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How to make a style statement with the right glasses – and turn poor vision into a fashion feature!
February 4, 2016 | By:
Glasses. Johnny Depp 2015. Photo from Wikimedia Commons 620x349

Johnny Depp has made his glasses (“I’m as blind as a bat in my left eye”) a key part of his look

There is a trick we can all employ to update our look and put our best appearance forward, and it doesn’t require a wardrobe overhaul. Get the right spectacles to suit you and they will do wonders for the face, both literal and figurative, that you present to the world.

From being seen as the antithesis of anything fashionable, specs now rate as one of the top fashion accoutrements you can wear. Just look at the famous faces such as Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Caryn Franklin, Robert Downey Junior and Hugh Jackman who look spectacular in specs.

It goes without saying that you only get one pair of eyes and you should look after them. While that sounds like the kind of nag your mother would make if you read in the dark or sat too close to the telly, she was right.

Medical science may be able to work all kinds of wonders these days but it hasn’t yet figured out how to give us new eyes, so go for yearly check-ups with your optometrist.

Once that’s done and the right kind of lenses for your eyes are established, it is time for fun! Shopping for spectacle frames is as exciting as shopping for clothes, without the uncomfortable experience of trying items on in badly lit and uncomfortable change rooms.

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the variety of frames available today.

Classic glamour with a modern update: cat-eye frames

Glasses. Cats eye. Specsavers Karen Millen 34 620x233

Cats-eye frames with grey leopardprint pattern by Karen Millen, at Specsavers

Don’t be alarmed: the cat-eye frames of today are not as severe as the frames we all remember from the past. They have been updated to be very current but this is still a shape that packs a punch and works well for women looking to add interest.

Design-wise, the shape also acts as a visual facelift, and although cat-eye frames are dramatic, they lend themselves to a classic look. Think Lauren Bacall and Audrey Hepburn. Try Frames Direct, Specsavers, this elegant Versace pair or Karen Millen 34 (pictured).

A subtle touch of bling: embellishment

Glasses. Embellishment. Dolce and Gabbana DG3186. David Clulow 620x234

Bold black frames with embellished arms, by Dolce and Gabbana

Yes, bling can look tacky, but that is only when it is everywhere. If it is done in an understated manner, embellishments can project an air of refinement and glamour.

Most embellished frames today have just one or two well-placed crystal accents that lift the frames to something out of the ordinary. The attention to detail is what sets today’s embellished spec frames apart. Try: the bold Dolce and Gabbana DG 3186 (pictured) or Chanel 3302 with chain-link arms.

For in-the-know design types: round frames

Glasses. Round frames. Specsavers Rufus 620x298

Vintage-inspired round tortoiseshell Rufus frames, by Specsavers

Glasses. Round. Dolce and Gabbana. David Clulow 620x294

Round frames by Dolce and Gabbana, at David Clulow

This is an option that works well for men and women and is the most cutting edge of trends right now. Although John Lennon was instantly recognisable by his round frames, in more recent years it has been the pair belonging to Steve Jobs that have become a trademark and the shape has come to be synonymous with people who like, follow or are involved with design.

Round frames generally work best on square faces (with strong angles in the forehead, cheeks and jaw and perhaps a deep forehead). The spectacles Jobs wore had steel rims, and light or rimless frames can work well on a heart-shaped face. Round frames can also come with thick plastic frames, so there is a variety of styles to try. Try: the chunky tortoiseshell Rufus by Specsavers, the elegant Dolce & Gabbana (both pictured), or Paul Smith for men.

A true style classic: aviator frames

Glasses. Ray-Ban-RB3025 Aviator sunglasses. Frames Direct 620x245

Classic Aviator sunglasses by Ray-Ban

Aviator frames, most famously made by Ray-Ban, have gone in and out of fashion since the 40s. After Tom Cruise wore them in Top Gun in 1986 there was a 40 per cent increase in sales! Today they have become a timeless classic, suiting both men and women.

Aviators can be worn on different face shapes. For people with round faces they can be a godsend because the strong angles of the frames create some contours on the wearer’s face. They’re also good for oblong faces (faces that are longer than they are wider, with long cheeks and nose).

Ray-Ban sunglasses were the first specs to use this shape, but today aviator frames work as well on prescription spectacles worn in a professional setting. Finding aviator sunglasses is easier, but try the RayBan RX6049 or Glasses Direct.

When you’re on top of your game: oversized frames

Glasses. Oliver Peoples OV5277u scheyer 1005. Designer Glasses. 620x263

Oversized frames by Oliver Peoples, at Designer Glasses Boutique

These are the go-to frames for people who are in charge of their business, their lives, their everything – and want the world to know it! This shape suits most people, except perhaps the most round faces, and even people who are a little more reserved can use them to inject a big dose of confidence into their appearance.

Be warned, though: these are status frames and if you want to wear them, you have to own them!

These five are some of the most popular shapes of the moment but  you can also play around with colours. Optometrists at all levels, from high street to high-end, have cottoned on to the fact that people are considering their specs as much a part of their wardrobe as their clothes and shoes.

They’ve upped their game big-time in terms of the frames they offer and you might even find yourself buying two or three pairs for the different looks you want to convey. Try: Oliver Peoples Scheyer OV5277U (pictured), Marni MA742 in blue or for men, Dolce and Gabbana’s Basalto.

For more advice on choosing the right glasses, see David Clulow’s style advice

See your local optician for personalised advice, or in central London visit the rather lovely Eyewear Concierge at Ham Yard, Piccadilly