Formal Fashion Eyeglasses Tips

formal fashion eyeglasses

I have been wearing eyeglasses since I was nine years old.  When I was in the 8th grade, my parents got me contact lenses as a junior high school graduation gift.  With the exception of having sensitivities to a few contact lens brands and products, it was smooth sailing with me and my lenses.  However, a few years ago, my optometrist told me I had dry eyes and suggested I limit the amount of time I wear contacts.    Up until this point, I really only wore my glasses from the bathroom sink to my bed every night.  The idea of wearing my glasses all the time was a real bummer.   Yet, for the sake of the health of my eyes, and the fact that my eyes would get really red and itchy from too much contact lens wear, I obliged.  Now I wear my glasses on most days.  I’m still not thrilled about it.

Through this, I found out that dry eyes is very common in women, particularly as they age.  Like most who struggle with it, I have learned a few tricks to keep my eyes from drying out, and, of course, I am always open to hearing more.  I don’t use prescription eye drops.  For one, my eyes aren’t that dry, secondly, the drops are insanely expensive, and, third, a prescription brand like Restasis is actually an immunosuppressant.   For me, at least, the need to use a product like Restasis needs to be worth the potential side effects.

Instead, I use eye drops from Systane.  I particularly like Systane Balance Restorative Formula and Systane Anytime Gel Drops.  In the evening, I massage my eyes with a warm compress for 30 seconds to help unclog my tear ducts.  I hear adding a drop of baby shampoo can be even more effective.

So basically, my eyes have gone from incredibly low maintenance to quite high.  Thankfully, I can still wear my contact lenses but usually make sure it’s for a good reason.  I find that wearing them several days in a row makes my eyes worse, for obvious reasons.  For times where glasses will be a burden or I have a formal event to attend, I have the good fortune to still be able to wear contacts.  However, I know many women aren’t this fortunate.  In fact, I heard from a reader the other day who asked if I could give some formal fashion eyeglasses tips.

Formal Fashion Eyeglasses Tips

Below I have put together three cocktail looks and styled them with eyeglasses to give you some tips on making eyewear part of your after-five looks.  What I also recommend is you check out the blog You Look Fab, if you don’t already, because blogger Angie Cox is regularly seen wearing glasses and she always manages to make her ensembles look great!

Okay, let’s take a look at some outfits and tips.

Outfit #1


If you prefer to wear your glasses your glasses a bit more incognito, having a rimless style on hand is the way to go.  While I rarely find these frames to be the pinnacle of high style or trend, they do serve a purpose.  Wearing a style like this makes your eyeglasses practically invisible on your face which means you won’t have to worry whether or not your glasses will work with your look.  Additionally, glasses like this are often hard to detect in photos.

I styled this dress from Elie Tahari above with the McCarty rimless glasses from Felix + Iris, and finished the look with a pair of drop earrings from Lagos, a pewter clutch from Rebecca Minkoff and grey pumps from Nine West.

Outfit #2


Another option to consider is eyeglasses that match your style but are clear.  The benefit is you can still make a personal style statement but you won’t have to worry whether or not your eyewear will clash with what you are wearing.

As a glasses wearer, I take into consideration how I accessorize my looks.  I don’t like to clutter up the area around my face with jewelry when wearing glasses.  I find it looks like a lot all in one place.  I usually avoid large statement earrings and am even mindful of how ornate or large my necklaces are.

In the outfit above, I styled this Reiss dress with translucent blush colored eyeglasses from Warby Parker.  To avoid too much clutter, I accessorized with these David Yurman stud earrings and long pendant from Lagos.  Lastly, I used these sparkling pumps from Badgley Mischka and Kayu box clutch.

Outfit #3


The last two looks were all about making your glasses more incognito, as if it is a bad thing to wear glasses.  While there might be some occasions where being blatant with your glasses just doesn’t feel right, why not make your glasses a signature part of your outfit?

This does create a bit of a “chicken or the egg” scenario, as it can get tough to figure out which comes first, the eyeglasses or the outfit.  In this day and age, with affordable places, if you need to wear glasses all the time, it is probably smart to have several pairs on hand, and at least one pair you would consider after-five friendly.  Yet, when making glasses part of your overall evening look, you still want to make sure that your glasses and your outfit work together.  Consider your glasses as one of your accessories.  You wouldn’t carry a LeSportsac handbag with an evening gown, would you?

Look for styles that are more feminine, less daytime and definitely less sporty should you plan on wearing your glasses with your formal looks.  You can choose a cat-eye frame, if the look fits you face, and even go for eyeglasses with subtle embellishment.

In the outfit above, I styled this Armani Collezioni dress with a pair of cat-eye glasses from Zenni Optical that have a light dusting of glitter.  It’s not too much to be tacky, but enough to give these glasses a hint of something special.  I finished the outfit with a pair of diamond cluster earrings from Suzanne Kalan as to, again, not clutter up the face with too many details, and further styled the ensemble with metallic lizard sandals from L.K. Bennett, a glitter clutch from Rebecca Minkoff and bangle from Vita Fede.

I hope these tips help as you pull your own after-five eyeglasses friendly outfits together.  Any further tips?  I’d love to hear them!


  • Jp

    Hi Bridgette–
    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been following the same course as you with the dry eyes. Just read what you wrote about the baby shampoo and I got a little concerned for you!! I was told to put a little bit on your fingertips and wash the base of your lashes with that solution. It would not be comfortable to put it directly in your eyes! There is also a product called Avenova, which your doctor can get for you and it works better than the shampoo. Keep up on the massage and heat. You’re doing the right thing Glasses are a big help as far as blocking the breezes which dries you out further. Also, when my eyes get red from dryness, I feel like it “hides” my redness a little.

    Always enjoy your blog! You’re my fashion guru!!! Hugs

    • Hi Jp, thanks for your comment and, goodness no, sorry about that, I would never put baby shampoo directly in my eyes. I meant putting a drop on a washcloth or compress and washing my lids that way. Oh dear. Sorry if that was confusing!
      I agree, wind can be murder on the eyes! Take care!

  • KK

    I happened to start taking Omega 3 fish oil for general health reasons. A few weeks later, I noticed I wasn’t reaching for the eye drops anymore. (I had never worn contacts, eyes just got dry in my 40’s.) A google search confirmed the fish oil effect wasn’t a fluke. Now when my eyes get dry, it’s a reminder I’ve missed a couple days. If you decide to try fish oil, be sure it’s high quality. I keep mine in the fridge.

    • Such a great tip, thanks! I actually take a lot of flax seed oil but will definitely consider fish oil too! Thanks!

  • Jelena

    I wear glasses all the time as my eyes were too sensitive for contacts and I don’t have trouble with jewellery and accessories. My glasses are now part of who I am and I often feel overly exposed without them.

  • ol four eyes

    Hi Brigette- I’m facing the same problem- painful eyes and headache after wearing lenses all day. My question- I have low contrast colouring- dark brown hair, olive skin, greeny-hazelly eyes. I’m currently wearing rimless frames, but I’d love to wear a bold pair. I don’t think those blacks and blues suit my colouring. Any suggestions?