Your eyeglasses might not be doing your face any favors. The glasses you've been wearing for years have served you well, but it may be time to give yourself an eyeglasses makeover -- and the right pair of fashionable frames could give you a face makeover, because some styles give the appearance of lifting your eyes and making you look younger.
Plus, stylish glasses are a top accessories trend, even for those who don't wear prescription lenses. Bookstores and gift shops showcase trendy glasses in fun colors and patterns of frames for a fashion-forward look. As an eyeglass-wearer, your look is being emulated by young and old, celebrities and business people. Building an eyeglass collection gives you new looks to suit your mood, refreshes your wardrobe and brings attention to your beautiful eyes.
Of course, it's essential to visit your optometrist on a regular basis to assess the correct prescription strength for each of your eyes. You may find that you need reading glasses, since the U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that advancing age often brings about presbyopia, "a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus: The elasticity of the lens slowly diminishes with age. This causes us to have difficulty focusing on nearby objects." Even if you've had Lasik surgery for clarified vision, you may still need reading glasses. According to a recent survey published in 20/20 Magazine, nearly half of eyewear retailers who participated reported that reading glasses sales have skyrocketed.
*Choosing a Flattering Style
Optometrists advise figuring out your face shape for the ideal selection of glasses. At LensCrafters.com, you can upload a photo of your face, and the program will tell you which face shape you are and suggest eyeglass designs suited to you. Here are some basic suggestions from the site:
--Oval-shaped face. Most eyeglasses frames look great on this face shape, especially rectangular or butterfly frames, cat eye, rectangle and geometric. For men, rectangle and geometric are most flattering.
--Square-shaped face. Square faces most often have a prominent jaw and square chin, so choose round or oval glasses to soften and add contrast to your face. Cat eye frames also work well, and for women and men, semi-rimless frames add a softer look versus thicker frames.
--Heart-shaped face. A wide forehead, narrow jaw, high cheekbones and a narrow chin present more of a challenge, so try on cat-eye, butterfly and round styles, and avoid frames with a lot of detail on the top of the frame. For men, round or butterfly work best.
--Round face. Your round face calls for more angular frames to add balance and definition. Rectangular frames slim your face, and frames that are more horizontal as well as mid- to high-temple designs elongate your face. Geometric-framed glasses may be your ideal choice.
*Specific Glasses Style Tips for Boomers and Seniors
Try on plenty of frames to find styles that lift your face, such as upswept rectangles for men and soft cat-eye shapes for women. Cat-eye glasses are a top eyewear trend right now for their retro appeal and celebrity-favorite status.
Choose better colors. Lighter, shinier hues look better on women than dark black or dark brown frames, so look at beige, silver, golden and light brown, leaving neon-colored glasses for the younger set unless a funky bright yellow or pink pair calls out to you. Ocean blue is one fun color that's popular with boomer and senior women. Men do well with gunmetal, darker brown and burgundy shades as flattering neutrals. Try on glasses with thin metallic frames, as well as those with color.
Choose the right size. While fashion magazines show oversize Jackie O-type glasses and sunglasses, oversize frames with tinted lenses don't flatter women over age 50. The only way to find the right glasses is to try on a variety in an eyeglasses store, a method far preferable to ordering online in pursuit of a discount.
Go for comfort, as well as style, choosing lightweight frames such as rimless with fiber glasses. Lighter frames stay in place better and don't put weight on your nose.
Try on what's hot on fashion runways, such as aviator glasses with slightly tinted lenses and fun animal prints on the sides, cat-eye glasses with a few sparkling crystals on the sides, and tortoise-frame glasses.
When you get your new glasses, accessorize them. The gold chain around your neck to keep your glasses handy can look "old," so search the Etsy shop EyewearGlamour.Etsy.com to find inexpensive silk cord eyeglass chains accented with colorful or clear beads.
Or try the ReadeREST magnetic eyeglass holders, recently featured on the show "Shark Tank." Easy magnetic clips on the inside and outside of your shirt hold your glasses in place, and they come in such colors as red, pink, purple, aquamarine, blue, emerald and orange.
Hard-case holders keep your glasses safe in your purse, and new fabric colors, patterns and designs from Vera Bradley can coordinate with your purse itself. For men, eyeglass cases may be sleek brown leather.