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I have been short sighted for many years since the age of 12 I have needed glasses. I remember the first eye sight test I failed, it was only the last two lines that were blurry but I was told I need a pair to see the white/black board clearly and TV. At that time I was thrilled and was hoping they would say that, as I was already glancing over at all the colourful frames to choose from. I had my heart set on the fashionable pink ones but later agreed on the NHS free red round shaped style.
To begin with I would not take them off even though truly they were only required for TV or at school lesson times. After a couple of weeks the novelty wore off and I hardly ever put them on.
Over the years my eye sight got worse and at the age of 14 I absolutely hated my frames. Even though I had upgraded my glasses to smaller rimmed silver framed pair I realised I was more self conscious at this age and just wanted to look pretty and not have to wear these dreadful ugly things. I had taken ages to decide on these frames but they were still ugly in my eyes as I was convinced I looked better without glasses. My friends also would tell me I have pretty eyes and to not wear glasses when out with them. My parents were the only ones trying to reassure me that I look lovely with my glasses on however I am sure it was only to make me wear them as they thought my eye sight would get worse if I did not wear them regularly. Well my eye sight did get worse and my complex to wear any kind of glasses got worse. I was told to wear them at all times but I would rather walk around half blind at that time. OK not half blind but with a blurrier vision.
At the age of 15 I convinced my parents and optician to allow me to get contact lenses. I was over the moon I could finally see clearly without these hideous frames on my face. The optician made it clear to my parents and me that I must not over wear them and was only allowed during school hours and to take them off at home and during the weekend and to wear my glasses. My mum made me try on every frame in the Optician shop to see if I would take a liking to any. At the time I did like a pair of thin rimmed brown framed oval shaped ones. (They were in fashion at the time) However again I did not like to be seen outside with them on.
I am in my late twenties now and still wear glasses at home and strictly contact lenses outside. I get tried dry eyes so I do not enjoy the discomfort of over wearing contact lenses so as soon as I come home the first thing I want to do is take my contact lenses out so that I can relax. Over the years I have gone through many pairs of frames. I have found I am careless in placing my frames around when not in use and I have managed to break a lot of the frames and at times have been known to sellotape the frame together until I get a new pair. My son has also helped in destroying two of my pairs of glasses. Therefore as you can imagine I have spent loads of money on glasses. My favourite and longing lasting pair was a designer pair of Kangol black rimmed rectangle styled with thick chunky sides. I do tend to go for cheap frames as I know I will not wear it out much and end up somehow accidentally breaking them. However with the Kangol frames I would even wear them out occasionally and I am looking forward to my next eye check up as I do want to invest in a nice new pair of frames that will give me the confidence to be able to wear them outside without feeling like a geek.
Recently I have been getting many emails from Glasses Direct and I am very tempted to try them out as they seem very cheap compared to other stores but I am nervous about not liking any of the pairs I try out as I am known to be fussy. They are an Internet based store and therefore you select a few pairs to try, you keep the one or more you like and return the ones you do not want.
My mum and brother look amazing in glasses and it adds so much character to them. If I see them without their specs they look weird as I'm so use to seeing them in their frames. I think they look better with glasses on and sometimes I think it must be the style of frames they are wearing and I will try them on but it will look awful on me. This has proved to me that some people look so nice in glasses whereas for me I have not found a pair of nice frames that suit me. I do not look bad in glasses but I know that without glasses I look much better and I feel as if I look like another person and it's not for me. If only I did not have such a phobia of laser eye surgery.
Update: recently I have become more tolerant to my glasses.
I have been wearing glasses ever since I was four years old and I am now 57 so I think I'm getting used to them by now! Seriously my mother told me that she and my grandmother were really upset when they found out that I had to start wearing glasses at such a young age but I can't remember it ever bothering me to be honest.
My first glasses back in 1959 were standard National Health ones. They were round wire frames and there was a choice of three colours - pink, blue or light brown. As a child I was happy enough to have a change of colour every time I had my eyes tested and didn't really think too much more about it.
I was always overweight as a child (and still am as it happens) so I had quite a round face and mom always used to make me have my hair cut short. I have a photograph of me at an age of about ten years old wearing a light jacket zipped up to the neck with my round face, short hair and National Health glasses and I look a dead ringer for Bessie Bunter!
As I grew older the choice of frames available on the National Health improved and in my early teenage years I had dark rimmed frames - which were fairly fashionable at the time - honestly!
