Life Through a Lens

Posted in Daily Outfits, Writing.

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Next blazer via charity shop, H&M long sleeved tee, Topshop high waisted jeans, Primark brogues and ring, Zara Taylor owl necklace, Gucci glasses

I was in London on Friday and took the tube across to Green Park. I’m probably one of few people who pay attention to advertising on public transport, and one particular ad shell caught my eye. It featured a poem written by Hattie Grunewald for the British Arts Council’s Young Poets on the Underground initiative. Just like good advertising is supposed to, the poem stuck in my mind and I tracked it down online later that day:


The day the optician unframed my face
and took away my childhood:
I would no longer hide behind glass;
I would wear eyeliner and wink
at boys with smiles and piles of maths textbooks.

I balanced my new life on the ball of my finger,
its translucent rim and pooled blue rainbows,
I said “This will make me pretty.”
My spectacles rolled their lenses
and dozed in the bottom of my bedside drawer.

The first day I wore contact lenses,
my eyes glittered. But no one noticed,
looking right through me with their 20/20 eyes.


I don’t often have an opinion on anything that could be classed as art, but I guess the message in this piece has a particular significance to me. A while ago, someone told me they’d like to see me without glasses, ‘just for a different look’. Although I don’t think it was meant as an insult, it did get me thinking about my glasses and how intrinsic they are to who I am.

I’ve worn glasses since I was 11 and for the most part, I’m proud to flaunt my faltering eyesight in Gucci eyewear. No, I can’t see in the shower, I get embarrassingly steamy going from cold to hot temperatures and they are excruciatingly expensive considering they’re vital to my existence (yes, Gucci frames are vital to my existence…), but there’s no denying the barrier they put between you and the world.

Sometimes that barrier is good – under eye circles are pretty much invisible behind glass. But there are plenty of situations that leave me longing for 20/20 vision. Dancing cheek to cheek, pulling off the perfect flicky eyeliner and my future wedding day photos are just a few.

I can’t wear contacts as my eyes are too sensitive and laser eye surgery disgusts and terrifies me in equal measures, so for now I’ll stick to my specs. I’m due some new ones and have my (weakened) eye on a delicious Dior pair. Mmmm, designer labels on prescription.

Do you wear glasses or contacts?

37 Comments

Mariรฑa " La Marquesa"

I have been wearing glasses since I was 18….it is complicated becuase I spend my whole day in front of a computer screen and with contact lents my eyer get dry and it is not good…I like glases is true that sometimes they help u to hide….I don´t feel too much sexy with them…I don´t know really what…to going out sometimes I use contact lents…just sometimes…there was a time…that I decided to keep my lents int he bag while I dance…..that time was terrible…I saw too many cute guys in long distance….and once they were close to me I felt dissapointed heheeheh

anyway..now I have decided to have a couple of lents to combine them with my clothes and style!!!!

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LilyLipstick

Great post, I think you look great in your Gucci glasses! I wear glasses just for reading and wore them in lectures at uni but I feel quite self conscious wearing them…maybe some designer frames would help?!
I was watching This Morning today and there was a makeover feature with a lady who wore glasses – the first thing the stylists did was try to take them off her which I thought was pretty insulting, as you’ve shown, glasses are stylish! x

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jaljen

Contacts are freaky/nasty. Lasers? What if they got it wrong??????

Glasses can be great. You can suck the arms in thinking-pose. You can remove them and twirl them. You can sigh and remove them slowly and shake your head. You can buy fabulous designs. You definitely look more intellectual in specs.

Stick with the specs. They’re the best thing since BEFORE sliced bread.

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E is for Eleanor

I wear contacts as glasses just don’t feel very me, in much the same way you feel without yours probably ๐Ÿ™‚

Although, I do long for perfect vision. It does make me feel slightly defective as a human being sometimes! x

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bee.

I wear glasses to see long distance as I’m short sighted. I like the diversity it gives me spending one day bespectacled and another without. I want designer glasses!

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Alyse

Thank you for this post! I really like that you are so confident with rocking your glasses. I wear contacts and sometimes glasses, but my vision is so poor that I can’t get the stylish frames because of the width of the lenses. Laser surgery freaks me out, too!

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Harriet

I’m a glasses wearer, also since I was about 11, although I can sort of function without them I need them for doing most important activities like looking at a computer screen, driving and watching tv!

I kind of love my glasses though, I’ve got gorgeous Nicole Fahri frames and a really cool ‘geek’ pair of thick black rims too which were something like £30 online with my lenses, so great glasses can be cheap too!

