with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
I wear glasses — more specifically, I wear a pair of glasses that I bought in 1997, and occasionally another pair from 1999. Mostly, though, I wear contacts, because I really desperately need new glasses but I can’t bring myself to spend the money on the frames. And because my kids both wear glasses and good lord are little kid glasses EXPENSIVE.
Recently, though, the very pretty Mir introduced me to Zenni optical, where I have frittered away a substantial portion of the past couple of days looking at frames FOR UNDER $20.00! I don’t even know how that is possible, but there it is. You can read Mir’s full review of her new Zenni glasses at WantNot, and then you can fritter away YOUR day looking at totally cool frames for UNDER TWENTY DOLLARS.
There are, of course, a few simple rules to keep your glasses looking stylish. The first is to choose a shape that suits your face; the general rule of thumb is that your frames should not cover your eyebrows, nor should they be wider than your face. Choose a shape that will balance the shape of your face; if you have a round face, look for frames that are more oval or angular, rather than round frames (which will just highlight the roundness of your face, see). If you have a very angular face, opt for something with softer curves. Big glasses will be disproportional on a wee tiny face, as will tiny frames on a larger face.
If you wear a very strong prescription, opt for the smallest frame possible, to reduce the weight of your lenses, but again, keep them in proportion to your face.
What about colored frames? I love the idea of a bold frame, particularly one with color, but if you don’t want your glasses to act as another accessory, opt for something neutral, either a simple metal frame or a classic tortoise frame. But think about giving yourself the option to wear bolder frames, too, for a change of pace. If you wear contacts most of the time, a dramatic frame can be a nice change of pace; if you wear glasses all the time, consider investing in two pairs, one that is more conservative and one that is a little bit out there. Change your frames according to your mood.
Mir wanted specifically to know about strategies for wearing colored frames — do her green frames mean that she can only wear black tops, forever? No, of course not. Choose a frame color that works with your hair and eyes and skin tone; don’t match your frames to your wardrobe. Red glasses with a red sweater isn’t a look anyone should go for, really. Instead, opt for shades that compliment your face, and then assume that these shades will work with your clothes as well.
What about jewelry? I won’t wear earrings with my glasses; because my hair is short, it feels like one too many things going on around my face. But I see women pull this look off all the time. Again, the key is proportion; gigantic chandelier earrings are probably not the best bet with your specs, but a nice pair of hoop or stud or simple dangle earrings can look lovely with your glasses. And there’s nothing wrong with a necklace or scarf when you’re wearing your glasses — I’m a big fan of the short necklace and spectacles look myself.
The bottom line is this: even if you are essentially blind, don’t treat your glasses like a tool; treat them like a really fabulously functional accessory. Make them part of your face, and part of your look. And for god’s sake, consider ordering them from Zenni — you’ll have money left over for shoes, too!
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