Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 19, Tuesday May 15, 2007


frame it!

In a world that is being laid siege upon by a blizzard of contact lenses, spectacles are still in reigning order. After all it is so much easier to stick something on top of your eyes rather than inside them! And what with cleanliness, cost and overall hygiene, spectacles are just the easier and better option. And don't trust those fake fashionistas that frown on eyewear. Hey, if Miranda Priestly could carry them off with panache in The Devil Wears Prada, so can you! The key is to find a frame that fits your face.

So how does one go about finding the perfect pair of eyewear, especially when faced by a sea of options? Rest assured, it isn't as harrowing a task as it may initially seem. The key to finding the right pair is to ascertain the shape of your face first. So pull your hair back and stand a foot away from a mirror. Then with a crayon, eyeliner, lipstick or bar of soap outline the shape of your face. This outline will tell you if your face is round, oval, oblong, square, diamond, pear or heart shaped.

Once ascertained, head to a shop that has a multitude of options to choose from. And to help you make up your mind, take someone along who will honestly give you an objective opinion. Someone who knows about eyewear or even an eye-doctor is a prime catch for this task. But that's not all. Before you start choosing, besides the shape of your face, don't forget to take your individual prescription, lifestyle and personal colouring, face structure (including the placement of eyes, brows, nose and the width of your cheekbones) and hairstyle into account.

Now that you are all set, all there is left to do is try out different choices and choose. If you have an oval face, you're in luck because oval faces tend to be the most versatile because of their balanced proportions. Frames that are wide as or wider than the broadest part of the face are a good option. Specs in an almond or oval shape should do the trick.

A round face has curved lines and is equally proportioned in width and length. Frames that are wider than they are deep are suitable for round faces. Angular or narrow frames are most flattering on round faces. Long, straight cheek lines and, sometimes, a longer nose are what characterise an oblong face. Oblong faces are longer than they are wide. To balance this out, frames with top-to-bottom depth or decorative temples, that is frame arms, are recommended to add width and balance them out.

A heart-shaped or inverted triangle face is widest at the forehead and narrowest at the chin. To balance such a shape, frames that draw attention downwards, such as rimless pairs or ones with very thin metal or plastic frames are the way to go. The opposite is when one has a pear-shaped face, that is base-down triangular face with a narrow forehead and a face that widens at the cheek and chin areas. Such faces demand that the attention be drawn upwards. And to balance them out bold or cat-eye shaped frames are recommended.

A strong jaw line and broad forehead generally mark a square face. Once again, such faces are equally proportioned in width and length. To flatter square faces, choose rounder and narrower frames that soften facial angles, such as narrow ovals. A diamond face generally has high cheekbones and is narrowest at the brow and jaw line. To make such faces look properly proportioned, frames that detail the brow line such as cat-eyed or oval shaped frames are most suitable.

Often times considered the most striking part of a person's face, the eyes demand to be showcased properly. So don't shun eyewear and grumble about being forced into wearing them. Just choose a pair that fits you. Who knows, the right pair may just become iconic of you!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Chicin sunglasses

Did sun protection ever come in such an ultrachic package? Shades that have a vintage feel are very Jackie O dodging paparazzi on Capri. So don't let this season fly by without donning a pair!

With the scorching heat on, many things are becoming a necessity like sunglasses, sun block lotion, deodorant, umbrellas and cotton wear. If you're thinking of stepping outside, these commodities should be handy. Otherwise you'll return home tanned, exhausted and practically feeling sick.

Look around you and you'll spot people with fashionable sunglasses and attire. People nowadays don't leave home with just summer clothes on- they also carry a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses make you look classic and sophisticated. They are visual aids, popular as fashion accessories, that protect your eyes from too much sun, dust and ultraviolet radiation that can lead to the development of cataracts, photokeratitis, snow blindness and various types of eye cancer. Medical experts often prescribe sunglasses for protection against UV rays.

In the early 1900s, the use of sunglasses started to become more widespread, especially among the pioneering stars of silent movies. Inexpensive mass-produced sunglasses were introduced to America by Sam Foster in 1929. Foster found a ready market on the beaches of Atlantic City and New Jersey, where he began selling sunglasses under the name of Foster Grant

Sunglasses come in various colours. The colour of lens can vary in style and purpose but it is recommended that one use green, grey, yellow or brown to minimise colour distortion. Clear lenses are used typically to protect the eyes from impact, debris and dust.

Sunglass lenses are made from either glass or plastic. Glass lenses have the best optical clarity and scratch resistance, but are heavier than plastic lenses. They can also shatter or break on impact. Plastic lenses are lighter than glass lenses, but are more prone to scratches. Frames are generally made from plastic, nylon, metal or metal alloy.

Sunglasses are widely used by teenagers and university goers in Bangladesh. Men have a higher inclination towards brands and expensive sunglasses than females. Men look for brands such as Ray Ban, Police, Gucci, Armani, Nike, Diesel, Sting, Cartier, Fred and Prada. Best selling brands mainly come from Italy. The price ranges for such brands are from Taka 2,000 to Taka 16,000. There is no demonstrated correlation between high prices and increased UV protection. A 1995 study reported that "Expensive branded sunglasses do not guarantee optimal UVA protection."

Nowadays sunglasses are available at almost all markets but a great place for them is Elephant Road. Almost all the brands are available here. But if you desire to own a pair of Ray Bans, you can step into the Ray Ban Shop at Elephant Road who are the sole certified authorised dealers of Ray Ban.

Shop owners claim that the best selling period of sunglasses is early summer. This summer men are going for pilot shapes (big frames) while women are choosing huge frames in the shape of the eye or honey combs. The Tom & Jerry frame is in vogue for children.

So if you're smart and want to look chic, what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself a pair of sunglasses that not only protects your eyes but earns you admiring glances from all around.

By Nazia Atique
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Model: Tanik
Location: Eye Vision and Cafe Mango


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