Contacts versus Glasses: Fashion Showdown

April 19, 2013

Get yourselves ready for a veritable fashion showdown: contacts versus glasses. I, for one, am an avid wearer of both, depending on the occasion, but I’ve met so many fashion-forward friends who are adamantly opinionated about the superiority of one over the other. Here is where I put them to the test:

Seasonal Flexibility: Contact Lenses

In the summer, wearers of contact lenses can more easily switch among their collection of fashion sunglasses, whereas glasses wearers need to invest in expensive prescription sunglasses to get the same fashion flexibility. In the winter, eyeglasses collect rain drops and fog up with temperature changes like when their wearer comes inside from the cold. This effect can detract from a perfectly time, fashionably late entrance to a hip party. With the exception of harsh wind storms, contact lenses are the most climate flexible choice whilst allowing the wearer to express his or her style.

Contacts vs Glasses

Contacts vs Glasses

Fashion Statement: Eyeglasses

Depending on the occasion, the right glasses can arguably make a sophisticated fashion statement, particularly with the increasingly diverse selection of vintage frames available both online and at retail eyeglass outlets. Of course, those who prefer contacts can choose to wear the much more affordable non-prescription glasses if they are after a particularly sophisticated look. Not just for the added sophistication, but for the occasional added fun, glasses take the win in this category.

Eye Make-Up Experiments: Contact Lenses

The basic application of eye make-up can be a challenge for glasses wearers, let alone such experimentation as lengthening lashes or dramatic effects.

There are many tips out there for make-up application that highlights or deemphasizes glasses, some keys include well-groomed eyebrows, bold lips, and neutral and simplistic eye make-up. And some optometrists or frame retailers sell so-called make-up glasses, which allow the lenses to be folded back individually so the wearer can see with one eye while applying make-up to the other. In general, wearers of minus lenses, those who are nearsighted, are suggested to chose bright eye-makeup colors, while wearers of plus lenses, those who are farsighted, should use dark, matte colors.

For contact lenses, the only make-up precaution is that they should insert the lenses before applying eye make-up. Other than that, experimentation with all the current eye make-up trends is 100% accessible. For this reason, contact lenses take the win in this fashion category.

Creative Expressions: Colored Contacts

Changing eye colors allows for much further flexibility, i.e. playing around with eye make-up and different colors. Colored contacts themselves are very flexible; indeed, they come in three main types: visibility tints, enhancement tints, and color tints. Color tints completely change the color of the eye, while the other tints are more subtle. There are also crazy costume effect contacts that can easily be the hit of the party. For the creativity, for giving wearers the opportunity to know what it feels like to actually change a part of their anatomy, contact lenses win another point here.

The Tally

As I said before, I think glasses and contacts can both be suitable for different occasions, as they are in my life. And they work great together, allowing for a surprising mixture of sophistication and flexibility. In the showdown above, it seems that contacts won out as the superior fashion choice, and I stand by that verdict. However, in the end, eye care and fashion are both entirely personal choices.

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger on topics related to fashion accessories, health, shopping and other lifestyle topics

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