Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I Hate Picking Glasses!

Yesterday, someone said to me that they thought choosing glasses was worse than finding the right pair of jeans. I would definitely agree with this. It certainly felt like that after my glasses shopping disaster yesterday!

A little while ago I won a voucher for £150 to use at a high street chain of opticians. I was thrilled as I imagined getting a funky new pair of glasses. On the other hand of course this meant shopping for them. I've been putting it off actually as I knew it might be an effort. As time is running out to use the voucher, I popped in to my local branch and had a session of trying on.

I should mention that I was there with my three year old and 8 month old. Not ideal I know. An assistant came up a couple of times to ask if she could help. I asked if she could check that I could buy glasses with the voucher and went about my business. I spent quite a while trying various pairs on (the three year old got increasingly bored in this time), I eventually plumped for a pair that are very similar to my current pair. I went along to the assistant who had initially approached me and thought I was all set to order them. She asked me to put them on and then promptly said "These are too wide for you, they don't suit you". Cheers for that. So, after half an hour plus of trying on and trying to pacify two fraught children, she wanted me to go and look for something else!

Feeling quite offended by all of this, I walked out and did what any normal person would do. I phoned my husband for a rant! I calmed down a bit and went to get some chocolate for the three year old to buy me a bit more time! I headed in for a second go.

This time I asked for advice. You'll like this, apparently I needed to look at the teenage range because of my petite face and features. I don't actually have a problem with this but I tried a few on and seriously, I looked like Penfold. That's never going to be a good look for anybody.

A third assistant came along to help, probably sensing my growing frustration. She laughed about the teenage glasses and said no way. Her advice was to look for something that wasn't too wide or too long in the arms. Though, she did say, I should go for what I wanted as it's my choice at the end of the day! I decided to give up at that point.

I have to go back and face the search again of course. This is where you come in, I'd love some advice on what style to go for. What do you think would suit my face shape? I'd love to go for thicker frames but I'm not sure they work with my features. Here's are some mug shots, with and without glasses. What do you think would look good but make a change from my current style?

Let's keep our fingers crossed that I don't get any more rude comments tomorrow about my choice in glasses. The lack of chocolate over the past week has given the rage!


  1. I had the same thing the last time I went to the opticians. I jokingly told her that it wasn't her face they were going on so she left me to it.
    Good luck in finding the perfect pair! It really can be a pain in the arse...especially when your 2 year old cousin decides your new glasses need reshaping...

  2. I nearly said to you yesterday how much I hate it. I've got bendy ones and I love them, they stay comfortable when kids bash into you. I don't like anything too heavy either as I get a lot of sinus pressure. I need reactolites because I'm so light sensitive and I don't want a small slot to look out of either. Makes for nothing trendy on me then!

    Last time I got some I walked in and said I want exactly the same pair as these!!! And got them.

    Been tempted to get some twenty quid types off the internet to try but never got round to it.

  3. I had this voucher to spend too so this weekend I was on a similar hunt! I knew I wanted tortoise-shell glasses so there weren't too many to choose from thankfully! I can't believe that woman told you they were too wide. Picking a pair is difficult enough without someone else offering their view on things. It has nothing to do with her, it's your opinion that matters and if you liked them you should buy them! I think thicker frames would look good on you and it's worth trying a new style with a voucher, that way you're not left out of pocket if you decide you don't like them later on.

  4. @ChrissyDee: Oh God, I've been there with the re-shaping. The ones I have now where almost trashed within a week of purchasing. It's hard to explain that the arms are only supposed to fold one way!! Thanks for the good luck wishes, I think I'll need it.

    @Sparklz and Shine: I'm really light sensitive too. It's part of the reason I have such deep lines between my brows from screwing my face up! I know I ought to get some reactolite ones but I've been resisting. The light frame sounds interesting, I think they would be really good for everyday. I'd love to try something chunky though, like Amy says, it's nice to try something totally different as I have the voucher.

    @Amy: She wasn't just offering advice, she actually wouldn't sell me them. It's bonkers because at the end of the day, it's my mistake to make surely?! I'd love to go for thicker frames, like you say it's good to try something totally different with the voucher. Tortoise shell sounds lovely, I think if I go for something bolder a colour other than black might be more flattering.

