Tips to finding the perfect pair of glasses for men

Geek chic – that’s the biggest trend in eyewear for men today. The look is black plastic frames, both oversized and regular. Also in style is statement-making eyewear with a retro influence, such as flat metal detail in semi-rimless and full frames, as well as a number of styles inspired by the iconic Ray-Ban Clubmaster.

On average, eyeglass prescriptions expire after one to two years, so just as you would regularly update your vision checkups, it’s also a good idea to update your style.

“Men all too often tend to play it safe and keep the same look for many years,” says Jo Tanimoto-Carmichael, retail manager at LensCrafters Ala Moana Center. “They’ll repeatedly select the same frame style when purchasing new glasses, which over time can give them a dated look.

“Step out of your comfort zone and explore other eyewear styles and colors. When shopping for glasses, you should try on at least six pairs of frames before making a decision. Sometimes it also helps to bring along a friend or family member for a second opinion. If you have strong facial features, play them up with a bold frame.”

Also popular are rectangular-shaped frames in both plastics and metals because they fit and flatter most faces. At LensCrafters, lightweight metals such as titanium and flexible memory metal continue to be added to the selection of men’s frames, especially in Ray-Ban, the store’s largest men’s collection.

“We’re also seeing a rise in the popularity of drill mount frames, largely due to the presidential primaries in August 2008,” adds Tanimoto-Carmichael. “Drill mount frames are typically made from titanium or stainless steel, which make them lightweight and durable, an appealing feature for many men.” (On this page, Brad Krzykowski models a couple of eyeglasses to show how different frames can change your appearance.)

Those with classic tastes can consult Nader Zadi, a certified optician and founder of the New York City-based eyewear company Customeyes. Zadi curates an extensive collection of antique frames (some of which date back to the early 1900s) and fits them with new lens technology.

Here are his tips – “The Five C’s and a D” – for finding the best glasses:

* Cut – “Eyeglasses should be in proportion with face size, be balanced and in harmony with your features.”

* Clarity – Frames should be “free of flaws or blemishes at key points such as the bridge and hinges.” Also, ask for hi-index and anti-reflection coating.

* Color – Select warm frame colors (rose, amber and copper) for pale complexions, and white or yellow gold for darker skin tones.

* Carat – Referring to the weight of the frame based on its material.

* Comfort – Temple tips should curve gently behind the ear; bridge and nose pads should evenly distribute the weight of the frames and allow the glasses to sit symmetrically.

* Durability – “Consider frames made from titanium, stainless steel and flexible materials and hinges.”

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