I decided at about age 13 I didn't want to wear glasses any longer so I stopped wearing them - teenage logic there! I suppose I was getting conscious of the way I looked and decided that glasses weren't a good look. Mom was very good about it and took me back to the opticians to have my eyes retested and I started wearing glasses just for close work.
As I then grew older and eventually left work and got a job I took responsibility for my glasses. I then had more choice of frames as I could choose to pay for the ones that I wanted.
I always went to an opticians called Hudson Howard in Walsall who were then taken over by Dolland and Aitchison and the staff there were brilliant. They would help me to choose frames that suited me and latterly they even had a special computer programme which took the shape of my face and showed me how various frames would look. This was brilliant for me as I am not an artistic person and I sometimes find it quite difficult to know what suits me.
I went for many of my adult years wearing a range of frames which were fairly large usually with brown coloured rims - think Deidre from Coronation Street and you're pretty much there. By this time I was back wearing them full time as my eyes deteriorated with age. On occasions, when I have had a nice pair of frames and have needed new lenses, I have had the new lenses put into the old frames. In these days I had single vision lenses and so the frames were the more expensive part of the whole package.
When we moved here to Llandudno I was too far away from a branch of Dolland and Aitchison so I signed up with our local branch of Boots Opticians who have been excellent. Being a diabetic I have to have an eye test every twelve months now although I don't have to change my glasses that often.
Over my years of wearing glasses the range of frames available has grown incredibly. There are now a huge range of styles from National health frames, through cheaper ones to more expensive ones and designer frames.
I have now gone full circle and have been back wearing metal framed glasses - although not the round ones I have to say! I now find that the ones that suit me best are the ones that are more subtle on my face rather than the ones with more obvious frames. I choose the cheaper version of the frames that suit me as I don't feel the need to buy the 'designer' version of anything as I feel that I would just be paying for the label to be honest.
The one extra advantage of the new metal frames is that the arms actually bend outwards slightly and thus they don't get as much wear on the hinges as the glasses are put on and removed.
Sadly these days the frames are by far the cheaper part of the package as I now wear photochromic vari focals and any of you who wear glasses of this type will know that you need to be sitting down before they tell you the cost of the lenses!
So there you have my life history with glasses. I am happy enough to wear them these days (and have been for years) and would feel lost without them now as they are part of me and who I am. I certainly couldn't wear contact lenses - I can't bear the thought of putting things in my eyes - to be honest I think, after fifty three years, I would look odd without my glasses.
I've been wearing glasses for over ten years now, and they are a truly essential item for me. I'm short sighted, which means that I cannot see thing clearly at a distance, although over time my condition has become worse and I can't even read my computer screen at work without the aid of my glasses. I wear them pretty much from the moment that I get up to the moment that I go to sleep, and not a day goes by when I do not wear my glasses. As such, you may consider that it is worth paying more for a pair of glasses that will last for a long time. However, I've had to upgrade my prescription almost every single time that I get my eyes tested, so each time I go to the opticians I end up buying a complete new pair of glasses including frames and lenses. I begrudge footing the bill for my glasses as it can be very expensive and I wholeheartedly believe that glasses should be provided by the NHS (or at least cover the costs of the eye test). My glasses are a necessity and I couldn't function properly without them.
Personally, I have a massive squeamish fear about eyes, and in particular cannot bear the thought of using contact lenses. The idea of sticking something into my eye and then pulling it back out again on a daily basis actually makes me feel sick. Of course, there is always the popular option of undergoing laser eye surgery which will then mean you can see clearly with no extra lenses required (although the results are never fully guaranteed). But, you would have to be crazy if you were to think that I would actually CHOOSE to have someone shoot LASERS into my eyes while I'm fully conscious, and with no anaesthetic or pain medication. Completely ruled out by my eye phobia and common sense.
So, I ignore any feelings of vanity and stick to the safe option of wearing glasses. Yes, there are some down sides. Like the initial (and repeated) cost, dealing with maintenance, difficulty choosing the right frames, always looking that bit geeky no matter how cool your outfit is, and my personal bug bear, having spent loads of time perfecting my eye make-up only to have most of it obscured and rendered pointless by having to wear my glasses. But the positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion, and no one will ever be coming near me and my weakling eyes with little plastic discs or big scary lasers.
