Search

CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Industry

News and features about the latest developments in optics with a focus on industry

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

In practice

News and in-depth features about business management and career development in optics

Find out more

Jobs

Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Practice team guide

The substance of style

Practice team members share their tips on giving customers a spring in their step through nuanced eyewear selection

black frames
Shutterstock/Getty

From delivering a work presentation with confidence to seeing a newborn’s tiny fingers in focus, spectacles can frame some of life’s most important moments.

Practice team members have an important role to play in providing guidance on the style and fit of eyewear.

Simone Mason
Dispensing optician, Simone Mason
The level of care applied to choosing spectacles should align with their status as the wardrobe item customers typically reach for more than any other.

Simone Mason, who has worked as a dispensing optician for 29 years, shared that when she is considering the right frame style for a customer, she takes into account their hair and skin colouring, eye colour, face shape and eye-brow shape.

“We have a chat about what colours they like to wear, and if they like a frame to make a statement or not,” she said.

Hazel Parkyn
Hazel Parkyn, ophthalmic dispensing assistant
“During my early years I took some colour analysis courses, so that is great tool for frame selection,” Mason added.

She noted that due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, it is important to have a good idea of what will suit the customer and what they will like before experimenting with frames to limit the number tried on.

Ophthalmic dispensing assistant, Hazel Parkyn, emphasised that listening is the most important part of frame selection.

“Style choice and colour is always very individual. You have to be honest too – I never tell a patient a frame looks good if I don’t think it suits them or is a poor fitting choice,” she said.

Senior optical assistant and team leader, Lisa Skelton, highlighted that choosing the correct frame is firstly determined by prescription and frame size.

“Taking into account the type of lens we are going to be using will also determine the frame shape and size,” she said.

She engages with the patient to find out what frame styles would suit their lifestyle and personality.