Look! Over there? What's that on his face? It's a square! It's a circle! It's whatever he wants it to be!
All right, maybe that's a little sensational (and maybe unwelcome in the wake of a certain loathed Spring blockbuster), but when it comes to rimless glasses, eyewear selection and image making really can be that exciting. With the current retro craze still yet to release its' stranglehold on eyewear, sometimes it's hard to lose sight (haha) of what all of those chunky plastics are really meant to do: distract from your face. True, this can be beneficial — thick frames smooth lines, distract from blemishes, and can really bring out your eyes through some careful color coordination. Yet at the end of the day, people will be looking at your frames-- not at you. (Don't believe me? Take a look at the picture. That’s Roy Orbison without the specs. Didn’t know, didja?)
There is hope, though, for those patients who want to define themselves and not allow their eyewear to do the work for them: Rimless eyewear. True, vintage may be what’s in fashion right now, but as I’m oft to tell my patients, rimless eyewear has never really gone out of style—a subtle yet important distinction. Besides, a good weatherman can see which way the vane is blowing: Late 80s and 1990s fashion has been slowly creeping back to life, and considering it was an era partially defined by subtle, often rimless eyewear, I’ve no doubt that rimless will be back at the intersection of “fashionable” and “stylish” soon enough.
So why go rimless?
With rimless, your glasses will be working with your face-- not against it. Got a soft, short face in need of some sharp angles and lengthening? Go for that squat rectangle. Jaw too angular and long? Round lenses are creeping back into fashion with that burgeoning 90s craze—no more “Harry Potter” jabs for you. Go wild! With rimless glasses, the sky is definitely the limit—especially with Silhouette. Indeed, Silhouette and the phrase “90s glasses” are virtually inseparable—though the company has been around for ages, it really flourished in that decade, becoming one of the few sole brands to completely revitalize eyewear as we know it. Like rimless glasses themselves, Silhouette has never really gone away; and just like rimless glasses, they’re poised for a nice return to the forefront of popular fashion.
Combined with your patient’s own unique prescription, Silhouette’s veritably endless array of lens patterns permits your patients a completely customizable experience. It’s a valuable differentiation in a world where your patients can easily log onto any number of websites and engage in exactly the sort of generic, depersonalized glasses purchasing you don’t want your dispensary to offer. With the field of opticianry becoming increasingly defined by online optical, Silhouette offers you the opportunity to strike a blow back at the competition by giving your patients what online can only take a stab at: Personalization. Rather than work against you, Silhouette’s website works with the optician, acting as a compliment to the company’s trademark POP displays, which just might qualify for the designation “legendary.” Once the patient’s eye has been drawn by the warm, welcoming visage of a Silhouette display, an optician can snap a simple picture, log onto Silhouette’s website, and walk the patient through the process of total frame and lens customization, using the in-dispensary frames as guidelines and try-ons. An expert optician working with the patient eliminates the haphazard DIY clumsiness of most online optical’ s “web try-on” feature, allowing the patient to walk away knowing that his or her glasses will most certainly fit upon arrival. An optician really interested in driving home the message could even do a before-and-after shot, using Silhouette’s website as the “after” and a snap of the patient in his or her chunky zyls as the before: Watch as the glasses vanish and the patient’s face appears, in all of its’ natural glory, just the right angles emphasized and just the right features downplayed. With Silhouette, you can help your patient find the perfect frames for the perfect them. Rimless is set to return—I’ve delved into more detail in 20/20, if you haven’t already taken a look—and you can be on the forefront of this exciting opportunity to strike a blow for brick and mortar with an experience no website can replicate.
P.S. You might recognize this photo of Roy Orbison
This article was sponsored by Silhouette Optical, Ltd.
Preston Fassel was born in Houston, Texas and grew up between St. Charles, Missouri and Broken Arrow, Okla.
In 2009, Preston graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Liberal Arts. In 2011, he graduated Cum Laude from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor's of Science.
Preston currently works as an Optician in the Houston area. His interest in the history of eyewear goes back to his time in high school, when he developed an interest in all things vintage.
In addition to his writing for The 20/20 Opticians Handbook and 20/20 Magazine, Preston is a featured writer for Rue Morgue Magazine, where he reviews of horror and science-fiction DVDs. His fiction writing has been featured three times in Swirl magazine, the literary arts journal of Lone Star College and Montgomery County. He is the author of the definitive work on the life of British horror actress Vanessa Howard, Remembering Vanessa, which appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of Screem Magazine.