The newbie’s guide to finding great frames
By Whitney Sharp, Contributor
So you had your eyes tested and you got a prescription for glasses. Now what? The process of picking out eyewear can be daunting and stressful, especially if you have never had to wear prescription lenses before. But before you fly into a blind—and blurry—rage, consider these tips to find fashionable frames.
It’s important to remember that glasses serve a purpose; they are not just a style statement. Unlike buying a T-shirt you’re unsure that you like or a pair of earrings you may never wear again, glasses (with few exceptions) are worn every single day. They are a necessity, not just an accessory. As a result, it’s a good idea to opt for something practical. While bright red frames might be a fun and bold statement, it’s important to ask, “Would I really want to wear these everyday?” Try picking frames in a colour that suits you and that you commonly wear.
Consider your lifestyle, interests, and work environment. If you spend a lot of time being physically active or playing sports, glasses might not be the best option. Contacts are available for a wide range of vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms.
Depending on the vision troubles you have, you may need more than one prescription. Progressive lenses, once known as bifocals, contain two or more different prescriptions in the same pair of glasses. This is ideal for someone who can’t see distance but also requires reading glasses. So what does that mean when choosing frames? Not all styles support progressive lenses as they require enough room to fit the two different prescriptions without causing any alteration to your vision. This may limit your options. It’s important to ask an optician if there are any restrictions or modifications on your prescription before you start making selections.
While many optometrist clinics are right beside an eyeglasses store, there is no reason you have to pick your frames as soon as the prescription is written. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision instantly. Even with an extended health plan, glasses can be a costly investment. Take time to shop around and feel confident in your choice. In addition to checking out stores like LensCrafters and Pearle Vision, try optometry departments at Costco or Sears to see your full range of options. Also, don’t discount online retailers such as ClearlyContacts.ca, who now even have a physical Robson Street location where you can try on their affordable and stylish frames.
When you think you have found the pair for you, leave them on for a few minutes. Try putting your hair up or letting it down, or taking your hat on and off. This might seem silly, but it will give you a better sense of how your glasses will look on a daily basis and whether you like them regardless of your current outfit.
No matter how much you love the glasses you’ve selected, you won’t love them if they are constantly slipping down your nose or have a giant smudge on the lens. When you pick up your new specs, make sure you get them cleaned and adjusted to fit properly. This ensures that your field of vision is not being distorted, and your glasses sit comfortably on your face.
It’s said that what you see depends mainly on what you look for. So look for great glasses. You’ll be seeing clearly—in style.