Lessons from an eyewear stylist
Dispensing optician, Dan Scott, shares his tips for helping customers to find the perfect frame
06 October 2023
Rounded, square or cat’s eye? Acetate, bamboo or titanium?
The choices available to customers when selecting eyewear in practice can be bewildering. Practice staff play a key role in guiding customers through the available options – and helping them to choose a frame that will put a spring in their step.
OT asked Scott for his tips on how practice team members can help customers in their search for the perfect frame.
When considering what frames to recommend to a client, Scott will take into account facial characteristics such as head size, crest height, nose size, jawline, browline and skin tone.
However, Scott emphasised the most important aspect of any dispense is the ‘discovery conversation.’
“It is the information gathering phase,” he explained.
“You can't possibly make recommendations without knowing a lot about the individual,” he highlighted.
This conversation can cover how long a customer wears glasses for each day, what they are worn for and their preferences regarding the weight of frame and bridge fit.
When presenting a customer with spectacles, Scott ties his recommendations back to this initial conversation.
I have had clients say it has completely lifted them. Those are the most rewarding moments
In terms of facial characteristics, as a rule of thumb, Scott recommends that the top of the frame follows the browline, the bottom of the frame is opposite to jawline, and the areas above and below the frame are fairly even to create balance.
However, he cautions practice team members from sticking too rigidly to principles around face shape.
“Personal preference cannot be ignored,” he said.
“If you had an identical twin, you’d choose one set of clothes and your twin would choose another. Your face shape would be similar, but your style would be different because we are all individuals,” Scott emphasised.
The difference a frame makes
Scott shared that the difference carefully selected eyewear can make to someone’s outlook and daily life is “massive.”
Customers can go from feeling self-conscious about wearing glasses, to embracing the way spectacles make them look and feel.
“I have had clients say it has completely lifted them. Those are the most rewarding moments for any dispensing optician,” Scott shared.
Dan debunks three eyewear style misconceptions
“Glasses are boring”
There's so much fun and innovation in the industry I feel it's our duty to inspire and showcase all the amazing options that are out there.
“Choose one frame that will go with every outfit”
Some people will stick with black and tortoiseshell frames because they want one frame that will go with anything. But people are so much happier when they build an eyewear wardrobe. People underestimate the impact of eyewear on confidence and self-esteem.
“Everything you need to know is in the price tag”
Sometimes there is a tendency for people to simply think about glasses as a price. We need to educate the public in how to judge value for money with glasses and introduce aspirational advertising rather than it all being based around the cheapest pricing.
My style icons
Iris Apfel, interior designer: The original oversized glasses icon. She's still rocking pioneering looks at over 100 years old
Gai Gherardi, eyewear company founder: She's just one of those people I feel inspires every time you see her. A true icon of bold eyewear.