Remember the days when all you wanted was to wear a pair of glasses? We’ve all been there but when it comes to actually needing them suddenly the idea of wearing facial furniture poses a whole new set of problems. What colour should you get? What shape will suit your face? Luckily specs have come a long way, boasting a host of fashion potential and nerdish charm but whether you’re after a new everyday pair or you’re looking to expand your optical wardrobe, there are a few things to take into consideration before you make your selection.
Choose a colour that complements your features; black is a great go-to for highlighting the eyes and colours that contrast with your hair will always stand out more, it just depends on how much of a statement you want to make. It’s also important to consider the shape of your face; if you have rounder features opt for sharper glasses, whereas if you have more angular features you’ll want to soften them with a rounded design.
When buying frames online it’s also important to consider the more technical info you might need to hand. First of all, you’re going to need your exact prescription for each eye and it’s worth bearing in mind that frames come in different sizes so make sure to pay particular attention to the arm, bridge and lens measurement of your chosen pair. Similarly, different websites offer different options; some might include lenses, scratch resistance and anti-glare in the total price so remember to double check.
The trip to a high street dispensary is something us optical wearers dread, so to save you the hassle we’ve scoured the market for the sleekest frames around. Whether you’re after a pair that screams luxury or you want to get playful, there’s something to suit every style and budget.
1. Bailey Nelson Joyce/Champagne Prescription Glasses: £98, Bailey Nelson
A relatively new brand, Bailey Nelson was founded in 2012 as a means to offer style savvy glasses at an affordable price. If dark colours seem too harsh against your skin but you still want to make a statement this is the pair for you. They’re framed in semi-translucent champagne acetate, with the rounded frame commanding attention and the colouring offering subtle detail. The great thing about this pair is that they’re really affordable, will go with almost anything in your wardrobe and because of their minimalist style, will suit most face shapes.
2. Oliver Peoples Eveleigh Faded Sea Glasses: £207, Pret a Voir
American luxury eyewear brand Oliver Peoples is well-known in the optical world for its understated and effortlessly cool approach to design. This rectangle, full rim pair is great for both an everyday or standout option, depending on your colour choice. They’re also available in blush and faded black but our favourite has to be this beautiful deep blue. It’s a great alternative to black, without being too over the top.
3. Miu Miu MU 52PV U651O1: £276, Visual Click
Glasses are a great way to buy into designer brands and this pair from Miu Miu, while at the top end of our price range, is a great investment. If you’re looking to make a statement then these two tone frames are ideal; they’re instantly recognisable and super stylish. From the cat eye design to the wavy gold arms and half rimmed edge, these are some serious showstoppers.
4. Dolce & Gabbana, DG3258 2888: £122.50, Pret a Voir
These stylish specs promise to instantly amp up your look. The sturdy tortoise shell frames come in a captivating mix of brown, black and translucent acetate, complemented perfectly by a slim gold-toned arm. These colours, coupled with the slightly rounded design and the fact that the lenses are available in two sizes means they look good on most face shapes and complexions.
5. Giorgio Armani AR7121 5586: £112.14, Visual Click
This matte-striped blue pair from designer brand Giorgio Armani is a great choice if you’re looking for something subtle yet stylish. The rounded frames have a feminine feel while the stripy design, double pin rivet and keyhole bridge offer a touch of modernity. We think these are a great option for everyday styling but will work equally well with smart and casual looks.
6. Ray Ban RB 2180V 5675: £62.50, Pret a Voir
You’ve more than likely owned a pair of Ray Ban sunnies at some point, but why not expand your collection into its optical range too? This leading eyewear brand has some great styles but our favourite has to be this round, retro pair in a stunning Havana yellow tortoise shell design. Made from durable acetate, they sit comfortably on the face with shark fin-style arms and the trademark Ray Ban rivets and logo on the temples. They’re also available in two different sizes so you can modify the fit to suit your face shape.
7. Bobbi Brown Luca: £95, Glasses Direct
Make-up brand Bobbi Brown has ventured into eyewear with a signature collection, seeking to teach women how to select frames that complement their skin tones and personal style. Our favourite is this crystal-coloured pair but they’re also available in dark Havana. With a square frame they make a smart choice for the office and are best suited for rounded face shapes. We also love the fact that Glasses Direct offers a free seven-day home trial for up to four pairs, making them a great option for anyone looking to try out a new style or for first time buyers.
8. Marc by Marc Jacobs MMJ651 L06: £80, Eyewear Brands
For a designer brand, the price range and wearability of Marc by Marc Jacob’s optical selection is really surprising. This sleek black pair offers a great middle ground for those looking to invest in a pair of frames that, while trendy, can still be worn at the office. The durable black acetate design has a direct linear bridge that best suits round face shapes and we love the subtle touch of camo just at the edge of the frame. Eyewear Brands also offer a range of different lens types from single vision to varifocal as well as the option to thin the lens at an additional cost.
9. Persol PO3141V 24: £149, Persol
Persol has been designing glasses since 1917 to satisfy the demands of pilots and sports drivers who require comfort and protection. Fast forward a century and it’s now one of the leading optical brands on the market and it’s clear to see why. Like most of its designs, this pair is the perfect blend of heritage and bold design, with a rounded frame that would look great on more angular face shapes. This rotund style might seem a little daunting but they look amazingly stylish, so don’t be afraid to get playful. Available in a range of colours from Havana to brown-striped yellow, you’re bound to find a shade to suit both your skin tone and your personality.
The Verdict: Prescription frames
For a pair that makes a statement without looking too harsh on your face, we recommend Bailey Nelson’s champagne pair, while Dolce & Gabbana’s timeless frame comes in a close second. If you’re looking to splash the cash and go wild though, then Miu Miu’s lavender design is an absolute must.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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