By Christina Cheng
See how being a ‘four-eyed freak’ is now considered a good thing! Wearing optical glasses are now considered a huge fashion trend and a great way to flatter the face and the eyes!
Sunglasses have always been a fashion trend but not so much for optical frames… Until now that is! Remember when people had prescription glasses but would be ashamed to wear them out because they’d be called a ‘four-eyed freak’? Well, those days are over and people have made their prescription glasses into fashion statements! People used to be hesitant about wearing glasses that make a statement, largely because tradition frame designs focused on function over form but now, that has all changed. Being a ‘four-eyed freak’ has never been so hot! Even those who have 20/20 vision wish they had a prescription so that they can rock some cool looking frames.
Spectacle Eyewear is a luxury eyewear boutique out of Toronto, Canada that screams fashion! Spectacle does more than improve the eyesight of their clients, they also help them look stylish and feel good. It houses glowing displays of exclusive designer frames, vintage styles, and boutique collections. The stores also offer a warm, lounge-like, stylish atmosphere that beats out the cold, generic and dated environment of most optical shops.
Registered opticians and frame stylists at Spectacle say they have regular clients who pop in on a regular basis because they enjoy the compliments of looking good in the eyewear frames provided by Spectacle.
According to Kira Gambler, frame stylist and student optician at Spectacle, says, “Glasses are every bit fashion. On top of clear vision they have the potential to portray ones personal style with ease.”
Not only are optical frames fashionable and trendy, some of the unique shapes that frame designers make are designed with care and are made suited for different face shapes in order for them to compliment and flatter the face!
In fact, the term ‘eyewear’ didn’t come into fashion until the late 70′s and early 80′s when a few independent designers set out to design glasses that were unique as a fashion accessory, as well as tapping into an individual’s style and personality in addition to face shape.
Michael Allen, head frame stylist at Spectacle, touches on the topic of designers and the construction of a beautiful, stylish frame.
“These designers have come to greatly influence the explosion of fashion designer eyewear in the last 30 years,” he said. “Alain Mikli, widely considered the godfather of designer spectacles introduced a variety of new materials such as titanium and vibrant colours, and patterns in materials such as acetate and optyl. The intent being to create wearable art that have a unique look and are built to last!”
The ‘oh, those are just glasses on your face’ look are so out and the ‘oh my gosh! Your frames are amazing on you!’ look is so in! Glasses should no longer look like they’re wearing you, you want to be able to wear them and own them!
“The best frame is the one that reveals the wearer instead of them hiding behind their glasses!” said Allen who couldn’t agree more.
Frame designs now vary to suit different face shapes and to tickle ones fancy in style!
“Right now there are many trends within eyewear such as: the geeky oversized look, vintage horn rimmed and round shapes, as well as different colours and textures,” Gambler said.
According to Gambler, her obligation to her clients is to not only help them with their vision but to help assist them in looking as amazing as possible in glasses. Her trick as a frame stylist is to look at her clients’ physical features as it helps guide her towards the right frame choices.
“Smaller faces and more delicate features should steer away from wider or overly deep frames which make the eyes seem more close set than they really are and may throw off the proportions of the face by having too much lens and the eyes not centred,” Gambler said.
Different frame shapes also helps give the illusion to either soften and/or strengthen lines within the face.
“For those who have more angular faces, they can choose softer lines such as circular frames or round faces may want to go for more angular styles such as square or cat eye frames which have stronger lines,” she said.
Being a frame stylist myself, I find that a cat-eye look or any sort of sweep-up look gives an instant facelift to a woman. It does the trick every time!
Gambler also threw in the idea that complexion; hair, skin and eye colour also help make the decision easier when choosing a frame.
“Dark or olive skin tones tend to suit bolder colours and patterns such as: high contrast tortoise shells or crystals with champagne tones. Where as, fair skin may opt for a dark brown with some texture over a classic black frame, as it may seem too harsh. They tend to go for pinkish or cooler crystals,” she said.
Glasses do a variety of things; they contour and highlight facial features, all while revealing one’s character.
Allen couldn’t agree more, he mentioned that the key to finding the perfect frame for your particular face was to choose shapes that compliment the natural contours of your face (he says eyebrows are a excellent indicator). Colour also plays a huge role in choosing the right frame.
“Look for colours that both speak to your personality and compliment natural highlights in your features,” he said.
A fashionable pair of eyeglasses can pull your whole outfit together! According to Spectacle’s beliefs, “eyewear is the most important accessory in anyone’s wardrobe. It’s the first thing people see on your face.” Even if you’re having a bummy day and want to dress down, throw on a pair of frames that’ll compliment your face and there you have it, an instant face awakening look!
Optical frames are a huge deal in not only the fashion world but in the world of your health! People tend to forget that glasses are not only a fashion accessory, but they are also a medical necessity. Believe it or not, wearing glasses is healthier for your eyes than contact lenses!
According to Jeffery Fernandes, an operations manager and registered optician at Spectacle, mentions the benefits of wearing eyeglasses.
“Eyeglasses usually give you a sharper vision than contact lenses, as contact lenses shift with each blink. Eyewear stays static and stationary on the face,” he said.
Fernandes explains that optical lenses offer a higher level of protection than contact lenses do.
“Many modern eyewear lenses have a protective UVA and UVB coating which protects the eyes, lids, cornea, conjunctiva and so on. Contact lenses do not offer this level of protection to those parts of the eye,” he said.
Aside from UV protection, he mentions that eyewear is more gentle on the eye even during physical activities because it can decrease and/or eliminate harmful and distracting glare.
“Many modern eyewear lenses have a level of impact resistance which allow the wearer to use the eyewear for various activities such as tennis, biking, motorcycling and so on,” he said.
According to Fernandes, wearing contact lenses during physical activities can also damage the eyes because it can traps dust and debris from under the contact and scratch the cornea, causing severe pain, discomfort and infection.
Not only is eyewear more gentler and softer to the eye, it also acts as a safety guard and can save you from unexpected situations.
“Eyeglass wearers have cat-like reflexes, however using contact lenses may cause a diminished corneal reflex in your eye. This is the eye’s protective action that is triggered by pressure on the eye,” he said. “With the constant application of contacts to the eyes, you may be dulling the eye’s response to corneal reflex and this could lead to the eye being damaged because you couldn’t shut your eyes fast enough when danger approached.”
Jordan Bray, who is also a registered optician at Spectacle, touches on the topic of the danger contact lenses can do to your eyes.
“Your cornea is responsible for 80 per cent of your vision and visual acuity. This means that it needs oxygen from the atmosphere to stay healthy. When you wear contact lenses, you deprive your cornea of the required oxygen it needs to maintain good health which stretches the tissues and creates more visual problems over time,” he said.
Aside from oxygen related health issues that contact lenses involve, according to Bray, contact lens wearers can also experience bacterial infections, conjunctivitis and dry eyes.
“If contact lenses do not fit properly, there’s a higher chance that there will be a fluctuation in their prescription which can cause their prescriptions to get worse and get stronger over time,” said Bray.
Above all else, glasses are really the only way to fully correct your vision to the best visual acuity possible, all while looking fashionable. Not only can optical lenses and frames help you with your vision, it can help transform your image by providing a unique depth, attitude and style to your persona.