Keep your glasses in mint condition with our top tips
Considering plenty of us rely on our glasses to see clearly, it’s amazing that so many people fail to keep them clean!
It doesn’t take a lot to keep your specs in mint condition once you know how. Read on for Patrick & Menzies’ top tips.
Back to basics
When cleaning your glasses, aim to wipe or rub the lenses as little as possible. Every time you do, there is a risk (however small) of scratching.
Start with rinsing your lenses in cold water to wash away any dust. Avoid warm or hot water as this could cause the lenses to expand, potentially cracking and ruining any coatings instantly.
Lens cleaner from your optician is definitely the best option as it is designed to evaporate off the lens leaving less smearing – ask at your local Patrick & Menzies branch next time your visit for an appointment.
If you don’t have any cleaner tailored to the job mild hand soap can be OK, but it can leave your lenses smeary, which in turn means you wipe it more, increasing the risk of scratching.
You should never use washing-up liquid or household cleaners on your lenses as they can contain tiny amounts of solvent which causes damage to certain types of lens materials.
Clear of smear
Always polish your lenses using the cloth given to you by your optician when you bought your glasses. Commonly these are made from microfibre which will keep the need for rubbing the lenses to a minimum.
Most scratched lenses are caused by something getting caught on the cloth from your pocket, case or handbag, so make sure you keep your cloth and glasses case clean, too.
Never use kitchen towel or tissues as they are more abrasive than you think, and hankies should be avoided as they often have dust or debris from your pocket stuck to them.
When you are not wearing your glasses, it makes sense to keep them in their case. Although tempting, avoid keeping pens, nail files and other ‘handy’ items in the case too, as they are sure to scratch.
So many of us are guilty of pushing our specs up on the top of our heads, but this is also a no no as it bends the sides out of shape and can make them loose.
If you are taking your glasses off momentarily, put them down sides closed, lens up and do your best to avoid sleeping in your specs.
Ideally if you play sports invest in the right eyewear for the job rather than wear your everyday glasses. Prescription goggles for swimming and appropriate safety specs for other sports such as tennis or football, are designed to keep you safe and help you get the most from your vision.
If you are concerned about your eyesight please do give us a call to book an appointment. Even during lockdown we’re open to look after your eyes, glasses, and contact lenses, with measures in place to keep everyone safe.
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Colour focus | warm tones
Bronzes, oranges, browns, reds and golds – warm toned glasses can make a real statement.
Typically, these colours are best suited to people with a warm skin tones, though when choosing your glasses, be confident in your own style.
But warm tones don’t have to be so bold. You could try a solid muted shade or how about bronze or gold metal frames which offer a more traditional mellow hue and timeless style?
Check out just some of our favourite warm toned glasses at Patrick & Menzies.
Emporio Armani – 3154
This modern twist on tortoiseshell features flecks of gold and is sure to attract attention. Classic shaping and the Emporio Armani attention to detail and quality make these a pretty special pair of specs.
Lulu Guinness – L914 Red
Wow. These solid strawberry red frames with dark sides from Lulu Guinness really pack a punch. Thy definitely live up to the company’s ‘dare to be different’ motto, while managing not to be over-the-top. Lulu Guinness eyewear may be most noted for bold design but they are high-quality and comfortable too.
Puccini – 302 C1
Silhouette – 1560
Get all the warmth you are after without being too bold with these beautiful glasses from Silhouette. These sleek frames are a perfect shape to flatter most faces.
The Vogue brand in synonymous with style and you get it in bucket-loads with these frames! The muted warm tone of these glasses is taken to another level with a flecked, almost floral, pattern. But what we love the most is the cat-eye shaping which really makes them stand out from the crowd.
Wolf Eyewear – 3101
It would be wrong for a blog about warm-toned glasses not to feature this bold bright pair from Wolf Eyewear. These make us dream of drinking cocktails under a palm tree on an exotic beach! Wolf Eyewear is known for producing high-quality and innovative specs that reveal your wild side – and these certainly do just that.
If you favour silvers, blues and greens for your glasses, we haven’t forgotten you! Keep an eye out for a focus on cool tones, coming soon.
Need help picking the right frames for your face shape? Take a read of our recent blog – Finding the Right Frames for Your Face.
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Top tips to encourage children to wear their specs
As any parent knows getting your child to do what’s good for them isn’t always easy.
