Many women over 40 and in their 50s are newbies to wearing glasses. After having good vision for decades, presbyopia enters the picture, and suddenly you're squinting to read the text on nearby objects. Cue the need for lenses. Instead of seeing it as a burden, look at eyeglasses as an opportunity to accessorize and reflect your personality.
If you're in your 50s and wondering about stylish eyeglass frames to suit different face shapes and needs, we can help. You'll be hitting play on Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" in no time.
Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn favored cat eye frames. This shape can look so chic on mature women, especially those who look young for their age. Try on a fully-rimmed or half-rimmed pair and see how you feel in both.
The latter, with just the lenses sitting on your cheeks, doesn't interrupt the upward flow of your face, so it has a greater lifting effect, and is ideal for ladies with smaller faces. It's also less clunky.
You'll often see the actress Anette Bening in sophisticated rimless glasses. These eyeglasses don't have a frame, so they're the eyewear equivalent of no-makeup makeup. Blink, and you'll miss them, at least from a distance.
The downside to wearing light and barely there glasses? Your pair of specs will be much more delicate. So if you know you're clumsy and liable to sit on and break your ocular aids, give this fragile option a skip. Additionally, particularly poor vision may require thicker, coke-bottle lenses, and these don't always look great rimless.
What's the next best thing to rimless eyeglasses? Clear frames, of course. They'll give you much of the minimalist unobtrusiveness you seek with the added sturdiness of solid rims. Translucent frames are a classic choice for all ages and complexions. If your eye color is your favorite feature, transparent frames will highlight them and brighten your face.
Be careful not to get washed out, though, if your hair is also grey. A pop of color in the frame might be a good choice if both your skin and your hair are light.
If you have a narrow face and don't want it to appear too thin, venture beyond rimless and clear-framed eyeglasses. Square or round frames with tall lenses will lend a sense of proportion and youthfulness to a longer visage and provide better visibility. Folks with wiggle room in their budgets can get one of each.
Opt for an earthy neutral tone on the first pair to make color coordination a breeze, and have more fun with a vibrant print or color on the second pair.
Glossy frames don't just make your eyes sparkle. They're also a preferable alternative to matte frames if you tend to have dry, dull skin. Bear in mind, however, that glossy frames are more likely to collect fingerprints and scratches. You'll hardly notice the crime scene if you go the tortoiseshell acetate route and are careful to keep your glasses in their case when you're not wearing them.
You can't go wrong with black. It goes with every hairstyle, skin color, and outfit choice. Oprah is a fan of this versatile color, and you'll often see the talk show queen in black specs of various shapes. You can go chunky—Iris Apfel's distinctive style is admirable, but we can't all be over-the-top legends. Black frames work well with bifocal and progressive lenses.
Want a softer, more feminine look without being boring or too monochromatic? Try a pair of pastel frames. Ice cream colors like baby blue, pink, and green look great on blondes and contrast nicely on women with dark skin tones. Whatever the eyeglass shape, a pastel color can be subtle yet still fun.
Oversize frames are on trend right now. They're bold and fabulous if you're a stylista. These frames are particularly appealing if you have a long face shape, as they draw attention widthways. Just make sure they don't go higher than your browline. As a general rule of thumb, eyeglasses should rest below the brow.
Ombré hair is all the rage, but if you aren't coloring your tresses in a gradient, perhaps you can go for ombré eyeglass frames instead. The shift from dark to light is highly appealing, and warm neutral colors are flattering on mature women.
This choice is a great way to look urbane while drawing attention away from the undereye area.
Aviators are cool. They always have been and probably always will be. The thin metal frame, tear-drop lenses, and double bridge offer an overall aesthetic that suits just about everyone. Use transition lenses to keep your eyes healthy when you're outdoors, and opt for a blue light filter if you'll be flying indoors at a computer.