The difficulties of choosing eyewear

If you’re a wearer of spectacles, you’ll relate to the problems of choosing eyewear that suit you. Apparently there is a science to this, as at least one of my local opticians offers the services of their qualified eyewear stylists. In my experience, it’s more a case of starting at one end of the always immense selection and then working through trying to find something that fulfils the criteria of looking ok and not costing an absolute fortune. Being of a cranky and obstinate nature, I’ve long eschewed the offerings of the evil empire of opticals (aka Luxottica) and made efforts to support the independents and smaller companies. This isn’t all that easy to do, as the evil empire has a strangle-hold on even my local purveyors of spectacles.

Still, the world is your oyster and all that, so why not cast an eye further afield and see what can be found? I wanted to see what professionals in the field would suggest, based on my style preferences as they are documented on my Instagram account. It should be possible to come up with an idea at least, given the sheer number of shameless self-portraits I’ve put out there. So I contacted a maker of frames in the UK, Kirk and Kirk, and a shop selling frames, Seen Opticians. Plus I visited Sees Optikk, an independent optician with an interesting range of frames in Oslo. Oh, and then I ordered some frames from an online emporium that allows you to “try them on” after uploading your photo. So, was I successful in choosing eyewear on my own and with help?

Naturally, a lot of it is down to taste, and there is no accounting for taste. I see people every day that have eyewear that I find tasteless and unsuitable but have to accept that to them they’re wearing something that both suits them and reflects on who they want to be seen as.

I’ve documented the results below, and I’d really like to hear your opinions. I don’t think there is any dissent in that how we see ourselves can be quite different to how others see us, and the glasses we wear are so “in your face” that they are a likely the first and foremost feature you notice about a person. At least when it comes to features you can do something about. And no, we’re not getting into facial tattoos!

So, given the selections 1 to 4, which works and which doesn’t? I’d love to hear your opinions!

[poll id=”3″]




  • Michael 20/10/2019 at 19:31

    Would be interested to know the difference in cost.

    • nick 20/10/2019 at 19:43

      The three regular supply frames are in the 3-400 pound range, while the only ones are about 30.

  • Shaun Brown 20/10/2019 at 19:40

    The cheap frames are a decent style, the problem being they aren’t wide enough for you, you can see the legs stretching. My choice after that was just based on personal taste and what suits you.

  • Peter 20/10/2019 at 19:59

    I have always liked the frames you used to wear on your blog photos, but if I had to chose from the four frames in this post my first choice would be the cheapies, with the Japanese frames a somewhat distant second. My choice was solely based on proportions, and how close I thought they were to your usual frames. I have no idea, of course, what other qualities the frames have in terms of durability an comfort…

    • nick 20/10/2019 at 20:01

      Now I’m all curious about which frames you have in mind!

  • Deanna 20/10/2019 at 23:20

    Frame 1 is too small. Frame 2 is also not right for your face. Of the remaining, Frame 3 seems to fit your style better than 4. I’m also partial to rimless or half-rimless glasses.

  • Jack Ford 21/10/2019 at 15:59

    I prefer 1 and 3 and they look pretty much the same to me (maybe I need glasses?!) so go for the cheaper option I would.

  • David 21/10/2019 at 18:29

    Frame 1 looks best, but it might be too narrow. Is Shuron eyewear available in Norway? It’s an old US brand that still manufactures in the US and their style Ronsir is very similar. I have their Sidewinder model, which is a wayfarer style, and it was available in several widths and stem lengths. My local optometrist didn’t carry it (only Luxottica brands) so I had to buy it and have them install the lenses. In 2013 I only paid $70 or so for the frame. Still wear them, though I need to update the lenses, and the acetate is probably better quality than a ‘designer’ frame at triple the price.

  • Nick Lee 28/10/2019 at 13:19

    HI Nick
    If you are in the £300-400 market you should take a look at Black Eyewear in the UK.
    A wide range of distinctive frames.
    I’ve a couple of pairs – they’re great.

  • Paddy 28/10/2019 at 14:23

    One or three are the nicest… If one is sunstantially cheaper than three then it would be my winner. All are fine though.

  • Sloth 10/11/2019 at 10:12

    Number 1, but I agree that they may not be wide enough.

    I’m going to have to choose some new specs for myself soon and will probably make a terrible choice that I’ll only realize months later. I think one ear is lower than the other. I could be Sloth from the Goonies. 🙁

    • nick 12/11/2019 at 08:17

      It really isn’t all that easy! Just looking at others you meet, it’s clear that many people struggle with the same issue, and make similar mistakes. Or just have terrible taste, of course!

  • Arran 05/02/2020 at 17:43

    Excellent discussion about your new glasses Nick. I like the look of the Kirk & Kirk frames, they’re made in France right? Just wondering if you’ve ever checked other British/Scottish brands. Banton Frameworks and Saville Row look pretty cool!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.