but my thick-framed black pair suit me (I think?!) but I've just placed an order for red ones which I'm super excited about! In the UK you get free lenses until you're 18 so that's great for me.