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When looking back at the history of eyeglasses, it is believed the first pair came into focus in the 13th Century. Fast forward 700 years and it is clear a lot has changed in the world of eyewear.
Now, more than ever, there are seemingly endless possibilities for eyeglass options from the frame shape, texture, and color to the lenses.
So, what is trending in Newtown this year? The Newtown Bee asked local experts in the eyewear field to share their insight.
The Right Frame Of Mind
As the adage goes, “What comes around goes around,” and with vintage styles making a comeback, the expression is fitting.
Thanks to influential celebrities like Johnny Depp, round frames are gaining momentum again as a most popular border for glasses.
Moore and McGlynn Eye Care Optician Amy Holcomb said, “I see in the magazines and on TV, like a lot of newscasters, have gone to the rounds. Very bookish kind of rounds, too.”
The round style can come in a variety of sizes, but they all have a soft, circular frame around the lens. Round frames are a universal look that can complement the features of all genders.
A more feminine frame that is having a resurgence in popularity is the cat eye. The border surrounding the lenses are rounded with an upswept point out toward the temples.
Originally, this retro look was worn by fashion icons Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s and has recently been sported by superstars like Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez.
Village Eye Care Optometrist Sheryl Morgan said that cat eye frames have absolutely made a return, but with a twist.
“I would say people adapt them in different ages,” said Ms Morgan. “Certain people will go a little trendier and take it to the next level, and other people will take that look and maybe pick a softer version of it.”
She finds that locally, women are choosing more subtle cat eye frames that do not have as intense of a point as others.
Ms Holcomb agreed, explaining that clients do not necessarily come in looking for the dramatic cat eye frames with rhinestones. Instead, she said, “People who are coming in and asking for cat eyes just want a little lift, a little peak.”
For those who do want a statement look, without compromising style, Moore & McGlynn Optometric Assistant Liz Stefan said, “Anything big and bold right now is in.”
She said she sees many clients gravitate toward trying on dark-rimmed glasses.
The look can be seen on many influential media personalities, including eyeglass idol Zoey Deschanel and singer Justin Timberlake.
The trendy New York group Vint & York Eyewear recently released their Top Most Popular Fashion Frames of 2017 coverage, confirming that round glasses, cat eye glasses, and thick rimmed classes are in the top six most popular styles and shapes for the year.
It used to be that eyeglass wearers had two frame materials to choose from, either metal or plastic. However, a new trend people are seeing is blending the two components.
Danbury Eye Physicians Optical Manager Sue Paquette said, “What’s pretty popular right now is combining them in one frame; sometimes there’s a plastic front and a metal temple, or visa versa.”
In doing so there are a number of new, bold design possibilities by overlapping the two materials. Most of the time, replacing plastic with metal can lighten the feel of the frames, too.
Overall, Ms Paquette said that this year she is finding that people locally are liking more texture in their frames. Another way to achieve a more layered, almost three-dimensional look is to add objects inside the frame itself.
“We have some [frames] that have flowers and feathers embedded right into the plastic,” said Ms Paquette.
Those elements can be seen from the front and the side of the glasses. Clients searching for the next big thing in eyewear trends are gravitating toward this look.
To mimic the appearance of having more texture, bold patterns like paisleys are also becoming more popular.
A Rainbow Of Possibilities
Black and brown frames may be traditional color options that never go out of style, but more and more people are straying away from playing it safe and are embracing color. Women especially are the ones diving headfirst into selecting multicolored frames.
An easy way to achieve a trendy colorful look is with tortoise coloring. Vint & York Eyewear named it the number one color trend for 2017.
Tortoise replicates the shell of the slow-moving creature from which it gets its name. It has faded brown hues and speckled tones throughout the plastic frame, as well as the new trend of mixing in vibrant, electric colors.
Ms Morgan said, “Tortoise has always been the classic… Now they are coming with colors mixed in, which are really nice.”
The colors for the tortoise look, or any other frame, can be chosen to be complementary for a person’s eye color or outfit.
“There are people, I like to call eyewear groupies, who can’t get enough. They like to have all the different colors and shapes. Some people do it with shoes, others do it with glasses,” said Ms Morgan.
Whether people choose the color of their frame to match their style that day, there is one color that seems to be breaking through and becoming very fashion forward locally.
Ms Paquette explained, “I’ve been finding that lots of women this year are attracted to blues. There are so many shades of blues that you can find one for anybody’s skin tone.”
She recommends turquoises for lighter skin tones and jewel blues for darker skin tones.
Seeing Through Rose-Colored Glasses
Lenses are another option to consider with selecting eyeglasses and sunglasses on trend.
Ms Paquette said, “The biggest thing I have to stress for most people is that everyone’s prescription is different, so you really have to have this discussion with your eyecare professional as to what frame goes good with your prescription. It is very, very important.”
The higher the prescription, the thicker the edges tend to be, which means a person may want to consider a plastic frame that is more forgiving at concealing the sides.
Besides selecting the right frame for the prescription of the lens, the style of the lens is also important.
Sallie Smith of Moore & McGlynn Eye Care said, “Some people like transitions, some people like crisp clear lenses.”
She personally switched her glasses to transition lenses recently to show patients the advantages of the style. “I always like to educate people on anti-reflective lenses and how important it is. Sunglasses protect, they’re not just fun,” she said.
Protecting one’s eyes is always in style whether people choose polarized, anti-reflective lenses, anti-glare, or anti-scratch lenses.
Ms Holcomb said, “Everyone should be wearing sunglasses, it’s so important. It does to your eyes what sunscreen does for your skin.”
Some Rules Can Be Bent, Not Broken
“No matter what the trend is they have to fit, that’s the key,” Ms Morgan emphasized. “It needs to look like [the frame] belongs, not that it is wearing the person.”
After getting an eye exam, is it crucial that patients get their glasses fitted for their face by a professional who is knowledgeable. Solely buying frames online can compromise the whole look without a proper fitting.
Ms Smith said, “A lot of people these days look online to buy frames, but it is so much better to come in where there is a professional optician, technician, or assistant who can make sure they are fitting. Just because you like the way it looks doesn’t mean it’s going to stay on your head.”
The frame has to sit correctly on the bridge of the nose, on the temples and back of the ears, as well as fall appropriately on the brow line.
While picking a frame is important, picking the right frame for you is even more important,” Ms Paquette said. “It’s the first thing people look at when they’re interacting with one another, so you want to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be.”
Fortunately, knowing the local eyewear trends of 2017, it is easy to see that trying new glasses never goes out of style.