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Thursday, 25 February 2010 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Lifestyle, Philip Minaker

“Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses” was one of Dorothy Parker’s bitter barbs that contributed to the social stigma of wearing glasses.  More than five decades later, many still opt for contact lenses or laser therapy to avoid donning a pair. We were even coached to eat our carrots as kids ‘cause whoever saw a rabbit wearing glasses? Well, I’m here to break it down for you! Glasses can enhance your image, reflect your personality and illuminate your sense of style while fulfilling your practical needs.

The eyewear industry has doubled its figures in the last twenty-five years…we’re talking hundreds of millions! The demand brought on by the aging Baby Boomers is a major contributor. In the Eighties, Fashion Designers took notice and began making lucrative licensing agreements with manufacturers to produce their version of the latest looks. It not only complimented their clothing collections but also substantially increased their bottom lines. Consequently, Eyewear has become “Cool” and “Chic” rather than “Homely” and “Shunned”.  

Designing frames has grown into a recognizable field within itself. Alain Mikli frames are world renown for their cutting edge design and craftsmanship. You may not of heard of American Eyewear Designer, Robert Marc, but you certainly have been exposed to his designs. Many celebrities wear his styles and a multitude of movies and television programs feature them. Theo, from Belgium, is another hot eyewear label creating a spectacle out of their spectacles. David Letterman is keen on wearing various styles from the collection. His sidekick, Paul Schaffer also sports them. You can begin to see the variety of options available just based on these two diverse personalities. Bunny, pictured above, is also peering through a pair of mottled (solidly colored with intermittent hues) frames by Theo. The industry keeps growing and growing.

Technological advances have no doubt contributed to the idea of wearing glasses. Various attributes once considered annoying or an eyesore in frames and lenses have become non-issues. Frames are no longer cumbersome as the lightest of materials are being utilized. They are now light as a feather and more resilient. Innovations in plastics also factor into this equation and offer eco-friendly and affordable options. Sizing and fit have been analyzed and reworked offering a wide variety of distinctive shapes. Stronger lenses no longer give that “coke bottle bottom” affect that make eyes freakishly large in proportion to other facial features. Bi-focal and even tri-focal lenses have become easier to wear and a lot harder to spot. Idiot strings that use to hang around ones neck, holding those not in use specs, have been replaced by a more attractive alternative. It’s obviously become a radically different experience when opting for eyewear.

Silhouette, fit and proportion are the key points to keep in mind when shopping for glasses of any nature. There’s a multitude of shapes, styles and color options to chose from but don’t get overwhelmed. Consider the fact you will probably be wearing those peepers for a couple of years and rest assured you will find the perfect pair that best frame you.