Four-eyes. Nerd. Being bespectacled used to invite nicknames and teasing, but gone are the days of negative associations with glasses. Today, glasses are a personal statement; a fashion choice.
"Glasses are no longer just for those who cannot see, they have become a fashion statement," says Scenic City Eye Care optical sales specialist Jen Fox.
Online eyewear giants like Warby Parker now offer non-prescription frames for those who want to create the look or statement a pair of glasses can give. Even supermodel and Victoria's Secret Angel Helena Christensen once admitted to Vogue UK that she wore fake glasses simply because she liked the look.
"Glasses are an extension of who we are, and tell a story about us before we even have an encounter with someone," Fox says.
Popular style trends fluctuate over the years. These days, frames nearly as clear as the lenses they hold are some of the best-sellers, Fox says. Whether they're champagne- or rose-tinted or crystal clear, these frames' popularity isn't expected to go away any time soon, she adds.
For those more focused on shape, round glasses have seen a huge resurgence over the past year, Fox says — though those with a naturally rounder face should shy away from the look and stick to options that create more angles and structure.
"We always like to say, 'Choose a frame for your face and style versus the trends,'" cautions Scenic city Eye Care patient relations specialist Ashley Randle.
In addition to navigating color and shape trends, the severity of one's vision problems should also be considered when selecting spectacles, Randle says. High-index wearers, or those who are extremely nearsighted, can benefit most from acetate (plastic) lenses versus metal or other materials. Plastic frames tend to be thicker, helping to lessen lens overhang, and they weigh less.
Best face forward: finding the right frames
1. Determine your face shape. Look at your forehead, cheekbones and jaw in the mirror, then look at the length of your face. If the three points are nearly equal distance apart, you either have a round, oval or square face shape. If not, you have a heart-shaped face. Determining which of the first three you have is based on whether the length of your face is longer than the width. If it is, you have an oval face. If not and you have an angular, sharp jaw, you have a square face. If not and your features are composed of softer curves, you have a round face.
An easy way to tell whether you have warm or cool undertones is to look at your veins. If they look blue, you probably have cool undertones. If they look green, you probably have warm undertones.
3. Consider color. Those with warmer skin tones (yellow or bronze undertones) shouldn't set their hearts on pastels, which can contrast in a negative way, or solid white or black frames, which can leave their skin looking washed out. Cooler skin tones (pink or blue undertones) however, can pull off deep, dark colors, and both undertones can benefit from a bold or unusual color choice.
4. Be certain they fit. "Oftentimes, people will pick out a great eye shape for their face but the actual frame is too small or too big for them," Fox says. "If you aren't sure, look at the sides of your frames in the mirror. Your temples (the arms of the frame) should go straight back from the side of the frame. If they are bowed out, the frame is too small for your face. If you find that you have a big gap between where the frame face and temple are and where your face is, chances are your frame is too big for you."
5. Add a coating. Anti-reflective coating, and a good quality one at that, is crucial to make your eyes pop behind the lenses. Otherwise, all anyone will see is their own reflection.