Here's lookin' at you

Tips and tricks to getting it right with glasses

Just like a haircut, a pair of glasses can make or break your outward presentation. That may sound a little dramatic, but cast your mind back to the abject embarrassment caused by your worst-ever haircut and then get back to me.

Back in the room? Good. Picking the right pair of glasses or sunglasses can be a task, but once you get the basic elements right then you'll always know the way going forward. For example, if you're like me, you have a nose that is suited to roughly two styles. With a high bridge and protruding bone, most glasses sit too high or far from my face. Both Aviators and Wayfarers are designed in such a way that they look half decent on me, and I'm free to work within these confines. Lucky for me, they're both considered classic styles.

So, whether they're for eyesight or to block out the sun's rays, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for glasses.

The looking glass

The first step is matching your frames to your facial structure. Usually this involves picking an opposing design that will help to compliment or cover up certain physiological aspects. For example, a full-cheeked gent might opt for specs with sharp edges and lines, whereas a gaunter guy might prefer a subtler shape.

Chances are your face is not perfectly symmetrical. They should rest evenly on ears and appear in line with both eyebrows, unless you want to look perpetually shambolic. A great way to address an imbalance is to buy a frame made from memory titanium, as it can be bent to suit your face.

Other than that, it's purely down to personal choice. From colour to anti-reflection and high index lenses, the world is your near- or far-sighted oyster. If you prefer to think outside the usual framework, you can always buy a second pair of your favourite sunglasses and get your optometrist to pop out the existing lenses and have them fitted with your prescription.

Shady style


Picking the right pair of sunglasses is a far easier task than regular reading glasses. First, you don't have to have them attached to your person at all times and, second, you can have a bit more fun as they generally offer a larger range and broader price point.

While you don't need to fork out hundreds, it's best to avoid the $10 pairs you find at the markets. The key reason is that it's unlikely they'll provide the proper UV protection you need to protect your peepers from the unforgiving Australian sun. Beyond protecting your eyeballs themselves, it'll also help to keep those squint-induced crow's feet at bay for a little while longer.

Lens quality is also a concern. If they are scratched badly, then your sunglasses are essentially useless. Polyurethane lenses are great because they're impact resistant, flexible and lightweight - but also expensive. Polycarbonate is a great second choice but provides less optical clarity. Acrylic is the third runner up, but is the least durable and clear.

Beyond that, follow the same tips for concerns about shape and facial structure and then go nuts. Spending a good half-hour in the shop pretending your life is a movie makeover montage will help ensure you end up with some top-notch sunnies - which will invariably be left at the pub or on the roof of your car. Happy shopping.

Do you have any handy hints when it comes to selecting shades?

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