Being told your child needs to wear glasses is a case in point. Despite there being very real advantages to the child in terms of improved vision, getting them to actually wear their specs may be a little trickier than it sounds.
So, we have come up with a few handy tips to help make your life easier.
Explain the benefits
Many parents will have already talked to their child about why they should have their eyes checked regularly before they first come in for an eye test. Once the need for glasses has been identified, it’s even more important for your child to understand how to look after their eyes and why wearing specs will improve their vision. Don’t underestimate their capacity to take on board this information. For children who are short-sighted, once they try their glasses on they immediately experience for themselves how much better they can see which may in itself be enough to convince them. Long-sighted children often have a little more difficulty as the benefits are more subtle and take a little more time to ‘feel’, however they are no less life changing and important.
Choose frames they love
Choosing a pair of frames your child loves will go a long way to making sure they want to wear them.
Children’s glasses frames have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Forget the dull standard issue frames of the past and think bright, fun and comfy glasses to match your child’s personality and style.
At Patrick & Menzies we have a great variety of children’s frames so there is sure to be a style that they will love.
Comfort and fit is key
These are so important to making sure people of all ages – especially children – wear their glasses when they need them. If your specs don’t fit properly, they will more than likely spend much of their time in the case. At Patrick & Menzies we take the time to make sure all our frames are fitted with the care and attention needed to ensure they are comfy to wear.
Find good influences
Depending on the age of your child, there are plenty of famous faces who show it’s easy to look great in glasses – from Harry Potter to Clark Kent and Katy Perry in her stylish cat eye specs.
For younger children it may prove useful to watch the episode of CBeebies’ favourites Topsy and Tim where Tim gets his first pair of glasses [BBC iPlayer – Topsy and Tim – Series 3: 8. New Glasses]. There are lots of great story books about wearing glasses, too such as Charlie and Lola’s I Really Absolutely Must Have Glasses or Douglas, You Need Glasses by Ged Adamson.
And of course, there may be other glasses wearers in your family who act as real-life role models.
Talk to the teachers
If your child is of school age, have a chat to their teacher when they are first prescribed glasses to let them know when your child is meant to be wearing their specs. It’s quite normal for your child to simply forget about their glasses when they are brand new, so having someone around who can remind them can prove invaluable.
To book an eye test for your child, contact your nearest branch of Patrick & Menzies today.
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Brand Spotlight | Walter & Herbert
Stylish, sophisticated and a whole lot of fun – Walter & Herbert glasses will make sure your eyewear is noticed for all the right reasons.
At Patrick & Menzies we pride ourselves on offering a stunning selection of specs, and the Walter & Herbert range is a great addition as it has so much to offer.
The brand pays homage to entrepreneurs Walter Conway and Herbert Thorn who helped to shape the way glasses are manufactured worldwide.
Around 70 years ago the pair developed a machine which inserts metal reinforcements into acetate spectacle sides with absolute precision, paving the way for many of the styles of frames we love today.
The Walter & Herbert brand now produces quality frames which are designed, made and tested in England: “With innovation and creativity at the heart of every design, the dedicated team of in-house designers skilfully create eyewear to appeal and flatter, whilst always maintaining the fundamentals of comfort, quality and wearability.”
This exciting range offers such a diverse selection of styles we’ve chosen our favourite five to give you a taster.
These frames are a playful take on a classic design. The strong square shape is coupled with warm colouring for a truly contemporary look that is bold without being showy.
Two-tone hues give a real edge to these simple, classic frames. The colouring makes us think of evening skies just before sunset. The no-nonsense shaping of these designer frames would suit most faces.
With a heavy, almost marbled bridge to these glasses, attention is drawn to the eyes and makes for a bold look. Natural tones make these frames incredibly versatile.
We love the cool colouring of these frames. Classic shaping makes them incredibly wearable, no matter the shape of your face. A further design touch is added in the two-tone arms.
Wow! These round frames will make the wearer stand out from the crowd. In classic tortoise shell they offer a modern take on a timeless classic which would particularly suit someone with an oval face shape.
You can take a look at all of the Walter & Herbert frames we have in stock – alongside our other superb range of specs – on our website. Although we don’t have all frames available in all of our stores, we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know.
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Children’s glasses are anything but dull
Brilliantly bold or simple yet stylish – we have children’s glasses to fit all tastes and personalities.
