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So, you’ve just seen the new editorial from your favourite fashion brand, or are binge-watching a trendy new show, and have spotted someone who looks epic in a pair of glasses. You really want to emulate the look, but the problem is, you don’t actually need glasses. How terrible. This may lead you to wonder if it’s acceptable to wear glasses, just for style and fashion.
You can wear glasses just for fashion and style. However, it’s best if the lenses provide an adjustment, so they can make your life easier, and so you can give a reason to someone if asked.
Read on for a more in-depth explanation of the caveats of wearing glasses for style, how you can go about bringing them into your wardrobe, and some special hacks that I’ve found during my glassess-for-fashion journey.
Can you Wear Glasses For Style and Fashion?
As mentioned, you can wear glasses for style purposes. But, I suppose, you can also wear flip flops to a board meeting; that doesn’t mean you should.
In regards to the wider opinion derived from this Reddit post, only 35% of respondents feel it’s acceptable, with the remaining 65% condemning the practice, and commenting things such as:
“If somebody finds out that you don’t need them, your life will be over”, and that you “will end up coming off as somebody who tries to hard”.
The skew is even crazier if you look at the comment upvotes, with a whopping 93% of the upvotes going towards posts representing the ‘against’ viewpoint, and only 7% to those supporting the wearing glasses purely for fashion.
However, on Quora, the arguably more mature question-answer destination, there was a more even split, perhaps even favouring the ‘for’ camp.
General Assumptions & Conclusions
That said, all of these posts were assuming that the glasses had clear ‘demo’ lenses (and in some cases, apparently, no lenses at all? Now that is a bit odd, I have to say).
But, despite the feedback, I still feel it’s fine if you wear clear glasses just for style purposes (maybe I’m just an odd ball).
However, I feel you’re both missing out on a unique opportunity to make the glasses work for you, and your answer may come across as a bit strange if someone who’s seen you operate perfectly without glasses, asks you what’s up.
Therefore, I’d recommend that you swap out the lenses of any ‘fashion’ frames to those that provide an adjustment.
Why Would You Want to Wear Glasses For Fashion?
- Adjustment lenses can provide you with actual benefits (mentioned later).
- Well, for fashion – they look great – they really can absolutely change a look, and provide a vibe.
- They may be an essential part of your personal image, and work to communicate the message you want to send to the world.
- Though not every piece will, you may want to stand out, and this is definitely one avenue that you can do that, with an eccentric pair.
- They draw attention to your face.
- They can make your face look more symmetrical.
- Studies show that they make you appear more intelligent and honest, which can be a marginal advantage in some situations.
Now, on to the what, and how.
Make Fashionable Glasses Work For You With Adjustment Lenses
In my opinion, if you’re wearing glasses for fashion purposes, they should have a lens that provides some sort of adjustment.
I feel transition lenses, where the lenses turn transparent when exposed to shade, and tint to sunglasses when exposed to UV rays produced by the sun, will provide the greatest benefit to most people.
This stops that silly situation where you have to keep taking your sunglasses off during your daily endeavours, to appear appropriate.
Not only is this practical, especially if you’re like me, who always likes to put their glasses in their case, which you have to bloody carry with you, but you also reduce the risk of damaging them when taking a case isn’t possible.
As an example of how this has improved my daily routine:
- I can now take public transport without having to take my glasses on and off, without looking like the wierdo wearing sunglasses on the underground section of the rail.
- I don’t have to take my glasses off, and put them on again, once I emerge from the station.
- So, from going from my house, to a workspace, I go from 4 actions (putting on, or taking off the glasses), to just the initial action of putting them on.
- There’s no risk to my glasses getting knocked off the table when I’m eating, which, I’m not sure about you, reduces my anxiety levels at least one billion percent.
- As they’re much more convenient, you’ll likely wear the glasses more, which over time, decreases the amount of time your eye area is exposed to the sun, helping with your anti ageing efforts.
Blue Light Filter
If transition lenses are a little too high tech for you (my gran has had them, so I’d be a bit worried if that’s the case), I’ve also known of people just having a blue light filter put onto their glasses, to filter some of the blue light produced from computer screens. Though blue light is widely accepted to be bad for your long term eyesight, and make it harder for you to go to sleep, on my short research journey, I discovered that:
- Blue light is actually beneficial for regulating our sleep cycle (I guess, this is why artificial blue light can disrupt our sleep)
- Dedicated blue light glasses don’t block a huge amount of blue light out, coming in at around 30%, off of the top of my head.
- Transition lenses actually offer blue light protection built in, at a slightly lower percentage of 20%.
- You can get transition lenses with additional blue light protection (like, a lens with both filters), but they have to be specially made.
Therefore, given this is all correct (which, my research pointed to being the case), I don’t see much advantage of blue light lenses over transition lenses, apart from perhaps maybe a lower price.
Getting Adjustment Lenses
So, if you decide to bring a pair of fashionable frames into your wardrobe with lenses that offer some sort of adjustment, your glasses will improve your daily flow in some way, and give you a solid reason to be wearing them.
