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Fashion-Impaired Guy Needs Cool New Specs
October 31, 2007 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I need new glasses. My style sense is atrocious... how can I find out what frames are in fashion, and which of those suit my overall look?

I'd like contacts, but for strange reasons I won't go into, can't wear them. So, I usually defaulted to not-round-but-not-square thin metal frames. I'd like to investigate something more stylish, but I'm stumped as to what isn't dated, age-inappropriate, unsuited to my face and build, or just plain silly.

I'm a guy, and built like an upright washer/dryer set - big and heavy, but not round. My fiancé really likes my eyes, and thinks they're large and expressive (puppydog eyes, she calls them). She hates my glasses, but doesn't really like any of the ones we tried at random at the optometrist. Are thick plastic frames still in? Are there any that don't make me look like I'm squinting? Are "frameless" styles still cool, or does the fact Alton was wearing them in Season II and Colbert wearing them now bode ill for their up-to-the-minute cred?

I'm not really a stylista, but this is one area where I'd like to put in the effort.
posted by Slap*Happy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I recently went to a glasses store (not an optometrist) and was pretty surprised about how much the sales people new about what was in style and what would look good on me.

I'd recommend looking at something like this and get recommendations. After years of America's Best, I'm a convert to professional eye wear stores
posted by OrangeDrink at 6:46 PM on October 31, 2007


I second OrangeDrink's suggestion. Some other things I've found helpful:

- Take your lady friend (or someone else's whose opinion you trust) when you go to look for frames.
- Remind them to be brutally honest; they're going to be all that stands between you and a pair of frames that don't do what they should.
- Set a budget before you go; just to save yourself some unpleasant surprises.
- Don't settle. If you don't like it, note what you did and didn't like, and move on. They're going to be on your face all the damn time so there's no reason you should be anything but wholly satisfied with them.
posted by heeeraldo at 6:59 PM on October 31, 2007


Pick something simple that looks good to you. Fashion is fleeting, but you may have the same frames for ten years or longer.
posted by kindall at 6:59 PM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bring two friends. Why? One friend as judge leans toward personal taste; two, and you're more likely to get a pair that legitimately look good on you. Otherwise, listen to heeeraldo.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:06 PM on October 31, 2007


Also consider taking the demo specs home for a night or two.

They might want a deposit, and yes you will be blind with the plain plastic lenses, but it will give you a chance to try them with different clothes, people, heck even photograph yourself and look at the photos with your proper glasses so you can see what you look like without squinting!

I'm also built like a fridge, and find that wide rectangular glasses make my face a bit nicer.

Additionally, don't be afraid to try the bold frames. You might be surprised. I went for years with inconspicuous wire frames, but am a complete convert to bold black frames. My reasoning is that it is kinda pointless to try to 'hide' glasses, so do the opposite and make them a feature.
posted by pivotal at 7:10 PM on October 31, 2007


if you can't see without your glasses, bring a digital camera and take a photo of yourself in frames that your companions approve of, then put your glasses back on and look at the photo.
posted by lia at 7:15 PM on October 31, 2007


whoa, i just found this, i don't know how well it works but maybe play around until you find something you like, and then try on similar styles in person. (rather than standing in the eyeglasses store forever getting frustrated).

and like people said, not really about what's in fashion, just what looks good.

that said, i've always loved those glasses that have the frame just on the top. super sleek, but i look like a grade a dork in them.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 7:18 PM on October 31, 2007


oliver peoples lance model, tortoise shell but multiple colors of tortoise, mine are a greyish shell. cat eye shape. check em out i get a new pair of specs every year and ive been rocking these this year.
posted by fumbducker at 7:21 PM on October 31, 2007


yes, indeed you should try out frames at a boutique, and I 2nd lia's digicam advise, but please don't be afraid to check out alternative sources such as those listed on this MeFi post. I will never, ever buy glasses from an overpriced designer / commercial boutique again. Not since I've discovered that they are paying $8 to the wholesaler for them....

shameless selflink, yes that's an actual photo of yours truly
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:21 PM on October 31, 2007


Go with a friend, a friend with style. They can judge how well the frames look on you better than you can, yet make your own decision.
posted by caddis at 7:42 PM on October 31, 2007


If you want to shell out, alain mikli makes some really nice frames.
posted by rachelpapers at 7:57 PM on October 31, 2007


I don't know where you are. I went to a really nice chic place where the staff helped me select things that looked good on my face. I think you really need professional/ objective advice on this.