Frames for children have come a long way in recent years, with a greater focus on comfort and style making them way more appealing to a younger audience than in years gone by.
If your child has been prescribed glasses, choosing a pair of frames they love will go a long way to making sure they wear them when they are meant to.
With so much choice available for our younger customers, we thought we would give you the lowdown on some of our favourite pairs which are sure to be a hit.
Ray Ban Junior
These dark tortoiseshell frames from Ray-Ban Junior are seriously stylish. Fantastic for older children who want a designer look that’s contemporary but not too showy.
These feminine frames from Eyestuff are both fresh and funky, mixing mottled pink with darker tones for an up-to-the-minute look.
Stand out from the crowd with these striking purple specs from Lazer Junior. The psychedelic circle detail on the insides of the arms gives added appeal.
Wow – these neon blue frames from Ray-Ban Junior are spec-tacular! Rectangular lenses and angled arms complete the look.
Opting for frames in a favourite colour can often help encourage children to wear their glasses. But if they tend to be more conservative in their style, a flash of colour with an otherwise sedate frame can be a great option. We have several styles in stock which take this approach, but our favourite are these matt grey frames from Street Kids which feature a flash of orange around the lenses.
A wide selection of our frames is now available to browse online, so you can pick out which pairs you would like to try on before you come in for your eye test. Take a look at our full range of frames.
Obviously, we don’t have all frames available at all times in all of our stores, but we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know.
If you have any concerns about your child’s vision please do give us a call today to book an appointment, as the earlier a problem is picked up the better. Eye tests can be carried out on children of any age – they don’t need to be able to read or even speak yet. It’s particularly important to carry out regular eye tests if there’s a history of childhood eye problems in your family. Free NHS sight tests are available for children under 16 and for young people under 19 in full-time education. Find out more on the NHS website.
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Taking Inspiration from Star Specs
Large frames, small frames, brilliantly bold designs – there is a pair of glasses out there to suit everyone.
And as many famous people have found, if you choose the right pair they can become recognisable in their own right.
Taking inspiration from people in the public eye can be a great way to help you choose your next pair of glasses.
So, we’ve searched our stock to find a selection of specs that we think would suit some famous glasses wearers.
Known for his statement specs, we reckon that Elton John could really rock this brighter than bright pair of frames from Wolf. These glasses conjure up images of cocktails on a palm fringed beach and would fit perfectly with Elton’s star-studded lifestyle.
They may not be rose tinted but these round metal-framed glasses from Vogue certainly make us think of John Lennon, many of our ranges feature similar styles inspired by his classic eyewear. The shaping of this pair particularly suits people with a softly curving face.
No one carried off a pair of large-lensed sunglasses like the legendary Audrey Hepburn. We really love these tortoiseshell framed sunglasses from Maui Jim, and we are pretty sure Ms Hepburn would have too. Picture them worn with a wide brimmed sun hat and chunky earrings and you would certainly be heading towards the Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe.
For stately style we humbly suggest the Queen would approve of these frames from Silhouette. The monarch errs towards frames which are barely there with oval shaping. This pair accentuate the eyes beautifully without being showy and would be perfect worn at any occasion – from daily outings to Royal garden parties!
Think of madcap comic Harry Hill and we bet his glasses are one of the first things that come to mind. Dark half frames fit perfectly with his fast-paced creative personality. This pair from Emporio Armani are a good match for Harry’s famous specs and would be great for anyone looking to accentuate the upper part of their face.
King of geek chic, documentary maker Louis Theroux wears heavy dark frames bringing focus to his expressions and his curiosity. We think this super stylish pair of Polo frames would definitely be on Louis’ wish list.
Did you know you can browse our extensive range of frames online? Once you have selected the pair – or pairs – you like, with just the click of a button we can have them ready for you to try on when you come in for your appointment.
And if you are thinking about choosing some new frames, take a look at our blog which offers advice on picking the right pair for your face shape.
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Brand Spotlight | Flexon
In 1961 US Naval scientists discovered that the metal alloy they were creating for missile heat shields automatically returned to its original shape, even after being hit with a hammer! This advanced memory material became the unique selling point of Flexon, which, since its launch in the US in 1988, has changed the world of eyewear with its unique attributes, building on the memory metal and further utilizing Japanese materials and technology.
