Are We What (Eyewear) We Wear?!

Are We What (Eyewear) We Wear?!

Would it be true to say that we are what eyewear we wear? Or is it the other way around? What we are, dictates what eyewear we wear. Here’s something to think about.

That choosing eyewear depends on personality type, face shape and size, finances, personal style and the occasion is a given. In addition to these factors, the wearer’s occupation or work is a big factor in choosing eyewear.

Eyewear often sets the right tone for a person's profession. So whether a person's occupation requires a serious look, a rich or glamourous look or a creative look, the correct eyewear can make a huge difference.

In fact, this is a major factor in choosing eyewear given that the wrong choice of eyewear with regard to one's profession can stick out like a sore thumb. Imagine a newsreader on a news channel wearing white plastic Jackie O’s... or a school teacher sporting glitzy, crystal studded pink frames. It sounds funny, right? Or how about a heavy metal music band member wearing serious rimless frames? Sounds more like a spoof than a serious musician. The heavy metal musician’s face shape may be perfect for rimless eyewear, and the school teacher may love a bit of glamour. But it’d be a real rarity to catch them wearing these styles.

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So there! Regardless of their personality type, or budgetary considerations, or face shape and size, a newsreader would most likely wear rimless glasses and a school teacher would opt for thin golden frames and the musician for something a bit more suited for his profession..

Examples of how professional considerations influence choice of eyewear are many. And movies often adopt eyewear to enhance an actor's look. A case in point - Keanu Reeves, Lawrence Fishburne et al in 'The Matrix' look the part – menacing and 'we mean business' with thin frames and black lenses. They are all playing men and women on a very serious mission - put them in anything else and they would look like a bunch of jokers in a comic, C-grade film. You could say the same for Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black.


Ever noticed how bouncers in clubs and security bodyguards usually wear black lenses and thin frames? Most policemen wear gold rimmed dark glasses which tend to have the classic aviator shape. Defence personnel also seem to favour this shape.

Then again, we have detectives and those who wish to remain incognito (the dons of the underworld or spies like James Bond) who always wear sleek sunglasses. Eyewear styles do make the dons of the underworld look more menacing or for that matter James Bond to look a whole lot sexier and the professional stylists that choose these styles definitely know their job and wouldn’t have it any other way!

Another class of profession, the corporate executives and their ilk go for a very sober look. This corporate look is best defined by thin, small sized frames or even the rimless look... seldom would those who work in sombre professions, like doctors, corporate executives or politicians go for eyewear that’s over the top.

Even the regular wealthy business tycoons tend to prefer the sombre reserved look. Ever noticed what binds Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Well, Steve Jobs did come under this segment but his special creative side needed to be defined by his special rounded (but sombre) eyewear.

Teachers, journalists, writers and out-of-work starving artists from the world of theatre and fine arts frequently show up in thick-rimmed, black frames. Some teachers, like Professor Mcgonagall in the 'Harry Potter' series, prefer a lighter frame. Movies also tend to stereotype the geeky student look with eyewear.

The entertainment industry opts for a varied look, depending on the specific kind of entertainment. Rock and pop stars wear different kinds of eyewear, some of which have become very representative of their profession. Ozzy Osbourne wears circular frames, and every serious rock band member wears similar frames to portray the fact that they make meaningful, profound music. John Lennon and his yellow lenses are another example.

Again, other rock musicians tend to wear rock star sunglasses to portray their 'rock' image.

Pop artists on the other hand go for larger frames, and lighter lenses – a kind of look that speaks more of fun and games rather than 'we are all going to die' kind of music that rock and heavy metal have.

After musicians come actors, who are known for their penchant to wear dark glasses – whether it is to hide the ravages of makeup and lack of sleep on their eyes or to look aloof and unreachable or to protect their precious peepers from the flashing cameras and media glare is debatable. But yes, dark or tinted glasses are a must for them. Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr are those who come to mind when you think of stylish eyewear with a lot of personality.

Sports persons are a great example of people who have to wear a specific kind of eyewear because of their profession. One would hardly expect a Formula 1 racer to wear anything other than those which are meant to protect his eyes from damage. Similarly, golfers, boating enthusiasts and other sports persons would have to wear eyewear that enhances their sporting capability and protects their eyes from the dangers that are a part and parcel of their chosen sport.

But apart from the functionality of the eyewear, they play a major role in creating a sporty look on and off the field.

Real or reel, it’s obvious that eyewear selection can go beyond the usual factors that we already know and consider. Several occupations... a variety of professions... and another reason to buy one more pair of sunglasses or spectacles!

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