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Looking stylish in specs – learning from the experts!

glasses triptych

At my most recent contact lense check up I was told that I should try to wear my contact lenses less, and my glasses more, or I may soon not be able to wear contacts at all any more. This was the kick up the bum to finally get new glasses – my old ones, the blue ones in the middle picture, weren’t strong enough, which was why I almost always wore contacts, but I could never quite make myself spend the money on getting new ones or new lenses. In the end, I went to specsavers and got two new ones on their 2 for 1 deal.

Now that I’ve spent the money I want to make sure I get the most out of them by actually wearing them! I’m trying to start thinking of myself as a regular glasses wearer and to help me on the way, I interviewed some stylish ladies who wear glasses every day about their experiences.

Lets get on with the (five!) mini interviews!

Tell me about yourself!

I’m Jen, 25, from Leeds. I work as a web editor by day and a blogger by night. My blog is A Little Bird Told Me.

Tell me about your glasses and your history of wearing specs.

I started wearing glasses for distances when I was 11, after a few months of terrible headaches. I went full time at about 16 and have worn them ever since. I’ve tried contacts a few times but my eyes are so sensitive and everything irritates them!

My frames are Gucci and I got them from Vision Express. I only have one pair as they were disgustingly expensive, but after two years I’m getting bored so will probably invest in another pair soon. I have expensive taste when it comes to glasses so only really buy high end designer frames – terrible, I know. I’m a spectacle snob! 🙂

How has being a wearer of glasses has influenced your style?

There are definitely some trends I avoid because I wear glasses. Crazy hairstyles are out (although not sure if they’d be in even with 20-20 vision…), I don’t wear fake eyelashes or elaborate eye makeup, don’t like headbands or hair accessories or anything that adds more detail to my face. Hats can be tricky too.

My glasses are quite bright and have an intricate pattern on the arms, so I tend to keep my hair and makeup simple and sleek.

In clothing terms, I don’t think my glasses affect my sartorial choices that much now, but after 15 years of wearing them, they’ve definitely influenced my personal style.

Glasses have had a bit of a renaissance in the last few years – when Primark sell plain lens black plastic frames for £5, you know you’re looking at a trend. I do love that indie style – floral dresses, chunky knits, tights and mussed up hair – and think a pair of glasses compliments it perfectly!

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Tell me about yourself!

My name is Diana, I live in California, and I’m a stay at home housewife, with a few freelance gigs on the side. My blog is our.city.lights, a mix of photography, love, nerdism, and everything in between.

Tell me about your glasses and your history of wearing specs.

I’ve been wearing glasses as early as 3 years old, I’m legally blind. My first pair had a nylon strap attached that strapped around my head, to not fall off. As I got older, the strap became a chain that hit my shoulders (yes, I was that nerdy). When contact lenses became more popular, I was told my prescription was too strong. The only solution was to have custom contacts made out of a special glass, but being in high school, there was a slight chance I’d accidentally break my contact, stabbing my eyes with small shards of glass during a physical class. I still wore glasses, but since I was so blind, I had special waterproof ones made to wear in the shower, and for swimming. After almost ten years, I was told the technology used for contact lenses were soft enough to wear. I wore my contacts a couple times, and once for my wedding. I let them expire and never wore again. Even to this day, I look forward to getting a new pair of glasses, and with online cheaper sources, I love how they are an accessory. I will never go back to contact lenses, glasses will always be a part of me!

How has being a wearer of glasses has influenced your style?

Wearing glasses influenced my style when I was younger. I felt wearing glasses had a stigma to them- a more conservative, nerdy stigma so I dressed a little more extreme. As I got older, my style changed, and glasses enhanced my style, rather than feeling like I was hiding behind them.

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Tell me about yourself!

My name is Katie, and I’m 1/4 of the bloggers of Interrobangs Anonymous. We spend most of our time online talking about clothing, music, literature, politics, and slime mold. I’m the one responsible for most (or all) of the slime mold talk, and for that I apologize. When I’m not blogging, I’m busy being a museum curator specializing in biology, interpretation, and the narrative intersections between the natural and cultural worlds.

Tell me about your glasses and your history of wearing specs.

I’ve worn glasses since I was eight. Watching Saturday morning cartoons one day, I found I was able to read the credits on the television screen when I looked through the glasses my mom had left sitting on the coffee table. I marched over to my mum, told her I needed glasses, and have been wearing them ever since. While I’ve considered contacts, I’ve never worn them and so have been continuously bespectacled for twenty years. Over those twenty years I’ve probably owned ten pairs of glasses. I currently own two pairs that I alternate between, and see as well as a nake mole rat (without the naked part) without them.