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Roo Paprika

I wear both. I’m short sighted but my eyesight only deteriorated in my 20s, so it was a bit of a shock. So I have disposable contact lenses but I also have five pairs of prescription frames ranging from Miu Miu through Red or Dead to good old Glasses Direct! I adore it now, best of all worlds

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Alison

Another lovely outfit Jen! Love the colour of the top.

I wear contact lenses. I USED to wear my glasses probably about 2/3 days a week (mainly when I was tired because, as you say, they near remove under eye circles) but then my boyfriend accidently whacked them off my face one day (pure accident – can’t remember how exactly, just remember thinking that he couldn’t even have done it if he’d tried) and they got bent!

I am due to have an eye test though so I’m definintely going to be purchasing some lovely new frames – I would like a tortoiseshell pair but I can’t seem to find the perfect ones. I like to be able to chop and change… sometimes a look requires glasses. Though I do remember someone asking why I wore both and why I couldn’t just ‘stick to one or the other’ which kind of took me aback a bit… like, why should it bother other people whether I wear glasses or lenses?. Rambled on a bit here, but basically I like to have the choice. :). I couldn’t imagine you without glasses though, you suit them so well.

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Samantha

I’m a glasses wearer and I think my face looks pretty weird without them now! I hate how stylists always try and take glasses off you as sometimes glasses genuinely do really suit you! The only thing I dislike about glasses is the steaming thing you mentioned and the fact my beautiful eye makeup is pointless. Also, when I get married I really don’t want to be wearing glasses because glasses date so much so quickly (compare glasses from the 80s to now!) and I just think they’d ruin the photos slightly in the future but at the same time do I want to try contacts?…

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PinkBow

i used to be both… but than had lasik about 4 years ago…i would totally recommend it! even though, i do think yours are a part of your style & make you stand out ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kelly

I can’t imagine you without glasses. It’d be weird. ๐Ÿ™‚

I wear both, I like to mix it up, and love that I get the choice without being the idiot who wears glasses but doesn’t need them.
Contacts usually when out, glasses on lazy days and mooching about.
My frames are thick black bad boys, need some more though, and thinking of some 50’s style cat eye ones.

xxx

p.s Love the outfit! So sophis and styled. The hair looks fab aswell. Glad you liked the advice, look forward to seeing your evil twin. :p

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Ellie

I wear glasses and although I’m curious about contacts, I think they’re a bit icky and I’d soon get bored of them! An added bonus of wearing glasses are of course buying the perfect pair (I get a new pair each time I change my prescription – oops!) x

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Penny Dreadful

I read that poem just last night too – I quite liked it, more than the usual things they out up. I wear contacts, and have done for a really long time, but some of my friends are hard-line glasses-wearers and rarely even want to wear contacts – glasses are part of who they are now. And I wouldn’t worry about future wedding plans – a friend of mine was married in her glasses, and why not? It is how she always looks, and it would be been weird for her to do otherwise.

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Helen

I always used to wish that I could need glasses, but when I got really bad eye strain a few months ago and everyone told me to get my eyes tested, I was terrified! I didn’t wanna be a stereotypical librarian with glasses and my hair in a bun ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha. But still, I do love glasses. They really do make people who they are. Scott wears glasses and while I do like him when he wears his contacts, it’s when he’s wearing his glasses that I prefer him the most.

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Grace

I’d love perfect vision, however I stick to my glasses most of the time although I can get by without anything on a night out etc. I’ve never worn contacts as they just kind of freak me out! You look fab in your glasses, infact I think most people look fab in glasses! x

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pip a la chic

I’ve worn glasses since I was 10. I tried to do contacts last year but I have a fear of going any where near my eyes. that was a absolute failure. I’m getting married in a year..the Fiance wants me without glasses I want my glasses. I did a post a while ago on brides with glasses. And trust me there are a few!

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Helen

I’ve been wearing contact lenses for about 13 years. I wear glasses if I’m feeling lazy/tired/ill. Bizarrely I always feel more professional when I wear my glasses though!

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Pippa

I wear glasses and have done since I was about… three or so. I have a squint which didn’t respond to childhood corrective surgery, so i’ll always be short-sighted. I’ve had both contacts and glasses and I vastly prefer glasses – it’s so much less effort to pop a pair of frames on than it is to poke myself in the eye on a daily basis, and (considering prices 10 yrs ago) much cheaper too! I’m a big fan of designer eyewear and have amassed a collection of Gucci, Bvlgari and Chanel frames. I can’t imagine not switching up my eyewear each day to change an outfit. Plus, to be perfectly honest, my face looks more balanced with glasses (provided the frames are flattering).

