You probably already know that myopia is super common in Singapore. Most of us here require prescription glasses, and according to figures released in 2013, we collectively spend more than $3m on glasses annually. Whew.
And we’re not gonna lie – glasses can be a pain sometimes. But they don’t have to be, if you know what to look out for when you’re purchasing a new pair of specs. We went to local eyewear label O+ – a family-owned business founded by optical industry veteran David Hwang and his two sons, Silas and Shamus – to find out from the experts just how to go about selecting the best eyewear that doesn’t cramp your style or restrict your lifestyle. Here’s what we learned.
O+ is at #01-07 OUE Downtown Gallery. For more information, visit https://o.plus/
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Look at the lens first
The main purpose of prescription glasses is to correct your vision, so lenses should be the first thing you look at when you shop for prescription glasses, instead of the frame. O+ carries and recommends ZEISS lenses, and Shamus suggests the DuraVision BlueProtect for young office workers like us, since it protects the eyes from harmful blue-violet light from electronic screens like computers and mobile phones. There’s also a special lens, the Energize Lenses, meant to help frequent contact lens wearers relax their eyes after taking them out.
Ignore the rules
You’ve probably heard that those with round face shapes should choose square-ish frames, or those with heart-shaped faces should avoid dark frames. But don’t let that stop you from trying on a pair of frames. “Those are just guidelines, not hard and fast rules,” says Shamus. “At the end of the day, it really just boils down to what your personal style is.” For instance, if you like the look of round frames but can’t seem to pull it off, Shamus suggest trying on a pair with gradient frames instead of a solid colour frame. The gradient will help to soften the shape of the glasses, creating a more flattering look.
Take your hairstyle into consideration
When trying on frames, the founders of O+ suggest that you look at it from two perspectives – once with your hair down, and once with your hair up. A certain frame might look flattering when your hair is down, but it can appear too big once you tie your hair up. So if you often wear your hair up, you need to take that into consideration before making your selection. And here’s a suggestion from David: “If you have short hair, or tie your hair up very often, having something on your face will be very distinctive, so I’d recommend going for something bright.”
Make sure the fit is right
Just like clothes, it’s all about finding the right fit. My biggest gripe with glasses is that they are too heavy and keep sliding down my nose bridge, but I’ve since learnt that it’s because I got frames that are way too big for my face. The founders of O+ place a huge emphasis on the fit of their designs, which is why they tailor each individual frame with handcrafted customisations for their customers. That way, you get glasses that fits comfortably without compromising on aesthetics.
Get more than one pair of spectacles
You own more than one pair of shoes to go with your outfits, so why not get more than one pair of glasses for different situations? You need prescription glasses for medical reasons, but they’re still part of your look. Also, if you do sports or outdoor activities often, it might be worth getting a separate pair of spectacles just for that purpose. For instance, you might want an acetate frame for glasses you use in the office, but you might want to switch to a lighter and more durable titanium frame for when you’re exercising.