Women's Eyeglasses & 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? (See the section called "Current Frame Trends" below.)
- 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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- Wear glasses? Solar Shield sunglasses are made to fit over your prescription glasses or readers for convenient sun protection.
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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 the fit is uncomfortable. And if your new eyeglasses are sitting in a drawer somewhere, you certainly aren't getting your money's worth.
This is a circumstance where an optician can be very helpful. For example:
TV stars tried on sunglasses at the HBO Luxury Lounge in honor of the Primetime Emmys: Jane Lynch of "Glee" in Kate Spade "Amara," Karina Smirnoff of "Dancing with the Stars" in Carrera 6000S, Jackson Pace of "Homeland" in Banana Republic "Johnny," Neil Patrick Harris of "How I Met Your Mother" in Polaroid Plus PLP0104S, Kristin Bauer van Straten of "True Blood" in Marc Jacobs 463S, Rutina Wesley of "True Blood" in Marc Jacobs 507S, RJ Mitte of "Breaking Bad" in Carrera 6008S, Tony Hale of "Arrested Development" in Boss Orange 0096S, Vincent Piazza of "Boardwalk Empire" in Carrera 6000S.
- 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.
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.
It once 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 see firsthand which frames customers keep bringing 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 pair of shoes, so why do many of us balk at buying 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 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 silver 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.
Current Trends in Women's Eyeglasses: Fall/Winter 2012
Which eyeglass frames are the must-have look of the season? Check out these trends. Also see the current eyeglass frame trends for men.
Click on the button for a video of new trends in women's frames for Fall/Winter 2012. Or, click here for the women's sunglass trend video.Or, click here for the women's sunglass trend video.
Note that most of the frames mentioned here come in several color choices, so if you don't see a color you like in the video, ask your eye care professional.
Passion for Purple. Purple is this season's news-making color, appearing in both apparel and accessories. Some of the many frame collections that include purple color choices are English Laundry, Jean Reno, kensie, Mademoiselle, Corinne McCormack and Cph Stage.
Petite Patterns. Texture is big this year, too. Eyewear designers are creating textured looks with tiny patterns, such as tweeds, dots, thin stripes and gauzy weaves. Plume Paris, Nine West, Skechers, Caviar and Lucky Brand all feature patterned frames right now.
Boyfriend Looks. Like those straight-legged jeans and comfy, oversized button-downs, these frames have strong, masculine shapes that accentuate your feminine face. Gucci, Converse, Lucky Brand, Derek Lam and Eco have all released boyfriend frames this season.
Raising Eyebrows. These frames have interesting details at the top, creating a pronounced browline with a special color or a thicker frame. You'll find these styles in collections by OGI, Plume Paris, Seraphin, Skechers, Face a Face and Michael Stars.
Cut It Out. Cutouts, another trend borrowed from apparel, create an airy look in frame fronts and temples. In the video we've included examples by BCBGMaxAzria, Daisy Fuentes, Sophia Loren, Guess? and Plume Paris.
Trendy Tortoise. Frame designers are combining tortoise temples with bright-colored frame fronts, and vice-versa. Tortoise patterns are also appearing in non-traditional colors such as blue and red, and tortoise fronts are paired with art-inspired temples. Betsey Johnson, Mario Galbatti, Eco, Nine West and Cph Stage offer inventive tortoise treatments.
Special thanks to The Vision Council for assistance with fashion updates.
Want more? See our section called What's New in Eyeglass Frames. Whatever your style may be, you'll find the right frame or frame wardrobe for your personality and lifestyle. [See also: Fall/Winter 2012 Trends in Sunglasses]
[Page updated September 2013]
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