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WeShop

Fab poem. I got my first ever glasses back in April and I love them. I actually feel more me in them if that makes sense. But I’m quite shy so maybe it’s a barrier to hide behind (like sunglasses even though people can still see me!). I really like the way my specs like in real life but I did some blog pics in them at the w/end and it was the first time I’d seen them on film. For some reason I didn’t like it that much. They don’t seem to be very photogenic but I still love them! xx

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Sarah

Glasses suit you. ๐Ÿ™‚ See, I’m the exact opposite. I’ve worn glasses since I was 7, have worse eyesight than anyone I know (strangely proud of that fact, actually!) but I LOATHE how I look in them. I’m rarely without contacts. Even now, in my PJs, I’m in contacts (which is a really bad habit). They just don’t suit me, and as soon as I put them on I feel like that geeky kid again. Ugh ugh ugh.

Plus, eyeliner, sunglasses, seeing in the shower. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love my contacts.

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Alex

I love my glasses. There’s something about weddings that make people hate them though and I just don’t get it. At my best friend’s hen night, her cousin asked me if I was going to wear my glasses (I was chief bridesmaid) and she was genuinely appalled by it, as if she thought I’d spoil the photos or something!! Then my bro’s girlfriend accosted me at a family wedding and although I think she was being nice and trying to tell me that I had lovely eyes, it came out as “you shouldn’t wear glasses, you really don’t suit them”!!

Christ, I wish people would stop being the glasses police. I love my specs and I don’t feel like me without them.

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swiftreverie

I wear both – but it is always such a relief to put my specs on. If the frame suits your face they can be an asset. My bf doesn’t like me without them now as apparently it’s not me!

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Sherin

I love the poems on the underground. They definitely pass the time.

I’m quite blind, but I’ve been wearing contacts for years now. My glasses are reserved for casual days shopping, or when I don’t have anything too much going on. I do love your frames. I need to find the perfect pair so that I can wear glasses more often.

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Alice

I think some people suit glasses perfectly, I don’t think I could imagine for example my Mum (who has worn them all her life) not in a pair of glasses, it would just be weird.
The wedding day is a valid point, because they date so quickly and every girl wants to be a princess on her wedding day, so glasses don’t quite fit the bill xx

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fashionjunkie

I’ve needed glasses since I was 2 years of age and when I started wearing contact lenses aged 15, lots of people were actually (and I hope unintentionally) mean saying I looked really odd without them, but I like to make the best of both worlds. I cannot live without my Prada frames which go with everything, and are great for everything from a night out to days when the lenses just won’t stick and I love the benefits I get from my lenses (peripheral vision is hugely underrated!!) I think the thing with glasses is to make the best of them and make them you’re own personal accessory and by the way I love yours!

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Vintage Vixen

You were born to wear jeans, Jen. It’s a look that looks perfect on you however you wear it.
I love you in glasses, stick with them, they are what makes you who who you are. You should definately wear them for your wedding, too. xxx

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thelovingspoonful

I wear glasses and contacts. My job entails looking at a PC for 8 hours a day, and I feel like I can’t focus on the screen properly when I’m wearing my contacts, so I wear glasses Monday-Friday (and most weekends too!). That said, it gives me a great excuse not to wear make-up, because I feel like I can “hide” behind my frames – if I can’t be bothered putting on make-up I just wear my glasses. I would defo feel strange wearing them on a night out or to a big event, but that’s just me – I suppose I equate getting dressed up and wearing make-up with my contacts. I think your glasses would look super on your for your wedding – they’re part of who you are so why change?

On another, fawning, note, my brother’s girlfriend pointed me in the way of this blog, and I absolutely love it. It’s so refreshing to see someone dress as stylishly as you do without being a slave to labels – good work!

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Leia

I wear both glasses and contact lenses! My eyes are sensitive too so I can only wear contacts for 6-7 hours at a time and I need to carry drops, but I much prefer the way I look without glasses on.

Leia

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Pea Green Kitty

You look fabulous darling in your glasses!!
I have been wearing face furniture since the tender age of 2…basically as soon as they could get some to fit me!!
And they are as you say, an intrinsic part of who I am!!
When I was teased at school my mum used to say “Just tell em’ four eyes are better than two!!!”
xx

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bitten*nails

I actually saw this poem today (Northern Line) and wanted to take a picture of it so that I could have it (at least on my phone)! But failed miserably as was too embarrased to do it before my fellow passengers.

I was wearing lenses. Although have a glorious pair of Gucci glasses!

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