When I was first prescribed spectacles I was pretty fed up. The styles available were fairly dire and I spent most of my youth in contact lenses. I only really swapped to glasses when I found I needed varifocals. Since then I have rather enjoyed wearing glasses, but have been irritated at the fact that they seem to come in such a limited range of colours. Like the old days of shoes, it seems to be mainly black or brown. Or metal, which can be nice.
Yet in many other European countries – Italy, Scandinavia and Spain – they seem to have a much wider range of glasses and when we travel we often like to browse in the shops when we are away.
When we were in Bilbao we came across Mo Eyewear, a Barcelona based firm, that sells glasses with basic lenses for around 77 Euros for two pairs through the Multiopticas shop. Quite keen pricing, so Nick and I went in. We both got our eyes tested there and then and found the service was quite wonderful, even on a Saturday.
In London we tend to rely on Specsavers, which is a good shop in terms of service, but there is nothing like the range of colours in grey England, compared to sunny Spain. I think it is the same with cars – they all seem to be silver or black.
I liked all of them! I did buy a pair and I will show you when they arrive. But mainly I was really pleased with the wide choice of colours on offer. While I admit I wasn’t tempted by the yellow or light pink ones for everyday use, I was impressed that I could have any colour I wanted Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Bright blue, navy, purple, white and clear.Even wood look – for the Natural types.
I wondered if I could find a pair to match my “radiant orchid” sandals.
I tend to wear my purple glasses everyday, although I have some dark brown ones too. But in an ideal world I would change my frames to match my outifts.
Do you like wearing glasses? Would you ideally match your glasses to your outfit, or is that just too extravagant?
I never wore glasses growing up, I started with reading glasses when I was in my early 30s. Starting in my late 40s I began wearing trifocals. I would love to have multiple pairs to coordinate with either my mood or my outfit. Instead I content myself with new frames every year!
I also wore contacts until I needed multifocals. Then I thought that if I had to wear glasses, I wanted them to be jewelry for the face. I looked in dozens of optical shops in France and Italy last winter, and bought my red Calvin Klein’s in Rome. I then bought two other pairs in a “Chinese mall” (there are such things) outside of Toronto. I’d love to have half a dozen pairs, but the price is too high. Quality lenses — outrageously expensive.
I’ve worn specatcles since I was 8 years old. I have both short sightedness, astigmatism and now a need for a small reading prescription. I do wear tailor made soft toric contact lenses during the day but have some wonderful varifocals I wear the rest of the time, especially for sewing. As a teenager in the 1980s only the thick plastic frames could take my lenses and the options were limited and driven the need to hold those thick lenses. Now there are extra thin (but expensive) lenses I can have other frames. These days I always try to choose slightly matt metallic brown frames (bronze) but I still have to work from the lenses as the starting point, not the frames. I do not want red or purple specs as that is not my personality. As mine cost several hundred pounds for a pair (even at Specsavers) and need changing usually every year I only have one pair at a time so they need to be fairly neutral, and I’ve found the broinze ones work with my personal colouring and therefore any outfit.
I’ve worn glasses on and off since the age of 13. I went through a long spell in my late teens and early twenties of wearing contact lenses, but my eyes became very dry and I haven’t worn lenses for years now. Choosing new glasses is one of my most hated tasks, even worse than buying jeans! When I got my current pair earlier this year the ones I chose were the only ones in 3 different opticians that I liked. I always think they have far better choice in Europe!
Great frames – I rather like the blue ones on the bottom right of the photos. I’ve worn glasses since I was about 11 and have no idea how anyone manages to put contact lenses in! We have a great independent optician in Chichester and she stocks an amazing selection of frames – I have three pairs at the moment : driving (dark pink), reading (animal print) and office (dark blue and quite sensible at first glance but the ‘arms’ are actually ‘legs’ with little shoes at the end! Quite amusing when you take them off in a meeting! Look forward to seeing what you chose.
Frame choice here in Australia is pretty dire too, and they are super expensive. I’ve been ordering online from zenni.com lately and have been really impressed by the quality, range and price. I do have several pairs now but most days I forget to change them around anyway!
