Selecting your specs: What you need to know about your glasses

It's the addition to your outfit you don't immediately think of, but choosing a pair of glasses can be one of the most difficult things a short-sighted lady like myself can do. 

A recent trip to the mall saw me and my friend in a glasses store, where she went as far as to say she was "so jealous" of my terrible vision, in that I could choose from such a cool selection of specs. 

"I mean, I'm completely dependent on them to get through the day, I'm basically blind," I reminded her. 

"Yeah but they're still cool," she bemoaned, for which I cannot blame her. 

The selection of frames available today is staggering; those of us with less than perfect vision are overwhelmed with size, shape and colour. No longer are glasses a shameful addition to the face; in fact, many have two or three pairs to match that day's outfit aesthetic. 

Some of the new season styles at the Specsavers launch.
Some of the new season styles at the Specsavers launch. Photo credit: Supplied/Specsavers.

You can even buy pairs with interchangeable arms on the frames, so you can snap on your 'party pair' for those special occasions. 

It's a world that those blessed with 20/20 vision simply cannot understand.

Kenzo green glasses at Specsavers launch
A pair of the new season Kenzo green frames. Photo credit: Supplied/Specsavers.

Stig Engelbreth Hansen, Global Head of Product Design for Specsavers, says increasingly glasses wearers are becoming more and more daring with their selection. 

"Colour is the big thing; it's a throwback to the '90s," he told me at the launch of the Specsavers Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, echoing the bright blues, rich reds, dusty pinks and even gold surrounding me.  

"[We're seeing] the iconic Armani oval reinterpreted into plastic shapes... and the 'logomania' we saw in the '90s."

That means get ready for big, iconic brand splashes down the side of your frames - this season it's not about subtlety.  

Specsavers bold coloured frames
This season is all about bold colour. Photo credit: Supplied/Specsavers.

"If you've been long enough in the industry, you see everything come back around," laughed Hansen

I assumed Kiwis would be a little on the conservative side, but Hansen says the tide is turning. 

"Black, brown and dark blue are typically what sells the most, but people are now crying out for colour," he revealed. 

Specsavers models
Us Kiwis aren't as conservative as I once thought. Photo credit: Supplied/Specsavers.

So what do prospective glasses wearers need to know?

He said for beginners, the typical start is a thin wire frame, or a rimless or transparent look. 

"[But] when you choose your frames, go with your gut feeling," he advised.  

"Normally when you go into [a store] you have in mind something you'd probably like to try on, and most of the time you go out with what you tried on at the beginning."