Women's Eyeglasses and Frames:
How to Get the Look You Love
Women's eyeglasses and frames are available in many shapes and sizes to suit individual tastes. When you visit an optical shop, picking out just the right frame for the look you love can be confusing. These tips will make your eyewear shopping easier and more fun:
Narrowing Down Your Choices in Eyeglass Frames
Before you visit the optical store, think about what you want to communicate to the optician:
- Do you want a frame that's delicate or bold, retro or modern, conservative or "out there"?
- Are there any current fashion trends you really like?
- Are you going to wear this frame all the time, mainly at work or just when you go out on the town?
- Do you want a designer label?
- What colors are you are drawn to, what are your hair and skin colors, and what are the main colors in your wardrobe?
- What is your face shape? (For tips, please read our article on face shape and color analysis.)
- What do you like or not like about your current eyeglasses?
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How to Find Good Fit, Comfort and Durability in Eyewear
According to studies by The Vision Council, most women are more interested in the way eyeglasses look, while most men are more interested in comfort and fit.
But let's face it. Even if a frame looks great, you aren't going to wear it if it's uncomfortable. And if your new eyeglasses are sitting in a drawer somewhere, you certainly aren't getting your money's worth.
This is where an optician can be very helpful. For example:
- If a frame looks good, but it slides off your nose. Your optician can fix this during the final fitting, by adjusting the temple length or the way the temple tips wrap around your ears.
- If the front is too wide and doesn't fit your face. Your optician could order the frame in another size. If it doesn't come in another size, you could be fitted with a different brand of frame that's very similar. Also, some manufacturers have released petite collections with frames that fit smaller faces.
- If the nose pads are uncomfortable. Often the optician can replace the nose pads with more comfortable ones or can find a similar style of frame with better pads.
- If the frame has too steep of a bridge over your nose. Frame manufacturers have been releasing more styles lately with shallower bridges sometimes called "Asian fit." Your optician can help you identify the frames that will fit your nose best.
Durability is another factor that seems to appeal more to men than to women. But you really don't want to buy a frame that falls apart after a few months.
Once upon a time, it was easy to tell the difference between a poorly made frame and a well-constructed one. But now even cheaply made frames may be so well finished that you may not recognize when a material is easy to scratch or bend out of shape, or when the hardware will give way long before it should.
Opticians are experts on frame durability, because they know which frames customers bring back for repairs, and which ones create few or no complaints. So be sure and ask for advice.
How Many Frames Do You Need?
Women don't hesitate to buy more than one handbag or pair of shoes, so why do many of us balk at purchasing more than one pair of eyeglasses? It's okay to view eyeglasses as another fun fashion accessory when you consider that:
- You can find great deals on eyewear. Look in the newspaper, or check with your eye care practitioner. Optical stores have sales all the time, including "two-for-one" or "buy-one-get-one-half-off."
Often you can buy new eyeglasses for less than the price of new shoes or a purse!
- Unless they are bottom-of-the-barrel, eyeglass frames usually last a long time. If you are like most eyeglass wearers, your prescription isn't going to change every year, and you'll likely hold onto those frames for a long while.
Do you wear the same shoes or earrings every single day for years? Probably not, so why would you want to wear the same frame every day?
- Eyewear is more than a medical device. Some women think gold or silver frames go with everything, and that might be true for them. But is it true for you?
You might be more interested in a copper-colored metal frame for when you're wearing jeans, a sophisticated tortoise plastic frame for the office and a pretty rhinestone-studded frame for an evening out. It's fun to consider the options.
If you really are on a tight budget, then by all means choose one frame that you'll be happy wearing with any outfit and in any situation. Opticians excel at helping their customers find such frames.
But it doesn't mean you have to choose a plain, thin metal style if what you really like is a colorful, chunky plastic frame. Remember, this frame is going to be on your face every single day, and you must love how it looks on you. Otherwise, you might as well wear contact lenses.
Top Frame Trends This Season
Burgundy, rose and rust have been among the most-seen colors in apparel and accessories lately, and according to the color forecasting company Pantone, it will continue throughout the coming months.
Pantone has selected "marsala" as the Color of the Year for 2015. According to the company, "much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness."
The color looks pretty on both lighter and darker skin tones and is an attention-getter when used in accessories such as jewelry and eyewear.
So expect to see more red-brown frames for women now and in the near future. Our slide show offers examples from several frame collections.
Other trends to look for in women's frames:
- Animal patterns (tortoise, leopard, zebra, etc.) in pastels or paired with solid bright hues.
- The return of flat metals in satiny pastels and brushed silver.
- Etched metal and enamel detailing.
- Wood textures.
- Stylized flower patterns.
- Temples featuring tiny jewels, India-inspired swirls and baroque filigree.
- Soft pastel and neutral colors.
- Neon colors especially orange, yellow and coral.
- Translucent plastics in ombre shades.
Slideshow: What to Wear With Those Frames?
Check out our slideshow "look book" of clothing, accessories and frames designed to help you fill out your winter wardrobe:
Plus, here's a slideshow of winter sunglasses for women, with ideas on what to wear with them. Happy shopping!
[Page updated February 2015]