You’ve decided it’s about time you bought a new pair of eyeglass frames, but aside from visiting a renowned opticians practice armed with a huge array of designer eyewear and optical expertise, where do you start when choosing a frame?
Here at Hodd Barnes and Dickins we’d love to tell you there’s a magic formula for finding the perfect pair of spectacles, however, although glasses-hunting is not an exact science, there are a few ‘home truths’ we can advise you to consider before you embark on your journey to optical perfection..
1. YOU CANNOT (AND SHOULD NOT) POSSESS THEM ALL
Gazing at shelf after shelf of the hottest eyeglass frames on the market is enough to overwhelm any spectacles-lover. But eventually you’ll have to face up to the brutal truth – it’s highly likely that not all of these beautiful frames will look beautiful on you.
Your unique face shape will probably rule out many of the tempting frames at your fingertips. But never fear, our dispensing team are highly experienced in narrowing down the selection to suit your individual facial features.
Our top line advice would be that rounder faces tend to suit more angular shapes to elongate your features, whilst the opposite applies to those with sharper facial contours in order to soften natural angularity. Triangular or heart-shaped faces tend to suit oval spectacles, and if you have an oval shaped face, well then you are really spoilt for choice.
2. SOME FRAMES WON’T MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE
Aside from style considerations, every bespectacled human has a unique set of practical requirements of their frames.Â For example, an office-based accountant, a golf instructor, a farmer, a camera operator, a lifeguard and a lawyer will all have very different tick boxes that need to be checked, beyond the way a pair of glasses look.
So our second piece of advice is that however good some frames may look on your face, if they’re not fit for your day-to-day routine, they won’t deliver the best return on investment.
When choosing a frame it’s important to ask – what do I need my glasses for both personally and professionally. If you work in the media, could a trend-setting style be more important than outdoors durability? If you spend a lot of time near the coast, could UV and scratch-resistant filters take precedent over bold colours. Thus, the more of your life story you can pour out to our experienced dispensing team, the easier it will be for them to draw your attention to a selection of eyeglass frames suited to both your face and lifestyle.
3. NOT ALL SPECS WILL LAST
Your first instinct when choosing a frame is probably to go for the pair that looks the best. But if you’re investing in top quality eyewear it’s also vitally important to think about how those specific eyeglass frames will weather during your day-to-day. The first stop is to consider the frame’s material, as each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
For example, natural horn is a timeless favourite – perfected through millennia of animal evolution. It is incredibly durable, and boasts translucent qualities that sit seamlessly with the wearer’s facial features. However horn frames can be heavy to wear.
But if you’re looking for lightweight eyewear with maximum flexibility in terms of colour, transparency and shape then acetate eyeglass frames may be ideal. This high quality plastic can be easily molded and layered to build up colours, but they can be easier to break than their metal counterparts.
When purchasing metal eyewear, check for corrosion resistance. Titanium is an extremely popular material, known for its feather-light weight, world-class durability and hypoallergenic qualities. Used in spacecraft and medical devices, it comes in crisp metallic, but can be produced in an array of different colours. However, titanium can be expensive, and is often blended into a cheaper alloy.
4. THE PRICE IS RIGHT
You know that phrase “you get what you pay for”? When choosing a frame, that couldn’t be truer. More often than not, rip-off sunglasses don’t provide adequate protection against harmful UV rays, whilst cheap prescription lenses give you a blurred and scratched vision experience – causing more damage than good.
Cheap injection-moulded plastic frames are brittle and therefore break easily, compared to slow-cured acetate frames, which will last much longer. In addition, these low-quality frames require constant adjustment to remain comfortable.
And that’s just the quality of the eyeglass frames! Retailers of cheap glasses will rarely flag the vastly different level of optical performance you can expect from their specs. Common polycarbonate lenses are vastly inferior to the lenses Hodd Barnes and Dickins offer, and can lead to eyestrain.
5. WE ARE QUALIFIED FOR A REASON
It would’ve been much easier for the Hodd Barnes and Dickins team to bypass years of opticians training and set up a cheap eyewear outlet. But we all share a belief in offering our patients exceptional eyewear and world-class vision.
If you’re considering purchasing cheaper frames online, remember that the process of Internet eyewear shopping tends to come without the guidance of a qualified optician Our dispensing team are highly trained to fit your eyeglass frames to your personal prescription, preferences and face shape, and advise on high performance lenses suited to your lifestyle.
And call us old fashioned, but as much as virtual reality try-on is a nifty gadget to experiment with at home, we believe that nothing can match the experience of trying on glasses in the practice. How else can you see how the frames sit on your nose and ears, and feel the level of craftsmanship and detail?
So as you can see choosing a frame is not as straight forward as one imagines. There are lots of factors to consider when investing in your perfect eyeglass frames, but when you spend more time with your eyewear than your partner we believe it’s worth the effort! And our team is always on hand to help you navigate through the multitude of choices on offer and to ensure your style tastes are matched with an exceptional visual experience.