2021 – Are you shopping for you?

If you are looking to purchase new eyewear to start the year, read this first!

Hello 2021

Here we are at the start of another year.

Oh 2021, how we have been waiting for you!

The start of any new year signifies new beginnings, new plans, new directions and new looks. This year, more than ever, people, feel like they’re ready to start the year with a fresh look. Whether it be a new haircut, colour, wardrobe or anything else, it’s always important to stop and think about why. Why do you want a change and what does it signify for you?

Do we need ‘NEW’?

With social media being our main resource of, well everything these days, it can be easy to get caught in the ‘NEW’ cycle. I have often found myself struggling to control making purchases that I don’t actually need. Jewellery, clothes, accessories, subscriptions, diets – you name it – online marketing is sneaky!

But, It’s not all bad.

I’m a strong believer in change being a good thing. Anything that gives you that spring in your step when you get out of bed, or that little sparkle in your eye when someone notices your change, is good for your wellbeing. That is, as long as you have made the change for the right reason – for you, and you only.

There are a lot of people about to hit the stores to look for new eyewear. Those who wear prescription glasses and have private health insurance have their benefits ready to go for the new year. Those who don’t may be just using the energy of a new year to change things up a little. There are also those that have needed new specs for a while now and are just feeling inspired. Whatever your reason, this is an exciting time. The one thing you have to be mindful of however, is if you are shopping for a ‘new you’ or the ‘real you’.

So what’s the difference?

Time and time again I see businesses of all kinds advertising to help transform you into the ‘new you’. This is ridiculous. The idea plays on your emotions and assumes you think there is something wrong with the current you. It’s marketing 101 – make people feel bad about themselves then offer them a way to fix it. Let me tell you now, there is nothing wrong with you. You are who you are because of the decisions you’ve made. Even if you do completely change your look or style, you are still the same person.

Over the years I’ve noticed that the most common reaction to having to select new frames is terror. Most people hate looking in the mirror and often end up with their new specs looking very similar to their old ones just because they feel ‘safe’. Because it’s how their used to seeing themselves. When looking for new eyewear we should be focusing on how we can look like the ‘real’ version of ourselves, rather than a ‘new’ version.

Easier said than done right?

Kind of.

Before you go shopping for new eyewear this year, have a look over my tips to be less likely to purchase a style or look that you will regret.

  • Avoid pressure. From Friends, family, store staff or anyone else that has an opinion. Eyewear is the first thing people see when they look at you, and is an extremely personal purchase. It should NEVER be rushed, for any reason. I often send people away for a day or two to consider their options before purchasing. This is especially true if they are making a big change to their look, if they seem at all unsure or if they are downright confused and relying on my opinion too much.
  • Walk away. When you’re narrowing down your decision, use the walk away tactic. It can be easy to get confused trying on lots of frames. They all start to blur into one. It’s like when you are smelling perfumes – you need to smell the coffee beans and walk away for a moment. It’s exactly the same with purchasing eyewear, except for different senses. You need to give your brain and eyes a break before making a decision. Walking away can be for one day, a few days, an hour or simply a few minutes then returning to look at the last few again in a different mirror. Each person is going to feel different about this. The bottom line is feel free to keep walking away until you feel confident in YOUR choice. And if the store staff aren’t supportive this, you’re in the wrong place!
  • Be careful who you take with you. We all have that person in our lives that feels they know what looks best on us. And in some cases they very may well do. But I’ll say it again – eyewear purchases are one of the most personal you can make. Glasses are not cheap, and unlike most clothing, they need to last you a long time. Most commonly, 2-3 years. Ultimately, this decision is yours. When looking for a change in style, I very strongly believe that most people are better off doing it alone – well, with the help of a professional optical dispenser anyway. Unfortunately, friends and family can be biased. They are used to seeing you in your current specs and may struggle to see your ideas as positive.
  • I’ve also seen examples where friends (most commonly) have strong opinions about the buyer trying on and purchasing frames that are ‘trending’, without giving ANY consideration to the wearers’ personal style, or fit of the frame. It’s easy to get caught up in a close friend’s excitement, only to realise it’s a style they loved, not you.
  • And then there’s the family and friends that come with you, but end on looking at themselves in frames more than they look at you. Especially those who don’t need glasses, will try on and ‘play’ around in store more than actually giving you an honest and helpful opinion.
  • Do your research. If you’re anything like me, before you go chopping all your hair off you have googled SO many times different styles and versions of haircuts. We might investigate what shape face it will work best on, and what colours. Then, before you actually cut it you will likely still be guided by your hairdressers advice because that’s what they spend every day doing! It is exactly the same when you’re looking for a new style in eyewear! Research styles, colours, materials and get an idea of what you might like to try. If you go in with a plan you’re more likely to get it right. If you go in wanting a change without having any idea what – you’re going to end up trying on every frame and waling away empty handed. Or even worse – with a style of frame that you’re going to hate tomorrow.
New glasses

And most importantly:

Listen you your optical dispenser! If you’re at a reputable Optometry practice who has qualified staff, this is all we do day in, day out for years on end. We are eyewear stylists amongst other things. As soon as you walk in we have an idea in our heads of what frames we have that would fit your face shape, colours, and trends. Talk to us about your ideas and we will be brutally honest about what does or doesn’t fit/work on your face. As professionals, we are not biased, We’re not used to seeing you in your old specs any more than the new ones. We can also point out the pro’s and cons of each frame you look at to help you make an informed decision.

So there you have it

My main tips for purchasing new eyewear to showcase the ‘REAL YOU’! Frames that catch your eye are always worth trying on, its better to try than to regret it later.

If you have any stories on how changing your eyewear went really well, or terribly, I’d love to hear from you!

Alternatively, I am now offering styling and eyewear tech assistance packages!  If you’d like some honest, professional help before your next purchase, be sure to send me a message.



2 thoughts on “2021 – Are you shopping for you?”

  1. Well said, I quite often do as you have written in my years as an Optical Assistant (25yrs+).
    When the customer starts blanking out – time to cull- take a rest, offer photos, or go have a coffee. Enlighten your customer – its a big decision – comfort like an old pair of shoes is my go to quote. Breaks the ice or breaks through the fog. Remember it’s their decision not ours to just make a sale. It is a part of who they are and their lifestyle.

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