Optical Opulence: Men’s eyewear and accessories
By Kyle Zabawa
“R…Q…J…smiley face…question mark…” (Hans Moleman, The Simpsons)
Despite now being a twenty-something aspiring boulevardier of sorts, I will always remember, as a young boy, encountering a scene from an old episode of long-running cartoon series The Simpsons in which Springfield’s resident cataracts sufferer Hans Moleman, attempts (unsuccessfully) to read aloud an eye chart designed to assess his visual acuity. Thanks to a seemingly unfortunate combination of genes, my eyesight has always been atrocious to the extent that—still to this day—I feel a certain affinity to this peculiar character’s struggle to make sense of the visual world.
Alas, if my hours spent trawling TED Talk’s motivational speeches have taught me anything, it’s that one must always make the most of a bad situation. I tried contact lenses once but my attempt was fruitless—I was thwarted by my reluctance to apply a fingertip to my naked eye. My solution? Owning a timeless selection of the most flattering eyewear available. Join me as I divulge my secrets to help you in your quest to find the most favourable frames for your face.
For a square face, your choice of frame should always aim to lightly soften and round the angles of your cheekbones and jaw. Signature, darker toned and delicately rounded frames such as those in the style similar to what was made famous by Oliver Peoples are famed for their ability to temper sharp facial features and become the main attraction of your look. Optical illusion at its finest.Photo: ASOS
In order to streamline the breadth of your forehead and broaden the chin—light, metallic frames with contrasting heavier tops should be sported in order to help to balance the proportions of your face. Small, round frames should be avoided as these can draw unwanted emphasis to the forehead. As a patron of this particular facial structure, my exclusive top tip is to remember the old mantra of “the higher the hair, the closer to heaven” as a well-coiffed hairstyle can help to draw in the eyes of others to much better places.Photo: ASOS
Angular frames are about to become your new best friend. Offsetting the soft curves of the jaw should be high on your spectacle agenda. This illusion of shape can also be achieved by adding edgier frames with soft corner details to your collection. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour too—those with round faces can afford to make use of tortoiseshells, as these subdued tones don’t appear as harsh on a less angular face and can compliment the visage of brunette boys.Photo: ASOS
Men with this face shape typically display a wide jawline teamed with a narrow forehead. To create an illusion of balancing both the chin and angular jawline, a pair of aviator style frames (think squarer designs) can help to highlight your cheekbones. Bold, solid colours can also bring focus away from the sharper areas of the face. Cat-eye and wraparound styles are to be avoided as these can intensify the hollows of your face.Photo: ASOS
Square-edged frames can really help to fill the face and add angle and definition to the contours of your jaw. Bulky, rectangular frames in daringly dark shades can sculpt face shapes of the flatter variety, achieving an aura of masculinity and an undeniable sense of detail. Do make sure though to stray from narrower styles as these types of frames will look consumed by elongated features.Photo: ASOS
There you have it for eyewear—my failsafe guide to optical fashion in consideration of your facial characteristics. Keep an eye out and always remember that a carefully selected, timeless pair of spectacles really does make a gentleman.
Photo: National Library of Medicine @Flickr
“Accessories are kind of like herbs and spices. They give zest and zing to an outfit.” (Iris Apfel)
With the festive season looming, it’s never too early to begin your hunt for the perfect trinket for yourself or for the men in your life. According to a recent study by the NPD (a market research company), overall sales of men’s accessories increased by eight per cent this year, so there has never been a better time to cut your very own slice of the accessory pie. Just don’t forget to remember that minimalism is the key here—one should never aspire to look as if they fell onto the sale rack at Claire’s Accessories.
If like me, you’re never one to stray from a sturdy satchel, this River Island piece could be your go to bag for this or even next semester. Jam-packed with zipped pockets and compartments, house your possessions within the security of this sartorial statement. For such a versatile item, the price is also brilliantly budget friendly.Photo: ASOS
COMPLIMENTARY CARD HOLDERS
This next accessory has had almost as big an impact on my life as my discovery of YouTube hair tutorials (I often ‘rest’ my hair in the week with a simple slick of coconut oil, but anyone who spots me on a night out understands my appreciation of being blowdried for the gods). Perfect for hitting up your favourite nightlife haunts, if anybody else out there laments having to squeeze their bulky wallet into their trouser pocket then you’ll understand my elated emotions when I was finally able to effortlessly streamline my silhouette through using a card holder. Leave your loyalty cards at home, and simply slip any sterling you might need into this next product.Photo: ASOS
“HI, HI. WE’RE YOUR WEATHER GIRLS, AND HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU.”
If there would be one warning that I would give to anyone moving to the North West of England, it would be to prepare for a seemingly never-ending barrage of rain clouds. So, when the humidity is rising and the barometer is getting low, stay dry and scare off any signs of H2O underneath this retractable, black umbrella, made complete with a sinister skull handle detail. The collapsible style of this piece of weather-combatting paraphernalia also makes it an easy addition to dwell within your favourite bag or vehicle.Photo: ASOS
Whether as a result of this article you’re planning a trip to your nearest opticians to find the right spectacle frame for your face, or if you’ve scoured the internet to find a high quality video version of ‘It’s Raining Men’ by The Weather Girls to play the next time you’re faced with some Manchester drizzle, let us know over at our social media links what accessories you couldn’t be without.