Many brands have tried to imitate Flexon’s incredible success, but none have done so. That’s because Flexon frames feature technologically advanced memory metal in the bridge and/or temples allowing them to be flexed, bent or twisted and yet return to their original shape. Flexon frames require a minimal amount of adjustment but the nose pads and end pieces can be fine-tuned for a more custom fit.
Over the years Flexon eyewear has consolidated its design and manufacturing experience to create a varied collection filled with colour and comfort. Memory metal is combined with rubber, TR90 and stainless steel to make lightweight yet durable frames which allow the user to confidently go into any situation their busy lifestyle demands.
In 1997 Flexon Juniors launched: We all know how hard children can be on their glasses, so the Zeus and Aphrodite frames, among others, offer mature yet fun looks in durable, sit-on-able, chuck-in-your-school-bag-able memory metal.
in 2003 the Flexon 600 series quickly became the industry benchmark and in 2014, the modern, practical Evolution collection debuted. From these ranges, the temple of the Nathaniel model has been enhanced with an embossed, rectangular-brick pattern in contrasting shiny and matte finishes; the Julian has bowed temples to accommodate a wide fit; the Gloria is enhanced with a laser etched pattern design with crystal detailing and the best-selling Mariene has two-tone interwoven stainless steel temples.
In 2016 the Sun Collection launched in a rage of classic styles with polarized lenses and backside anti-reflective coatings, and in 2019 the new premium collection, Flexon Black: Sunglasses come in classic aviator and flat metal shapes and Flexon Black offers innovation with screwless spring hinges and tailored temples padded with rubberized detailing.
Flexon spectacles are an ideal choice if you play sport in your glasses or just tend to put your glasses through a lot, but a word of caution: Although Flexon frames are durable, they are not indestructible! Flexon frames should not be twisted more than 90° and Flexon temples should not be twisted more than once around the finger!
Having said that, it’s a stylish, lightweight range well worth considering, so pop in to any of our branches when you’re next in town to see which models we have in stock and how amazing the memory metal really is!
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Lens Treatments | Options and Benefits
When you buy a new pair of glasses it’s not just the frames that come in a myriad of options – these days your lenses can be ‘upgraded’ with various tints, coatings and treatments. But there are so many it can all be a bit confusing – let us break down the most common options and the benefits they bring:
Anti-reflective coating (also called AR or anti-glare) is perhaps the most commonly offered lens treatment, and with good reason: AR coatings not only benefit vision and reduce eye strain, but they can also improve your communication skills! That’s because they make the lenses in your glasses look nearly invisible, so people can see your eyes and expressions more clearly, and you can make better eye contact with them.
An AR coating virtually eliminates reflections from the front and back surfaces of your lenses, meaning more light passes through, allowing your eye to receive a higher percentage of the actual light available – up to 99.5 percent. This means less glare, sharper vision and greater comfort. AR coatings are also a good idea for sunglasses, because they eliminate glare from sunlight reflecting into your eyes from the back surface of tinted lenses when the sun is behind you.
As an additional benefit, most anti-reflective treatments have a special layer that prevents spots and makes them easier to clean, although any scratches do tend to be more obvious on AR coated lenses, so be sure to only use products and cleaning methods we would recommend!
Photochromic lenses automatically darken in bright sunlight (triggered by ultraviolet radiation) to make your eyes more comfortable. Because UV rays penetrate clouds, photochromic lenses may darken on grey days as well as when it’s sunny and they will not darken inside a vehicle because the windscreen glass blocks most UV rays. However, some newer types of photochromic lens activate with both UV and visible light.
An added benefit of photochromic lenses is that they shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays and because exposure to sunlight and UV radiation has been associated with cataracts later in life, it’s a good idea to consider photochromic lenses for children’s eye wear as well as for the spectacles of outdoor-loving adults.
Polarized lenses are anti-glare and virtually eliminate bright light from reflective surfaces and so are especially popular with fishermen and sailors.
Untreated lenses are surprisingly fragile, and it’s very easy to scratch them by storing them incorrectly, placing them down hastily or even cleaning them with some kitchen roll rather than the proper cloth! Luckily, lenses that are treated front and back with a clear, scratch-resistant coating have a much harder surface that is more resistant to scratching and more durable. It’s worth asking about this, because scratches are not only unsightly but can also seriously compromise the clarity of your vision. Nowadays some lenses have a built-in scratch-resistant coating, but double check that this is the case with your prescription.