I picked out a pair I couldn't afford, but the size and shape were easy to replicate at another store. Great glasses do wonders for your selp estime. Take your time.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:07 PM on October 31, 2007


esteem. Jesus. Sorry. I would go for fit and style over longevity. It's not unreasonable to get new glasses every 3-5 years.

The very hip styles now are plastic and large. You don't need to go that far. Rimless glasses are very fragile and blend into your face. Personally, I am against them, but hey, they look great on people who don't look good in glasses.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:13 PM on October 31, 2007


don't know about stylish, but check out the site for ic-berlin;
fantastic frames - german engineered from sheet metal, lightweight and no screws (snap together frame/arm joints) and plastic frames also.
there's a tryout section where you can select facial type and glasses model to get idea of suitability.
posted by beige at 9:05 PM on October 31, 2007


I got a pair of thick plastic frames that I thought were really cute, and with certain outfits, they were... but I realized, you know, not all of my wardrobe really goes with these glasses. So they gradually became a real annoyance. I replaced them with the tiniest pair of wire lenses and I've generally been happy with those and their ability to not dominate my face/style.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:29 PM on October 31, 2007


Something that might influence some of your style choices is how hard you are on your glasses. A lot of the thin metal frames can look very swank on guys--but if you often end up sitting on your glasses, or even just tend to pull them off your face to the side instead of straight forward (regular vs spring hinges)--it won't matter how good they look, because you'll just have to chuck them. Start with your prescription (how thick are your lenses going to be?) and decide if you want/need to spring for the super-light material. Then consider the functionality you want in your frame (sturdy/bendy so you don't break them? or light and thin so they don't hurt your face?). And their specific function, IMO, should inform your style.

Also, here are the first two hits on google for matching your face shape to glasses shape, just to get you started.
posted by eralclare at 9:37 PM on October 31, 2007


bring a female friend with style. someone who you noticed before on multiple occasions for being well-dressed. you know what I mean. also bring a digital camera and have her shoot pictures of you wearing different glasses.

and post a pic f yourself in this thread. flickr?
posted by krautland at 10:43 PM on October 31, 2007


A friend of mine walked in to the one-hour-glasses shop, handed over her prescription, and said to the technician, "I'm not good with style, so pick out some frames for me, please. I'll be back tomorrow to pick them up. I trust you." And after a moment of assuring them she was serious, she walked out.

They're the best pair she's had yet.
posted by zennie at 11:23 PM on October 31, 2007


I have a strange style myself (not to mention really thick lenses) and I was having a hard time shopping for glasses as well. I went to Lenscrafters and showed them my prescription and said I need glasses to hide THAT. The man was very helpful, and though I had to watch that he didn't show me frames out of my price range, I was able to get frames that looked really good on me. Make sure you bring someone else with you, and also make sure you have a clear price range, and keep an open mind.
posted by slc228 at 12:42 PM on November 1, 2007


I went with a friend last week to choose glasses. The saleslady at Four Eyes really knew her stuff and a great pair was selected. For example, there was a very subtle difference in colour in two frames and she was able to point out that with one frame all you saw were the glasses, but with the other, what you saw were the eyes. I would never have spotted that, but when it was pointed out, it was obvious.

Take a friend with you, and also take a digital camera with a good-sized viewing screen - it really helped to take a picture and then look at it on the screen, not as a mirror image. It's amazing what a difference that made, especially if you can't see yourself properly in plain lenses.

Some opticians offer a webcam feature that allows you to compare several frames on your face side by side on a monitor.
posted by essexjan at 3:13 PM on November 1, 2007


Take a friend with you, and also take a digital camera with a good-sized viewing screen - it really helped to take a picture and then look at it on the screen

Now that is effing brilliant. I have a strong prescription and now that I no longer wear contacts, trying on frames is kind of wasted. I bring my wife along and sort of have to trust her judgment as I can barely see myself in the mirror.
posted by caddis at 3:21 PM on November 1, 2007


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