  5. I think the ones you have are perfect for you.. Much help I know :-D

    I don't know about thicker frames, they tend to take over your face a bit..

    Have you considered lenses? Could you use the voucher for that?

    If not the vision express has a tool that lets you upload your face and then try on any style you want from all designers and brands.


    I had to get reading glasses and chose ones that were dark brown (D&G ones) and when I see pictures of me in them, they're wayy too dominant in my face, which is why I'd not recc' a thicker frame generally.

  6. Oh dear, I so know what you mean. I chose my new pair just this August in Athens, but thankfully from a shop whose owners I have known for ages (not a chain) and I was left to my own devices, free to go crazy...which I did. It worked however, as I am very-very happy with my choice.
    I agree with your idea of thicker frames and colour. I find that very few face shapes and skintones do not fare well with coloured frames. Tortoise shell sounds good too, but sometimes it does not create a flattering enough contrast with your skintone, so it can be tricky.
    Any possibility of perhaps going to the shop with your OH or a friend? Sometimes it eases the pain (although NOT as much as chocolate...) :-)
    Good luck!
    Nina x

  7. @Cheeky Beauty: I've had a few lens trials over the years and I can't get on with them. I can only wear them for a couple of hours at a time. My eyes are on the edge of being too dry to wear them. It's a shame as I would like the option really.

    I'll have a go with the vision express tool. I don't mind getting something that I just wear now and again, like a thicker pair. It feels like it's worth taking a punt when I'm not paying for it myself!

    @Nina: It's definitely not somewhere I usually go for glasses but I really want to make use of the voucher! Unfortunately, I'm going to have to go on my own. If I wait for my husband, the voucher will expire. It's not ideal as a trusted second opinion would help me. My middle child will be at nursery when I go tomorrow so hopefully it'll be easier to browse.

    Jane x

  8. Getting new glasses is worse than new jeans, I KNOW I look awful in jeans, but I also know that I can look good in glasses if they are the right ones. I took my husband, a 3 year old would have been more help; "you look like Dame Edna Everidge" is neither constructive nor helpful in response to "what about these?" although brutal honesty has its place.

    I went to specsavers, and should have gone some where else. I got a sales assistant who failed to hide her disdain for anyone over the age of 19 even trying to look nice (take the varifocals and get out of my face). I have 2 pairs, cos thats what they do a specsavers, dont really love either of them. They did have that really useful camera thing though, so that you can see what you look like in your glasses. Unfortunately on the one I was using I could see what I would have looked like in a very dark room, on a very dark night with no lights on. Not much help. Resorted to forcing husband to take photos on my mobile as he had got to the "buy whatever the hell you like" stage.

    As for helpful suggestions I think the majority of people suit full frame more than half frame glasses, I think you could take quite a striking dark, maybe even black, frame, the frames can be thick but if the arms are not so wide then they wont look like they swamp you, I also think that maybe looking for something where the edge of the frame by the lens was a bit deeper might be nice so that the overall affect from face on isn't too heavy. Tortoiseshell would also work with your colouring and quite possibly a maroon. Personally I think you need to take someone you trust, a point and shoot and be prepared to brazen it out whilst you try on and the other person takes pics from front and side and then you pick over coffee and cake 3 hrs later and only then go back and order! Good luck! (oh and sorry this is such a long reply but its a subject I can really relate to!)

  9. Oops you might have to edit my response as it was rather huge! sorry!

  10. Oh the penfold comment made me laugh! As if she suggested you look at the teenage range, really.

    I totally can relate to this..I actually chose a new pair of glasses afew months... back had my prescription put into them, got them home. Then decided that I hated them...the sides were too thick and they just looked heavy on my face (maybe I should of looked in the teenage range, hey). So I literally wasted £90 as I couldn't face going back again and trying on more glasses! So I'm currently still using my old glasses with my old prescription in them. Naughty naughty!

    Anyways onto your face! I actually think the ones you already have really suit you, so maybe a pair that are quite long but with a little less depth and a full frame. I'd also stick to thin sides as most of the time they make too much of a statement for every day use!
    Also maybe a dark tortoise shell frame would be nice, quite soft or something brown?

