JunebugB sent me this tricky request via e-mail:
I’d love to see you do something about fashionable eyeglasses. I know it’s so dependent on the shape of your face, but it would be nice to get some basic tips on what to look for when picking out a pair. I’m soon to be in the market for a new pair and would love to hear your thoughts…
Dack! I’ve only ever worn reading glasses myself and feel pretty uncomfortable telling the bespectacled how to select stylish specs. So I asked Angie of You Look Fab fame to cook up a post, since she is both a professional stylist AND a wearer of glasses … and we’ve arranged for a little cross-posting! I’ll weigh in from the perspective of a non-wearer, and Angie will give you the views of a glasses-wearing gal.
First, my thoughts:
Extreme shapes are … well, extreme
I’ve hardly ever seen a gal in true square or true circle frames who didn’t look a mite goofy. Those shapes are SUPER fun, especially for occasional wear, but something that severe will fight with the natural contours of your face. Rectangles, ovals, and even sidelong teardrops look far more natural. For daily wear, go with something elongated and subtle instead of blocky or severe. Leave the star-shaped specs to Elton John.
Try a new shape every time you change frames
Your face isn’t exactly the same as it was 3 years ago. Are you SURE those minuscule rectangles are the best choice this time around? I see a lot of folks wearing glasses that look almost right, and wonder if they may have outgrown their current frames, or just stuck to the same style for years and years and years. Just as you should try new styles of clothes as your body changes, try new styles of frames as your face changes.
Don’t fear color
I know it can seem daunting to imagine wearing a red item on your face every damn day, or trying to match that stripe of teal to all of your outfits. But, in my humble opinion, glasses frames are an element of your face, just like your eyes. They do not need to be matched! And a certain color of frame may bring out your lovely blue peepers, or do amazing things right next to your coffee-with-cream skin, or look phenomenal with your deep brown bangs. The women I see rocking bright frames often seem lit from within, and I’m fairly sure that it’s because they’ve got a dash of color where, usually, there is none. See what colorful frames do for your FACE, and don’t worry too much about how they’ll affect your wardrobe.
You WILL get sick of novelty frames
It may take a year, or it may just take a job interview or wedding or family function. Cat-eye glasses with loads of rhinestones, giant black Elvis Costello frames, futuristic wraparounds … unless you’ve got some more traditional backup glasses, you’re going to hit a circumstance that makes you sorry you went glam/ironic/kooky. I’ve talked to many a person who has come to hate their once-enchanting novelty frames. Some of you may be willing to suck it up if said frames perfectly suit your style and complement your facial structure … but many of you will feel totally trapped. Err at least slightly classic.
Take photos of yourself in the eyeglass store
I’ll give Husband Mike full credit for this one. Whenever he’s in the market for new glasses, he scopes out six or so pairs, snaps photos of himself in them, and takes a few days to ponder. For one thing, he is decidedly batlike without his specs and cannot actually judge his appearance when he’s got a non-prescription pair perched on his nose. For another, he wants MY opinion and can’t always get me to accompany him to the frame store. And finally, he has learned that making snap decisions about something as important as glasses is foolish. Take a few photos of your favorite options and take your time about choosing your frames.
I strongly encourage you all to check out Angie’s post for comprehensive advice from a bespectacled beauty!
Image courtesy massdistraction.