How to pick the perfect pair of glasses

How to pick the perfect pair of glasses


Last week I sat on my specs. Not for the first time, but this time they’re a goner. The legs are splayed so wide that they would only fit a supersize face – Harvey Weinstein’s, for example, but fortunately, he’s not lurking about anywhere in the vicinity, in a stained toweling robe.

So I needed to buy get a new pair of glasses.

Easier than it sounds.

If anything in life is guaranteed to give you an over-choice headache it’s shopping for glasses.

There are THOUSANDS, nay, MILLIONS, of frames to choose from and at first sight, they all look pretty similar….blurred (boom boom) . No seriously, there are tons of options stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, wood – and a shape for every face cats eye, square, round, rimless, flat-top, aviator, Dame Edna.

Overwhelmed? Me too. But my rather random tips might help


Tap in How to buy new glasses and Capt’n-Bloody-Obvious Google says pick a pair that suits your face shape (d’oh) …then lots of graphics like this will pop up.


How to pick the perfect pair of glasses

Looks handy eh – but actually, it just highlights a whole new problem….

What is my face shape?

I spent some time peering in the mirror trying to decide. Definitely not round (which was a bit of a relief). I squinted, screwed up my nose, turned sideways, then peered some more.

Why Oh Why couldn’t I be blessed with an obvious, in-your-face, face shape like Reese Witherspoon’s perfect heart-shape or Victoria Beckham’s downward pointy Triangle or Rihanna’s (ermm) Like a Diamond.

I canvassed some friends and they all came up with different answers so I eventually concluded that I have a sort of oblong-y face that’s square-ish at the top and heart-shaped at the bottom – which means (in theory) means that I SUIT ALL THE SPECTACLES IN THE WORLD …except rectangular ones. Which didn’t help much.

Try some on

When I say some, I mean hundreds and eliminate what you hate. I quickly realised that crystals aren’t for me. Or brightly coloured wacky frames (do they suit anyone?). Try and narrow it down to 5 pairs, then take selfies….I know I felt like a twat too.

Choosing the perfect glasses
No. No. No. No.

TOP TIP – unless you’re angling for a divorce or trying to end a friendship DO NOT take anyone with you….there’s very little in life duller than watching someone trying on 322 spectacle frames.

Set a budget

And don’t forget that the price-tag is generally just for the frame. You still have to fork out for the actual lenses.

To Brand or Not To Brand?

Let’s be honest – we all love the word Chanel emblazoned all over us. But do you really need it or Dior or Gucci in diamanté on the leg of your specs? Maybe you do – but don’t be surprised when you have to pay an extra £150 for the privilege then feel like a bit of a mug when you find out that most designer glasses are made by a couple of specialist makers (just Google Luxottica) and branded up. But hey, I won’t judge….I’ve got a Chanel lipstick.

Try more on

This time take a friend/ husband/lover… or all three – and get their thoughts on your shortlisted 5. Then try on another 20 pairs. And take some more selfies.

Drink Wine

And look at the selfies.


…then negotiate. Ask for a discount. Say your budget is 20% less than the cost of the frames. If they won’t budge on price ask if they will give you a free pair of reading glasses or at least a box of chocolates

Decide on lenses

OMG, just when you thought you’d smashed this glasses buying malarky and can go home and watch Strictly you find out that you need to choose lenses. This bit is rather technical and hard to explain eg I don’t understand it – so, get advice from an optician (rather than buying online –which is obviously cheaper) or read stuff like THIS and factor in anything from £40 – £300

So, you’re dying to know, what did I go for?

Wellllll actually… THE ONES IN THE SALE

See, it was like this, I was on my way to meet a friend, minding my own business when I walked past an optician and spotted those 4 magical words, that make me buy things (like vegetable spiralizers)…LESS THAN HALF PRICE.

So I burst in, tried a pair of Tom Ford frames reduced from £297(!!!) to £90 and promptly bought them – without so much as taking even a selfie or considering if they actually suited me. The lenses set me back a further £85.

How to pick the perfect pair of glasses
Perfect specs?

I like them.  They don’t fall off my face.  But I think they might be a bit rectangular-y!


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Twitter @MidlifeSmarts



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  1. 28 October 2017 / 9:18 am

    Good choice!! They look awesome!

    I have a pea head. Seriously, I have to get glasses from the teenage range to get a good fit. And I am REALLY short sighted too, I now qualify for “complex lenses” so the NHS give me a little bit of money towards my specs. Like, a few pounds, which doesn’t really cushion the blow that much 😂

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 10:29 am

      Hi Em, yes they are sooo expensive so I was delighted to get a ‘bargain’ . Thanks for reading and commenting Jill x

  2. 28 October 2017 / 9:19 am

    I think your squarish glasses are just right for your own face. Obviously worth all the pain!

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 10:28 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Fiona. I love ’em x

  3. 28 October 2017 / 9:38 am

    Wow….that’s so much of an interesting subject for me being the carrier of high powered spectacles since childhood now…U know Jill, how many days and hours f my mortal life have passed in trying glasses in various shops every time i needed a change…..and my power seems to be fluctuating much often, so you know….:):)… those glasses and you look elegant in most of them……….and yes, I always go alone while trying glasses for my new ones….:):)

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 10:28 am

      HI Anindya thanks for reading and commenting. There are soooo many frames to choose from. Overwhelming ! Jill

  4. 28 October 2017 / 9:55 am

    Oh I hated tryi g to choose glasses when I was younger! I’m glad I don’t need them now… had laser… but I’m sure I will do in the future. This is great advice xxx

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 1:34 pm

      Hi Ritu thanks for reading and commenting. I’ve thought about laser – but bit scared! Jill x

  5. 28 October 2017 / 10:24 am

    This is fascinating x I am a glasses girl all of my life and get it!!

