Even in my late 20s, there is still room for new experiences. Last week that came by the way of having to get my first pair of eye glasses. I was at work one day and suddenly started having issues with my eyes. As an IT manager I work with computers 95% of my work day, so I thought it was typical eye strain coming from computer screens. Long story short, I went to get it checked out and it turns out for the first time in my life I needed to get prescription glasses.
Bad news for me, as I haven’t even owned sunglasses in about 10 years. Any type of glasses just haven’t been my thing. Yet, contacts are definitely not an option for me; at least not yet. After 29 years of not doing it, I just can’t get use to the idea of putting something in my eye every day. Good news is that now there are millions of choices for frames and the lens making finding the perfect glasses a lot easier. (They are sold separate as you will learn later). So, let’s get a look at what you need to know.
7 Tips for Getting Your First Pair of Glasses
Tip 1: What type of lens do you need?
Several things come in to play here, but the biggest part is your actual prescription. Your prescription needs will change the thickness of the actual lens. That will come into play for a lot of your other decisions.
A few other upgrades are also available. Click here for a full list of optional upgrades.
For me I opted for the anti-reflective coating due to my work and the transition lenses that darken when outside.
Tip 2: What’s Your Budget?
It’s all about the money! Your budget can be a huge deciding factor in what pair of glasses you get. Even with insurance, a decent pair of glasses can cost you hundreds. Designer brand frames can easily set you back $800+. Upgrades to lens also run in the hundreds.
At the end of the day do not go super cheap if you don’t have to. You must look at the glasses as an investment. You will wear them more than any of piece of clothing or jewelry you have.
Savers Tip: Lens can be cut for different frames and frames can be reused. You can always find a good used pair on sites like eBay’s vision care section.
Tip 3: What will you primarily be doing in these glasses?
Factor in your lifestyle needs here. Are you a very active person who needs very durable frames or do you find yourself in suits more than sneakers? If that’s the case you probably have a little more freedom in the options you have. Get the type of glasses that match your more likely scenarios.
Tip 4: What is your style?
Whether you like it or not, your new glasses will become a permanent accessory to most, if not all, of your outfits. Make sure to factor that in to your style. Those blue and silver glasses may be cool, but are they always going to be a good fit for you?
It’s also not just about color here. Typically, you have 3-4 material options as well. Plastic, titanium, stainless steel, metal composite (see point below about allergies), or a combination of those previously mentioned. Those are the most common you will find, but you can also find wood and other materials. The materials along can change the style of the glasses and how they are perceived.
Tip 5: What size/type frame do you need?
Comfort + Stability + Style. Rarely will you be perfect in all three areas. Instead you have to find the right balance for you.
The smallest details in the size of your frames can be a huge factor in comfort. Everyone’s face is different, so the best option here is to get yourself in a store and try some out. The same size in different brands can also fit slightly different.
If you’re allergic to certain materials, this can also limit your choices. Personally, I have a nickel allergy, so I had to make sure all the options I was looking at were either plastic or a nickel-free metal. Most sites allow you to filter by material and in store-associates will be able to guide you to the options that are safe for you.
Shape is the last factor that can take you from Steve Urkel to Steve Jobs and everything in between.
Style Tip: Plastic frames are a lot better at hiding ultra-thick lenses.
Tip 6: How many hours will you be wearing these each day?
There are some people who wear their glasses 24/7 and some who you will probably never see with them on. It just depends on your specific vision issues. I was told I was near-sighted, so really for most stuff I don’t necessarily need my glasses, but being that I got the anti-reflective coating for work I will likely wear there most of the time.
You probably won’t know until you get your glasses on for a while. However, try to estimate as best as you can and really think about your needs before you buy your first pair. All day wearers typically go for “comfort above all” options for ultra-lightweight rimless or semi-rimless frames.
Tip 7: Do you need more than one pair of glasses?
If you’re on this site you most likely consider yourself a stylish gentleman and let’s face it, the same pair of glasses every day is a really hard thing to cope with. Now I wouldn’t go crazy and get 30 pairs, but having 2-3 pairs to add a little versatility to your eye wear isn’t too far off for most people. If your budget allows, get yourself an everyday pair and a second nice, stylish pair to wear when you want to spruce things up.
At the end of the day it’s all about you. I ended up choosing the plastic frame below from Haggar for myself. Being that these are my first pair I wanted to get a bit of a cheaper option with the frames until I really figured out how often I would be wearing them. Plus I know I will definitely wear these to work, so something fancy or flashy may be a little distracting or come of pompous. A simple pair of black frames for me was just a natural fit for what I need at the moment.