Sunglasses have been regarded as a fashion accessory for many years, but until fairly recently, prescription glasses have been more of a functional necessity than a fashion statement. Over the past few years, however, there has been a shift towards eyewear as a fashionable accessory and expression of personal style. In fact, a report in a New York newspaper reveals that in Hong Kong the young and trendy are wearing fashion frames without lenses to add style to their outfits!

Some of the current eyewear trends include:

Back to nature – natural materials such as raffia, leather and wood are being used to accent plastic and metal frames, and designs include animal prints and floral colours on temples and even glasses cases.

Etched temples – intricate patterns, fine detail and varied textures bring a unique touch of elegance to the look and feel of frames.

Colour – the general trend is towards bright bold colours and combinations of colours, with green, bronze and purple being the colours of choice.

Shape – old is new, as the retro look in all areas of fashion makes a comeback, in strong contrasting colours and new fashion shades.

Bling – crystals, stones and beads add a sparkle to both prescription eyewear and sunglasses, but are more subtle and delicate than the bling in other fashion accessories.

Edge – in the move away from rimless frames, floating lenses, cut-outs and split temples add a soft fresh look.

Your Glasses and You?

Fashion trends are all very well, but what do your glasses say about you? Frames need to be selected according to your personality, lifestyle and the image you want to present. For some people one pair of glasses which serves a particular function is quite sufficient, whereas others feel that, just as one needs more than one pair of shoes, one should have more than one pair of glasses. Many factors need to be taken into account.

Do you want to be seen as a serious professional or business person? It would be best to go with a conservative look – a frame in a classic shape and traditional neutral colour or tortoiseshell. Rimless frames would also be a good choice.

Are you creative and fun-loving? Choose a larger frame in bold colours or a combination of colours or animal prints that reflect your personality. On the other hand, go retro for a new take on the look of the 60s and 70s.

Older people need not look dull and old-fashioned. Light colours in a soft shape would make women look younger, while older men are advised to wear smaller frames in rich colours like bronze.

Are you some-one who is always on the go, with little time to think about fashion trends? The best choice would be a simple yet stylish frame in a basic shape, with detail such as etching or a touch of shine.

Active sporty weekends? Your weekday glasses would probably not be suitable, so choose a good pair of sunglasses with lenses to suit your sporting activity. Go for bright fun colours or a combination of colours.

What shape is your face?

More important than fashion trends and lifestyle is choosing a frame to suit the shape of your face.

If you have a square face (like Sandra Bullock), choose round or oval frames which soften the jaw line.

If your face is round (like Cameron Diaz), avoid small round frames and rather go for something that is wider and will draw attention to the upper part of the face.

The long face shape needs to be balanced with wider frames with a strong top line and bold colour.

The triangular face with a narrow forehead and broader jawline should be balanced with a bold frame.

If, like Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry, you have a heart-shaped face, choose smaller styles without detail on the temples.

Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron both have oval-shaped faces, which are well-balanced and look good in most frame shapes. If you have an oval-shaped face, be adventurous and have fun!

With these few guidelines and the huge range of frames available, enjoy making a spectacle of yourself!