Lots of options, then! Pop in a have a chat with us to choose that which best suits your lifestyle.
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Brand Spotlight | Lulu Guinness Frames
Dare to be different! That’s the motto of Lulu Guinness, who is perhaps most famous for her statement handbags, much loved by trendsetters such as Kate Moss, Emma Watson and Paloma Faith.
Remember the red lips clutch bag that was much imitated a few years ago? That was Lulu Guinness and she makes a knowing little nod to that iconic image with her signature little red lips printed on the arms of each of the frames in her eye wear collection.
Lulu Guinness at Patrick & Menzies
We love the Lulu Guinness range here at Patrick & Menzies because they are definitely a talking point, but without being over-the-top wacky! Rather, they are sophisticated, with a touch of daring – featuring inter-plays of colour and dramatic retro shapes.
The collection is targeted “at women with a fierce sense of humour and an even fiercer sense of their own femininity” and we can see these frames being snapped up by our clients that are looking for something playful and modern, but with a touch of gravitas.
Style details are important to this designer and along with the red lips and metal logo inlay, these frames come in a veritable rainbow of colours, and patterns including animal print, glitter, polka dot, and the trademark black, white, and red – whether you’re looking for a striking silhouette, vintage glamour or subtle whimsy, there’s a frame in this collection to suit.
High Quality Frames
But style doesn’t come at the expense of substance – Lulu Guinness frames are made from high-quality materials, built for the rigours of everyday wear and some of the styles are offered in an alternative, more generous fit. They are super comfortable too, with adjustable or integrated ergonomic nose pad systems and cushioned hinge bracket arms.
“Glasses have become an expression of one’s individuality”, Lulu says. “I wanted my frames to be beautiful objects in themselves as well as flattering for the face”. And they certainly are – luxurious yet affordable, the Lulu Guinness range is in all our stores and, as you would expect, we can fit them with the highest quality lenses that are right for you.
Pop in and browse the collection. We look forward to seeing you!
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Finding the Right Frames for Your Face
While it’s wonderful that we have so much choice these days in terms of frames it does make the process of choosing the right pair for you somewhat more complicated!
If you’re finding it hard to narrow down the choices, then a good place to start is thinking about your face shape. Generally speaking, people tend to fall into one of five categories: Round, heart shaped, oblong, square and oval:
Round – a softly curving face that is as wide at the forehead as it is at the jaw and with wide cheekbones.
Heart-shaped – sometimes called an inverted triangle. Wider at the forehead and gently tapering to a more pointed chin.
Oblong – sometimes called narrow. A face that is longer than it is wide.
Square – a broad forehead and squarish jaw line.
Oval – a well-balanced face with defined cheekbones and no one dominant feature.
Most people have probably never thought about which shape their face most closely aligns to, and it may be that what you instinctively think you are isn’t quite true. Rather than relying on a friend cocking their head to one side and looking at you quizzically, it’s often easiest to look in the mirror and use a lipstick or a water-based felt tip pen to draw around your reflection (please don’t pick up a permanent marker by mistake!).
Once you’ve established which shape you most align to then see if these suggestions help you find a frame that suits your contours!
Frames for a Round Face
You may find rounder, smaller frames (think John Lennon) just make your face rounder still, so try out square and rectangular frames with strong angles for balance. Ray-Ban Wayfarer or Clubmaster-type styles (think James Dean and JFK) can also work well, if you prefer a quirkier look.
Frames for a Heart Shaped Face
Heart-shaped – over-sized, pilot-styles and half-rimmed frames don’t work on this type of face as well as oval shapes do, but rimless glasses in particular will also work incredibly well for you. (Think Kate Beckinsale and Richard Gere)
Frames for an Oblong Face
Now, pilot styles do work for those with narrower faces (Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are particularly fond of these!) as well as square, angular frames. Steer clear of narrow frames as they can make your face appear longer.
Frames for a Square Face
Continuing on the opposites attract route, square faces should opt for round and oval frames that soften the angles of the features. (Think Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber) Or go for browline frames for a vintage look. Anything too strong or geometric won’t work as well for you.
Frames for an Oval Face
We should be so lucky! Anything goes for ovals so just enjoy having the freedom to explore the entire range Patrick & Menzies has to offer and pick whatever makes your heart sing!
Whatever your face shape, pop into any of our branches to start your selection!
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