Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's a FRAME of Mind

Picking out new frames can  seem daunting at first, however with the right attitude and a little guidance the process should be enjoyable!

So you recently had an eye exam, you gave the better one or two game your best shot and as it turns out, the optometrist says you could use a pair of glasses.  The good news is glasses have become quite the accessory these days, in fact some people who do not need glasses elect to have non prescription lenses put into a frame just so they can add a funky accessory to their ensemble.  Perhaps you will be picking out your first pair of glasses or just a new pair of glasses; either way, there are few things you will want to consider when picking out a frame.

First and foremost of course is the prescription as this can dramatically alter the final product you receive.  You will want to consult an optician when selecting a frame; they should review your prescription and give you some guidance of frames that might best suite your particular prescription or frame styles you would do best to avoid.  For example, those who have a high minus prescription will want to try to select a frame with a smaller lens because these lenses will be thickest around the edges.  For that reason, plastic frames tend to be well suited for these types of prescriptions because a thicker plastic frame does well to hide the thicker edges of the lens.  Those who have a higher plus prescription will want to try to select a frame that is more round in shape if possible because these lenses are thickest in the middle.

Another thing to consider is the size of the frame itself; frames come in all shapes and sizes so do we, thus it is important you select a frame that is the correct size for your face.  Pay attention to the length of the temples (sometimes referred to as “arms”) as well as the width of front of the frame.  If you have fallen in love with a frame that is not quite the right size, make sure you ask the optician if it comes in any other sizes, as frames are often available in more than one size. 

Face Shape
There is always a lot of discussion about what lens shape best suites certain face shapes.  While there are many opinions on this topic, often it comes down to a case by case basis.  Sometimes the general rule just does not apply.  All About Vision has a great breakdown of face shapes and the lens shapes that tend to best suite certain facial features.  Keep in mind, if your prescription dictates otherwise you may be best suited to keep an open mind and break the conventional rules a bit.

Skin Tone
There is no denying that the chunky black plastic frame is in, however it is not for everyone.  If the black plastic frame is too harsh for your skin tone, rest assure it is possible to achieve the same funky look with a frame in a lighter tone. Consider your skin tone when selecting a frame, frames that complement your natural tones are often most flattering.

Yes, you should consider your hairstyle when selecting a frame.  If you tend to wear your hair up, make sure you bring along a hair tie so you can see what the frame looks like with your hair up and down.  If you plan on coloring your hair or making a drastic change to your hairstyle, keep this in mind when selecting a frame.

Plastic vs. Metal
If you have worn glasses in the past, you probably already know that a plastic frame has a different fit and feel than a metal frame.  In many cases, it comes down to personal preference.  Some people find a plastic frame more comfortable while others appreciate the function of a nose pad (which traditionally plastic frames do NOT have).  If you are in the market for a plastic frame, it is important you pay attention to the way the bridge fits your nose because only minimal adjustments can be made there, unlike a metal frame.

Something people tend to neglect to notice when trying on frames is the weight of the frame on your face.  We tend to get so caught up in how it looks and forget to notice how it feels. Keep in mind that when you are trying on frames, the lens in the frame is just a demo and your prescription lens will add weight to the frame. 

Ultimately the frame selection process can be a very daunting task, and as we have reviewed, there are many things to consider (Oh and we have only scratched the surface) which is why you will want to consult an optician you are comfortable with who can help you through the process.  Remember, it is important to take your time with the selection and make sure you are happy with your decision because unlike a pair of shoes or jeans, you will more than likely be wearing them everyday for the next year or more!

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