Let’s face it — anyone from the baby boomer generation will recall there was a time when reading glasses were considered dull and boring by those people who were unfortunate enough to have to wear them.
Of special note was the type of reading glasses that folded flat, which we tend to associate with crusty old professors in badly knitted cardigans who would ominously view their students over the top of the frames. Well, that was the stereotype pumped out by the Hollywood movie studios.
But those days are long gone — replaced in the 21st century by funky, stylish flat reading glasses in a kaleidoscope of colours and a variety of shapes that suit all faces.
Flat reading glasses differ from folded glasses in that, using the latest technology and flexible materials, the arms rotate and collapse so they are completely flat. This innovative style of reading glasses was patented by an Italian manufacturer, Nannini.
Folded reading glasses tend to have a central pivot between the lenses which allows the wearer to fold the arms inwards and then fold the glasses in half on the central pivot point.
Both styles of glasses offer the advantage of flexible frames which can be folded or rotated so they take up less space and can easily be stored in a pocket, purse or glove box.
Flat reading glasses not only provide you with the convenience of flexible frames, they also give you a wide range of fashionable styles to choose from.
So let’s look at the style of frames that will most suit your face shape. The general rule of thumb is that the shape of your face should be in contrast to the shape of the frames.
* If you have an oval face, your glasses should be slightly wider than your face to keep it balanced. Because an oval face is longer than it is wide, square shaped frames work well.
* Narrow frames help balance a round face, particularly if the frame is slightly wider than your face. Avoid round or large frames.
* To add dimension to a square face, choose frames that are narrow and slightly wider than your face. Pale coloured frames will soften the harder angles of a square face.
* Light coloured or rimless glasses suit a heart shaped face, as do frames with detailing on the top or sides of the glasses.
Another important point to consider when choosing flexible reading glasses is finding a colour that complements your skin tone. If you’re not sure what your skin tone is, have a look at the back of your wrist. If it has a bluish tinge, you are cool toned; if it has a more golden glow, then you have warm toned skin.
Warm toned skin is best complemented with natural earthy colours like red, orange, gold, amber, mustard or dull greens.
Cool toned skins best suit clear, bright colours like silver, turquoise blue, purple, deep reds and clean greens.
Above all, flat reading glasses are versatile, fun and flexible so your final choice should be deciding on the frames that you feel most comfortable with and those that best suit your lifestyle and personal taste.