Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs
Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs

Megan Burns

Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge
Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge

Holly O'Neill

Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween
Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween

Lauren Heskin

This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now
These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now

Jennifer McShane

Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Image / Fashion

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of


by Niamh ODonoghue
22nd Aug 2018
Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of

Four eyes ARE better than two (even if you don’t actually need them), and here are the frames to prove it…


I adore my glasses – they have become part of who I am. Now, I would not have said that until very recently because you see, I was an eye-patch-wearing, blind-as-a-bat kid. At one stage, I had lost both front teeth mid-patch-wearing and, combined together, I looked like a pirate battling the depths of scurvy – and there is photographic evidence of this. Empty mouth aside, it was the hideous glasses that now make me shiver at the thought of the photograph reemerging (which makes an annual appearance at birthdays etc).

I discovered, once I started earning a wage, that my eyewear didn’t need to compromise form for function. I bought my first pair of ‘fancy’ glasses on my J1 to America in a stunning little boutique called Warby Parker (more info below, keep scrolling). They transformed me entirely: I was no longer wearing ‘just glasses’ but facial furniture that made me sit straighter, walk taller and wear carefully coordinated and complimentary blazers and shoes.

It was far from boutique glasses I came from, but what surprised me most was the accessible price point and excessive range available. I wasn’t stuck to choosing a mundane frame from the discount corner of the shop, but instead, I had a whole floor to choose from – all within my budget and suited to my personality. My glasses are my armour and I feel naked without them.

Glasses suggestion intellect and attitude: a glance over tortoiseshell glasses and a quick eyebrow arch have the power to turn the temperature from mild to sizzling hot, and not to mention it’s the new Gucci girl-gang look… And don’t forget that once you’ve found desirable eye armour, kit them out with the perfect pair of glasses chains (it’s true; the trend is having a full-on revival and it’s far from drab).

Gucci AW18 catwalk. Photograph, Jason Lloyd Evans

Gucci AW18 catwalk. Photograph, Jason Lloyd Evans

ICYMI: Should I buy these sunglasses chains?

With a delightful selection of independent eyewear boutiques right on our doorstep,  you don’t need to travel too far to find glasses with charm and charisma. It’s easy to be seduced by the spectacle of this selection…

Ace & Tate

Max metal temple, €98 at aceandtate.com

Max metal temple, €98 at aceandtate.com (prescription included)

Dutch eyewear label Ace & Tate just yesterday opened its first ever Irish store on Exchequer St in Dublin. Ace & Tate has made quite a name for themselves by taking the standard glasses-selling model (i.e. expensive) and flipping it. At Ace & Tate, “you pay for design and high quality, nothing else” is written on their contemporary website that’s perfectly in tune with the selection of glasses on offer. The brands “Be whoever you want to be” mantra is an easy win with both millennials and older folk, and an inviting starting price of €98 (including prescription), is an even bigger incentive. In gentle lavender, these Max metal temple frames, above, are perfect for petite features. But they’re far from ‘cute’ and the sleek metal earpieces give these frames a new-found, tougher attitude.

Optica

The'Dita' frame, available at opticadublin.com

The ‘Dita’ frame, available at opticadublin.com

Stepping into the eclectic and uniquely designed boutique at number 6 Dawson Street feels like it should be set in a swanky neighbourhood in the upper-east side of Manhattan. Independent vision experts Optica have been serving high-quality, high-design face furniture to Irish and international clientele for more than 25 years – making them one of Dublin’s longest-established opticians. You can’t shop their collection on their website (though you will find inspiration and a history lesson), but that’s part of the charm.

Visiting the gorgeous space is part of the overall experience you get when choosing frames with Optica. And when it comes to making your decision, you can be guaranteed to find something standout-ish. These frames are not for wallflowers and fans of the brand include bold personalities like Britain’s Got Talent judge Michelle Visage, jewellery designer Chupi and writer and baker Susan Jane White. Being an independent optician, Optica also stock a number of Irish designers, including Wolfhound Eyewear.

Dixon Hempenstall 

Gucci GG02130, €600 at dublinopticians.ie

Gucci GG02130, €600 at dublinopticians.ie

For the vanity-conscious glasses-wearer, drop by Dixon Hempenstall on Suffolk Street in Dublin. The family-owned opticians, established in 1908, stock a sizable choice of top-shelf designer frames including Armani, Gucci, Prada, YSL and Tom Ford. Hempenstalls selection falls on the higher end of the price scale, but what the wearer gets is absolute luxury and assurance that A) you can see correctly and B) look absolutely swanky in the process. Clients of the small independent boutique include Tom Hanks and Ed Sheeran,

Warby Parker

Hadley glasses, €125 at warbyparker.com (prescription included)

Hadley glasses, €125 at warbyparker.com (prescription included)

Warby Parker is an American-based boutique with a similar ethos to Ace & Tate, but with a slightly different, rebellious rhythm to them. They too offer designer, fashion-forward frames at a realistic price (frame and prescription come in at €100). A clever feature of the Warby Parker model is there pick-and-try online method: choose up to five of your favourite frames online and try them on at home for free before committing. They also work with sight charity VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. Buying glasses should be a fun experience, and Warby Parker makes it that way.

Also Read

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
FASHION
The best street style from New York Fashion Week

By Holly O'Neill

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
BREAKING STORIES, FASHION
First look at the autumn issue of IMAGE

Our gorgeous autumn issue is about to hit the shelves. Here, editor Lizzie Gore-Grimes gives us a preview of what...

By IMAGE

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
FASHION
The best street style from Paris Fashion Week

Here’s what the best dressed at Paris Fashion Week are wearing this season. 1/32 2/32 3/32 4/32 5/32 6/32 7/32...

By Holly O'Neill

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
FASHION
Need clarity of mind? Start with a cathartic Covid wardrobe cleanse

Style consultant Rose-Mary Roche takes us through her step-by-step guide to the ultimate wardrobe cleanse. Start by pulling out your...

By IMAGE

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
FASHION, SUSTAINABLE STYLE
The best Irish shops to buy pre-loved designer bags online

Buying second-hand is a more sustainable and affordable way to shop designer handbags, so with stores remaining shut for the moment, thankfully there are trusted retailers offering great options online.

By Megan Burns

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
FASHION
8 must-see fashion documentaries all couture-lovers will adore

Get yourself giddy for the 2021 Met Gala this evening by warming up with one of these quintessential fashion documentaries.Tonight...

By Jennifer McShane

Frame game: Four glasses boutiques worth making a spectacle of
FASHION
5 autumn trends that took over NYFW street style

The new season trends taking over this fashion month.Autumn wardrobes have fully arrived with the NYFW street style set, so...

By Holly O'Neill