Each month for the next 4 months, we have four guest editors writing for David Clulow about their experience of wearing glasses and the influence they have on their style and individuality. Here, Teo van den Broeke, the Senior Style Editor at Esquire, talks about his experience of wearing spectacles.
The top line of the Snellen chart set before me showed an oversized letter ‘R’. I squinted, ummed and ahhed and finally settled on ‘T’. It got worse as I made my way down the chart. Ps became Zs, while Gs magically transformed into Ks, regardless of the latter’s lack of curves.
Needless to say, the optometrist was on to me. I came away from the hot seat red-faced, glasses-free and determined never to set foot in an optician ever again.
That all changed on my most recent visit to the opticians, some 16 years later. A few soul-charring hangovers aside, my eyesight hadn’t given me any cause for concern since my visit years before, and I’d grown proud of my 20/20 vision, smugly dropping the achievement into conversation during particularly dry evenings at the pub.
There was no escaping the inevitable result.
A decade and a half on, I was finally granted my wish. My face was to be clad with my first pair of glasses (a low prescription, yes, but specs all the same).
In the end I went for two pairs (one for evening and one for daytime) both in navy – my spirit colour.
The first – a pair of super light, oval specs from Giorgio Armani, for evening. Designed to complement his soft, slouchy approach to tailoring (a look I’ve always tried to emulate), Armani’s glasses seemed an obvious choice. Plus, the just-softer-than-navy shade worked well with my eyes – or so said my mum.
The second pair was a more aviator-esque shape from Persol – great for making a day at the office seem somehow more fun.
What’s more, people now really seem to inspect my face. Not only that, they follow their inspections up with compliments (on the whole, at least). Where before I would blend into a generally spectacle-free crowd, now my face feels somehow more debonair, more…grown up, for the addition of my new specs.
Which makes me think; perhaps my 11-year-old self wasn’t so daft, after all.