I’m hoping for your input on a quandary I’m having. I’m starting my first real job this summer so trying to build an adult wardrobe now. I am nearsighted and strongly prefer glasses to contacts for everyday wear. I love my (only) current pair; they’re big and plastic and perfect for me. But can I pull off “geek chic” in a professional (though not very conservative) environment, especially as a 21 year-old intern?
As a fellow glasses wearer, I’m curious to hear what the readers say here. I think that ‘geek chic’ glasses can be great — I’ve even recommended them to a reader who was wondering how to to make her look edgier. However, there is a sliding scale with these things. The wackier the glasses are, the more that people will remember (and form opinions about you) based on your glasses, at least at first. In other words: if a particular boss thinks you look like a bit odd/hipster/weird/[insert negative word here], you are probably not going to get a lot of work with that person. You may say, “fine, I wouldn’t want to work with someone that stodgy anyway!,” and an outward statement about your personality can be a great way to whittle down who you work with. (Glasses are in a different ballpark than heavily tattooed arms, but you may want to check out that discussion as well.) That said… you don’t want to be so limited that only a few people in the office want to work with you — so if your office is filled with more “stodgy” types than not, you need to exercise caution. (And just in terms of style, I personally prefer not to have a certain pair of glasses be my trademark, but that’s just my $.02.) (Pictured above: I was sort of surprised to see Jenna Lyons wear what I would classify as geek-chic eyeglasses to an Oscars party, but if they become your trademark look then I suppose it’s weirder not to wear them.)
So here would be my approach: wear multiple pairs of glasses. It’s a fun way to change up your look, and if you show up to a big first-day meeting in boring wire-frames or a more sedate plastic frame, no one’s going to ask, “Where are those glasses you always wear?” When you think you’re going to have your first casual day (i.e. no big meetings or introductions), then try out the “geek chic” glasses and see what the response is. There are so many inexpensive options online that my suggestion of multiple glasses doesn’t have to be a huge financial commitment — I’ve actually been poking around online lately to see if I can get one or two more fun pairs. (I’m looking to replace a boring pair that recently got ruined (yay, toddler!), so I have the exact measurements of a pair that I really liked. I’ve been eyeing the selections at Warby Parker, Coastal Glasses, Glasses USA, Eyebuy Direct, etc, and am just keeping track of different options via a private Pinterest board. I’ll report back to let you know how the experience goes if I bite the bullet!) You can also get some great discounts on eyewear through flash sale sites or a big store sale (like the one Lens Crafters has twice a year — I think it’s “50% off on lenses” that is the big twice-yearly one).
Readers, what are your thoughts on ‘geek chic’ glasses in the office, and in general? More importantly, do you have multiple pairs of eyeglasses — and if so, where did you get them, and how much have you invested in your eyewear collection?