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Getting Over My Fear of Eye Glasses with Polette Eyewear

reggieramone as a youth

I wasn’t always a confident dude, you know. For most of my life, I wore butt-ugly glasses. I’m not sure if it was like that for the rest of you 80s babies, but when I was in elementary school, eye glasses were always associated with geekery and nerdisms. In Grade 4, I used to be in big-time denial over it: lying about my deteriorating vision to my parents and guessing what the teacher wrote on the chalkboard. After crying my eyes out when I was told I needed glasses, I was sure that it would be the downfall of my existence.

Yeah, it was that bad.

Growing up, I always thought I was pretty goofy looking (what’s the male version of Ugly Betty, anyway?). I took my oversize spectacles off at every photo op. I had to remove them  when I was about to get into fights (which lead to a lot of thorough beat downs, mind you). Tried contacts once – literally, two-hand shoved my optometrist when he first tried inserting them – so that wasn’t going to happen. By the time facial hair became a possibility, I grew out the thickest, rattiest goatee I could create and literally hid. Hid my face from everyone with an ugly pair of glasses and a funky goatee. I looked 30 at 18.

 

Definitely hiding my glasses in my pocket at Disneyworld. Definitely trying to look tough.

Definitely hiding my glasses in my pocket at Disneyworld. Desperately trying to look cool.

 

Who's the oldest looking person in this photo? This guy.

Youngest by age. Oldest by, uh, whatever that thing is on my face.

 

As I passed into my 20’s, I broke out of the funk. As a birthday gift to my dear mother, who was the biggest advocate for me to remove my danger-mask, I shaved off the facial overload and started wearing contacts. Personally I think it was a big-time defining moment in my life, because it felt like I was coming out of my shell or cocoon – discovering a new me that made me finally realize, “okay, maybe I don’t look that bad”.

#fuckyeahcomputers?

I’M READY FOR YOU, INTERNET. #FUCKYEAHCOMPUTERS

 

Okay, maybe I didn’t look that good yet. My style still sucked and the Angry Mexican-slash-hacker extraordinaire was still in full force.

Unfortunately, the stigma followed me because of years of my own self-destruction: Glasses made me ugly.

Because of really-dumb-me-at-23, like sleeping with contacts in and wearing a pair of daily contacts for 9 months, I needed to pick up a new pair of eye glasses. Eyes need to breathe, right? My last pair had been stolen by a prostitute drug whore that occupied my second (super ghetto & short-lived) Toronto apartment after I subletted it to a Jamaican drug lord and subsequently left all my personal junk there. Yeah, long story. I copped a cheap pair off one of those cheap eyeglasses websites and man.. that dual-oval glass attached to two sticks was a wreck. It was made with cheap plastic and arrived overtly crooked. By 28, on a trip to Amsterdam, I had to wear these disgusting pair of spectacles. I went back to my old ways of taking them off for photos. No fights, thankfully.

Looking like a sad, Asian tourist with my cheap, ugly eyeglasses.

Looking like a sad, Asian tourist in Amsterdam with my cheap, ugly eyeglasses. But hey, at least my jeans fit properly now.

Naturally, in my observations of men with great style, one reoccurring area that I never had the pleasure to explore was how to wear a good pair of affordable and fashionable eye glasses. I could never justify dropping $500 on one pair of barely part-time eye glasses. Heck, I never really knew how to choose one in the first place. This created an unexplored challenge that sat in the back of my mind for years.

A few months ago I was approached by Polette, a boutique sized, online-only eyewear store based out of France, to choose a pair from their collection. Having never heard of ‘em, I browsed their site and was blown away by their stylish designs, affordability, and wide selection of frames. Totally blown away. I didn’t know that this was even an option, because I previously thought of eyewear shopping as expensive name brands or cheap, discount e-tailers. Nothing in-between.

I’m really big with wood accessories this season, so I naturally put myself into that section and picked out a decent pair. I guestimated that the prescription would’ve probably cost anywhere between $40-60, and since the frames were $20, the whole thing would’ve costed about $80 at most (+$5 shipping worldwide). I could see myself owning a whole roster of glasses at that price, one for every occasion. Guys can have a slick watch for every situation, why not eyeglasses?

Within 2 weeks, this baby appeared in the mail.

polette eyewear

polette eyewear

polette eyewear

reggieramone polette eyewear

Ironically, my friend bought a similar style pair from Clearly Contacts. Kinda obvious which looks better.

Ironically, my friend bought a similar style pair from Clearly Contacts. Kinda obvious which looks better.

 

This pair looked incredible and fit my face well. You could factor the numerous years of ugly duckling syndrome, but from a style perspective I could actually feel a certain subconscious weight lifted off my shoulders. The glasses brought a satisfaction beyond just physical improvements; it’s something I hadn’t felt since ditching the baggy jeans & Timberland boots for fitted denims & oxfords. Every compliment I receive felt almost uncomfortable considering I’ve never been complimented for my eyewear. But that’s probably because I suck at taking compliments.

Timing couldn’t be better, since I had a shoot planned for Gotstyle a few days later. With a properly trimmed goatee, I took the opportunity to slap them on for one of the shots in our look book titled, “Big Small, Short Tall: We Fit Them All“. How’s that for revisiting a throwback.

reggieramone gotstyle polette

Boy how things change.


What do ya think? Tweet me or sound off in the comments below. Would love to hear your ugly glasses stories too!

 

You can also check out Polette.com here. Frames range from $15 to $35. Go browse →

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