How has being a wearer of glasses has influenced your style?

I didn’t always see my glasses as part of my style. For a long time they seemed something my style had to compensate for – I was the girl who would felt I looked so much better when I took my glasses off. But the glasses are here to stay, and I finally decided to stop fighting them, start making them work for me, and find pairs that would make me love the way I looked. Today I embrace wearing glasses as a quintessential part of my nerd-chic style. I love that they make me look smart, that they’re associated with the academic nature of my profession, and that I’m part of a proud tradition of glasses wearers. Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Groucho Marx, Benjamin Franklin, Tina Fey, Harry Potter, and me. Glasses are trendy right now, so I’m embracing the plethora of new frames available to me, but I’ll still be wearing mine long after the hipsters have moved on to the next trend.

Today, I wouldn’t say my glasses have influenced my style as much as I think they’re a part of my style. For example, because I tend to wear bold, dark frames, I’m concious of the other accessories I wear. Glasses + a big necklace + big earrings can be a bit too much going on around my face, so I’ve taken to wearing either a necklace or earrings, or keeping other accessories smaller if there’s more than one of them. I’ve also come to love wearing scarves, in part because I find their softness and fluidity around my neck to be a beautiful foil to the sharp lines of my glasses frames above them.

Oddly, when I started taking regular outfit-of-the-day photos for our blog, I didn’t wear my glasses. Some part of my brain began repeating the mantra from high school that I didn’t look pretty in my glasses and I shouldn’t wear them for photos. It just goes to show that old insecurities can run deep. I went for almost a year rarely wearing my glasses on camera, but made a conscious decision a month ago to always keep them on in my photos. After all, a picture of me without my glasses isn’t really a picture of me.

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Tell me about yourself!

I’m Bliss Alexander-Smith, 30. I work as a graphic designers at an ad agency but I consider my side project of sew bliss sew my creative outlet. (also, Bliss posts wardroberemix pics on her flickr stream, which is how I ‘know’ her, check it out!)

Tell me about your glasses and your history of wearing specs.

The glasses I currently wear are Anne et Valentin Coralie, and were recently resurrected. I first got them in December of 2008 from a store, 20/20 in my local mall. December of 2010 a large carpet cleaner can fell on them and snapped them in half. Luckily we were able to re order the same ones. (phew!) I really only wear these, although I do have some green frames that are my back up pair that I wore seven prior. I guess when I find something I like, I’m dedicated to it. I’ve worn glassses or contact since I was three years old. Aided vision is all I know. It was glasses from 1984 to 1994. Then contacts from 1994 to 2000. Then back to glasses. I have contacts that I rarely wear. I feel like I just don’t look like myself with glasses, although sometimes contacts are handy.

How has being a wearer of glasses has influenced your style?

I’m not sure wearing glasses has influenced my style. I don’t even see them really, they’re just a part of my face. I did take purchasing new glasses very seriously though because like I said, i’m likely to wear them for nearly a decade. I think when the general public sees frames on people that are a little out of the ordinary they automatically think “artist” or “designer” so really I’m just enforcing my own stereotype, but I’m more than pleased to be presumed “artist” or whatever at a glance!

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Tell me about yourself!

Diana of Smiles Go With Everything, a 26 year old school librarian.

Tell me about your glasses and your history of wearing specs.

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was about seven years old. Most of my pairs in elementary school were huge clear pink plastic frames. By middle school, I started wearing contacts on and off. That continued through high school and most of college. When I turned 23, I no longer had my parent’s vision insurance, so I stopped wearing contacts because glasses were a lot cheaper. Now that I have insurance again, I’m thinking about trying contacts again. I’ll probably constantly switch between the two.

I’m not particularly picky about brand when I get glasses – I look for something that fits with my style, that is practical (ie -not so small I can’t see a thing), and that flatters my face. My current glasses are Anne Klein.

I also own a pair of prescription sunglasses. When I switched to full time glasses wearing, I immediately bought a pair. When you live somewhere sunny like Florida, they are absolutely essential.

How has being a wearer of glasses has influenced your style?

I’m not really sure how glasses have influenced my style. I’ve had a lot of points where I didn’t wear glasses, so I don’t see them as essential. I guess they do give me a bit of librarian chic, which is ironic since I’m actually a librarian.

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Thank you to my lovely interviewees! Their glasses wearing histories are so interesting and aren’t they all amazing?

Anyone care to share their glasses related histories or habits?

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