Ask AB: Fashionable Eyeglasses & Editing a Wardrobe’s "Wardrobe Wizard," image consultant Annie Brumbaugh, tackles your toughest questions about looking good in eyeglasses and paring down a lifetime’s worth of clothes.

By Annie Brumbaugh

Looking Good in Glasses

Dear Readers,

This month we’re going to tackle eyewear and overstuffed closets that make every morning into a fashion crisis. Learn how you can zero in on your own personal style and lay the foundation for real wardrobe development.

Please keep your wonderful questions coming to me at

Best regards,Annie

Annie Brumbaugh, AICI,

Q. I am a woman of 54 who must wear glasses. My daughter is getting married this fall, and facial recognition and response would definitely improve the event. I check the society pages, and is it me, or do I hardly ever see women wearing eyeglasses at formal events? How does one look fashionable with glasses? Is it possible to create a signature look with glasses? How can one create an eyeglass wardrobe? I never seem to be happy with my glasses. I did try contacts but they wouldn’t go in or wouldn’t stay in, and I need bifocals (though I do wear the invisible type). — Lydia

A. Dorothy Parker made the famous remark, "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." There is more rhyme than reason in this. The challenge is to take a perceived liability and turn it into an asset. You yourself came up with the strategy: create a signature look with your specs. If you wear glasses all the time and your prescription is stable, it is great to develop a wardrobe of different options.

You may have noticed that Diane Keaton is wearing glasses on the cover of the February issue of MORE. These glasses are very simple and have a saddle bridge (no nose pads). They are classic, even old fashioned, but modern at the same time. Something minimal like this frame from Lunor would be a great choice for your daughter’s wedding. It is just barely there, but when you focus on it, it is beautiful. The sleek Silhouette rimless frames would work too. They may seem delicate, but I have road-tested them and have been amazed at their durability. There are metals in various colors and finishes available in both types. Pay close attention to the lens shape. Rimless frames can take a variety of lens shapes, so there is no need to limit yourself to the choice in the sample.

Above all else, try on lots of glasses! Like clothes, eyeglasses need to fit. It is important to get the width of the bridge (the part that goes over the nose) and the length of the temple (sidepiece) right. Make sure that the frames sit comfortably at the bridge and that your eyes are centered in the lenses. For bifocals (preferably the progressive type that you wear), you need enough depth in the frames. Antireflective coating is a must for all your glasses. This eliminates glare, and that is crucial when you are being photographed.

For an eyeglass wardrobe, I suggest one minimal option and something graphic and more dramatic, maybe in a great color. Work to enhance your coloring (eyes, skin, and hair), and in turn, that should complement your wardrobe. A smashing pair of prescription sunglasses is a plus too. Fashion is moving in the direction of larger frames, but remember to stay in scale with your face and stature. Another option is transition lenses, which get darker as you move into the light.

Diane Keaton has made the Lunor frames her signature look. I go for a more varied approach, but my eyeglasses are always an important part of my look. For the wedding, I recommend something minimal. Enjoy! You will look beautiful and stylish in glasses.

Editing a Wardrobe

Q. I feel as though I have been in a fashion crisis all my life. Even though I have been told I was "attractive" or that I "have the cutest clothes," every day when I go to my closet to get dressed, I feel like I’m looking through the wardrobe of 10 different women that I don’t know! So while I may emerge looking good, it’s a struggle every day. Any thoughts? — Cyndie

A. You have an unruly bunch of clothes, and what you need is a wardrobe. Right now you can’t see the forest for the trees. You probably have too much stuff. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

The contents of your closet are not an accident; they are a history lesson. Our goal is to edit what you have. Then we can plan what you need.

Share Your Thoughts!


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