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Tips for Buying Eyeglasses

Do you ever reach your yearly eye appointment wanting to try out a new pair of frames, but just don’t know where to start? You sit there scanning the sea of styles mounted on the wall while you wait to be called back to the doctor’s office and somehow you are supposed to make a brand new fashion decision in a matter of minutes. What should be an exciting task quickly starts to feel rushed and guided by a little anxiety.

If this is you–here are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the exciting process of purchasing new glasses!

1. Examine Your Old Pair

First, you want to take a good look at your current pair of glasses. What do you like about them? Maybe it is the wide frame giving clearer peripheral vision or maybe the neutral color that seems to perfectly go with every outfit you put on. Once you determine what you do like about your glasses, next is time to figure out what you don’t like. Is it the flimsy wire that gets caught in your hair every time you put them up? Or maybe they feel outdated compared to where your fashion style has come in the last year (or where you want it to be!)?

It is important to examine where you see yourself fashion-wise in the next year or two and view your style choices to align accordingly.

2. Find the Right Frames for Your Face Shape

As you assess your current style, take a look at your face shape. Is it square? Round? Or maybe more oval? Glasses frames will take on a different look on each and every face, so it’s important to look for a style that best compliments you.

Here are a few basic ideas depending on your face shape.

Square: Described as well-defined angles in the forehead, cheeks and jawline. The recommended style of glasses would be round or oval.

Round: Described as full cheeks, rounded chin, width and height to facial structure nearly proportional. The recommended style of glasses would be angular shape or rectangular frames.

Oval: Described as gently curved jawline, cheekbones generally high. Height is taller than the width of the facial structure. Nearly every eyewear style works in this shape!

Heart: Described as having a broad forehead, high cheekbones and small chin. The most flattering styles for this face shape are round or oval light frames!

As you can see, the general ‘rule’ is do the opposite of what your face shape is to balance it, BUT if you want to accentuate your face shape then you can choose a shape that mimics the shape of your face.

3. Choose Your Best Color

These days there are so many colors from which to choose that it’s exciting and can also feel overwhelming. You can look at your skin tone, hair color and eye color to help guide you for something that will feel natural and authentic on you.

If you prefer to choose something more colorful go with a color that you know looks great on you for clothing. I generally do not recommend having only a colorful pair because there will be times when something more neutral will suit your mood, your outfit or the occasion better. But a color pair of eyeglasses can be great in your eyeglass ‘wardrobe’ collection!

4. Try Them On

It can be difficult to really see how you see yourself in a new style in just a few moments at the doctor’s office. Pro tip– buy online and purchase new eyeglasses from a source that allows you the option to exercise at-home try-on. This gives you the opportunity to have time with each frame while in different outfits. It also gives you a clearer picture of what they look like with and without a mask on!

Allowing the time to wear new frames more than a few moments in a doctor’s office will ensure you are making a choice that is comfortable for you but also exactly the style and comfort level you want.

5. Make Sure They Fit Your Lifestyle

A very overlooked part of selecting new frames is whether or not the style fits with your lifestyle. Do you work in a field that requires eye protection? Or are you frequently at the gym and need a pair that is sturdy and stays put while you are on the treadmill? Do spend a lot of time on the computer or perhaps you go dancing? No matter how you spend your free time, you want to select a style that not only looks good but also feels good while navigating through your day-to-day activities.

If you work a traditional corporate job and are in frequent meetings, consider a pair of sleek and professional frames. That way you can add personality to your everyday look without being too distracting.

If you’re a creative in an artsy profession, show off your personality through your eyewear! Without professional restrictions you can really make a statement with a funky or colorful pair of frames. Are you a little bit of both, creative and professional? No need to fret! There are plenty of subtle yet expressive styles that can fit both areas of your lifestyle and express your own ‘inner beauty.’

One caveat…if you are drawn to very funky or unconventional frames, I suggest having a pair of more neutral (but still YOU) frames that can meet your needs when you need to or want your outfit to take center stage and your eyeglasses to play a support role!

6. Optimize Your Lenses

Once you find a frame that fits your style, take a moment to consider optimizing your lenses to additionally benefit your eye health. Adding blue-light-filtering lenses can make all the difference when it comes to your eye health. Whether you work at a computer all day or not, the amount of time the average person spends behind a screen is known to cause eye strain. Using blue-light-filtering glasses is known to reduce eye strain, headaches, aid in better sleep, and reduce the risk of eye disease.

Whether you choose blue-light-filter lenses or not, I highly recommend that you include anti-reflective lenses. This allows people with whom you interact (whether in person or online) to see your eyes and not have them be obscured by distracting reflections.

7. One More Important Thing

It’s also important to consider having a back-up pair on deck. This can come in handy for many reasons, not only in case you lose a pair, but also if you have different optical needs. Some people need glasses when they drive at night, but also need them for when they work on screens all day. To minimize the amount of back and forth, have a second pair that you keep at your desk or in your car. That way you don’t have to worry about forgetting them when you’re on the move.

At the end of the day, glasses can be a great way to express your personality while also providing daily function. There are benefits to both in-person and online glasses shopping, but utilizing all your resources is the best way to get the most out of your experience!

Chances are good you wear your eyeglasses often and sometimes every day. Be sure they are comfortable and, since they sit front and center on your face, be absolutely sure you LOVE the way you look in them. Take your time finding the right pair and using at-home options to try them on can be one of the best ways to do this.

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Need help choosing your eyeglasses? There are a number of ways in which I can help you choose eyeglasses that make your heart sing! Feel free to email me to find out how: ginger@totalimageconsultants.com.

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Ginger Burr is a fashion stylist and personal shopper serving clients worldwide from metro Boston.

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