Buying glasses

Glasses that suit your personality and lifestyle

selection of spectacles
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Because people generally recognise you by your face, the eyeglasses 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 eyewear 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 eyeglass frames to match your personality and lifestyle.

The first step, according to eyewear 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 public relations 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 an artist or writer.

Or, like most people, do 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 tennis shoes with formal wear 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 suits. Golden tones, tortoise 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 thicker and larger plastic frames.

Multi-coloured laminates are another possibility, as are more eye-catching colours (blue or violet, 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 50 or nearing retirement age 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. Shapes such as soft rectangles for men and cat-eye shapes for women are good choices to consider.

Also, frames with a high-gloss finish give life to a face. Generally, avoid frames with a matte finish in grey, black or other dark colours.

Spectacles for students

Whether you're studying business, engineering, art or French literature, 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 often is the best choice for most occasions.

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 optician 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-reflective 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 eyewear 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 outdoors and don't want to always carry a pair of sunglasses with you.
  • If you're over age 40, why advertise your age with bifocals or trifocals? Line-free 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 optician to the find frames and lenses that will help you look and see your best.

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