‘I can’t think without my glasses’, said Vivienne Westwood once – and I know what she meant. I can’t function, never mind see, before putting my glasses on in the morning and frequently find myself switching off the lights to go to sleep or getting in the shower, lenses steaming up, before I realise I’m still wearing my frames. As someone who loves clothes of course they have, over the years, become something of an extension of my personal style and a key part of every look, but I’ve worn glasses for so long that these days they’re more of an extension of me, never mind my outfit! I’m so pleased that it’s become fashionable to wear glasses again – far more so than when I was at school – although part of me wonders that if they’re “in” surely it won’t be long until they’re out again, which will be a real shame for specs wearers world over. That said, for now I’m just glad there’s so much more choice out there.
I’ve had my Specsavers Maxine specs for a couple of years, but was finding myself squinting after my eye test was overdue; when the Morningside branch invited me in for a test and to pick a new pair, I knew it must be a sign! As long-time readers will know I’m a keen supporter of independents – what I didn’t know until recently was that Specsavers is actually a partnership of locally-run businesses. The Morningside branch epitomises this community spirit and the store is very much a part of the local landscape; when I was in I saw many of their Morningside regulars (often greeted by name) popping in between weekend messages. It was a far more welcoming experience than dragging yourself into a chain in town. Store director Michael is rightfully proud of this closeness with the local community, and they regularly give something back to the Southside – take recent fundraising efforts for Sick Kids for one. The service and attention to detail is more personal too: the Morningside staff were so friendly and helpful with the process of picking new frames, with no pressure to commit straight away. I was encouraged to take time over the decision (I went in for an initial look with my Mum, and they kept the frames to one side in case they sold!).
Eventually I settled on this first choice: these green and tortoiseshell retro-style Charlotte frames. I loved the slightly rounded shape and the contrast between traditional tortoiseshell and more contemporary, subtle colour. I opted for thinner lenses and anti-reflective coating to maximise the impact of my new specs, and the store very kindly agreed to re-glaze my old, round Maxine pair; I was so pleased they did as they are so utterly timeless – and a spare pair is always welcome when you’re a klutz like me! With glasses becoming more popular, they’re of course getting more expensive but while other opticians have hiked prices to maximise profits Specsavers is swallowing the extra cost to keep their frames affordable. There are some great deals too – and it doesn’t mean compromising on quality. My frames are sturdy but light, fashionable but durable. You can see me wearing them in Friday’s upcoming outfit post, but in the meantime I couldn’t resist putting together a wee still life shoot with some coordinating props. I hope you like my new specs as much as I do: I’ve not taken them off since I collected them!
My glasses (and re-glazed old frames) were very kindly c/o Specsavers Morningside, but love of all things local and retro specs entirely my own!
Props: vintage Penguin book and teacup, Mademoiselle Macaron macarons (the chocolate peppermint is my fave at this time of year!), foraged pinecones.