Easy on the Eyes
Everyday Runway columnist Melissa Berry sets her sights on stylish specs that won’t break the bank post-treatment.

I’ve always wanted to wear eyeglasses. From the “sexy secretary” look reminiscent of Lois Lane in “Superman” to the vintage cat eye that brings me back to the days of old Hollywood glamour, it just always seemed like the perfect way to instantly switch up your look!

When I turned 48 and suddenly needed reading glasses, I wasn’t sad about losing my 20/20 vision. However, I did wonder if my breast cancer treatment or surgical menopause had an impact on it. I did some research. The National Cancer Institute provides information on chemotherapy side effects, including possible eye changes during treatment from certain types of chemotherapy that may clog the tear ducts and cause blurry vision. Everyone’s case is different, so if you feel your vision has changed since treatment, make an appointment with your eye doctor to determine if you do need a pair of readers.

As far as menopause goes, The North American Menopause Society states that “around the time of menopause, your eyesight may be slightly altered. Eye shape may also change slightly, making contact lenses less comfortable and increasing the need for corrective lenses for reading. Other problems of the eyes common after midlife and menopause include dry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma.”

Once I received my prescription for new specs, I felt like I had a permission slip to explore an entirely new category of accessories. As time went on, I learned that you need more than just one pair of readers. Sometimes we lose them. Sometimes we need a pair “just in case” to have in the car. And sometimes we want a special pair (maybe with a touch of bling) that gives us a whole new look and attitude.

Whether you’re a long time eyeglass wearer or a newbie, you’ve come to the right place! July is Healthy Vision Month, so I couldn’t resist doing a roundup of the best reading glasses ranging in price, color and style.

Your “Good” Pair

I call these Louise glasses from Warby Parker my “good pair” because the price point is a bit higher ($95 including prescription) than some of the others listed here. It’s important that your first or primary pair of glasses not only look great on you, but are also durable. If you’re just starting to wear reading glasses, I’d say these make a perfect foundation for your eyewear wardrobe.

This elegant cat eye frame offers up an extra delicate silhouette, is made from hand polished cellulose acetate and includes Akulon-coated screws for extra durability.

The Fashionista

We all need some bold, red accessories in our lives, and I think your glasses are a great place to start! These beauties from Center Stage make a fun, affordable purchase ($27). The oversized look really makes a statement while the spring hinges provide additional comfort. It’s no surprise that this is their most popular frame and was featured as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.

By popular demand, this style has since been upgraded to their blue light collection. Their Blue Light Focus Lenses technology filters more than 40 percent of high-energy visible (HEV) blue light in the 400–450 nanometer range, offers UV400 protection and has a seven-layer anti-reflective coating to reduce glare. It is fashion and function wrapped up into one fabulous package!

Everyday Pair

Thank you Anthropologie for this fantastic everyday option. Like blue denim, these really go with everything! For $52, you’re getting an anything-but-basic reader.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Don’t need reading glasses? No problem? Throw on a pair of these fabulous prescription-free blue light glasses from Target. For only $10, you get a whole new look (love a good cat eye) with the benefit of blue light filtering properties and UV protection.

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

You don’t need an excuse or a special occasion to wear these rose gold cat eye reading glasses. Grab a pair on Etsy for $48.95 to add a fun, sparkly twist to your current eyewear lineup!

Bottom line? Don’t take your readers too seriously! Invest in a good pair that you’ll wear every day, but also keep your options open by picking up new styles here and there to keep things interesting. Most importantly, if you feel that your eyesight has changed, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your eye doctor. Worst case scenario, you’ll get to shop a whole new accessory category that you haven’t explored before!


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