Normally, I don't mind wearing glasses, but wearing glasses in the summer is an entirely different story. For years, I've gone back and forth between contacts and glass lenses, but recently I decided that despite a few pitfalls, glasses are without a doubt the way to go. That was, until, the first tinges of summer hit this past week in New York City.
The summer certainly holds a certain set of challenges for those of us living with four eyes. As temperatures veer upwards of 80 degrees and the humidity reaches levels that would make even the smallest pores sweat, things start happening and glasses become more of a hinderance than ever before.
Sure, lenses might fog up in the winter, and sure, the spring rain might make vision momentarily blurry, but the summer presents incredibly unpleasant and inconvenient obstacles for whoever is required to wear them. In most cases, glasses are more than just an accessory — taking them off just is not an option (unless, of course, for some reason, the wearer simply doesn't want to see).
Therefore, those with glasses are faced with more than just the frizzy hair and sunburned skin come summertime. Along with all the trials and tribulations faced by your everyday, twenty-twenty human come some struggles that make summer fashion a bit less fun and carefree.
If there is one thing everyone with prescription glasses understands, it's the intense jealously that comes with the inability to wear off-the-shelf sunglasses. For the even-sighted and unfamiliar, the struggle one feels when hoping to find a pair of summer shades with glasses already sitting atop their face is probably the greatest and most pressing issue of choosing to live the four-eyed life.
It's going into the department store and knowing you'll be unable to try on, let alone find a pair of sunglasses. That's right — we can't even really test out lenses because in order to do so means we'll have to take off the instruments we use to see. If you can manage to get an idea of what the lenses look like without having to essentially kiss the mirror, then there's the process of going to the optometrist, asking if they can replace the pre-exiting frames with prescription lenses, then asking how much it'll cost (spoiler alert: it's not cheap).
Thanks to cool sites like Warby Parker and numerous designers who seem to understand how real the struggle truly is, the glasses plus sunglasses problem is slowly being solved, but options are still limited. And don't even think to suggest transitional lenses.
Too Much Sweat
Sweat happens everywhere, but when it happens on your face, it's particularly unpleasant. When it happens on your face and drips onto your glasses, the unpleasantry reaches new heights. Not to make a big deal out of a little perspiration, but glasses sweat is next-level gross.
To begin, there's the aforementioned fact that sweat drips right onto the glasses. This, of course, makes for a fairly gross scenario in which vision is also greatly obscured because of, well, the sweat thing. Then, there's the whole situation with glasses actually sliding off a nose simply because the summertime sweat makes everything too slippery. And on top of all of that, there's just the overall feeling of an added heaviness that comes when wearing glasses in the heat. Wearing as few layers as possible stands at the foundation of summer dressing, and the face is no exception. Adding glasses on top of a sweaty face doesn't help matters in the cooling department. And forget about a quick mist of water — it only leads to smudges and smears.
Wanna know the best way to apply makeup under glasses? Check it out here:
Well if we can't have sunglasses, maybe we can have hats, right? Wrong. Well, maybe not all wrong, but wearing most hats with glasses definitely isn't easy. Maybe I'm just over-reacting — this is quite possibly a problem restricted to someone who, like me, opts for bigger frames — however, I still think it's worth mentioning.
The biggest issue with hats and glasses is usually that the glasses inhibit the hat from coming as far down as it should. Case and point: a baseball hat. Again, this is definitely a unique case, especially considering that with a baseball hat comes a hard brim and a cap that provides little give so as to accommodate the end pieces of glasses. But much like the sport itself, the baseball hat is a summer staple — to not be able to pull one off while wearing glasses is always a bit of a let down.
Beach = LOL
Taking into account all of the above, it logically follows that trips to the beach are never quite as fun for those with glasses. Wearing glasses to the beach means one must consider sand scratches, sweat and sunscreen smudges, sun glare (from the inability to find a decent pair of glasses or wear a hat), saltwater condensation, and either blindness or immense risk of blindness (glasses seem to love falling off into large bodies of water) when it's finally time to swim. What for those with twenty-twenty vision proves a carefree summer day proves riddled with annoying little problems for those who see nothing but blurs without a prescription.
In the end, though, it's best to take it all in stride. To state the obvious: Things could be way worse. So let's keep trudging on, one sweat smudge at a time.
Images: Melissa L. Haney; Giphy