Tips to Feel Great in Your Glasses
by Philip Potter FBDO
Choosing glasses can be quite overwhelming with rows and rows of frames, many of which look the same. Not knowing what look is best for you; will they be ok for your prescription? How thick will your lenses be? How heavy will they be? What will be the best colour for you? Something bold, something subtle, bright colour, neutral colour or maybe rimless?
Chat with the experts
Over the years I have heard so many times from customers how they hate choosing glasses. A lot of the time it is because they are aware of how important it is to your look and have a fear of getting it wrong; the added stress of the expense that may be involved if a mistake is made. Always remember to speak to the qualified Dispensing Optician within the store to give you advice, as they have spent a minimum of three years training in lenses and frame materials.
In my experience, they take great pride in what they do and in making sure that the finished job is to the required standard to make their customers happy. These guys are the experts. I would also check on the store policy about what the procedure is if something goes wrong or you decide you have picked the wrong pair. What if your lenses are too thick for your liking or maybe you get home to be told by your partner that they don’t like them? These are all valid and genuine concerns that the Dispensing Optician can discuss while choosing your glasses.
Keep an open mind
Many people arrive at the opticians with an idea of a frame they like based on what they have seen someone else wearing, maybe a friend or a celebrity or a specific brand or even model. This is without doubt the worst way of picking glasses as different frames suit different faces and skin tones. The biggest tip I can give anyone is go to choose your glasses with an open mind.
Having an idea of the type of look you would like is still ok. Perhaps you like classic, retro, fashion or statement; this will usually reflect in the way you dress and your overall style. Maybe you prefer to have one pair for all occasions or maybe you choose to have a few pairs and wear different glasses for different occasions. This can be explored in depth more to find what looks great.
So many times I hear from my customers that they would never have tried a particular frame on and end up loving it! Getting the right look for someone is a process that can take time and effort and it is definitely worth the time, as eyewear can be the accessory that defines your look!
Find the right optician
Whilst Dispensing Opticians are skilled in the technical aspects of frame design, unfortunately styling is not something that is taught at all during their training but is something that comes down to the trust you have for the person assisting you and how you feel about them. Do they just want you out as quick as possible or does the end result matter to them? I often spend one to two hours with a customer to ensure we get the right look. Sometimes, even as experts, we do make mistakes but the key to a happy customer is how we choose to rectify this.
Comfort is also an important factor and something that some of the best manufacturers within the industry take very seriously, with some having three or four different nose pad styles available on every frame. Customers will come to me and say that they have had a certain type of frame before and they never worked. In my 30 years of experience, and having fitted something in the region of 25,000 pairs of glasses, I would say that if a frame hasn’t been comfortable then it usually is down to frame quality, specifically weight or frame fitting, being too big or too small, although some people do have hyper sensitive skin on their noses and around their ears and this usually requires specialist materials to solve this.
The frame materials are another important consideration. A lot of modern frames contain nickel as this is a very cheap material to mix with other base metals but can cause skin burns and irritation. Stainless steel is another that has the advantage of weight and durability. Titanium seems to be the real growth area and there are lots of grades of titanium, some of higher quality than others. This material gives fantastic lightness and strength. With plastic materials, there is a huge choice available, from injection moulded plastics through to a huge selection of acetates from all over the world, with Italian and Japanese being my personal favourites due to the vibrant colours, durability and longevity.
Again your Dispensing Optician will be able to discuss the merits of each material with you and what will suit your lifestyle and skin type.
Feel good in glasses
A big thing to feel great in glasses is getting compliments off people and people will usually compliment you on something that looks different, so it can be worth pushing your comfort zone a little as the rewards on how you feel in glasses can be huge. It is amazing how great you feel in glasses, if someone tells you that you look great!
I would say the biggest factor to choosing glasses that you feel great in, is to speak to someone who understands what makes great glasses. This will usually be a qualified professional so do check you are dealing someone who has the appropriate training and qualification, such as a Dispensing Optician, and whose guidance you trust and I am sure you will be highly satisfied.
Article by Philip Potter FBDO