The Five Mistakes People Make When Buying Glasses

Robert Roope spent 50 years working as an optician until he couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t hate being an optician per se – he loved providing people with a pair of glasses they liked (director Stanley Kubrick was one of his clients in the 80s) – but what he found unbearable was was how eyewear design got so dull and boring in the late 90s.

“Everything had been taken care of by metal or oblong plastic,” Roope recalls in the back room of his Black Eyewear store in London’s Goodge Street. “It was completely depressing, painfully predictable, and about as far removed from the classic eyewear design of the 50s and 60s. So I decided to celebrate these frames myself.

A collector of vintage eyewear for most of his life (he owns over a thousand pairs), Roope started his business with six designs of his own, all in black (hence the name of his brand) and people have them. adored. They were iconic, simple, incredibly cool, and offered an alternative to the mainstream. “What I’ve discovered is that when it comes to eyewear, you can’t reinvent the wheel. There are rules you need to follow, like understanding the shape of the eyes. And you have to stick to it. Creating a pair of extreme glasses that breaks all the rules just doesn’t work. I create modern classics, dedicate them to famous jazz musicians, and they’re popular because the design is awesome.

Drawing inspiration from iconic eyeglasses/sunglasses wearers such as Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Malcolm X, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Orbison, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn (in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Roope’s range has grown since he started his company in 2006 and he typically adds at least six new frames to his collection each year. And they have become extremely popular. A list of some of the famous faces where you will have seen her glasses include Jodie Comer, Sophie Turner, Lady Gaga, Will-I-Am, Lily Cole, Simon Pegg, Mark Gatiss and Katy Perry. His frames have also been featured in magazines such as vogue and of course QG.

So it’s safe to say that when it comes to eyewear and sunglasses, he knows what works and what doesn’t. So to make buying your next pair (or your first) more enjoyable, here are his tips for choosing the right frame, inspired by the five mistakes people make when choosing glasses.

1. Don’t buy your first pair of glasses on your first visit to an optician

“If you’re new to eyewear and looking for your first pair, don’t buy them right away. When people first come to me, with a prescription, usually with a partner who wears glasses, I tell them the same thing: don’t buy a pair today,” Roope says.

“It may not be the best sales pitch, but my advice is to check it out, try on a few pairs, take some pics on your phone if you want, and go there. You’ll probably wear your glasses every day, so make the right choice. Once you’ve thought about it and slept on it, come back and make a final decision. If you don’t rush people, they’ll make a better choice.

2. Don’t choose your glasses based on a pair that looks good on someone else

“A lot of customers come in and they get an idea of ​​what they want based on the glasses they’ve seen on someone they like or admire,” Roope says. “Rather than arriving having already made a decision, take your time and be open-minded to a style that suits you rather than someone else.

Sarah C. Figueiredo