Four eyes. Speccy. Geek. Nerd. I’m very glad that glasses have, in recent years, become such an enduring fashion statement. When I got my first frames, around age six, they were far from desirable. Not that wee Rosie was particularly fussed: it just meant there wasn’t a lot of choice. When I got to P7 I cast off my (now incredibly trendy) round, gold frames and embraced a more discreet style, before rejecting glasses for contact lenses age 13. The optician expressed doubt that someone so young could manage them, but underestimated my determined streak. I did. Fast forward a few years and in my late teens, specs were very much coming back into fashion and very much a part of my experimental style phase. Red skinny metallics, pink plastic wonders, black and red contrasting frames – I changed my specs to match my look (thanks to a certain 2 for 1 deal) as I tried to find myself, sartorially speaking.
In my late twenties, I’ve come to embrace style over fashion and favour classic, quality pieces over their fast, disposable siblings. As such, things have come full circle (excuse the pun) and I’ve gone back to my roots with a pair of retro, round glasses by Oliver Peoples. This time around I’d like to think I wear them, rather than them wearing me – a more polished, grown-up and stylish version of me. My look has been described as ‘modern vintage’ and these specs suit that aesthetic to a tee: their shape and tortoiseshell colour nods to tradition, while the lightweight acetate and ultra-thin lenses are right for now. They’re beautiful enough to make a subtle statement in their own way, but versatile enough that they go with everything. In short, everything I’m looking for in a pair of glasses: I’m smitten.
The glasses were very kindly gifted to me by Black and Lizars but, as you know, it’s only honest opinions around here and I have been raving about them to anyone who will listen. The service in store was personalised, attentive and professional – from optometrist Jill who completed the eye test, explaining each stage to me in expert fashion, to assistant Eilidh who was supportive and bubbly, helping me pick the right frames for my style (along with a handy poll in my Instagram story!). I was particularly impressed by the attention-to-detail of the test, using Optomap imaging technology to take specialist shots of the inside of my eye. Standard imaging only covers a tiny fraction of your retina, whereas this covers 200 degrees! It does cost money (your standard eye test is free on the NHS every two years) but is a must for anyone with a family history of serious eye problems like me – and so important for your general health. In fact, it flagged a tiny spot in my eye that I’m set to get investigated; better to be on the safe side.
Together, we narrowed the selection down to the Oliver Peoples Mareen frames in ultra-thin tortoiseshell or blush pink acetate. The tortoiseshell wasn’t in stock but nothing was too much trouble and these were ordered in for me to try before committing. And I definitely made the right decision, deciding on the former, go-with-everything shade. The lightweight frames are handcrafted in Italy, while Black and Lizars’ Nikon lenses (yep – the same as the camera!) are exceptionally clear – like no specs I’ve ever had before. I went for slightly thinner lenses and anti-reflective coating and the quality is fantastic; let’s just say I definitely need to invest in a new under-eye concealer… What’s more, after just a few days of wearing them I’m already forgetting they’re there – and that to me is most important of all. My glasses have become an inseparable part of me and my look: I’ve already fallen asleep with them on, not to mention stepping into the shower and steaming up instantly. A sure sign of customer satisfaction, methinks! Thanks for having me Black and Lizars, Edinburgh.