EYEWEAR: the One Constant

by Traci McBride

Those of us that need to wear eyeglasses have so many choices in just this one accessory.

Now, usually having choices is a good thing.  I say that because many personality types get overwhelmed with too many choices, and when that happens they tend to go basic.

I often ask clients as I do a Closet Detox what made them choose the garment that we are evaluating.  The usual response is that they like some features of it but not all; the result is that they change their mind about wearing it.  This is because the garment isn’t resonating with them; it’s not aligning with their true self on some level.  Here are some of the comments that are shared with me when this same logic is applied to eyewear.

  • “I choose black glasses because black goes with everything and I never know what color I’ll be wearing.”
  • “I picked tortoise to stand out from basic black.”
  • “I decided to play it safe.”
  • “I didn’t know the best color to choose so I defaulted to wire frames.”

Needing to wearing prescription glasses is new to me.   I’ve been able to get away with ‘cheaters’ for years but now I need bifocals for ease of driving, and seeing in detail is obviously important.  Because the cost of prescription eyewear is restrictive for many, they don’t order more than one pair at a time – and making a long-term commitment to one pair is daunting.  So many factors play into choice besides color, print, texture.  You also must consider shape, weight, comfort … and if you need thicker lenses you might be limited by which frames you can choose.


As you consider the tips below keep in mind that knowing what your personal POWER COLORS are is key. This is a tool that will save you countless time, energy and money.  Why?  One you know this powerful information you can apply it to your entire wardrobe, which in turn will makes mixing and matching in your closet effortless. This will then lead back to focusing on a color for your eyewear that will play back to everything in your closet.  Everything comes full circle.

  1. Consider shape and proportion.The lens shape should mimic the natural shape of the eyebrow (except if the frame styling is avant garde like this example). An arched eyebrow is flattered by a complementary arch in the frame/lens top; a straighter brow is complemented by a flatter frame/lens top design.
  2. Choose glasses that help create the illusion of an oval face shape. If you have a slim jawline that makes your chin look pointy, avoid aviator styling and frames that are broad at the top. They will make the jaw appear slimmer. Square jawlines are not flattered by a square frame or lens shape. Round faces will only look rounder wearing round shapes. The solution? A frame or lens that is broad at the eyeline, which makes square and round faces appear more oval.
  1. Check lens depth. The bottom edge of the frame/lens should end above the flare of the nostril. The “Ideal” nose length is one-third of your face length. If a nose is proportionally shorter in length, choose a shorter frame/lens depth with a flat, higher set or upward arched-style bridge. If the nose is longer, consider a deeper frame/lens with a thicker, lower set or downward-dipping bridge.
  1. Show-off your personality. I have an over 60 friend/client that loves polka dots so she has polka dot eyewear, but it goes with 80% of her wardrobe because her wardrobe reflects who she is. She is fun, outgoing and spontaneous so everything she does is truly authentic.  Yes the glasses are black and white with the statement pop.  Even if you are in a conservative business, showing a bit of personality and playfulness will be endearing and make you more approachable.
  1. Consider tinted lenses. Many people have made their eyewear their trademark.  No reason you shouldn’t consider doing this as well.  You don’t need to follow the trends – bust out and ownit!
  1. Don’t be shy. Try on many styles and colors.  I find when you first see yourself looking completely different from the norm it can be scary – most will just stick with what they have always done.  But eventually if you follow that reaction you will be so stuck in a rut and bored by your look.

So how do you know which look is for you?

Solution:  Put your smart phone to work for you!  Take a photo of every single pair that you think you kind of like.  Then take a day or two or more to keep seeing yourself differently through your photos. Print them and hang up in your closet or office.  I find when you begin seeing yourself differently, you become more comfortable taking a step outside of your box.

Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She encourages readers to subscribe to her timely newsletter, schedule a style strategy call, or request Tee Speaks to infuse your staff or organization with a passionate professional punch of style to elevate and benefit everyone. Visit www.STYLEDbyTee.com to connect and be inspired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *