You've been framed
Country Life UK|November 04, 2020
Want to cultivate serious specs appeal? Emma Hughes gathers advice from those in the know

IF eyes are the windows to the soul, then what you wear around them is the window dressing. Women have no shortage of socially approved options when it comes to expressing themselves in this area—flicky liner, fluttery lashes, a statement fringe—but, if you’re a man, there’s really only one direction in which you can go.

‘Glasses are a serious purchase,’ says freelance men’s-style writer Nick Carvell, who has worked with Mr Porter and GQ (Instagram. com/nickcarvell). For him, they’re a part of your look that calls for as much thought as, say, an investment coat. ‘If you’re someone who wears them all the time, they have to work for multiple situations and dress codes.’

Trends in eyewear, he says, are ‘relatively slow moving’, but discernible. ‘A few years ago, you mostly saw men of all ages in Ray- Ban Wayfarer-style glasses in a tortoiseshell acetate,’ explains Mr Carvell. ‘Acetate stayed, but the shape then morphed into a 1930sstyle round one. You’re now seeing a return to the kind of glasses I remember my dad wearing in the 1980s, with a very thin metal frame and bigger lenses.’

People scoff that Superman wouldn’t actually have been able to fool people into thinking he was plain old Clark Kent simply by donning a pair of specs, but there’s no denying their transformative power. Actors love them for exactly this reason, both on and off screen: Colin Firth has channelled Michael Caine in heavy tortoiseshell acetate frames made by Cutler and Gross, Daniel Craig sports rounder models from the same brand and Idris Elba favours squarish Oliver Peoples frames on the red carpet.

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