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?
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. [Read 10 Reasons To Avoid Cheap Glasses.]
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
Purple has been a popular color in apparel and accessories lately, and according to the color forecasting company Pantone, it will continue throughout the coming months.
In fact, calling it "complex and contemplative," Pantone selected a hue called Ultra Violet as the Color of the Year for 2018. According to the company, the color "communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future." And, says Pantone, it "suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now."
Lots of violet-colored frames have made their appearance this year, and no wonder: it works for many skin tones, across all age categories.
Other trends to look for in women's frames:
- Animal patterns (tortoise, leopard, zebra, etc.) in pastel colors or in browns 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.
- Aztec patterns.
- Temples featuring tiny jewels, crystals, India-inspired swirls and baroque filigree.
- Deep colors, such as navy, plum and burgundy.
- Translucent plastics in ombre shades.
- Keyhole bridges and double bridges.
- Cat-eye, butterfly and other upswept eye shapes.
- Unusual eye shapes.
- Thick top bars ("eyebrows").
Anti-Reflective Coating: Look And See Your Best
As previously mentioned, appearance is the key factor for women when choosing eyewear. And nothing interferes with the appearance of an otherwise attractive pair of glasses than distracting reflections in the lenses.
For the most attractive eyewear possible, choose lenses that include anti-reflective coating.
This microscopically thin coating eliminate surface reflections, giving your lenses a crystal-clear appearance and allowing the beauty of your eyeglass frame and your eyes to shine.
Also, by eliminating lens reflections, anti-reflective (AR) coating increases the clarity and comfort of your vision — especially in low-light conditions such as when driving at night.
AR coating truly helps you look and see your best and should be considered essential for any pair of eyeglasses.
Multicolor Makes Us Merry!
Our survey says black is the favorite frame color among All About Vision readers. And silver, brown and tortoise frames are time-tested classics.
But lately, frame designers have been mixing it up with sophisticated multicolor patterns, and we say, "Bring on the color!"
Multicolor frame treatments range from mottled mash-ups of rainbow hues to subtle fades and sporty stripes. Keeping it fresh are English garden florals and tropical jungle foliage patterns.
What to wear with multicolor eyewear? Unless you're a master pattern-mixer, we suggest keeping it simple, with monotone clothing and accessories. And for heaven's sake, keep the makeup to a minimum.
Multicolor eyewear should stand out — it's a statement accessory that will accentuate your unique and colorful personality. — L.S.
Page updated March 2018