Back in the “old days,” there were no soft contact lenses, and the couture clothing designers would have been flabbergasted at the suggestion that they include eyewear in their fashion lines. The choices were limited to spending weeks in misery, trying to become accustomed to hard plastic contact lenses, or . . . looking like Mr. Peepers!
Wally Cox as “Mr. Peepers”
1952 to 1955
Today, we have real choices. If the new, comfortable materials in soft contact lenses still don’t suit us, we can opt to accessorize with gorgeous couture frames; or even low-cost frames that feature exciting design elements. And it’s important not only to keep up with frame fashion, but also to learn about the new lenses that we put in those beautiful frames.
Spectacle lenses have come a long way too. They used to be made of glass, which was heavy, thick and easily shattered. But today, virtually all lenses are made of a high-tech plastic material that is lighter, thinner and can be “coated” for scratch-resistance, tint, anti-reflection, etc. These lenses have virtually eliminated the “coke bottle” effect for persons with very high prescriptions. They are truly beautiful and have helped revolutionize the eyewear industry.
Both regular lenses and the new “high-index” lenses can refract light, but the new lens has a higher "index" of refraction. This means that it has a greater ability to bend light rays, and it does so more efficiently, using less material to provide clear vision for people with stronger prescription glasses. It is particularly important for appearance’ sake in farsightedness. A prescription for farsightedness results in a lens that is thicker in the center than it is along the edges. That can produce the magnified, “coke bottle” look and a heavier pair of glasses.
Ah, but when we put those gorgeous new lenses in a frame designed by the finest, most well-known design houses in the world, glasses take on a whole new meaning. It is a little hard to believe, but a surprising number of young women purchase glasses with “plano” (no prescription) lenses just for the opportunity to make a fashion statement with her frames. Young men are not far behind them, but men and women began at a different place in the world of eye fashion.
Make no mistake, many men enjoy shopping, but because until fairly recently, eyewear was a practical concern, not an aesthetic “journey,” they also took great pleasure in quick service and good bargains. A doctor was telling them that they had a physical condition that required treatment. That’s what glasses were – a treatment. Women tended to see them the same way for a time, but they moved rather quickly toward the aesthetic. Today young men are as brand-conscious as their young female counterparts, and a whole new generation who haven’t grown up with the negative attitudes toward eyewear are pushing this industry to make them look as good as we make them see!
Your face can be the ultimate statement of your personal style. Hairstyle, makeup, etc. have always been a way that we can express how we feel about ourselves and the world around us, but as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, we still heard expressions like "four-eyes" and "no one makes passes at girls who wears glasses?" No more . . . it’s 2020! Glasses are not just a treatment option for poor eyesight anymore. They can be just the thing to top off your most stylish looks.
Today, fashion trends are important to young and old, alike, but as they always have done, young people are really leading the way. They treat their eyewear/sunwear as an expression of who they are in ways my generation never dreamed about. At Casey Optical Too, we want shopping for eyewear to be as exciting as shopping at the trendiest clothing stores! But couture-wear at Casey doesn’t have to break the bank. The optical industry has made Gucci, Prada, Kate Spade, Fendi and so many other designers affordable to own and wear every day!Next PostPrevious Post