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Jeremy Proome

Featured in MenStuff+

When it comes to spectacles, it’s one of those things that is hard not to make feel like a medical treatment. Whether it’s due to age or genetics, having glasses prescribed can feel like a sentence of punishment, but thankfully, Spectacle World has flipped the coffee table over when it comes to the whole eyewear-acquisition process and made getting new specs a pleasure, rather than a chore.

What makes Spectacle World different though? Well, they’re the first company in South Africa to obtain a certificate in The Art of Eyewear Styling course with Eva Davé, presented by the Eyewear Styling Academy. Having completed this course, the team at Spectacle World is now well-equipped to make frame selection easier and fun for clients, ensuring clients are satisfied when they leave the practice with their new frames.

I have never needed to wear glasses throughout my life, but have had an eye issue as a young ‘un which I’ve managed to live with without any real hiccups. After laser surgeries and having to compensate for a poorer right eye, I’ve always felt a little self-conscious about it, especially when going to see optometrists — I just knew that damned letters-on-the-wall test will get the better of me. However, meeting Spectacle World owner Adele Camarena was a breath of fresh air.

After assessing my eyes through a casual and relaxed consultation (which I had been dreading doing and ignoring for over 10 years), Adele assured me that my particular case was nothing too unusual and some specs would not only resolve my issue, but enhance my vision.

For my everyday corrective eyewear lenses, Spectacle World fitted Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect lenses. Zeiss is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of spectacle lenses is known for delivering maximum precision and comfort for wearers. The DuraVision BlueProtect lenses are Zeiss’ answer to blue-violet light blocking lense solutions.

The Zeiss BlueProtect coating was specially developed for people who spend a lot of their time indoors and who are exposed to blue-violet light from LEDs as well as TV, computer or tablet screens on a regular basis. The lenses work by reflecting parts of the blue-violet light emitted by these sources, preventing light from entering the eye. But it’s not just useful for indoor uses, blue-violet light is everywhere, although its intensity varies greatly. For example, while a typical LCD computer monitor produces a brightness of 250 cd/m2, a clear blue sky at midday is 32 times as bright and direct sunlight can be thousands of times as bright. It’s important to ensure your lenses protect your eyes and offer comfortable vision no matter the conditions. Zeiss BlueProtect lenses offer this supreme comfort by filtering different amounts of blue-violet light depending on the activity.

What’s more, to offer patients true protection, Zeiss has developed an additional anti-reflective layer on the back of the lens, reducing the indirect light reflected into the eye and complementing the protection offered by Zeiss UVProtect Technology in all clear plastic lenses which block direct UV rays from the front. This means Zeiss lenses offer true UV protection from all sides, even when you’re not wearing sunglasses. These are an absolute game-changer for anyone working on a computer daily (so, basically almost everyone), and have personally helped reduce headache and fatigue for me. Furthermore, the UV protection is great, and made me realise that you don’t need the darkest sunglasses on the planet to shield you from glare, but rather well-implemented polarisation on even the clearest of lenses.

The lenses are one thing, but picking frames is always the tricky part… or rather, was. Instead of just fumbling through a wall of frames and picking something under pressure that you regret (I still rue those Fubu pants I bought as a kid), Spectacle World now has an established styling consultation process and Camarena says her team feels confident to suggest and select eyewear that complements their clients’ features, colouring and unique style.

The process starts in Spectacle World’s styling consultation room, a stylish, dedicated space that feels more like a fitting room in an upmarket fashion boutique than an optometrist room. The first step is all about figuring out your style personality through the help of some useful multiple choice quizzes (who doesn’t love a good quiz?). The quiz helps the team identify your unique style personality and the types of frames you might lean towards. The Art of Eyewear Styling process identifies six different style types and matching options of eyewear for each. Through answering some easy questions, the team can figure out if you love bold and daring styles, bold and fashion-forward styles, or lean towards a more subtle look. Your lifestyle is also considered to help pick frames that will fit in with your daily life and activities.
Next, they analyse your dominant colour type by draping colour swatches across your shoulders to determine which shades and colours will best suit your skin tone, hair, and eye colour. The psychology of colour is also explored through the personality quiz, helping the team to figure out which hues will make your personality shine through best as well. Finally, your face and features are considered to help you pick a frame that will flatter what you’ve already got going on for you. According to the team, colour plays an enormous role when selecting frames as it enhances appearance including eye, hair and skin colour. Although many of us favour neutral frames such as black or brown, these aren’t always the most flattering, and The Art of Eyewear Styling process can help guide you to making a choice that you feel comfortable with and confident wearing.

With the helpful guidance of the team, I decided on a pair from David Green, which is a proudly South African brand that specialises in eyewear inspired by nature. What’s awesome about David Green frames is that every product is a once-off unique creation, so your specs will be unlike anyone else’s. The particular, somewhat subtle model features reeds from the Hermanus area, encased in the face of the frames, creating streaks of colour and texture. A metal bridge and thin metal arms round off the look and suit my face, skin tone, and hair colour, according to the styling team, who I admittedly trust with my life.

The great thing is that I finally have a pair of glasses that accentuate my look and confidence, rather than detract from it. The David Green brand is fantastic, and without the gentle and educated nudging of the excellent team at Spectacle World, I wouldn’t have stumbled across their excellent designs.

If you asked me prior to visiting Spectacle World about my feelings towards optometrist visits, it wouldn’t have been a long conversation, but Spectacle World has changed that. The process itself was fantastic and I was actually excited to return to collect my glasses after having the lenses fitted, as opposed to frowning at my newfound facial accessory. Using the glasses has delivered a dramatic change to my day-to-day life. Clearer visibility when using my computer has helped me fix my posture (I would tend to lean towards the screen), watching movies at night doesn’t fast-track the usual headaches, and my sleep has improved too thanks to the clear benefits of blue-light blocking elements in the glasses. While the vision is one clear advantage, there has been a domino-effect on many other shortcomings of my usual routine, which, in my books, is priceless.

If you’re in the market for new frames or just need an eye test, then I would highly recommend visiting Adele Camarena and her team at Spectacle World in Cape Town. From the eye test to the frame consultation, it was the most incredible experience. The team at Spectacle World is so friendly and they make you feel welcome and special from start to finish.

During my eye exam, Adele Camarena made me feel so comfortable and she’s by far my favourite optometrist I’ve ever been examined by. She is knowledgeable, caring, and offers great practical advice for patients during the checkup. You truly feel like you’re in good hands and that she is looking out for you to help you make the best decision for your eye health and lifestyle.

Spectacle World is all about offering tailor-made eyewear solutions to everyone, from the economically challenged to the well-heeled. As an eyewear stylist optometrist, the team empowers their clients to always see well, look fabulous and feel good! “It’s one of our greatest joys,” Camarena conclude