Love at First Sight: Finding the Right Eyewear
Most people think about it when meeting that special someone. But what about in the context of your wardrobe? It’s the feeling when we try on something and we know it’s perfect in every way. The stars align, the angels sing…it is truly a high five moment! And admittedly while I will accept nothing less for my clients, over the last few weeks I have been – dare I say – a little less discerning with my own wardrobe. Maybe it’s because it’s winter. Or I’m having some challenges shaking the few pounds of vacation weight. (I am human too!) Whatever the reason I realized that a shift was in order. With that in mind…
I decided to use some of the strategies I use with my clients on myself – and I decided to start at the top with my eyewear. Those of you that know me know that I believe those of us lucky enough to wear glasses (and I do mean lucky) should really own it. (I have never been a believer in eyewear that looks as though you’re not wearing any.) And while I have always loved my choices in the past, I feel that it was time for a change. As of late I have been attracted to a more sophisticated, yet edgy aesthetic with just a BIT of TUDE. And I felt ready to embrace it in every way.
Some of you might wonder why I started with eyewear. The truth is no one truly understands the power of the right eyewear until they experience it themselves. The right glasses put a spring in your step. You feel glam – almost larger than life. And there is a feeling of ‘I can accomplish anything’ with the right pair. (Note the genuine smile I am sporting with my new pair of sunnies.)
But what makes the right pair, well right?
While I am about to share some tips for buying eyewear (with the help of eyewear expert Ruth Domber, owner of 10/10 Optics, NYC), please know that first and foremost there needs to be an immediate attraction once you put them on. Your eyewear has to speak to your heart (much like that person you see across the room). Since we can fall in love multiple times (and with multiple pairs) here are some more tangible guidelines.
It’s so hue. The right pair of glasses should complement your personal coloring. Look to repeat the undertone of your skin with the undertone of your glasses. For instance, people with warmer undertones look better in warmer frames while cooler complexions are most flattered by cooler frames. In addition, your frames should bring out your eyes. Note: this does not necessarily mean repeating your eye color (although doing so is never “wrong”). However you might also think about the clothing colors you wear to enhance your appearance as these are the precisely the colors you’d want to wear on your face.
No two are alike. Your eyewear should look as personal as your signature. In addition to paying attention to color cues, Ruth loves to fit eyewear that is “tactile, textured and dimensional.” She adds,” Natural materials and fibers such as wood, horn, granite and leather not only add visual interest but bring elegant distinction.”
Shop by shape. The key to finding the right frames is to remember that opposites attract. Select eyeglasses that contrast your facial contours and bring symmetry and balance to your prominent features. It is often helpful to think about face shape. Remember, the best frames also echo the shape of your brows. According to Ruth, your eyewear can be your make up. “You can create angles or softness, definition or distraction. Choose to enhance and bring attention to features you’d like to show off and illusions you’d like to create. For example, if your eyebrow is weak, the contour of the frame can create or complete your brow line.”
Pay attention to your personal pie chart. No matter how we slice it, there are only 168 hours in a week. Ask yourself: 1) how you spend your (awake) time 2) which activities you will do while wearing your eyeglasses and 3) how might your eyeglass requirements change for each activity? For example if you exercise, you might want a more durable, sporty frame – perhaps with transitional lenses. At work, you might want a “smart” frame that conveys authority and business savvy. For after hours and evening, you might want a pair that says, ‘Come hither.’ Just like with clothing, you will want a wardrobe of eyewear that can take you from day to play.
What’s your style personality? Is your clothing more sporty, romantic, traditional, elegant, casual or dramatic? Your eyewear should resonate with your clothing, your look and your overall vibe. Since it is the first accessory people notice, you will want to make sure that it is in synch with who you are – or who you aspire to be. This may mean stretching a bit outside of your comfort zone. Adds Ruth, “When we take the leap away from the familiar into the extraordinary the joy is tangible.”
Accessorize with impact. My feeling is this. Unlike other accessories, you wear your eyewear every day. They should make you look and feel confident, attractive and strong. Ruth says it best… “We all agree that the right shoe is very important, but truthfully what do people see first, your feet or your face?”
Clearly Ruth and I see eye to eye (smile).
Carol Davidson is a leading image consultant and style strategist based in NYC (www.CarolDavidson.com). Her expertise has helped thousands of women and men tackle their careers and personal lives with confidence and enthusiasm.
Ruth Domber is the co-founder of 10/10 Optics (www.1010optics.com) and eyewear consultant extraordinaire. Her positive energy is a key force behind the success of 10/10 Optics and a reason why her customers have been coming back for more than 30 years.