Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 30, Tuesday, February 1, 2005




A pair of spectacles isn't just used to improve vision or correct faulty eyesight anymore.

Glamorous frames are now more of a fashion statement for many. Eyewear can be a great way to spice up your look. No matter what your lifestyle is, it can easily transform your appearance. Eyewear can add zing to a jaded face or make that jovial face go dreary, depending on what you go for.

For many of us, the most important aspect of choosing eyeglass is how the frame looks on our faces. You could try on every pair of eyeglasses in the store and not be satisfied with any. Narrowing down your choices in advance can save you a lot of time and aggravation. Based on a little research, here are some tips on choosing the right glasses that suits your facial structure and feature.

The oval shape face is considered to be the ideal shape because of its balanced proportions. To keep the oval's natural balance, look for eyeglass frames that are as wide as the broadest part of the face, or walnut-shaped frames that are not too deep or too narrow.

A round face has curvy lines with the width and length in the same proportions and no angles. To make the face appear thinner and longer, try angular, narrow eyeglass frames to lengthen the face, and a clear bridge that widens the eyes. Choose rectangular shapes to sharpen the features and create definition. Avoid round shapes.

The oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long, straight cheek line and sometimes a longer nose. To make the face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames with decorative or contrasting temples that add width to the face, or a low bridge to shorten the nose. Best are curved and rounded styles that emphasise width.

The top of a triangle face is very wide, while the bottom is small. To minimise the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom. Also very light colours and materials, such as rimless, which have a light, airy effect because the lenses are held in place by only a few screws.

For base down triangle shapes that have a narrow forehead with wide cheek and chin areas, add width and highlight the narrow upper area of the face. Try frames that are heavily accented with colour and detailing on the top half or cat-eye shapes.

Diamond-shaped faces are narrow at the eye line and jaw line, and cheekbones are often high and dramatic. This is the rarest face shape. To highlight the eyes and bring out the cheekbones, try frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines, or try rimless frames and oval shapes. Avoid big frames or bold styles.

One should also consider some other aspects such as the colour of the skin, hairstyle or even the colour of the eye. Don't overlook the aspect of personality. Your eyewear could either reflect your personality, or balance it out. Warm up a quiet personality with bold colours, or tame your wild side with a sober pair of specs.

A stroll in the market
Rimless, metallic, or cellulite black, eyewear can contribute to an intelligent look. While titanium eyeglasses have more of a sporty feel, some may choose round eyewear, while others will stick with more angular shapes. So whether you are looking for that cutting edge eyewear or classic eyeglasses for a timeless look, have no fear, the perfect pair of eyeglasses are out there waiting for you. With a little help in choosing the right eyewear you can easily get the look and the protection that your eyes need.

After a little stroll through Dhaka's optical stores we've come back with some insight on eyewear trends, fitting tips and the variety of options that eyewear today has to offer.

The most sold frames are the "non-brand" metal frames. Their prices start from tk300 and can go up to tk1200. Very popular among the youngsters these days are the cellulite frames. Available in several colours cellulite cost between tk300 to tk500. The price of rimless or half rim glasses range in between tk300 to tk1000. All these frames come from neighbouring countries like India and Korea. Brand names such as Christian Dior, Dunhill, Diesel, Sufilo cost around tk2000 to tk15, 000 and even more. These brands have both frames and rimless and most of them are unisex.

Price of the lens varies depending on a person's requirement according to the doctor's prescription. Here are a few deals.

Both plastic and glass lenses available today. Plastic lenses are costly but last longer than glass lenses. Lenses with mono-vision power cost around tk200, lenses having bifocal power cost tk250, bifocal with axis will cost tk500, bifocal with crookes (fixed colour adjustment) cost tk250 to tk300. Varilux or progressive lenses cost tk2000 to tk3000. Glass lenses would cost less. Prices of all of these lenses will rise if colour adjustment or photo-sun (changing colour adjustment) is needed.

The best place to do shopping for eyeglasses would be Elephant Road. There are many stores in a row offering all the trendy eyeglasses and giving you a chance to scan through. Here are a few names renowned for their quality. Eye Vision, Fashion Optics, situated at Elephant road, Mahbub Optics and National Optics at Green Super Market, Jewell Optics at Bashundhara City, OpticsMan at Bangabandhu Avenue, Wadud Optics at Farmgate, Akhi bitan and Western Optics at New Market.