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 10:27 am

      Hey Fancy girl, thanks for reading and commenting. Takes one to know one 🙂

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Hey Fancy girl, thanks for reading and commenting. Takes one to know one 🙂 Jill x

  6. 28 October 2017 / 12:25 pm

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 6 years old, so I know your dilemma all too well. I just replaced mine (because they were stepped on, ugh!) and for the first time in years, I like them enough to wear them instead of my contact lenses. But don’t get me started on sunglasses..!

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Hi Melody thanks for reading and commenting. I wear contact lenses too but enjoying switching between them and my new specs! Sunglasses!! £300 – ermm NO! Jill x

  7. 28 October 2017 / 1:09 pm

    They look great. Fortunately, I’ve never sat on my specs and, when I need new frames, I usually know straight off what I like. I totally forget the whole face shape thing, that is too hard to judge.

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 1:28 pm

      Hi Janice thanks for reading and commenting I find it hard to choose when so many options! Jill x

  8. 28 October 2017 / 1:20 pm

    Lovely choice. They really suit you. Though as a fan of brightly coloured glasses, I thought they really suited you too. Loved the picture of all the different shaped faces. That’s really helpful.

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 1:27 pm

      Hey Hayley thanks for reading and commenting. Love my new specs and I actually did like the blue ones but bit too wacky for me. Jx

  9. Forrest Harter
    28 October 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I found an indistructables frame years ago and keep rebuying the same ones over and over again… boring but no worries… just like a man, eh?

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 1:32 pm

      Well sounds like a good plan to me – Saves time and money! Thanks for reading and commenting

  10. 28 October 2017 / 1:49 pm

    I need glasses and yes it is always a $*&#( show for me. Definitely take selfies so YOU can see them if the reason you need glasses is you can not see. I do not mind taking someone after I have made a decision and narrow it down to two or three pairs. Glasses are super expensive in Canada. Enjoyed the post and they look fabulous on you.

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 5:11 pm

      Hi Brenda thanks for your comment. Specs and sunglasses are so expensive in UK too. I plan to have these ones for a while! Jill

  11. 28 October 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Years ago someone told me you spend one third of your life eating, one third sleeping and one third waiting for the lift – maybe we need to split this in quarters and add in choosing spectacles. I do feel your pain, especially the bit about trying to workout through the fog whether they look any good…

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 5:10 pm

      Ha Geoff. Thanks for your comment. Spec buying is a time consuming business ! Jill

  12. 28 October 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Oooh, the final choice is lovely – but I did like those red ones you tried on earlier too! I love glasses-shopping – the selfies are a great idea as I always end up blurring up the opticians mirror by getting so close that my nose touches the glass.. And the wine tip goes without saying…

    • Jill
      28 October 2017 / 5:09 pm

      Haha. Thanks for reading and commenting. I actually liked the red ones too but little bit too wacky for me Jillx

  13. 28 October 2017 / 10:11 pm

    Always an issue for me as well – still to this moment, I do not know the shape of my face. I just look at the cheaper/est frames, select say 6 and then start working my way through that. Color does play a role for me, not fond of bright frames for myself, as it draws way too much attention to myself, so I tend to go for the dull ones. Am happy with my last choice. Yippee

  14. 29 October 2017 / 9:39 am

    I just take Mrs Bryntin and keep very quiet until I am told what to buy. Generally, my involvement stops at opening the door of the opticians for her and then going in myself.
    I have no idea what brand my glasses are as, when I take them off to have a look, I can’t see properly any more.

    • Jill
      29 October 2017 / 9:41 am

      Haha. Sounds like Mrs B has got it all covered !

  15. Gill Hubbert
    29 October 2017 / 8:25 pm

    I just hate choosing glasses. I still haven’t decided what my face shape is! Think it’s rectangularly squareish, but who knows! Like your final choice. You did well there – just don’t sit on this pair!

    • Jill
      30 October 2017 / 9:21 am

      Ha!! Hi Gill thanks for reading and commenting. Yes I’ll keep these ones in the case (for a while anyway!) Jill x

  16. 31 October 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Oh my, you make me laugh so much I may be coming down with bladder weakness!! When I was younger I probably could have figured out what shape my face was but nowadays, when things aren’t in the same place they use to be, who knows! Your choice look fabulous

    • Jill
      31 October 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Hi Deb, oh you’ve made my day with your lovely comment. Yes faces do seem more ‘mobile’ in midlife 🙂 !! Thanks for reading Jill x

  17. Nicole K
    5 December 2017 / 8:36 pm

    New follower and I laughed out loud reading this post as I am in the same situation and have been torturing family and subsets of friends with different selfies for months. Of course, most of them disagree. One pair gets a “those are perfect” from one friend/family member. The very same pair gets a look of horror from another friend/family member. I have come to the conclusion that they all have a different vision of who we are and how those glasses align with our personality, not our actual face. Needless to say, I jumped off a bridge (er…I mean ledge) and also went with the sale (Chanel, no less, from eBay of all places). Congrats on your journey and ending up in such a lovely place.

    • Jill
      5 December 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Hey Nicole. Lovely to hear about your spectacle journey! I could not make my mind up then picked THE pair within 5 minutes. There’s nothing like a bargain to help with decision making 😳. Thanx for reading and commenting. Jill. X

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