Having decided to wear glasses for the rest of my life to help correct my vision, I have tried a few different types before settling upon my favourite. The main problem when you are choosing glasses is that there is just an overwhelming amount of choice and it is difficult to know where to start. What shape, what size, what colour, what material? I have made my own mistakes and learned from experience, but if you are the type of person who is able to listen to and take advice, then the optician's sales assistants will be your best option. My best friend from school has been working in this role for the past couple of years and she absolutely loves her job. She is always so happy when someone wants her to help choose their glasses, and is always patient and helpful. The assistants are not just there to make a sale and force you into buying the most expensive frames with every single lens feature you can think of, but instead they do want to help and should be able to give you some good tips. Remember, they do this every day and will have enough experience to be able to provide information and guidance if required.
In my mind, shape is one of the first things that you should decide on. The shape of the glasses frames will need to be the right type to flatter and suit the shape of your face. I have an oval shaped face with "prominent features" (ok, ok , I have a big nose!) and I find that round frames look old-fashioned on me, funky angled designs look too edgy and attention seeking, and rimless frames make my face look longer than it really is. The best style I have found so far is slightly rectangular frames, as they balance out the rest of my features and although they are bold and noticeable on my face, they suit me and work with my look.
You should also consider the size of the frames that you're going to buy. The best thing you can do is to try on all different sorts and then work out which size makes your face look in proportion. I can manage to pull off quite large frames as I have strong eyebrows and a full fringe above the line of my glasses, and a big old nose for them to balance on. Thin frames look too delicate on me, and I find that a larger size is in keeping with my face, my make-up, and my hairstyle - you have to think about everything!
Colour is a hugely important factor as this is a very noticeable part of the glasses. I would seriously recommend avoiding the pretty coloured frames, and DO NOT choose based upon your favourite colour (unless your favourite colour is black). For example, my favourite colours are green and pink. I would look like a complete plonker wearing pink or green glasses, and this is definitely a look to be avoided. I worked my way through a series of neutral coloured frames, starting with metallics. Gold worked well with my pale complexion and freckles, but doesn't match with my preference for silver jewellery. Silver was too cold and made me looked washed out. Bronze was perfect but very hard to find. I've also tried brown, which was quite nice, and black which was eventually decided on as my perfect match. I dye my hair frequently and change between various different colours. Black goes with everything, and also works well with any outfit regardless of what colour I'm wearing.
I used to have a misguided notion that metal framed glasses would be more hard wearing and last for longer than plastic framed glasses. How wrong I was. There are several problems with metal frames, most importantly being that they are in fact very easily damaged. The frames can be knocked or bent out of shape and this will affect the positioning on your face which can cause discomfort and further problems in the long run. They also have horrible little plastic pads that sit on either side of your nose, and they dig in terribly after you've been wearing them for a while. This can be really painful and is something that you just have to put with with when wearing metal frames, as well as getting the annoying red marks on your skin once you've finally taken them off. I've since switched to wearing plastic frames and the difference it has made is incredible. First off they are much lighter and there is less weight pressing down when you wear them. They are also remarkably durable and I have been surprised by how well they have worn, they never need readjusting and the moulded plastic retains its shaping perfectly. Because the frames are formed of one piece they distribute the weight evenly and do not press down like the metal frames do, and so they are much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I would highly recommend choosing plastic frames as they give a great performance all round.
I often have trouble finding glasses that I like in the ladies section. In fact, the past few pairs of frames that I have bought have been from the mens section, so you should never rule out looking in the other section. I manage to get away with it just fine, seeing as wearing mens glasses can hardly be considered as cross-dressing. No one even notices that they're a mens style, as they're quite generic and unisex in appearance. Just bear in mind that you will need to choose something that suits your style and your glasses will need to match with your day-to-day look. My frames are quite plain, black, rectangular, plastic, and this is just what I want to go with my usual casual/grunge style. They're smart enough for work, as well as being casual enough for social events. I do have a similar pair of glasses in a tortoise shell pattern that I wear to fancier do's as they're a bit more sophisticated and ladylike to go with formal outfits.
I've always gone for standard type frames, and have even managed to find some nice budget range designs. I've never bought a designer branded pair of glasses as they always seem to be a bit fussy for my liking. They tend to be over-detailed or in strong colours that I wouldn't want to wear all the time. It's hard to find a plain looking everyday pair of glasses in a designer range, and there is also the valid point of why spend over the odds on a plain pair of glasses? In my opinion, super trendy or novelty glasses should be left to fashion journalists and emos, and are not meant for the likes of us normal everyday types.
