What do others see through your glasses?

glassesIn Dorothy Parker‘s 1936 poem “News Item,*” she wrote of feeling that men were not likely to be drawn to — make a pass at — women who wore glasses. I don’t know if that is still true, 70 years later. Some men, like my last beau, said he thought women in glasses were sexy. I think people can be appealing with specs, depending on the glasses.

However, with the explosion of LASIK and Americans’ decades long love affair with contacts, I think fewer people wear glasses now. But I’ve noticed many of the men in online profiles are still bespectacled. Perhaps this is a function of midlife where more people need glasses.

What strikes me most, however, is how outdated those specs are. Many — in fact, I’d say nearly all — are the size and shape of what we wore in the ’80s, some going back to the ’70s. This means they haven’t been updated in 20 or more years. Maybe since the guy was in high school or college.

When I observe this, I can’t help wonder what else hasn’t been updated. Is he still wearing clothing from 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Is his haircut also from the Regan era?

But, you may ask, what does it matter?

We all want to believe we will love and be loved for what’s inside, not on the outside. But the outside often reflects what’s on the inside. Does wearing outdated clothing signify outdated attitudes? Not necessarily. Does wearing hip attire show a more progressive perspective? Not always. Yet, many times there is a parallel. Even if your profession requires you to wear clothing that is the opposite of your point of view, you will often find ways to express your personality. If you are a liberal attorney who must wear conservative suits, you may express your perspective in avant-garde, yet tasteful, accessories. Or maybe you just consider your conservative attire as a costume for work, and let your quirky side show in your off-work duds.

Glasses are one way to accessorize and express your personality. A male friend daily chose from his collection of 35 pairs of glasses before he got LASIK. He picked the pair that best reflected how he wanted others to perceive him that day. Another friend has a dozen pair, picking the one that matches her outfit. And a friend who speaks on future trends purposely wears glasses frames similar to those from the ’50s, which are now considered hip.

Some people understand that glasses are not just a vision tool, but a way to telegraph something about them. They make a conscious decision about what they want that part of their “costume” for the day to say.

When dating, I’m a believer in getting periodic make overs, as I think it’s easy to fall into ruts and not see ourselves as other see us. Just as you would not wear a suit with gigantic shoulder pads or humongous lapels, as had been the fashion years ago, eyewear needs updating too. I think it is worth the investment to make sure one’s glasses reflect the image we want to portray as well.

If you haven’t changed frames in the last five years, it may be time for an eyewear makeover, even if you don’t need a lens change.

* I can’t put the actual phrase from her poem here, as the copyright owner doesn’t allow her work to appear on the Internet.

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14 responses to “What do others see through your glasses?”

  1. Passing By Avatar
    Passing By

    “Men seldom make passes at girls that wear glasses.” — Dorothy Parker.
    There, I said it. DG, you can quote people without infringing on a copyright. Besides, that quote is extremely famous and appears in quote databases.

  2. nysharon Avatar

    I can believe how perfect this was today. I have a lunch date with a wonderful guy and the only thing I would change about him (it is date 3) is his glasses. He is very attractive, fit, full head of gray hair, but wears round wired frames that give him the look of an owl?:) He would be so hot if he updated those frams but of course it is way too early to get into that now.
    YES–DG. I actually have a date. My he-tox period paid off. Funny, he was someone I met on-line last year, we played phone tag, finally talked but both had gone on to other things at the time. Fast forward one year later, he sees a mutual friend we found we had in common and asks about me. I just happen to run into her and you know the rest.

  3. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Actually, Passing By, when I did a search last night, a number of sites listing Ms. Parker’s work had the notice that it was removed at the request of the copyright holder, and one even had the letter from the attorney. While I could argue it comes under “fair use,” since I’d found the attorney’s letter saying they didn’t want it on the Internet, I decided to honor that.


  4. Casey Dawes Avatar

    After my husband and I got together (I was 49, he was 51), I started working on him about his glasses. He’s a wonderful geek…:-)) and the glasses reflected that. He did change them!

    I think part of it is, particularly with men who are engineers of some type or another, is that they simply don’t notice the fashion has changed. They can still see through their glasses — so what’s the issue! LOL!

  5. Stan Avatar

    My new sweetie is another one of those with a dozen different reading glasses, in different colors and designs, and she chooses the one that complements her outfit for the day. I’ve been really struck by how much the right pair enhances her overall look, gets me to thinking about what I could be doing with mine.

  6. Ally Avatar

    God forbid we make due with what we have. The trendier we are, the more money we spend and the more stuff that is ‘so last year’ goes to our landfills.
    It’s all values based, so if you want someone who perceives themselves as ‘hipper’, more than you want to save money or resources, have at it. Just don’t let superficiality get in the way of actual relationship.

