The Geek and Nerd Guide to Choosing Eyewear

Perhaps the  fashion item most likely to label someone a “geek” is their eyewear.  Heavy, plastic, dark colored eyeglass frames with band aids holding them together at the bridge just scream “geek”. It’s no secret that  the Microsoft guy on the Apple commercial was fit with extra large aviator double-bridge metal eyeglasses due to their strong association with geek-dom.  The wrong eyewear fashion can send the  “geek” message stronger than any other fashion accessory and are the most recognizable signs of geek and nerd fashion mistakes with hair style and clothes styles coming in a distant second and third.

So why does eyewear make such a strong fashion statement?  You can have a finely tailored suit and spit-shined shoes, you can have a $7000 watch on your wrist, a diamond brooch or the most expensive perfume on the market.  But first impressions are usually made when two people look each other in the eye, usually right between the eyes, and the first and most obvious fashion accessory staring your potential client in the face is – – – your eyewear!  Some eyewear is meant to make a statement and be bold or obvious, other eyewear is styled for a minimalistic look, meant to blend in to with your face shape and skin tone , but if you go with the bold or obvious option, you better know what you are doing or find an optician who does!

As humans, we are guilty of not always being acutely aware of our surroundings.  We walk into the same office for work everyday for years and often don’t notice the carpet is worn or the walls are dirty.  It is easy to wear the same accessories long after they have gone out of fashion for this reason; eyeglasses that are out of fashion scream out like a banner ad on your head more than your clothes or other accessories.  Mirrors can help, but don’t always help because of this reason.  Stop by an optical you trust or have someone recommend an optician to you; ask their opinion of your eyewear.  They will do this for free, and they might teach you something you didn’t notice as you look in the same mirror every morning at the same face and perhaps at the same glasses, missing the big picture – how others view your face.  Your eyeglasses are something you can change without the expense or risk of cosmetic surgery, and you can constantly reinvent yourself with multiple pairs of eyewear.

So what is it about eyeglasses that make them look “geeky”.  The most important features of eyeglasses that lead to fashion faux paus, especially in the “geek” or “nerd” look are the frame style and the thickness of the lenses.  Other minor features include the style of the bridge of the frame, frame color, the shape that is chosen, any tint or coloring of the lenses and the fit of the frame in relation to the face shape and size. Frame adjustment is also important

Frame Style and Color

When choosing a frame, face and head shape are important.  If you have a round face shape, your frame should have some angles to it, and the more angular your face shape, the more appealing a round or oval frame might appear.  If you are fair skinned, consult your optician; a darker frame will make more of a statement, so in making a bold statement you want to make sure the style is fashionable or “in”.  If your goal is minimalistic and you wish to make the frame as unobvious as possible, consider a rimless frame or a frame made from a light or flesh-tone color so it blends better into the background of your face.

If you are offered a slight cosmetic tint to your lens, decline.  Tinting, unless a transitional tint that lightens and darkens from inside to outside or a purposefully dark tint sits between you and the people you are interacting with, can be subtly perceived as a barrier between you and those around you.  Your eyes should be visible in their natural state to gain trust in communication with others; tinting can send a message that you are introverted, withdrawn or untrustworthy to some people.

The bridge of your frame is the area that connects the two lenses.  Single bridges are common in many metal and plastic frames, and double bridges are more common in metal frames, specifically of the aviator style.  Double bridges were popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s and unless properly fashioned are viewed as nerdy.  Too bold a bridge can draw attention away from the rest of your face as people zero in on the obnoxious piece of metal or plastic sitting between your eyes.

Their are many more options in thin lens technology now than just 10 years ago.  Even the highest prescriptions can be thinned by purchasing a high index plastic lens and having it set in a frame with a small “B” width . . . if you have been avoiding purchasing or wearing glasses because lenses have been historically too thick for your taste, nows the time to revisit your optician to see what’s new.

Your frames should not overwhelm your face.  They should be properly proportioned for facial proportions.  Unless you want to look like the Apple-Microsoft guy or Steve Erkel, I suggest you seek the advice of a seasoned, experienced optician to help choose frame size and style.  Crooked or bent frames, frames where the metal coating is worn or the plastic is turning grey also send a bad message when trying to make an impression, so be sure to stop by your opticians every 3 months for an adjustment and evaluation – you might leave looking better, or you might find a new style just introduced that suits you better. In any event, you will leave looking better than when you went in!

Courtesy of the Doctors at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians serving Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.  For more information visit us at

Follow us on Twitter @EyeInfo


2 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dr. Alan Glazier, Dr. Alan Glazier. Dr. Alan Glazier said: The Geek and Nerd Guide to Choosing Eyewear: […]

  2. […] The Geek and Nerd Guide to Choosing Eyewear « EyeInfo's Blog […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: