Why are glasses overlooked?
For a long time I thought I had perfect vision, but a recent routine visit to the optician has meant I now join the 69% of Britons who wear glasses. So why is it we spend less time choosing a pair of glasses than we do buying a suit? I had never thought about it, but a call with a very interesting glasses designer has opened my eyes to a whole new world (I make no excuses for the pun, but better get it out of the way early).
According to a recent study by the college of optometrists, 74% of adults wear eye correction of one sort or another and of those, 69% wear glasses Britain’s Eye Health in Focus – The College of Optometrists. With so many of us in the same boat, I would have thought there would be a wealth of information on how to choose the right pair of glasses. Unfortunately with so many opticians also being retailers, you are simply ushered from the eye test to a wall of frankly uninspiring glasses.
The same thing would have happened to me, but fortunately I have a wife who pulls no punches and will say exactly what she thinks of my style. While we don’t always agree, I do value her opinion and she hated everything in the shop. Sorry Boots, you get nill points for style. We agreed to go home and do some research and look for something more in keeping with my style, but more importantly a better shape for my face.
A quick scan of the interweb pulled up many familiar vendors and we narrowed the search down to a store that had a few pairs that made it on to the ‘has potential’ list for me to try on in person. The next day had me trying them on and in what now feels like no time at all, a deal had been done and my glasses would be ready in an hour.
The next day saw the obligatory selfie make it’s way onto the usual social media channels of Twitter and Instagram which opened the door to an introduction with Jason Kirk from Kirk and Kirk designer glasses. The conversation started with the simple ‘So how did you choose your glasses?’. Sounds straight forward enough, but it made me realise I put as much thought into buying those glasses as I would a pair of jeans or a pullover.
Considering your glasses make a big impact on your overall appearance, and you wear them all the time, every day, surely your glasses deserve the same considerations when buying as any other investment garment? Not only did I rush my purchase, but I really had no idea who the quality vendors are or what makes a quality pair of glasses.
- Kirk & Kirk kirkandkirk.com British eyewear with a rich heritage and a unique collection
- Theo theo.be very creative and colourful Belgian brand
- Lucas De Stael – award winning French designer that combines interesting materials to create unusual finishes www.lucasdestael.com/
- Mykita – German design. Lightweight, well-constructed frames mykita.com
- Francis Klein beautiful feminine limited edition frames that are elaborately decorated http://www.francisklein.fr/
- Anne et Valentin – lovely French designs, colourful and well-constructed http://www.anneetvalentin.com/
Once you know what you want, you will want to find an independent quality vendor to have a chance of buying a pair. Here is a list of recommended vendors up and down the country so you can find a quality pair of glasses no matter where you are:
- London – Auerbach and Steele http://www.auerbach-steele.com/
- Peterborough – The Oculist http://www.theoculist.com/
- Hove – Taylor-West and Sloan http://taylorwestandsloan.co.uk/
- Bristol – Amar Shah http://www.seeamar.co.uk/home.html
- Manchester – Seen http://www.seen.co.uk/
- Leeds – Brosgill Opticians http://www.brosgillopticians.com/
- Glasgow – Niche Optical Tailor http://www.nicheopticaltailor.co.uk/
- Dublin – Paul Gill http://paulgilloptician.com/
I actually feel quite fortunate that I managed to get a pair of glasses that suit me OK, but had I known there was a whole world of quality eyewear out there, I would have waited, researched a bit more, and probably made very different choices. My saving grace is I am very new to the world of glasses and I have a lot to learn, so I am sure my tastes will evolve as I discover what else is out there. Rest assured my next pair will be a very different shopping experience.
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