While shopping for eyeglasses feel free to bargain, as there are no fixed prices.

Sunglasses too
When walking out into the sun, one accessory you should never be without is a pair of sunglasses. It is one of the few fashion accessories that serve many a useful purpose. For some, a pair of dark glasses is necessary to retain anonymity and a means to hide from the public glare. For some earthly being, sunshades are indispensable when one has to be up and about in the sun or to lend a touch of glamour to an otherwise nondescript face.

In addition to creating character, sunglasses act as a barrier against the elements, protecting eyes from harmful UV rays as well as dusty, polluted air. And according to doctors not only during the summer, shades are needed in winter too. The mild winter sun is just as harmful as the blistering summer glare.

From the oversized, plastic framed sunshades worn by heroines of yester years to the cool, sleek styles of today, sunglasses have come a long way. Wearers are spoilt for choice as shades come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, colours, lens types and designer brands. Available in the Dhaka's market here are a few choices.

Sunglasses from Rayban cost tk1200 to tk6000, Vogue cost around tk1300, for a Gucci you will have to spent tk1800, Max Mara would cost around tk2700-2800, Christian Dior cost tk2000 to tk5000, Police and Sting cost around tk1500 to tk4000 and Dunhill, Diesel, Safilo cost tk2000 and more. Anti glare sunglasses are now available in Dhaka. These glasses are unique, as from outside it looks just like a normal glass but the person wearing it sees everything in colour. These will cost around tk500. According to Nazrul, the sales man at Eye Vision, "These brands are medicated and provide protection from UV rays".

Always remember cheaper brands are also available but they do not provide proper protection from the sun and doctors always suggest good brand names.

Choosing eyeglasses for kids
Like the restless monkeys they are, it is difficult to make kids wear eyeglasses, be it because glasses are cumbersome, or leave the wearer prone to taunts from peers. However, it is crucial that they wear eyeglasses when the doctor prescribes it.

The most important aspect of a pair of glasses is how they fit. Children are much more likely to wear their glasses if they feel comfortable. Always remember that your child is undergoing rapid growth. An improperly fitted frame can cause alterations in developing bone and create further damage in the vision, a problem the glasses are supposed to correct. Check for redness behind the ears or on the sides of the nose for signs of uncomfortable friction. Also ensure that the glasses don't slide down the nose.

Because they are more active, children are going to be tougher on their glasses, so look for good quality metal or plastic frames with flexible spring hinges. Lenses made of polycarbonate, a very strong plastic are a must. Glass lenses can shatter into pieces during playtime, and cause serious injuries to the eyes.

Let your child have some input in deciding on the glasses. Let them try on a few pairs and comment. Shopping for glasses with kids can be a great fun outing as well.

Dr's advice…
Any eye specialist would probably not care much about the style value of eyeglasses, and yet they remain a popular fashion accessory. However, some matters should always be considered.

Eye specialist Dr Mahtabuddin Bhuiyan gave us a few tips about choosing the right eyeglasses. "Pollution level is very high in Dhaka city and eye related ailments are on the rise. Eyes should be covered with glasses even if one does not have eye problems" he says. He also mentions "Choosing eyewear with large frames will protect the eyes more. It will prevent dust, fumes or any other pollutants from getting in."

Many patients visit the doctor with itchy, watery and reddish eyes, with irritations. "These are the most common symptoms people face these days caused mainly by allergies related to air pollution," says Mahtabuddin. He advises to avoid chilled food and drinks, food with higher levels of allergens, to keep the eyes clean and in the outside to use light coloured glasses.

A few frames are made in Bangladesh but the lenses in them are not. The doctor also reveals "there are no certified opticians in Bangladeshi stores. They cannot follow the prescriptions properly and often deliver faulty lenses". So he suggests, "After delivery, patients should always go to the doctor to examine the glasses and make sure that they have prescribed the power correctly".

By Shahnaz Parveen
Special thanks to Dr. Mahtabuddin Bhuiya and Eye Vision
Model: Nasira, Photo: Zahedul I Khan


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