Over the years, the term ‘Optician’ has become a catch-all term
for the people you see who test your eyesight. However, within
that term, there are different roles with responsibility for different areas of your eye health.
As we often get asked to explain the difference between an Optometrist and a Dispensing Optician, we thought it would
be helpful to explain it here.
Do you dread buying new glasses? You’re not alone.
It’s not unusual for patients to tell us that they dread buying new glasses.
Despite being something they wear all day, every day, it’s also surprisingly common for people to only own one pair of glasses… or at least one with their current prescription in!
Yet most people own more than one pair of shoes or one outfit. So why just one pair of glasses?
Often the reason is simply that people don’t enjoy shopping for new frames. They have a pair they like and are comfortable to wear, so why change?
In this article, we are going to look at some top tips for choosing new frames, as well as ways to make the glasses shopping experience more enjoyable.
Tips for shopping for new frames
When you are shopping for new frames you need to keep in mind two important points:
- Your face shape; and
- Your lifestyle.
You need to choose frames that suit both of these points.
It’s also useful not to be in a rush when you’re trying on new frames so that you don’t make a decision in haste, that you later regret. Having plenty of time will also mean that you can take the opportunity to try on different styles or colours. Even some of the more dramatic styles that you might usually avoid – who knows, they might look amazing!
If you are also a contact lens wearer, popping your contacts in will make it easier to see how you look in different frames. But if you’re not, or just forget to wear them, speak to the staff in your opticians. They will usually have an alternative solution to help you.
For example, we have iPads in both practices so that we can take photos of you trying different frames on so that you can see how they look. This is also useful for comparing different frames without having to keep swapping them back and forth.
You might want to take a trusted friend with you for a second opinion. Although it’s worth checking with your optician that this is OK whilst social distancing restricts permitted numbers in shops.
When you visit either of our practices, you will enjoy a relaxed shopping experience with no rush to make your selection. If you see a style you like but aren’t keen on the colours, some models are available in alternative colours and sizes which a member of our team can advise you on.
At the time of writing this article, social distancing requirements mean that you will need to make an appointment to come and try frames on so that we can manage the number of people in the practice at any one time. However, you will still be allocated plenty of time so there’s no rush. Once you have tried frames on, they are put aside to be sanitised before being put back on display.
Choosing a shape that suits you
Faced with shelves of frames, it can be hard to know where to start. If you’ve been wearing glasses for a while you probably already have a good idea of what suits you, but it can be trickier if you are new to wearing specs, or just haven’t bought any for a long time.
Opticians are trained to help you find a style that suits your face. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice as they will be happy to help you narrow down your search for the perfect frame.
What shape is your face
In order to find a glasses frame that suits your face, you need to understand your face shape. Try the following tips as a guide to get you started.
If you are blessed with an oval face, your face will be gently rounded with even proportions that mean you can wear almost any style of frame. Try a mix of styles to find one that you love. Ideally, look for a frame that is slightly wider than the widest part of your face.
If you have a heart-shaped face, your forehead will be wider, tapering to a narrow chin with amazing cheekbone structure. Add balance by choosing frames a little wider than your forehead. Maybe try some cat-eye styles or a retro 50’s inspired style.
Your gently rounded face will suit similarly softly rounded styles as opposed to hard, angular frames.
If your face is as broad as it is long, with a wide forehead and strong jawline, you’ll suit a narrower, but angular frame.
Similar to a square face, but with a longer nose, your broad forehead and strong jawline will benefit from square frames with a strong brow line to highlight your features. Rounded frames will conflict with your features so steer clear of them.
Almost the reverse of a heart-shaped face, you’ll have a broad jawline and narrower forehead. Add balance by opting for frames with a bold brow line, or some cat-eye drama to highlight your eyes.
Other things to think about when choosing new frames
Once you’ve narrowed down the styles you like, think about the colour and weight of the frame.
To find a colour that suits you, consider your skin tone, eye and hair colour. Based on these, you will suit either a warm or cool-toned frame.
Cool tones include silvers, blues, greys and black as well as pinks and reds that have cool, blue undertones.
Warm tones include gold, rose gold, coral and orange-undertoned pinks and reds, as well as soft naturals like khaki and camel.
Think about the clothes colours that look good on you as a guide for the colour of your frames.
Delicate metal or lightweight frames will often suit more petite and delicate features. Meanwhile, bolder or statement frames will suit those of you with stronger features.
Once you have chosen your frames, your optician will need to find out more about your lifestyle in order to recommend the lenses that will work best for you.
For example, you may benefit from coatings to reduce glare, reflection, blue light, prevent scratches or to reduce fogging. The options are wide and varied and making the right choices will enhance your experience when you’re wearing your new glasses (and can increase their lifetime).
Different frames for different occasions
Having a spare pair of glasses isn’t just useful in case you lose or break your main pair. They also give you options for different outfits or occasions. After all, you wouldn’t wear your work clothes out for a special occasion – having different glasses for different styles of clothes makes sense too.
Deluxe Membership Plan benefits
Buying new glasses doesn’t have to be expensive if you join our Deluxe Membership Plan.
As a member of our Deluxe Membership Plan, you will receive 25% off your frames, free insurance against theft, loss or accidental damage, free 50/50 accidental damage cover and a further 25% off the price of the second pair of frames. All these benefits are in addition to other benefits and discounts only available for members.
Book an appointment today
To find out more about the Deluxe Membership Plan, or to book an appointment for new frames, contact us today. Call 01329 832706 for Wickham or 023 9255 0723 for Lee-on-the-Solent.