Jeepers Creepers: How to Choose an Eyeglass Frame

2182704282_ace1e27790_o.jpgFor my first pair of eyeglasses, I chose baby blue cat’s eyes. I was six or seven. And except for a brief dalliance with contacts (I’m just too lazy), I could tell my entire life story in eyeglasses. Outsized to granny, wire to plastic, tortoise shell to red.

It’s a near-impossible task to find the right frames. How are you supposed to SEE yourself clearly, when you don’t have any lenses? And you’re pretty much at the mercy of the current trend. Last time I went in for an update, it was hard to find a pair without those awful nose-pinchers.

That’s when I discovered Jana Lewis, ABOE, NCLE. She’s a board-certified optician at Bella Vision, 1012 W 38 Street, Austin. I love Bella Vision’s motto: “Clear vision begins with healthy eyes.” It’s all about the clarity.

Jana knew her stock, she knew how to fit, and she knew what looked good. I just sat back while she rushed around the store gathering up the likeliest candidates. She fit me in readers, bifocals, and sunglasses. And I’m still loving them all.

So, I thought to ask Jana to share her secrets, in case you can’t get to work with her in person. (Which you’ll love, she’s got a large spirit!)

“Getting the correct fit is key,” she advises. “Getting a frame that is too large will make your eyes look closed in. A frame that is too small will make your eyes look too far apart. Along with temples and lens size, it’s crucial to get the correct size needed for your particular face.”

Too many women, she adds, stay within their comfort zones. “With so many stylish choices and colors nowadays, there is no reason to stay within your box. Branch out and enjoy!”

Here are Jana’s top three tips for choosing a frame:

1. Go to a professional. A licensed optician will get you in the right size and fit.
2. Open yourself to new shapes and colors.
3. While fashion is important, don’t forget that function is essential.

Photo by Mike Licht,

One Response to Jeepers Creepers: How to Choose an Eyeglass Frame

  1. Carol McCall March 24, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    This is so true. And why is it that sometimes you buy a pair of glasses and when they come in you really hate ’em?

    After so many years and so many pairs, I am actually beginning to pick well. I have a wonderful gay optic assistant person in NW Austin who always encourages certain choices, all of which have been winners.

    In fact, sometimes I have to persuade him to try some on because he has such fun flair. I always try to keep my head about me because can you really trust the tast of someone who likes, worships, knows all the lyrics-to and adores Canadian singers? Hmmmm.

    This last and recently-acquired pair were easy to choose. The previous pair had been rounded, which equalled “old lady” symptoms. OK, not going there, so the straight and squared fashions were the attractants. But gee whiz, when I bought the rounded ones in Dallas they seemed so artsy and so different, so COOL.

    Things change.

    So of course, before my insurance will kick in on another pair of frames, squared will be goofiness and rounded will be chic. Who knows?

    Thanks, Ann, for another delightful insightful piece.