Glasses are a sore subject for me, if we’re being honest, because until recently, I didn’t need them. Suddenly, in my very late 40s, I woke up needing reading glasses. Kevin bought me a pair in rose gold, which I promptly misplaced all over the house, and denied were even mine, until headaches from the eye strain forced me to reconsider.
Now, a couple of years later, I still use readers (with 1.5 magnification) and have them strewn all over the house. I know that having 20/20 vision for nearly 50 years makes me rare and lucky, but the constant on/off of reading glasses is getting to me. Now that I’ve finally admitted that I need glasses, the next step is to upgrade from drugstore glasses to something nicer. And fortunately, I’ve got plenty of experience helping clients find the perfect eyewear.
A great pair of glasses needs to do more than just correct your vision. It needs to enhance your pretty face. Here, how to pick a pair that does that! If you’ve ever bought a pair that didn’t live up to your expectations, here’s what you may have overlooked, and how you can make your next pair your favorite. (BTW, these same principles apply to sunglasses as well as to eyeglasses).
As always, everything I mention in this story can be found in a handy catalog.
Glasses Mistake #1: Not Complementing Your Face Shape
Chances are, if you’ve never given a lot of thought to face shape, then you have one of the shapes that is easier to flatter. If your face is very round or very angular, however, you might have had a hard time in the past finding glasses that flatter your face. Here’s a general principle to keep in mind:
Here, some examples of flattering eyewear on celebs with different face shapes.
Glasses Mistake #2: Not Investing in Your Dream Pair
Glasses do NOT need to be expensive to be chic, and there are many companies that have democratized the process of choosing and buying glasses so that great style is accessible no matter what your budget.
Stylish specs can be found affordably at Warby Parker, Zenni Optical, Eyebobs, but if you find a more expensive style that you love, consider the fact that the cost per use will be just pennies after a couple of years of wear. A great pair of glasses is definitely worth the investment. One of the women in my program invested in a high-end pair that she wore daily for 4 years. What other item in your wardrobe can you say that about?
Skimp on the cocktail dresses and other occasional items. Invest in the things that you will wear daily.NM
Glasses Mistake #3: Ignoring the Shade of the Shades
Glasses can be one of the most impactful accessories you can wear, because they are literally front and center on your face and frame your most beautiful feature, your eyes.
Choosing the right color is key to picking a perfect pair, and the right color is one that harmonizes with your overall coloring.
This is most important for someone with warm or cool coloring. I did a color consult with my friend Maree on a stunning silver-haired woman named Pat. Pat came to the appointment wearing tortoise glasses, which looked muddy and off on her cool coloring. After switching those for a pair of inexpensive blue Walgreens readers, we were shocked at the transformation. Even though the readers were cheap and not nearly as stylish as the tortoise pair, they were so much more flattering on her beautiful coloring. The celebs all found shades that suit their beautiful coloring.
Drew Barrymore’s soft warm coloring is echoed in these gorgeous glasses. Debra Messing captures the rich color of her hair n these frames. Linda Rodin picked a dramatic cool pair of glasses to complement her dramatic cool coloring.
Another hint when it comes to color? Try to stay with your value in terms of light to deep for your most versatile, neutral, everyday pair. Sure, a dark frame on a light face (and vice versa) can be striking, but for the most neutral look, try go for a deep pair if you have deep coloring and a light pair if you have light coloring.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus matches the intensity of her hair color with her frames. Jenny McCarthy’s frames echo the lightness of her overall coloring.
A final note about color: If you have a neutral wardrobe, consider colored glasses. If you have a colorful wardrobe, go for neutral glasses.
Glasses Mistake #4: Not Making A Statement
Boring, blah and dated frames can look like an afterthought rather than a style statement, and that can look instantly aging. A statement pair, however, says something about your style and adds flair and drama to everything you wear.
A statement can be made with a strong color, shape, or detail, but probably the easiest way to make a statement is with a color choice. As I mentioned above, a neutral wardrobe pretty much begs for a statement color in your frames, whereas a colorful wardrobe would probably find a more neutral pair more flattering.
A statement pair of glasses is an instant outfit elevater. It can take a ho-hum outfit and make it chic and interesting.NM
If your wardrobe is largely simple and neutral, or basic, or if you just enjoy the idea of exploring a statement pair of glasses, consider one of the following brands.
Statement glasses can make any outfit more exciting. Valentino Cat Eye Scalloped $377 Ancora Purple Glasses from Retrosuperfuture $203 Pair Eyewear allows you to switch out the fronts of your glasses for a custom look with every outfit. LaFont is a chic French source for luxury eyewear These browline glasses from Zenni Optical have statement making details. These oversized turquoise shades are from Iris Apfel’s collection for Zenni optical Iris Apfel is a style icon most known for her oversized eyeglasses. She now has a line of glasses with Zenni Optical
Glasses Mistake #5: Ignoring the Power of Shades
From Jackie to Audrey, the power of shades to transform an ordinary person into a glamorous one is legendary. Nothing beats a pair of dark shades for instant drama, and they also cover wrinkles, tired eyes, and are a great substitute for makeup. Ray Ban, Oliver Peoples, Le Specs, Quay, and Diff all make fabulous shades as well as designer brands like Tom Ford, Gucci and Prada.
Sunglasses can also be super-affordable. I’ve found my favorite pairs at places like Nordstrom Rack, but I’ve also found faves at H&M, Loft, and Target. Brands like Quay and Diff are known for high quality affordable sunglasses, so if, like me, your sunglasses get a lot of abuse or go missing every now and then, an inexpensive but flattering pair is probably your best bet.
I hope that you enjoyed my guidelines for choosing a flattering pair of glasses. You can find all of the glasses I mentioned here in this catalog.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are your favorite eyewear brands? Let me know in the comments!