Coming from someone who’s needed glasses since the age of 10, the humble spectacle has been on a real journey in recent years.
With independent brands popping up left right and centre, as well as every luxury fashion house offering a vast selection, the options are far and wide and go beyond the Specsavers and Vision Expresses of the world - though both are perfect for those of us who need a prescription.
Once needed for sight and sight alone, glasses are now as much a fashion choice as they are practical. Even those with 20/20 vision should have a pair at the ready to smarten up any outfit with a touch of Clark Kent charm.
As with sunglasses, it’s all about balancing your facial features. If your face is on the round side and you have a softer look, then you should be on the lookout for square or angular frames, whilst those with sharp jawlines and cheekbones may benefit from oval, round, or aviator styles to soften their profile.
This comes down to personal preference. If garnering attention and eyewear-related compliments is on your wishlist, then a pair of acetate frames are the most likely to do the trick. If turning heads is your worst nightmare, an understated pair of wire frames will elevate your look without making a statement.
If, like me, leaving the house without glasses or contact lenses is out of the question, the good news is that you can transform almost any pair of standard spectacles to become vision-correcting at most opticians, like Superdrug or Lensology. Just look for ‘reglazing’ and you’ll even be able to extend the life of your glasses that your current prescription has outgrown.
I’d recommend treating yourself to all of the lens related add-ons, from anti-glare and extra thin, to UV filter - not only will your glasses look better but they’ll make your eyes healthier, too. There’s no sense in buying a great pair of frames and marking them down with a set of basic lenses.
Shop the best frames for men below
Creating timeless glasses is Ray-Ban’s MO. The brand’s Clubmaster silhouette was first introduced in 1986 and has become a perennially chic style that is still as popular as ever. The sunglasses version have been featured in iconic movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Reservoir Dogs, proving it’s a shape that stands the test of time. For ultimate classic appeal, go for retro tortoishell with gold-tone metal which wouldn’t look out of place in 50s America.
They may not give you superpowers, but Dior’s square acetate glasses will certainly make you look the Clark Kent part. Accented by silver-tone temple tips inspired by sewing thread spools to represent the house’s couturier heritage, they’re made in Italy with slender arms. The latter has been debossed with the CD logo which are lined with clear acetate to expose the metal pins. A classic style with just the right amount of superhero intrigue.
Prada’s wire-framed panto-shaped glasses are perfect for the minimalists out there, especially those who are partial to silver jewellery. They’re light, comfortable, and will work best for those with angular faces. If you’re looking for style inspiration, look no further than Kit Harrington who opts for a similar understated frame.
Inspired by Andy Warhol, worn by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley, and in the rotation of the likes of Steve Carrell and Kevin Costner, Oliver Peoples’ Sheldrake specs have a look that transcends space and time. From a brand founded in West Hollywood in 1987, they have a bold movie-star appeal - especially when paired with the Sheldrake clip, a tinted frame add-on.
With angled top rims, curved bottom rims, and flat slim-line temples, this delicate pair of specs is inspired by pantoscopic styles from the Fifties. The subtle green enamelled finish adds to the vintage charm, whilst the inside of the temple tips are decorated with Paul Smith’s iconic multicoloured stripe to give them a whimsical yet elegant finish.
From House of Gucci to The Serpent, Seventies style is back on the fashion agenda and Jimmy Fairly’s The Swan glasses fit the bill with an oversized shape, tortoishell acetate and gold-tone detailing.
The French eyewear brand is known for creating high quality frames at an affordable price, and offers a ‘Buy One, Give One’ initiative which means for every pair sold they donate one to someone in need through the Restoring Vision association.
If you’re new to the clear acetate trend, now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon. Offering maximum versatility as well as a touch of edge, Cubitts’ Cartwright style has a geometric shape that’s interesting yet easy to wear. Structural and sophisticated, they’re a 1940s-inspired silhouette that’s designed to bolster your debonair good looks by enhancing your facial features.
Inspired by the fantasy world of the well-dressed gentlemen spy as portrayed by the likes of Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong in the blockbuster Kingsman franchise, it was only natural for Kingsman (the brand), to collaborate with heritage luxury British eyewear brand Cutler & Gross in its most recent collection exclusive to Mr. Porter. Handmade in Italy, the rectangular silhouette will allow you to live out all of your spy-related fantasies - and they look great, too.
Founded in Berlin in 2012, Kuboraum’s glasses go further than just the practicalities. Known for ‘eye couture’, the label describes its designs as ‘masks’ which should be the solution to our self-representation anxieties. This brown-toned clear acetate pair is one of the more toned down styles, featuring nose bridge cut outs and a square silhouette which creates a structural look.
If you’re looking for great quality glasses at an affordable price, Ace & Tate is the place to go. With a vast range of wire frames, acetate styles, and in every colour and shape you can imagine, there’s something for everyone.
Offered in both large and small depending on the width of your face, the Nicky shape is easy-going, smooth, yet elegant. Added bonus, they’ve got an in-store opticians if you need an eye test.
Buy now £110.00, Ace & Tate
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