A patient who visits the optometrist with plans to buy a new pair of prescription lenses has a reasonable expectation that the chosen frames will be fitted. Should buyers of designer sunglasses have that same expectation? Absolutely. If a person is spending hundreds of dollars on a designer brand, he or she deserves to have those sunglasses properly fitted as though they were prescription lenses.
If an optometrist and his/her staff are doing their jobs, they will not let anyone walk out of the office without properly fitting new glasses. And by ‘fitting’, we don’t just mean the actual fitting to the face. There is a lot more to it than that. Fitting also involves choosing the right style of frames that not only match the person buying them, but also complement who they are.
Whether you are talking prescription lenses or designer sunglasses, there are four things that go into a proper fitting:
1. Shape of the Face
If you know anything about fashion, you know that eyewear frames can change the look of a person’s face substantially. That’s why there are so many recommendations about matching eyewear to the shape of a person’s face. For example, people with square faces look best with frames that soften their features. Teardrops, ovals, and thin frames work well.
A good fitting accounts for the shape of a person’s face by matching that shape with the right frames. Neither sunglasses nor prescription lenses should be the center of attention. They should complement the face rather than taking center stage.
2. Facial Features
Hand-in-hand with the shape of the face are any prominent facial features that may appear disproportionately obvious once a person puts his/her glasses on. The designers at Olympic Eyewear encourage sales professionals to not ignore such facial features. Sunglasses and prescription lenses should soften them for a more balanced look.
3. Physical Comfort
Human beings were not designed to wear sunglasses or prescription lenses in the wild. Therefore, all eyewear is considered obtrusive by the body. That’s why the bridge of the nose may hurt after a full day of wearing brand-new frames. It is why glasses with improperly adjusted arms can cause headaches.
Good fit pays attention to the physical comfort a pair of glasses offers. Optometrists and their staff members are trained in how to create a comfortable fit; those who sell sunglasses should likewise be trained.
4. Customer Budget
Believe it or not, the fourth aspect to fitting sunglasses and prescription eyewear has nothing to do with the glasses or the face. It has everything to do with money. The fourth aspect is the customer’s budget.
It is unfortunate that some sales representatives insist on selling customers the most expensive frames on the shelf. This is not good. Expecting a person to pay $500 or more for a pair of sunglasses or prescription lenses when a pair costing $100 would work equally well is just not ethical.
A good fit includes sunglasses that are appropriate to a customer’s budget. If the budget will only allow for $150-$200, there should be enough options in the inventory to meet that budget. If a customer still wants to spend in excess of $500, then no retailer is going to turn that kind of sale away.
As expensive as designer sunglasses are getting these days, it is only reasonable for consumers to have the expectation of a good fit. Consumers who buy online will not have an opportunity to be fitted, but that’s their choice. Consumers who actually go to the boutique deserve to be fitted by experienced sales personnel who know what they’re doing.