Overall I would definitely recommend avoiding the horror of contact lenses or laser eye surgery, and opting for the much easier and safer choice of wearing glasses. Preparation is key when choosing your frames and don't forget that they'll be stuck on your face every day for at least the next year, so choose a style that works for you and suits your features and overall image. Glasses are definitely the best option for my requirements, and when it comes to my choice of frames, I know exactly what to look for: a rectangular shape, reasonably large sized, in black or a dark neutral colour, made of moulded plastic. Glasses aren't just for geeks!*
*Although I am one.
Picking glasses frames is a difficult job, I hope this has helped! Thanks for reading x
Children are now routinely checked by an optomotrist for sight problems from the age of about 12 months (some even earlier if there is a family history of sight problems) In my case, I wore glasses from the age of three and my daughter is 2.5 yrs old and has been wearing glasses for 4 months. On receiving the NHS prescription/voucher, we set off to find our daughter a pair of glasses. Bearing in mind she is a very slight little girl and we could not get frames to fit her in the following Optical outlets: Boots, Optika, SpecSavers, Vision Express, Dolland & H In each establishement the glasses fell off her nose, even after gentle adjustments they still came up too big. There was no offer to have them reduced in size because the make of frame did not come in a smaller size! This absolutely amazed me. Now maybe because of the voucher service that the NHS offers (where the glasses work out free or extremely cheap according to the frames you chose) most optical outlets can't be pre-occupied with the extra paperwork and therefore do not stock a varied selection of childrens frames. In one outlet, Boots - all they had to offer was Reebok or Disney frames, which is fine if you want to pay £80 for the frames, which on a 3 year old will be re-shaped, tightened and re-fitted squillions of times before the next 3 month appointment with the optician! We were lucky and came up trumps with Batemans The opticians - who had a wide variety of frames on offer and additional loops to help keep the glasses on the childs face. The service we received was very friendly and the member of staff who served us referred to the NHS optomotrist who signed our prescription form, giving us firm belief that their company works closely with the professionals when it comes to childrens requirements. Since receiving the glasses, my daughter has had them fixed 26 times in four months. Each visit is
very quick, pleasurable and nothing is too much trouble for the staff. The optician who looks after us speaks to my daughter personally, each time giving her the confidence to wear her glasses with pride. I am quite sure that the other high street companies, mentioned above would have offered the exact same customer service, had they been able to offer us a selection of frames in the first place. How is it that one company has a huge selection and another who has access to that variety, does not capitalise on it? It is not as if the market is dormant. I know for a fact that there are plenty of parents out there going through the same trauma with childrens glasses. It does make me smile when I think that as a child, I went to Batemans and so did many of my specatacle wearing friends in their childhood days. Does Bateman have the monopoly on childrens glasses or is it that they care enough to value a customer from their very early years?
Rimless and supra (half frames with the lens held in by a nylon wire) are going to be the trend in the next year or so. I have two pairs of glasses that I wear. One is a conventional trendy Police frame and the other is a rimless titanium Police frame. The fashion at the moment is for small, shallow square or oval frames. When people come in to the opticians where I work with enourmous frames that are a few years old, it is hard to keep a straight face. We have been selling quite a few rimless and supra frames and on the continent, rimless frames are THE frames to have. Rimless are ideal if you want to wear glasses, but don't want them to be that obvious. Subtle and classy is a good way of describing them. Supras are a compromise. They are subtle, but not as subtle as the full rimless. The ultimate rimless frames are made by a company called Hoya. Hoya's Pinfel range are the Rolls Royce of rimless spectacles. The sides and bridge are not held on to the lenses by screws through the lenses. Instead they are held on by pins that are bonded into the side of the lenses. These frames are only available with Hoya's own high index lenses, but if you are paying £200+ for a quality frame then you will probably want the best lenses as well and Hoya's Eyas lenses are very, very good. Designer frames worth looking out for (if names matter) are Police, Ice, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Silhouette and Hoya. If you are young(ish) and trendy then unisex frames will be the ones you'll go for. The downside with supras and especially rimless specs is that you do need to be a little more carfeul with them. It's not a good idea to sit or stand on them (you'd be amazed how many people come in to have their glasses fixed after sitting on them). The quality ones will be made of stainless steel or titanium but you should be careful anyway. They aren't all that less robust than standard frames but they might well be more ex
pensive to replace.