You are right, Mainland Europeans have a much better range of spectacles than we do. I’ve worn glasses for reading, sewing, knitting and computer work for about 8 years now. I have a dark red pair which I keep at home and a two tone brown pair which I leave at the office. I only need them for close things so I take them off a lot. I thought long and hard about getting a chain for around my neck, and when I finally did the one I got from Amazon broke before I’d manage to attach my glasses. I need to order a better quality one. My daughter made one from loom bands for me but it doesn’t quite work – I tell her I do use it so she doesn’t feel she’s wasted her time!
I think I beat all of you- I started wearing ghastly National Health pink wire frames at the age of 5, worked my way through many NH frames, including some proper Deidre Langton horrors and some Edna Everage ones. I finally escaped to contact lenses in 1976, which took extreme dedication as they were the size and thickness of dinner plates. I only wear my glasses indoors, it’s contact lenses only for me. I love some of the styles you’re wearing above though, especially #3 #5 and #7. The ‘wooden’ ones are cool too!
I don’t wear glasses, but I always window shop the eyewear shops in Italy as they are so chic. I guess I’m preparing for the day. Lovely colours, K. Can’t wait to see what you picked!
Yes, I am afraid I probably have far more pairs of glasses than is strictly necessary. I have bronze frames, several purple, a couple of red, and some leopardskin-y ones. Mostly from Specsavers, but recently I’ve had a few pairs from glassesdirect who do a brilliant service – they’ll send you out four frames (no charge) you choose what you want, send them back and they make them to your prescription.
Funnily enough, my other half hates buying glasses and it usually takes us hours of frustrated shopping before we find something that suits his big face/Roman nose; yet this summer in Croatia we wandered into a frames shop on the off-chance and found three or four styles that looked great within minutes. So yes, he bought a couple to last. Ironically, they have a bit of colour and the brand is British!
I’ve worn glasses since I was four – when no one else of my age wore them and it was considered ‘shaming’ – but I’d never wear coloured frames as they remind me of the ‘cheerful’ ones chosen for me when I was small.
I like the third in each row best but I’m sure with your colour awareness you chose perfectly!
I love all the glasses you shared and that’s exactly how I tackle finding a new pair. I love my current frames. They are blue and transition to brown. I do have a second pair but I tend to wear this one pair most often. In all honesty, they make me happy and suit my personality and work with my skin color. I’ll look forward to your reveal!
I had really good eyesight until in my fifties. Now I need specs for closework and for driving. I’m no good with the beastly things, so I buy cheap, knowing that they will get dropped, or lost or scratched. I fall downstairs if wearing vari focals. Colour in frames is good, I like choice.
Why have I never thought of checking for spectacle frames when overseas? They are brilliant and I look forward to seeing what made the cut.
Glasses are sooo expensive in New Zealand and unless you go to a high end shop there is not much range! Last year I stopped off at Singapore to go to the same optometrist that had given my DH such a good deal. Tried all frames (probably about 100) on and only one suited – I have a difficult face!!! but it was half the price of just the lens all inclusive. I love all the shapes on your face Kate and the colour range is great. Looking forward to seeing what you get!
I use spectacles for reading, sewing etc; I’ve only needed them as my eyes have aged. I had a lovely pair in a muted plum which I lost; they were so comfortable and attractive. I have just ordered a replacement pair though the frames are a brighter purple. My previous favourite pair was red – that pair was worn to death. I look forward to seeing what you chose.
I’ve worn glasses since I was three years old (now sixty-one). My current pairs are bright turquoise for the bifocals, intense spring green for my computer lenses, and a red-purple for the reading ones. I wear these things all the time—bar being in the water or sleeping—so I don’t mind spending money to have beautiful frames. Maybe it’s a reaction to when I was a child and I had no choice at all.
At £150-£200 minimum a pair of glasses for me (and that’s with a frame costing less than £100 plus every offer I qualify for – I usually do the 2 for 1 offers and get prescription sunnies at the same time), I can not afford to match my glasses to my outfit. To suit my style I pick metal frames with flexi hinges usually in gold but the current pair are dull bronze/brown in a very similar shade to my hair – they tend to blend with everything thankfully.