Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Four Eyes


blue top (H&M)
white eyelet skirt (Express)
white kitten heels (Aldo)
seahorse necklace (gift from boyfriend)

I'm back from my adventures abroad!  I had an absolutely wonderful time, though it is definitely good to be home.  As a result of my trip, I have some traveling style posts coming up, but first I have a confession to make to you, my dear SSG readers.  The outfits that you see on this blog are often not exactly as they appear in real life.  For you see, I wear glasses (cue collective gasp).

I started wearing glasses in high school, at first only to read or to see the blackboard, but soon I needed them all the time.  I got contacts in college, but I rarely wear them unless I'm going out at night or am generally only doing fun activities.  I find that wearing my contacts during sustained reading and/or computer use - my main everyday activities as required by my studies and my job - hurts my eyes and my vision becomes blurry after a certain period.  I'm not entirely sure why my eyes don't take well to prolonged use - possibly because of my astigmatism or maybe just my reluctance to take the time to truly break them into everyday usage.  So, I generally wear my glasses at work, while reading, and in class.  However, I do not particularly like the way that I photograph in my glasses, so for all SSG photos I remove them.

I got to thinking about this vanity because on my travels, whenever one of my travel companions would take a photo of me, I would hesitate to take off my glasses.  The rare photo will actually feature this particular aspect of my outfit.  Unlike Liz, who unabashed dons her glasses in her SSG photos, which I love.  She also has super cute glasses, which I hope to attain at an upcoming overdue optometrist appointment.  She wrote about her glasses once, where she said that she "constructed her glasses as a mediation between her and the people who are staring at her."

I regard my glasses very differently.  As opposed to thinking of them as a barrier between internal and external, I think of them as completely internal.  I do not actually regard my glasses as part of my look, part of my style.  Rather, I consider them as an extension of me, as part of my body rather than as an accessory.  Perhaps it it because they function in conjunction with a body part, as a necessity for me to see properly, than as an a accoutrement, as something purely for frill.

Why, then, take the time to remove the glasses for pictures?  Why not leave them on if they really are a part of me?  I suppose I consider it like brushing my hair before a picture or checking if there is something in my teeth - trying to showcase the best possible me rather than the as-is me.  I'm not entirely sure that my logic on this issue is solid; in fact, I'm sure it is not.  However, as with most personal style quirks, that doesn't really matter.

After my trip, I realized that maybe it was time to embrace the glasses as part of my look, at least for one post.  I'll probably go back to leaving them the hidden final touch to my look in photos, like a swipe of lipstick right after the camera flash.  Maybe if I get new glasses they'll make an occasional appearance, though I doubt it.  Or perhaps I'll actually start wearing my contacts regularly when my work will change drastically come fall (no more office work and teaching in the spring).  Until then (or not), I at least have one moment where I proudly stood up (sat at my computer?) and said, "I wear glasses, hear me roar!"

  • Do you wear glasses?  Are you proud of them?  Ashamed of them?  Indifferent to them?
  • If you do wear glasses, do you consider them as part of your look or as an extension of you?
  • Do you have a certain styling blogging/photography vanity?


Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

You look great in glasses!

I've worn glasses since I was 8, and I love seeing bloggers wear glasses unapologetically - they're fun, make you look smart, and they're something that you need and there's no shame in that. And trust me - there's a pair (or several!) out there that are perfect for your face and style - and then you get a built-in accessory!

For me, glasses are somewhere between an extension and a mediation. Putting them on lets me see, which in turn lets me do almost everything else. So they're a little like a toned-down superhero cape - once they're on, I'm ready for action! But when I take them off and the world goes into soft focus, then it almost feels like a filmy barrier has been put up between me and the world - not seeing everything allows me block a lot of that everything out and become much more introspective. It's almost like turning the volume down and listening to your own thoughts.

Dorky Medievalist said...

I wear glasses and I also have an astigmatism so contacts are not really an option for me. My prescription is not especially strong though when I wear my glasses I am always amazed at the sharp focus of the world.

I think of glasses as a "go big or go home" accessory. I prefer glasses with a defined frame (like yours) that don't pretend that the glasses are not there. Right now I am wearing a pink leopard-print cat's-eye frame from Betsy Johnson (via my health plan) and I love them. I will say that I don't wear glasses at conferences when I am giving a paper. Something about the slightly impressionistic audience gives me some confidence and it is difficult to negotiate the shift between looking at the audience and looking at my paper on the lecturn when I wear glasses.

