Frame Styling Tips & Advice

If, in fact, the eyes are’ the windows of the soul’, than it goes without saying that there’s nothing more important when making a first impression than your eyes – or what you put on them.

Dr. Lauren Dickerman, O.D., owner of Harvard Square Eye Care, a full-service eye care practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, should know. She and her uncle, Dr. Richard Glugeth, O.D. recognized in the industry for his innovations with contact lenses, have been in the eye business for more than 40 years.

While optometry is a profession they take very seriously, the doctors are quick to admit that cosmetically attractive eyewear is also part of the equation. That’s why Harvard Square Eye Care offers expert medical care, as well as the most fashionable selection of eyewear in the area.

The doctors both agree that what you wear – whether it’s clothing or accessories – makes a statement about who you are. Because a face is the first feature we see when we meet someone, eyewear is often the accessory with the most immediate impact. Certain styles can project a certain image and give insight into the wearer’s personality.

A style can be classic, retro, minimalist, trendy, or just plain fun. For example, a classic horn rimmed frame might lend an air of studiousness, while an aviator style could suggest the wearer is a bit more relaxed.

Just as someone wears different kinds of clothing for different occasions, it makes sense to wear a different style of eyewear – frames, rimless, contact lenses – for different occasions, too. For fancy occasions or more formal events, Dr. Dickerman suggests contact lenses.

However, if glasses are the only option, the frame should be delicate and almost nonexistent. Often, a rimless or semi-rimless frame lends an elegant effect to an evening look. When it comes to sports and more strenuous outdoor activities, it’s safest to use impact resistant materials like polycarbonate.

Yet, if you prefer to wear just one frame, Dr. Dickerman says she can help find one that’s versatile and appropriate for work, social activities, and evening affairs.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates (Skip Gates) has been a patient of ours for over 20 years. He currently wears a Lindberg frame. Professor Gates used to wear a Rodenstock rimless. “It’s a quality frame with a slightly modern edge because of its square angles. It’s also a frame that, while understated, sends a subtle message that the wearer is style conscious without being overly concerned with what’s in fashion. The frame suits Dr. Gates because of its classic lines.”

Another Harvard Square Eye Care patient, Judge Joyce London Alexander, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Massachusetts, Boston, wears a larger style frame with photochromatic lenses that darken when exposed to light. These frames serve a dual purpose and are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor activities. “This frame has soft edges and is a good choice for someone who wants to project an image that is commanding yet approachable.”

What’s popular in eyewear right now? Dr. Dickerman says color in both lenses and frames are ‘key’. “For the summer, pastels and pinks are popular for both men and women.” Another trendy look is thick-rimmed and rectangular. Semi-rimless frames are also quite popular, as are bigger ‘Jackie-O’-type frames. And, designs with titanium, flat metals, and strong shapes are ‘in’ right now, too.

Dr. Dickerman says a good eyewear stylist will get to know you and your lifestyle – and help create a look that will bring out your individual personality. “We help people decide the look they want to project and always give an honest opinion about whether or not the frame flatters the face.”

While eyewear with flair is important, quality, and frame and lens construction are equally important. “Besides being fashionable, eyewear also needs to be functional. The correct fit and personal comfort are still hallmarks of our practice.”

When it comes to fit, some rules of thumb apply. For instance, the center of the eye should always be in the center of the lens. “If the frame is too wide for the eyes, they can appear cross-eyed.” In addition, it’s important that the frames are wide enough for the face: the edge of the frame should protrude slightly beyond the face.

Techniques to enhance attractive facial features or minimize less attractive ones also apply. A frame with a low bridge can make a long nose appear shorter, while a frame with a clear bridge can make narrow-set eyes appear wider. A semi-rimless frame one with a rim on the top, only – can help to balance a strong lower jaw.

Although Harvard Square Eye Care carries a large variety of designer-brand eye wear, Dr. Dickerman is quick to point out that quality can also be had with non-designer frames. But, Regardless of brand, it’s important that the frame is made from a quality product with a good ‘finish’.

“Many mass produced frames are inferior. Often times, injection-molded frames have an unattractive sheen to them that can cheapen the look. A hand-made frame tends to have a softer finish with hinges that are less visible, while mass produced frames often have externally attached hinges.”

Dr. Dickerman says she sometimes hears patients lament that a frame is too stylish. “At Harvard Square Eye Care, we want our patients to feel good about how they look and at the same time express their own style. We make sure our patients leave the office with a new look and plenty of compliments.”

Harvard Square Eye Care, the only doctor-owned dispensary in the Harvard Square area, has been in business since 1961. Before Dr. Dickerman took over the reins, her uncle, Dr.Glugeth, who is now retired, was in charge.

While expert eye care in a family environment and quality service are still cornerstones of the practice, Harvard Square Eye Care now also offers the latest in eyewear fashion.

They stock brands from France, Italy, Japan, and the United States, as well as a wide range of popular frames including Gucci, LA Eyeworks, and Calvin Klein”. Services include comprehensive eye exams, laser vision consulting, computer vision syndrome treatment, home exam visits, contact lens fittings, child-friendly services, and flexible office hours. Who says high fashion can’t be high quality, too?

Photograph of Professor Gates – 2010 Boston Magazine