specs appeal: the glamour of the geek

I'm trying to think of the first style icon who started wearing big old fashioned nerdy spectacles like these.

Does anyone know? I'm thinking Alexa Chung.. when I google her, it seems she's now selling a line of them? Is that possible? Or is someone trying to cash in on Alexa Chung Geek style? All I know is, I'm finding articles like 'geek up your glam: it's cool to wear glasses' but where did it start? And who started it?

And at what point did girls who didn't even NEED glasses start wearing them?

Speaking as someone who's been wearing contacts most of my adult life - the last pair of prescription eyeglasses I bought was in 1997, when we moved to London - I've always been wired to love sunglasses - I'll wear them on a rainy day, I love sunglasses - but I've always believed that regular glasses aren't for me.

And then I started seeing these really beautiful, stylish women wearing them, and I still felt.. here's the thing. How can I say this. These kind of 'geek glasses' bring anyone's beauty quota down a notch. Sorry, they just do.

So it means you have to be extra pretty to start with.

But when a girl representing Specsavers contacted me to ask if I wanted to get a free eye exam, be gifted a pair of glasses, and talk honestly about my experience, the first thought that popped into my head was, wow, I can get me some geek glasses!

So after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with the plans, (best not to dwell on that), I popped on over to the Specsavers branch on 149 Queensway, where, despite not having been properly briefed by the girl at the social media agency, they fit me in for an eye exam on the spot, with the sweetest girl named Sidra.

And that was a lovely experience. She was kind, professional, and the exam didn't hurt a bit.

Meanwhile my husband had parked the car, and as he said after, was so impressed: Javed, the manager, had, for the first time, brought his four kids into the branch for a little while. Without their mum. Four kids, and as my husband said, you'd not have known they were there. I was photographing them - not for this blog, but for the family's private use - and they were just delightful. On a cold, dark day, this was such a breath of sunshine.

Then on my second trip, to choose the frames (all part of the mix up with the social media company) - Sidra and Javed had managed to get in every style I had asked for. I mean, I was looking at the geekiest options I could find from Armani, Missoni, Gok Wan (I had a great experience with him and Specsavers: see 'the gok and eye'), Jasper Conran, Karen Millen.. they'd got them all in for me.

But for some reason, when I arrived, I pulled out two styles from Tommy Hilfiger. I hadn't seen those styles online. And this is the part that impressed me the most: Sidra was straight up with me. It was like what you'd most want from a best friend, shopping together. I'd try on a pair and she'd be like, 'no.' But the two Tommys.. we both kept going back to them. I liked them the best on me, and so did she. They're not totally black: they're actually a very dark tortoise, which I love. I just love them.

So I got a pair for distance - I'm nearsighted - and a pair for reading, while I'm wearing my contacts. And you know what? It's like with wearing my husband's old navy knitted bobble hat: there's something very empowering about walking around with these glasses. I can't explain: I just feel like.. it's like I don't wear makeup most of the time. And I walk around in flats. There's something quite courageous about not trying too hard. Does that make ANY SENSE?

Or maybe it's simply that it's a trend. And I'm a trend follower, on the Geek Glasses Train.

Either way, I'm very glad I went to Specsavers.

With all my thanks to the lovely, lovely staff at the Specsavers Queensway Branch, especially Hammayon Javed, the nicest manager (and, clearly, a great dad), and Sidra. She's the kind of girl you'd want as a friend: wise and kind, but also honest. In the best possible way.


mona said...

Love the specs Jill- they are soo you! you should model them for us!

ODYSSEY said...

Nice glasses! They're similar to my new Ray Bans which I am very happy with.
Please model them in a post. We want to see...


aww, that is cute <3

Anonymous said...

I'm blind as a bat and, like you, haven't bought a new pair of glasses since 1998. It seems like once REAL lenses are put in, they warp your face. Do you still find this so, Jill? Maybe they've invented better glass lenses since I last purchased mine (in the last century!).


jill said...

Ha, Leah, my last pair were in the last century, too: 1997!
My lenses then were too small to notice it warping my face. And I don't think they're doing it now. That's something I've never thought of: face warping.

Stephanie, I bet you look great in the Ray Bans! that's my favourite sunglasses: I've got them in black classic non-prescription, and a gorgeous solid vintage dark tortoise pair, with dark green prescription lenses.

Miska, Mona, thanks for stopping by! xo