The only caveat is the price.
I’ve previously been quoted £215 from Cutler and Gross, the boutique opticians, just for transition lenses, and complimentary scratch resistance.
That’s a lot for a bit of glass. Or rather, two bits of glass.
However, there are many online reglazing services that claim they can do it for a lower price, with even more additional services, such as anti-glare and anti scratch coatings (though, they’re not always complimentary, but usually very cheap add-ons).
I had the pair of round frames I’ve been featuring in this article, which also includes additional anti-reflection, anti-smudge, and shatter resistance properties, reglazed for £108, which is less than half of what I was quoted at C&G.
Now, I know that, even at half price, that’s still a substantial chunk, especially given that the reglazing may cost more than the actual glasses themselves, but I’d say it’s definitely worth it given the practical improvement, and the amount of wear I’ve got out of them since.
Reglazing Service Experience
Annoyingly, and despite my best efforts of comparisons between multiple companies on Trustpilot, the reglazing company I went with ended up screwing up the order a little bit, putting one lens’ frame on back to front. Though it was an easy fix for the wonderful team at the C&G boutique at London’s Spitalfields market, it did leave some minor irreversible damage.
So, though, honestly, that mistake probably could have happened with whatever reglazing service I went with (and, I accept, these frames are slightly unusual), and the same mistake isn’t really possible to do with standard, full-rim acetate glasses, you still have to be careful.
Other Adjustment Lenses
You could also look at permanently tinted lenses, Johnny Depp style, which I think take the style aspect of ‘fashionable glasses’ to the next level.
However, they inherently make the glasses less formal, and appropriate for a wide range of situations compared to transition lenses, and, honestly, I have no idea how to get them (I can’t find them anywhere on reglazing sites).
How to Wear Glasses for Aesthetic Purposes
So, now you know that you can wear glasses for fashion, why, and what lenses you’ll be rocking.
But what should you wear, and how can you wear them? Well, this section isn’t going to be outfit inspiration, or matching rules, or anything like that… maybe, let me know in the comments if you want that. It’s more of food for thought on how you might go about actually using, and wearing these glasses – I think it’ll become apparent.
To Master The Occasion
You may choose to build up your collection, so that you have multiple pairs of glasses, of different varieties.
Now, unlike clothing items, most glasses are situation independent – I could wear my round glasses with a t-shirt and denim jacket, or a tuxedo.
However, I feel that there are some combinations and colours that work better in certain occasions.
For example, darker, more square glasses I would argue look a bit more at home when worn with formal clothing, and softer, lighter glasses look a bit more appropriate with casual wear.
Honestly, I’d probably be the first to break this rule, but it’s worth considering if you’re looking to build out a collection that will cover all of your bases.
I think where this could be a bit more useful is considering indoor and outdoor heavy occasions. Lenses with bigger lenses, perhaps with ‘Transitions Xtractive’ (an upgraded, super light sensitive version of transitions) are more practical for outdoors, whereas lighter, smaller lenses may be best worn in doors.
It’s all about building out a collection that you’ll be happy with, which will cover all situations.
To Enhance Your Face Shape
Glasses, in general, also provide an amazing opportunity to compliment your face shape.
The rule that I go by, is to wear glasses that are opposite to your natural facial structure. For example, I (luckily) have a rather angular jaw, which contrasts nicely with softer, and more rounded frames.
To Stand Out
If you find some very unique, interesting frames, or go the route of bespoke, you could simply wear the frames to stand out, and radiate your sartorial prowess, or personal image. There’s nothing wrong with this.
One of the best examples of this from my memory is a pair of glasses that Kevin Samuel’s used to wear, as pictured.
Where to Get Fashionable Glasses
You can get glasses pretty much everywhere.
Of course, you can get them first hand at physical or online opticians, for full retail prices.
OR, you can do what I do, and be a 24/7 annoying E-bay stalker for certain brands. For this method, you might have to wait a while, but I’ve got some absolutely awesome deals (like, almost 80% off) some pretty expensive, discontinued pieces. On top of this, as you have no control over stock, you may end up trying out some styles that were previously outside of your comfort zone, which may turn out to look incredible.
One route I wouldn’t recommend, however, is super cheap glasses. Sure, if you want to try out a shape, or style without replacing the lenses, that’s a good route – you would be walking around with non operational demo lenses, but at least you’re trying them out for size.
But it’s not worth it, to me, at least, to put expensive transition lenses, into lower quality pairs of glasses.
Also, Monika from Quora cautions that cheap glasses may harm your vision, though I’m not sure about this.
The Low Down…
You may have hesitated trying out wearing glasses for fashion purposes, but I don’t think you should.
It’s a normal accessory, and in my many months having worn my specs, no one has bat an eyelid, while I’ve received, sweet, sweet sun protection, in whatever situation I’m in. Oh, and, obviously, they look awesome.