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The right fit is more important than you think

Specsavers’ clinical spokesperson Dr Nigel Best offers some advice on spectacles to suit each face shape and a range of different lens options

Why are properly fitting glasses so important?

The first thing people see when they meet you is your face – your smile, your teeth, your hair and your eyes – and perhaps your glasses. They all say something about who you are. With so many different styles to choose from, glasses can change your look dramatically. But properly fitting specs aren’t just about personal image. A good fit is essential not only for comfort but also to ensure an accurate prescription and clearest vision.

How can you ensure a good fit?

Specsavers uses state-of-the-art imaging software, which runs on a tablet and uses its camera to capture a precise range of dispensing measurements for a customer. It’s a quick and easy process and the measurements are unique to each customer, ensuring they receive completely bespoke glasses. Alongside that we have our Frame Styler virtual try-on software, allowing you to see how you look wearing glasses from every angle – and to see yourself as others would see you. All this coupled with our qualified frame stylists in-store will ensure your glasses not only fit perfectly but also look great on you.

How can I match my face to a new pair  of glasses?

The key thing is that the frame size is in proportion to your face. For example, if you have a small face, don’t choose big frames. In most cases the frame should not be wider than the overall width of your face at the temples.

How high should the top of the frame be?

It’s usually best, except when you are choosing sunglasses, if it covers the eyebrows or is slightly lower – never above or it may look as if you have two sets of eyebrows! Check that the lower edge of the frame doesn’t sit on your cheeks otherwise it may rub or irritate.

We’re here to help, with our specialist staff and state-of-the-art technology. Frame Styler matches the shape of glasses to the shape of your head by scanning your face and aligning the results with the latest fashionable trends

What about matching my face type to my  new glasses?

Again our in-store specialists and Frame Styler technology will help. For example, oval or round glasses tend to soften the features of people with square, angular faces. In contrast, glasses with square, angular frames highlight angular characteristics and are not generally recommended unless you are intentionally aiming for a severe style, like the fictional Clark Kent of Superman fame.

What if I have an oval face?

An oval face is typically twice as long as it is wide, meaning that you can wear more or less any style – round, angular or bold – but it may be best to avoid very narrow frames if they make your face look longer. Being the exception to the rule, you may also suit a frame style that is a little bit wider than the widest part of your face.

What about a triangular face?

These are widest at the jaw, narrowing up to the forehead. We advise frames that add a little width to the narrowest part of the face to really highlight your eyes. Visit our website for more about fitting glasses to your face shape.

I’m not sure which face shape I have? What can I do?

Have a good look at yourself in the mirror and get familiar with common face shapes like oval, square or heart-shape. Also, why not ask a friend or relative. Friends or partners often accompany our customers when they choose a pair of spectacles.

And again, of course, we’re here to help, with our specialist staff and state-of-the-art technology. Frame Styler matches the shape of glasses to the shape of your head by scanning your face and aligning the results with the latest fashionable trends. It prepares 36 initial recommendations and then narrows them down, allowing you to flick through images of yourself wearing different frames without taking your glasses off.

You talk about your specialist fitting teams? What gives them ‘specialist’ status?

We are very proud of our optical dispensing opticians and optical assistants. Our dispensing opticians are highly trained professionals who undergo a minimum of three years of academic and practical training  to qualify.

What do they actually do?

Working from prescriptions written by optometrists or ophthalmologists, they dispense and fit glasses and other optical aids to children and adults. They take frame and facial measurements to ensure correct fit and positioning. They also advise patients on lens type, frames and styling – for example, on lenses for night driving, protection against ultraviolet rays, prescription sunglasses, low vision aids, dry eye, and sport and  safety eyewear.

A number of our dispensing opticians and optical assistants have also completed specialist frame styling training – our Frame Perfect course was put together in collaboration with the London School of Styling.

What about your range of lenses?

Specsavers offers a comprehensive range of lenses; which type is best for you depends on a variety of things, such as your lifestyle, job, preference and vision needs.

Single-vision lenses have a single prescription that covers the whole lens. People under 40 mostly opt for these as they’re more likely to have just one prescription. So if you only need glasses for one type of vision, your optician may prescribe these to you. All Specsavers glasses come with a free scratch-resistant treatment for standard single-vision lenses.

What about bifocal lenses?

Bifocal lenses offer a convenient option for those who need to be able to focus clearly at two separate distances. They do this by combining any two different prescriptions into one lens. For example, an office worker may want to have intermediate vision for looking at a computer screen at arm’s length, and near vision for looking at some paperwork.

What’s the difference between bifocals and varifocal lenses?

Varifocals are similar to bifocals, but they have a gradient or transition between the prescription areas rather than two distinct prescription zones allowing the wearer to see clearly at multiple distances. Specsavers also offers a range of lens extras and treatment. These include Extra Thin + Lite lenses, which improve the appearance and comfort for those with high prescriptions; Reactions, which go dark in sunlight; and a range of tints for sunshine, driving and other pursuits.

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