Open Your Eyes to New Eyewear

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Posted by Sarah Bain on Dec. 16, 2018, midnight

Although it’s a corrective necessity for many, eyewear is also a fashion accessory. Like everything we wear, glasses communicate a lot about our personality. And like changes in fashion trends, glasses go through their own transitions in style.

Dustin Rowen, an optometric technician at Garland Vision Source (521 W. Garland Ave., Spokane), sees a lot of customers who want to accessorize with glasses.

“It’s really all about the personality behind it,” Rowen said. “Some people want a really bold look when they are on personal time.” If they’re speaking in public or on stage, he says, “they may want something less intrusive that doesn’t draw away the focus from (their message).”

Woman trying on eyeglasses

Lately, Rowen says he’s seen more and more customers looking for hipster, vintage and retro trendy styles.

“In Spokane, you see a lot of people these days wanting to step outside of the box,” Rowen noted.

Geometric shapes are often popular, as they allow you to find something with a little more cut that follows the eyebrow and the cheekbone. Glasses in a retro style in unexpected materials or colors, like a two-toned wayfarer or unusual patterns on frames with a clean line, are also on trend.

Perhaps more notable than the individual frame designs is that it’s not at all unusual for people to have two or more sets of frames – maybe a bold purple pair for the club and cool, clear frames for their TED talk. Plus, you may want  a pair of sunglasses for driving and weekends at the lake or on the slopes.

Indeed, Dr. Heavin Maier, founder of Eyes for Life (412 E. 30th Ave., Spokane), says that most people have at least two pair of glasses, which is especially true as we age. She says a lot of people have a pair of progressive, no-line bifocals as well as a pair of prescription sunglasses.

And even people who wear contacts “should have at least one pair of backup glasses” to give their eyes some relief. While contacts are better than ever, Dr. Maier says glasses are still an essential item to keep close at hand.

One thing almost everyone can agree on is that finding glasses that are the right fit for you is always on trend. At Garland Vision Source, staff customizes the shape of the frames to each individual patient. This is why Rowen thinks is so important to pick your glasses and get fitted professionally at an eyewear and optician shop.

In addition to knowing what’s trendy, their focus is to listen to a customer’s needs to find the right pair of frames.

It’s not just frame choice that matters when it comes to finding just the right look. Color, texture, size and bridge fit all play a major role in choosing the right eyewear. That’s why you should experiment and try things on that you might not expect, because the isolated frames just don’t look the same on the shelf as they will on your face.

This is where your local eyewear team has an advantage over ordering cheap frames online. Instead of guessing what will work based on a photo, you can see the frames on your face and tell immediately if they are right for you. If you’re flummoxed, the staff is ready to help you find just the right frames to complement your look.

Sometimes it’s not so much that you select your perfect glasses from the broad array of styles offered by competing eyewear companies. If you open yourself up to something new and trendy, it might just be a matter of your new glasses selecting you.

The Future of Frames

These trends are so new that they might be difficult to find at local optometry shops, but with enough interest, retailers may be motivated to bring these cutting-edge styles and options to the Spokane area.

If one-of-a-kind is your trademark, you’ll no doubt be excited to learn that 3D printed frames are the next big thing. Technology and standards are still in their infancy, but how cool would a completely customized pair of frames be, from color and style to monogrammed details on earpieces?

 Another trend in frames is wood or bamboo. If you love the outdoors or have a more down-to earth style, the unusual textures and patterns of woodgrain lend a subtle “wow” factor to your look.

Along with sustainable wood, brands around the world are investing in frames from recycled materials. Repurposing everything from vinyl records and denim to fishing nets and paper, these frames are creative conversations pieces that make you feel good. If reducing waste is important to you, ask your optometrist if they carry any recycled frames. They may just expand their inventory options based on your interest!