Getting Over My Fear of Eye Glasses with Polette Eyewear
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!