From retro shades to polarised lenses

From retro shades to polarised lenses


From retro shades to polarised lenses

Branded eyewear or nifty look-alikes, what’s your choice?All you need to do in order to don an amazing new avatar is to get yourself smart eyewear! Well-chosen frames can make an emphatic fashion statement.

Guillaume Brouwet, CEO, Vision Express, says: “Eyewear today goes beyond the functional use of enabling people to see better. Spectacle frames and sunglasses are important accessories and make a strong statement about who you are. Consumers today prefer to have different looks for different occasions.”

Eyewear combines style with utility. The latest metal frames are made from stainless steel, alloys or titanium. These are hypoallergenic unlike the cheaper frames containing nickel. Plastic and acrylic frames can add a touch of glamour. Jibin Joseph, Branch Manager (Bangalore) of GKB Opticals, says: “Glasses for constant use dominate the face. So, we promote the trend of owning several pairs. Half frames, supra frames and rimless as well as retro wayfarer-style frames are a hit with the young. The styles of the ’80s are back in vogue.”

If you have the money, luxury brands such as Versace, Prada, Bvlgari and Swarovski offer plenty of choice.

But should you be splurging on expensive frames and lenses, when your friendly neighbourhood optician can offer you nifty look-alikes at a fraction of the price of the premium brands?

“The difference in clarity between standard glass lenses and the more expensive and branded lenses is not always noticeable, even to us, without the help of sophisticated testing aids,” says Jairam of Focus Opticals, Bangalore.

While ‘cheap and best’ can be a dead waste, many prefer to order reasonably priced yet stylish, unbranded frames and lenses from a trusted, local retailer. Others root for the snob value of premium, branded eyewear. 

Reputed chain stores such as Titan Eye +, Lawrence and Mayo, and Reliance Vision Express offer a wide array of quality branded products and services under a single roof with something to suit every taste and budget.

Glasses are a highly effective remedy for common vision problems such as nearsightedness. While aiding clear vision, glasses also protect the eyes from dust, pollutants and foreign objects. Glasses are a must, even for contact lens users, because contact lenses cannot be worn all the time. Glasses are also easier to maintain.

Single vision lenses are the simplest form of glasses. Bifocals, as the name suggests, have two different focal points for correcting near-sightedness and long sight, and are popular among older persons. Progressive lenses are more expensive, but often the choice of people with presbyopia. Progressives look better and don’t easily reveal your age like bifocals.

Lenses traditionally made from glass offer the maximum clarity and optical quality. They are best for people with high myopia, requiring powers of 8, 9 or more. Today, lightweight plastic lenses offer a comparable degree of clarity. Glass lenses are less expensive and scratch less easily compared to plastic, but they can break more easily and are heavier, leaving a mark on the bridge of the nose with constant use. Since plastic is softer than glass, the scratch-resistant finish is very useful on plastic lenses, say Vision Express opticians. The anti-glare finish makes lenses less visible and highlights the beauty of the eyes. Reducing the glare also aids clarity of vision and lessens eye strain. Such add-on features may cost more, but they offer value to the user.

High index materials and aspheric designs mean thinner, lighter and better-looking lenses. Some expensive finishes may suit a limited section of users. For example, polarised lenses, that reduce the sun’s glare to the maximum, are useful if you spend a great deal of time around highly reflective surfaces such as the sea, desert or snow covered areas.

For normal outdoor use, ordinary UV protection, provided by photochromatic lenses or sunglasses, is adequate.

Expensive, branded lenses offer features such as a finish that reduces the formation of vapour. This may be of use to a surgeon, but most people can manage just as well without such expensive features.


*The golden rule while selecting frames is that your glasses must be wider than the widest part of your face. If your face is round and broad, frames with a narrow angular shape will make it appear thinner and longer.

*A low bridge will help to make a short nose appear longer. 

*A face which is heavier at the jaw line will look better balanced with glasses that have decorations around the temple.

*A triangular-shaped face, with a broader forehead and narrow jaw and chin, will look better with light coloured or rimless frames.

*Small and narrow frames are unsuitable for older persons needing bifocals or progressive lenses.

Caring for glasses

*Clean your glasses regularly and wipe them clean with a soft cloth.

*While putting on your glasses, hold both sides of the frame so they don’t slip.

*Don’t rest your glasses on your forehead or on top of your head. The sides of the frame will stretch and make them uncomfortable.

*When not in use, store your glasses in a proper case to avoid scratches and breakage.

*Keep a spare pair for emergencies.

Tips on tints

Colours in sunglass lenses not only look fabulous, they also help absorb light passing through them. Vision Express offers the following tips:

1. Grey tints ensure natural colour. They reduce brightness.

2. Brown tints reduce glare, including the glare created by the blue frequency in sunlight that makes things appear hazy. They enhance contrasts.

3. Yellow tints reduce the haze from blue light much better than browns. Yellow-tinted glasses are best for cloudy days.

4. Blue or mauve tints are chic. They provide good protection in moderate sunlight.

5. Pink tints are a good choice for people who are into water sports or outdoor activities.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox