Are you finding it hard to read the menu in your local ‘seductively (dimly) lit’ restaurant, or perhaps you are holding your book or e-reader at arms length because it makes the words on the page/screen seem less blurry? If so, I’m guessing you are in your late 30’s or older and now have the age related eye condition (presybiopia). There was a time when you got your eyes tested at the opticians and purchased your glasses from them. Nowadays you can purchase ready made reading glasses at your local supermarket, chemist, department store or as I’ve recently discovered – online!
Ready made reading glasses apparently became quite popular in the 1990’s and over the years have become so much more cheaper than prescribed reading glasses, which means if you are the type of person who is always forgetting where you put your glasses, you can afford to keep spares in various locations (i.e. your office drawer, bedside table, your car, etc).
I’m 54 and have been wearing prescription spectacles since pre teens. Therefore, I have not had cause to take much interest in ready made reading glasses, but I was recently invited by Read Optics, an online ready-to-wear reading glass retailer to review their reading glasses.
There are 2 basic styles of reading glasses. Full reading glasses and half – eye reading ones which enable you to look down and through the lenses for close up work and then up and over to see things in the distance.
I had a look through the spectacles on their website and chose 3 full framed pairs, which were securely and very quickly dispatched out to me. Each of the clear plastic cases the readers were contained in, stated the lens strength as being +1.5, which the Read Optics website quotes as being the strength most likely needed for people aged 40 – 45 years old.
I naturally chose styles I thought would suit my small oval face and designs I favoured. As mentioned above, I wear prescription lenses, so my focus here is mainly on the style and design of the readers.
The first pair I looked at have a cute name! ‘Blackberry Pretty Chic’. I think I expected the frames to be flimsy and cheap looking, for the price, but I was wrong. They are actually quite sturdy with sprung joints. They are classical but stylish with some ‘bling’ rhinestone detailing and I love how they graduate in colour from a deep blackberry at the top of the frame to almost fuchsia pink at the bottom (if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I love pink, I’ve certainly mentioned it enough times).
Now…you really can’t go wrong with rectangular shaped tortoiseshell specs can you? They have a classical retro vibe about them and tortoiseshell frames are as popular today I am sure, as they were 30 or 50 years ago with women as well as men and I personally feel they look more impactive and uber cool with deep tint lenses. These full framed sun readers from Read Optics feel and look to me, to be of the same calibre as the lightweight Blackberry Chic ones with their sturdy frame and sprung joints. I managed to take a selfie of me wearing them.
I really love the sophisticated design of the ‘Mulberry Glamorous Fret Full Frame’. These have a stainless steel frame and a delicate look and feel to them. The lenses are adhered to the frames rather than sitting within the frames, so it makes me wonder if these readers are as durable as the other 2 pairs – but as I won’t be wearing them to test them out or the others, I am not really the best person to judge.
The Read Optics website states “Our stylish range of reading glasses will transport you to a new world of vision”. They offer buyers “a one-stop-shop for optical quality, affordable and fashionable reading glasses”. The price of readers (compared to what one has to pay for prescription multifocal lenses and the various add ons) really gives you so much scope to experiment with different styles, designs and colours – and so you can channel your inner Audrey (Hepburn) on Saturday afternoon, be a sexy Goth Goddess on Wednesday night, and Geeky Charlotte at the office. Reading glasses truly have become the new fashion accessory!
Disclaimer: These reading glasses were given to me in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed in this review are independent and my own.