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How To Choose Eyewear


Here you’ll find a brief guide to choosing and buying eyewear including glasses and contact lenses. So whatever your face shape and lifestyle, here you should be able to find some useful advice to help you get the right pair of glasses or contact lenses.

Choosing glasses

Glasses are instantly noticeable as soon as someone sees you and that is why it is so important to choose the glasses that best suit you. Whether you have hundreds of pounds to spend on your spectacles or much less than that, you should be able to find the right style of glasses to suit you.

The key to getting the glasses that make you feel and look your best is in selecting the right style of frames to suit your personality and lifestyle. So before you even get to the opticians think about what your glasses are for – are they just for reading at home, are they for driving, are they to wear at work or when you are socialising, or are they to be worn at all times? If you need to wear glasses all the time then you may benefit from having two pairs, such as a conservative pair for work and a more daring pair to wear in the evenings and when socialising.

Once you’ve decided when you will be wearing your glasses it is time to decide on the best style to suit your face. It’s all well and good knowing you want a pair of glasses with a plain black frame to wear at work but you need to consider what shape of frame best suits the shape of your face. Of course everyone’s face shape is slightly different but there are a few basic face shapes and here we outline them and the best style of frames to choose:

Round face

A round face has curvilinear lines and the width and length of the face are in the same proportions with no angles. It is best choose eyeglasses that make a round face look longer and thinner, and you can do this by choosing angular, narrow frames with high or mid-height temples and a clear bridge that will make the face appear longer and the eyes wider.

Square face

Square faces tend to have a strong jaw line and a broad forehead, and the width and length are in the same proportions. When choosing spectacles go for ones that are going to soften your angles and make your face look longer, so curved, narrow styles that are wider than the widest part of the face are usually best.

Oval face

If you have an oval face then you are considered to have the ideal shaped face due to its balanced proportions. When buying eyeglasses you want to keep the oval face’s natural balance so go for glasses that are as wide or wide than the widest part of the face that have almond or walnut-shaped frames.

Oblong face

An oblong face tends to be longer than it is wide and so you will probably have a long, straight cheek line and perhaps a longer nose. To make your face look shorter and more balanced look for frames that have top-to-bottom depth such as rounder P-3 shapes, decorative or contrasting temples that will add width to the face, and a low bridge to shorten the nose.

Choosing contact lenses

There is a huge selection of contact lenses available in the UK today and it would be very easy for you to get overwhelmed at this choice. However, contact lenses can be broken down into several main categories based on what they're made of, how often you need to replace them and whether you can sleep in them.

Contact lenses are made of different types of plastic but they are divided into two main groups – soft lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses. Soft contact lenses contain from 25% to 79% water, are easy to adapt to and are quite comfortable, making them a good choice for first-time wearers. Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses on the other hand take longer to adapt to, but are more durable and more resistant to deposit build up. They also tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens although the upfront cost is higher. These lenses also offer some people a more crisp vision than soft contact lenses. Which of these contact lenses you choose is a personal choice but many people start with soft contact lenses that need replacing more regularly before moving on to RGP lenses when they are used to wearing contacts.

For more information and specialist advice on getting the right glasses or contact lenses for you be sure to seek the help of a qualified optician when shopping for glasses or contacts. You can find an optician in your area by using our online listings directory.

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