Recently one of our editors went for an eye exam. When the doctor told her, “You’re struggling,” the editor snapped back: “No, I’m not.” The doctor went on to explain that unless this editor was a supernatural human being, that at age 46 she was almost certainly straining to read her phone, her laptop, a book and more. “That’s true,” the editor conceded. She was having a hard time reading Facebook on her iPhone.
Why is it so hard for us to admit when we need glasses? Vanity, obviously. But choosing eyeglasses can be fun! Glasses can be an expression of our personality and a fashion statement on their own. We asked this month’s guest, Julie Allinson, who founded Eyebobs, a company that sells jazzy readers what women should consider when looking for the best frames for their faces.
The Fit of the Frame
This is the most important consideration. Sadly, just because you like the style doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for you. When choosing frames for prescription lenses, you must consider the width of the frame and the way it sits on the bridge of your nose. Your eyes should be in the center of the lens in order to match up with the optical center of your prescription.
The Shape of Your Face
There are four main face shapes: round, square, oval, and heart. If you have a round face, try striking geometric shapes. Those with square faces should choose softer shapes, such as a modified cat-eye. For the heart-shaped faces among us, oval and round frames work best. And if you have an oval face, you have many flattering choices. Try the gamut — from big, bold square frames to smaller, more demure round frames — to see what works best for your personal style.
The Colors of Your Hair, Eyes and Skin
Consider your coloring when you are looking at eyeglass frames. Silver-haired ladies should try an unapologetically bold color to brighten their look. Better than a face-lift and much less expensive — think bright red, intense blue, or sultry purple. The sky’s the limit when it comes to making a statement. On the flip side, black and white tortoise or stainless steel are a more sophisticated, tonal approach if you have gray hair.
When it comes to eye color, opposites attract. Choose a color that’s on the other side of the color wheel from your eye color. So, for example, if you have blue eyes a red frame is a winning proposition. If you have brown eyes, go with blue. You can also play up your blue eyes by choosing a complementary shade, from powder blue to navy to royal blue. There’s no absolute right or wrong.
As for skin tones, common sense prevails. If you have a pale complexion, stay away from white or clear frames. If you have yellow or green undertones, stick with a rich brown or even black. In general, yellow frames are going to be tough for nearly everyone.
When It Comes to Reading Glasses
Reading glasses are a small investment compared to prescription glasses, which means this can be a place to take a fashion risk. Let go of “the rules” and focus on the fun! Reading glasses can be like a bold exclamation point or nearly invisible. We like Eyebobs’s Total Wit as a clever statement maker and Vice Chair for something a bit more serious.