Anyway, no apologies. Glasses are sometimes necessary, sometimes not. There is a way to train your eye out of glasses apparently, but I have not tried it.

Iris said...

I have been wearing glasses since I was in the second grade. They have become a part of me and I don't even think twice about it. I used to wear contacts more often but, then I started to have additional eye problems that required drops multiple times throughout the day so, I couldn't wear them. I did just get the green light from my eye specialist that it would be ok to do it more often so there might be a shift in my eye wear soon but for now this is me 90% of the time...


This is me those times few and far between when I wear contacts:


I'm don't mind how I look with glasses but, I miss being able to use my awesome collection of sunglasses.

KP said...

I have been wearing glasses or contacts since I was in the 3rd grade. I love my glasses, a wonderful pair of tortoise shell rounded-rectangular frames.

However, I normally wear contacts. It's for a pretty dumb reason actually... a personal vanity, my ears are not even. So when I wear my glasses, it looks like they are crooked but in reality it is just my head! So even though I have found that my eyes do tire some with the contacts and prolonged reading, my personal vanity makes me keep them in.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I wasn't ashamed of my glasses, but I was definitely annoyed by them. Swimming was annoying, waking up and being unable to see the alarm clock was annoying. I was nearly legally blind; that's no hyperbole. I had Lasik three years ago, and it changed my life. However, it's funny, I SO miss my glasses now! My sister works in an optical, and I envy the cool frames she brings home. Sometimes I wear cheap, prescription-less frames, but someone inevitably asks me about them, which requires me to confess that I'm a glasses-wearing imposter.

If I had perceived of my frames as you do, as internal and inherent to my person, I probably would not have felt so encumbered by them. You look great, quite like your pretty self. :)

- Anne-Marie

From Shrimp to Lobster said...

I do wear glasses and understand the hesitation to wear them in pictures. Between the glare and the self-conciousness that comes with them, it's hard to take a decent picture. I am also a teacher, and I actually found that I wore my glasses more during teaching days, but they were so much to keep up with, it was sort of a double edged sword.

Luckily, I have been blessed with eyes that are very compatible to contacts and wear them more often than not. But there are times that I choose to don the glasses for several reasons 1)I am too tired to trust myself to stick an almost invisible piece of material in my eye with an unsteady hand. 2) Let's face it; glasses just add that scholarly huzzah to your look. 3) And sometimes, I feel just like you did, in your last line of the post. Ya just feel like shouting it to the world that you feel confident about wearing them.

But if it means anything at all, you look fabulous in those glasses, toots!

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I like your glasses.

I'm pretty much blind so I've worn glasses or contact lenses since I was in fourth grade, so I tend to view both as part of me. I like my frames. I know that I wear them a fair amount (lots of days I wear my contacts - they're more convenient for running and yoga and so on). I always pick out frames that I know I will like, and I view them as a component of my style about a quarter of the time.

My co-blogger thechemist-coture has blogged about being an octophile in the past: http://fashionableacademics.blogspot.com/2010/01/geek-in-glasses.html

Emma at Daily Clothes Fix said...

I hate glasses on me - they just don't suit me. Back to contact lenses for me. If it was hats, that's an entirely different matter. I could wear hats every day.

I think your glasses really suit you. If I looked that good in them, I would wear them too.

Millie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

I sort of half wear glasses; I have a really weak prescription so I can see just fine without them, but without them, reading for a long time or reading music in particular gives me a headache. I tend to wear them less in the summer because it's hot and sticky and having stuff on my ears gets irritating, and so most of my photos are without glasses. I love the look of my glasses, but I don't think to put them on or take the off for photos. They're just sort of there, like a wristwatch: no big deal if I forget, but helpful if I remember.

Anonymous said...

I must wear them and I remove mine for photos because they are made to darken in sunlight.

Lately, I've come across some excellent wire frames and older style Large frames in thrift stores...and I've wondered if an optometrist would/could grind lenses for these...

Scholar Style Guide said...

Since I've commented on glasses pretty extensively in the post Katie links (and I'd love to hear a few of you go back and weigh in on that one!), I'll keep my comments here shorter--

Katie, I think that owning glasses you really like makes a huge difference. I can't wait to see which ones you pick out on your upcoming office visit, and I hope you'll write a follow-up a few months down the road and tell us whether your attitude toward glasses has changed at all.

Everyone else, thanks so much for such thoughtful comments! I really enjoyed reading these and I am so glad we've connected with such interesting readers/collaborators!