    Hope you find a nice pair when you next go in :)

    Fee x

  11. What a nightmare. As several have already said, the ones you have look great on you - although I suppose that's not much help if you fancy a change. Maybe one of the links below could help?



    And just for the a giggle..

    Katy :)

  12. I think you could pull thicker full framed ones off, and if you're worried they'll be too full on then go for grey or brown instead of black. Don't be afriad of full rims, I recently went to them from half fairly thin rims and I love my new ones. x

  13. I know what you mean about having delicate features! Most of my glasses have to have very subtle frames, otherwise they overpower my face. My husband however likes me in thicker frames - I once got a red pair on his advice, and I have to admit that while I didn't wear them every single day, it was a fun addition to my look. Unfortunately, I can't wear them anymore since my eyesight has changed since!

    I think you'd also suit thicker frames. They're more of a statement, but can look absolutely fabulous. Maybe go try a couple of pairs with your husband or a friend? xxx

  14. I've got thicker, statement frames Missoni) but then again I love my glasses. I have a very weird phobia about being seen without them due to my little Brother constantly telling me that I have piggy eyes. Yes, even at 30 I don't like being without them!!

    Choosing new glasses can be soul destroying. Shame you have the voucher, because I'd really recommend going to an independent optician, as opposed to a chain store. Half the time the people in Specsavers/Vision Express haven't got a clue. Also the kind of frames you can have can quite often be dictated by the type of lenses you need. I'm sure whatever you pick will be lovely, even if that means sticking to similar frames to your old ones!!

    Good luck Jane x

  15. well you must have lucked out there as I don't think I have ever had one of the glasses sales people ever stear me away from a certain pair, had to laugh at them sending you to the teenage bit!
    My boy has broke 3 pairs on glasses so I need to buy a back up soon, really looking forward to it as have only ever had one pair I really loved. I know you like things a bit more funky but I think some lightweight oval with a deep coloured trim would be nice on you x

  16. I don't wear glasses so I don't know if I will much help but I like the idea of squarish ones on you in a bold colour like burgandy or navy. I think thin wire ones wouldn't do your striking eyes justice. I hope that makes sense! xoxo

  17. Know the feeling :( I've been wearing glasses since I was 15 and I actually think they really suit me but only when I find the right pair - which usually takes a while and the only person who's advice I will accept is my dads! At the minute I have change between 4 different pairs because I've found it so difficult to get a pair that will go with every outfit!

    Seeing how you have very soft feminine features I wouldnt go for anything too harsh or "modern." With pale skin I think the best colour options are black, dark green or navy - basically anything fairly dark that brings out your eye colour.

    I always make the mistake of choosing glasses that are too wide (until my dad points it out!) so keep in mind that they should reach the side of your head but not beyond and when you're looking straight ahead your eyes should be in the very centre of the lens. If they're slightly to the left or right it makes the eyes look too close together or too far apart!

    Looking forward to some pics when you finally find the perfect pair! :)

  18. My face shape is very similar to yours. Luckily I knew exactly what I wanted - well more I know what I dislike and that's either metal frames or rimless glasses.

    In the end I got these http://www.eyewearbrands.com/designer%20glasses/gucci/gucci%20gg%203007 and I am completely in love. Whenever I wear them people comment on how gorgeous they are and how much they suit me.

  19. Ooops meant to say I got them in the tortoise shell colour!

  20. @Debbie: Thanks for your comment, lots of great tips. I just had to go for it though as time was running out to get them ordered and use the voucher. I tried on lots of fuller frames (black, brown, tortoiseshell…) but I don’t think they look good on me. I want to be able to wear them but most of the ones I tried were too narrow across the bridge of the nose and looked very ‘odd’ on me.

    In the end, I’ve gone for a purple pair . Of course, I can’t even remember now if they’re full frame or not! They are a Roxy pair. I’ll just see if I can find a picture….

    I think it’s these. I’m going to keep a note of the measurements though and order some from glasses direct, I really want to go for something more dramatic for occasions! Is that mad? I think it would be nice to have more choice in my glasses wardrobe, lol!

