Glasses that suit your personality and lifestyle
As people generally recognise you by your face, the glasses you wear are a very real part of your identity.
Whether you want to appear sophisticated, fun-loving, youthful, conservative or style-conscious, the right eye-wear can help you shape how you are perceived. And if you choose to wear only one pair of glasses for everything you do, that says something about you, too!
What do your spectacles say about you?
Spectacles can help people see the real you, or they can help create the image you want. The key is to find the right frames to match your personality and lifestyle.
The first step, according to eye-wear styling experts, is to consider the different aspects of your life. For example, what type of work do you do? And when you're not at work, what type of leisure or other activities do you enjoy?
Are you an executive, business owner or a professional? Perhaps you're an active outdoor enthusiast, a busy mum, a retired senior or a student? Or maybe you are a creative person, such as a designer, artist or writer. Perhaps, like most people, you have a lifestyle that encompasses a number of different activities, interests and personality traits.
Everyone can benefit from more than one pair of spectacles, just as we all need more than one pair of shoes. Generally, wearing sneakers with a dinner suit is a bad look. Wearing the wrong type of glasses can be a similar mistake.
Spectacles for serious business
To help instill trust and confidence among a wide variety of your business clients and colleagues, it's usually best to stay with conservative frame shapes and colours. Consider these choices to enhance your professional image:
Classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles and almonds
Traditional colours of gold, silver, brown, grey and black
In plastic frames, no bright colours or unusual shapes
Titanium or stainless steel frame materials are good choices, as are rimless frame styles.
For colours, silver, gunmetal, brown and black generally are good choices because they match well with a variety of business attire. Golden tones, tortoise shell patterns and espresso are good choices for business wear for women and men alike.
Spectacles for creative and fashion types
One way to show your creative, fashionista side is with modern and classic shapes in unusual and/or larger plastic frames.
Multi-coloured laminates are another possibility, as are more eye-catching colours (blues, violets or reds, for example).
Another popular fashion choice is retro or vintage frame styles. Updated versions of classic frame shapes with fresh colours, materials and finishes never seem to go out of style.
Glasses for today's older generation
Just because you're over age 60 or nearing retirement doesn't mean you have to wear stodgy, old-fashioned glasses.
A fresh spectacle style can provide a more youthful appearance to women and men alike. Larger 'eye sizes' and bolder shapes for women and men are choices for today's fit and active seniors.
Also, frames with a high-gloss finish give life to a face. However, today matte finish in grey, black or other dark colours are growing in popularity.
Spectacles for students
Whether you're studying business, engineering, art or French, school, college and university is a time to develop your own identity — and show off your style.
Maybe you're interested in a geeky, retro look? A modern frame with lots of colour? A sober, intellectual style?
Unusual shapes, bright colours, larger sizes and interesting details such as colour laminations — the choices are endless. Don't be afraid to express yourself during this exciting time of your life.
Eyewear for the busy mum or dad
For busy mums and dads who don't have the time or inclination to follow the latest fashion trends, a basic yet stylish pair of spectacles can be an easy choice for most occasions. Don't forget though, there's a dizzying number of fashion brand spec frames out there covering a range of prices.
Frames with oval and soft rectangular shapes are very functional and still look great.
Depending on your personal style, you might choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewellery-like metal accents or recognisable designer logos. Interesting colours also add a fashion edge to a basic frame.
Glasses for the weekend athlete
Most adults live dual lives — their normal 9-to-5 weekday life and their (often) more active life on the weekends.
Just as dress shoes are the wrong attire for the gym, the glasses you wear at work may be the wrong choice for sports and active wear.
For the best comfort, performance and safety during active and leisure wear, choose at least one pair of sport sunglasses, sport spectacles or even just a more casual, sports-suggestive spectacle frame.
Styling can range from wraparounds to more conventionally shaped spectacles and sunglasses. Sporty looks might include bright colours, patterns and modern combinations of metal and plastic materials.
A knowledgeable optometrist can help you choose the best spectacle frames for your sports vision and active lifestyle needs.
A few notes about spectacle lenses
Though this discussion has been about frames, here are a few important notes about your spectacle lenses:
Always choose anti-reflection coating for your lenses. AR coating eliminates annoying reflections, improves night vision and enables people to see your eyes more clearly.
For thinner, lighter, more attractive lenses, choose polycarbonate or high-index plastic lenses with an aspheric design. Polycarbonate lenses also are the best choice for sports eye-wear and safety glasses because they are much lighter and more impact resistant than lenses made of other materials.
Photochromic lenses that automatically darken in sunlight are a great choice if you spend time indoors and out and don't always carry a pair of sunglasses with you.
If you're over age 40, progressive lenses provide clear vision at all distances and give older adults a more youthful appearance.
Finally, be aware that you have many choices in spectacles and it can get confusing. Seek the advice of a skilled optometrist to the find frames and lenses that will help you look and see your best.
Page updated January 2021