  7. Chiron613 Avatar

    Wearing outdated glasses (or other items) *might* indicated an outdated way of thinking. It might also indicate that the person isn’t all that worried about trends. It could be something as simple as a practical decision to keep to (say) the robust frames made of metal, as opposed to possibly more fragile ones of plastic.

    Perhaps I am naive, but I feel that if a woman is judging me by the glasses I wear, I probably would be better off without her – even if my glasses happen to please her at the moment. I might some day buy a pair that doesn’t meet her standards, and then were would I be? Out in the cold, one more victim of poor fashion sense… a needless tragedy, if only I had asked for help in choosing my frames… oh, the humanity.

    In spite of the possible deficiencies in my eyewear, I am actually a decent human being. I would hope that this is what a woman is looking for in a man.

    If your profession requires you to wear clothes ‘opposite of your point of view’, then it is likely that you’re in the wrong profession. It might be late to realize that, but – do you keep going in the wrong direction, just because you’ve been heading that way for a long time?

  8. Dating Goddess Avatar

    By a few of the comments, I’m afraid I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t suggesting that one judge another by something as superficial as glasses. It was more an observation that this accessory doesn’t seem to get a periodic update. My point was for my readers to consider updating their eyewear every 5 years or so, donating their outdated ones to the Lions or other organizations that redistribute, not fill landfills.
    As Stan states, he notices how much a difference attractive glasses make on his sweetie, and I think we all want to be as attractive to our sweeties, both inside and out.

  9. Strblonde Avatar

    We should all probably update our glasses every five years also because our vision may change in that period of time! True, I’ve had some of mine for at least 10 years without them going out of style I feel, but it is a matter of economics for me. I try to keep them in style for the most part. I’ve never considered wearing contacts because I’ve been wearing glasses since I was two — my face feels naked without them!

  10. Barru Avatar

    Most people, though not all, put great stock in how their partner or future partner looks and speaks – in general, appears. It seems that this is just the way it is. Like DG and others comment, some like a retro look, some like a geek look, some want a beautiful or “healthy” look. I don’t think hat there is all that much judgement of the “inner” person going on. People may have different ideas of what turns them on, but they mostly want to be turned on and looking good turns most people on … initially. It’s just another tool to increase your catch, and, frankly, I enjoy a well put together woman (as well as a man).

  11. Robin Avatar

    I’ve worn glasses since I was a baby and I’m 43 now. My vision problems can’t be repaired with surgery (lasik, etc.) and I can’t wear contacts. I’ve been single now for over 2 years (divorced for 6) and I’ve been trying hard, and hoping endlessly to find the right man for me. I know I don’t look ugly and my body shape is average to slender. My personality is pretty outgoing. I just can’t get a guy to look past the glasses! It doesn’t matter how I dress. I can be dressed up for a formal night out, in jeans and T-shirt or tank top or my work scrubs. I even got a new prescription a couple of months ago and got three new pair of glasses that I think are very pretty and look great on me. Men, however, won’t give me the time of day. I fully believe that phrase and it’s very, very sad.

  12. Gatti Avatar

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 8 (and I’m nearly 54), terribly nearsighted, with the exception of a few years in the 1980s when I wore contacts, and I’ve never felt that my glasses limited my social life. Ever. There have been boyfriends, husbands, casual dates galore and the subject of my eyesight or the equipment for the correction thereof never seemed to play a role that I could notice.

    And now, in middle age, most people wear glasses, even if only for reading. In fact, the sweetie and I make jokes about it because he has to put his glasses on to see close up and I have to take mine off! And I say to people that a middle-aged gal should always get a farsighted guy, the closer he gets the more in soft-focus you are.

    I’m assuming that Robin is in America and the more I read this blog the more convinced I become that British men (at least the ones I meet) are essentially nicer. Or, at least, less concerned with superficials. At least out in the country where I live. It could be different in chic, cosmopolitan London…or Manchester…or Brighton…or something…

  13. Strblonde Avatar

    To Robin I say, “Hang in there.” You sound a lot like me: not ugly, avg body shape, can’t wear contacts — I’ve had corrective surgery for lazy eye 3 times in my life. I’ve worn glasses since I was 2 & am almost 52 now! I’ve been divorced 17 yrs and have had quite a few dates in that time; came close to the right guy twice but they both moved away for different reasons (& probably regretted it). I’ve only had one, maybe two guys that suggested I try contacts, but I can’t. If they are that shallow, then they aren’t for me. I used to be more self-conscious of my glasses but I’m not anymore. Glasses ARE fashionable now and yes, as we get into middle age, more and more people find themselves wearing them!

  14. Yes But Avatar
    Yes But

    Last fall I became re-acquainted with a high school boyfriend whose wife passed away. And I hated his glasses, they were just way too ‘hip’ for the person he is.