    @Makeup Savvy: It was actually a guy that said it, yesterday when he asked me how I got on with the teenage ones I told him that I thought I looked like Penfold. He even ended up asking about the blogging and I said that I’d posted about my disaster. He looked quite shocked when I said lots of people had responded. He said “Do you have a bit of a cult following then?”. Yes, of course. Beauty Blogs are just like cults ;).

    That’s so disappointing when glasses don’t look how you hoped. I felt like that to start with about my current pair. I got used to them in the end. I would really like a couple of pairs to choose from but it gets expensive. Not quite the same as buying wellies is it like that ad suggested! I’ve gone for something purple, so probably not for everyday. I’m still keen to try some bolder frame so I think I’m going to order some from glasses direct or similar. I’ll have to showcase the new ones when they’re ready to pick up. Good or bad, I’ll be sharing it with the cult! Lol.

  21. assistant suggested the ones I’d picked out were too wide as they were pretty similar to what I already wear. Who wants to hear they’ve been walking round looking like an idiot for the past 18 months?! Thanks for the links too, they’re really helpful.

    @Claire: I have picked out a pair of full frame and they’re purple so a little more forgiving. I’d still like to go for something bolder but the ones they had on display just didn’t suit me. I will continue the hunt though and treat myself another time.

    @Rocaille: The red pair sound fantastic, it’s just the sort of thing I was after but their range was fairly limited. I would love some dramatic ones for occasional wear, I will take my husband with me some time for a hunt round a few opticians to find a style that would suit me.

    I have picked out some purple ones but the frames aren’t that thick. I still think they will be fun for a bit of a change.

    @Leanne: I agree that it’s much better if you can go to an independent opticians. I used to go to a brilliant place in Leeds where I got my much loved Prada glasses. I picked some out yesterday, they are a bit different to my usual style but not as bold as I’d like to go. I will continue the hunt though. I’d really like some proper statement ones that are not my everyday pair.

  22. @Replica: I went for this pair in purple because they didn’t have any taupe in ;). I’m still hoping I can get something a bit different sometime. I’ll probably order online but I’ll take OH out on a research mission before hand next time. My glasses have suffered a lot at the hands of the small people. They always seem to gravitate to exactly the things you don’t want them to touch!

    @Skin Scrubs: Although I went for a safer option yesterday I will still get something similar to how you described. I remember the suggestion of navy when I was in there though and almost went for a pair of Navy Missoni ones. The assistants decided for me in the end! It was quite a comical experience!

    @All Made Up: Fantastic tips for getting the size right! I found it very helpful yesterday. I like wearing my glasses and sometimes feel a bit strange without them now. My husband is a glasses wearer too and he looks very different without them on.

    I like the idea of having several pairs to choose from. The ones I picked are coloured and full frames but still quite delicate. I’d still like another pair, similar to the ones Clairey posted about below. I’m going to use the measurements from this pair to order some online though to keep the cost down. I think if it’s something you wear everyday it’s nice to have a bit of variety. Thanks for your help and suggestions.

    @Clairey: They are perfect and just the sort of thing I was looking for. Unfortunately the ones they had in that were similar just didn’t look right on me. They were all to narrow across the bridge of the nose and made me look strange. I think I’m going to go and have a look in a few places, when I’ve found something with the right proportions, I shall note down the measurements and order some online. Thanks for sharing the link. Your glasses are lovely!

    Thanks for all of your fantastic comments, it made me full much better having shared my disaster with you all. I really appreciated the suggestions too. I’ll be sharing the glasses I went for when they arrive. Even I hate them, I promise to share!
    Jane x

  23. Your glasses in the posted photo seems to make your face wider since the frame extends so far out.

    I feel a chunky frame might suite your face as you've pretty strong features.

    A useful tip I find when I search for glasses is to take photos of what I look like with them on - my eyesight is terrible so can't see my image properly in the mirror when trying out glasses, hence the photo camera.

    Good luck on your hunt! Just started reading your blog today and loving it :D

  24. Hi Cassie! Thanks for reading and thanks for the tips too. I picked out some glasses that will a change from the ones I already have. I still want to hunt for some with thicker frames. Unfortunately the ones I've tried on so far just don't suit. I'm not ready to give up yet though ;)
    Jane x


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