Ryan Bowling at Black Optical
BY: Mark Hancock

In a season jam-packed with the excitement of heavier fabrics, scarves, boots and tights, don’t forget to extend that expression of style to your face.

According to Ryan Bowling of Black Optical (5820 N. Classen Blvd.; 879-6776), browline frames are back for fall and spring. “Browline frames” are those that exhibit a thicker top, typically resembling eyebrows, and a thinner bottom half.

“Metals are making a strong comeback,” Bowling said. “People are beginning to use eyewear to accessorize more and more. They see metals, titanium and precious metals as a way to be even more expressive for personal eyewear.”

He noted the oversized, polycarbonate frames that have been prevalent for the last few seasons are now trending toward a more refined look.

“Could be due, in part, just because it’s time for a shift in trends. But also I think it’s in concert with the strengthening economy, particularly for independent, artist-driven brands,” Bowling said.

Even though the economy is on the mend, investing in a pair of glasses can be pricey. Bowling reminds people to “think about living in something every day. Nobody wears the same pair of shoes on a daily basis. Can you imagine what your shoes would look like?” In essence, who says you have to own only a single pair of glasses? Definitely not Bowling.

“[Daily lens-wearers] depend on glasses as much as shoes. They are essentials tools for life,” he said.

Bowling approves of a splurge for multiple frames and encourages a personal, local shopping experience to go with it.

“If you compare dollars for dollars to LensCrafters, we’re right on par. But what we actually offer is a much better product. The quality and craftsmanship is exceptional, and it’s something we as a store stand behind. Most of the brands we carry have a two-year manufactured warranty that we will service in the store.”

Black Optical is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday in Classen Curve. The shop is stocked with a variety of frames from brands like Salt, L.G.R, Garrett Leight California Optical, Thom Browne and Barton Perreira.

If precious metals are out of the budget, Warby Parker has a collection recognized worldwide by the hippest of hipsters. With a select few showrooms in the U.S., Oklahoma City is lucky to have access to the trendy eye candy. While Warby ships “Try On” pairs at any time of the year, it’s a lovely luxury to walk into Shop Good (3 NW Ninth St.; 702- 0517) and pop on a few pairs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Warby’s fall rollout includes classic styles, a selection of new browline fashion trends and a slew of new colors.

Before selecting frames, an updated prescription is imperative. Stay on top of eye health at Associated Optometrists of Oklahoma (4720 N. Classen Blvd.; 528-1220).

Whether your frames work to accessorize your style or serve as validation to your 4th-grade self who was once ridiculed for having to wear glasses, be happy behind your lens choice.

Let’s shop, OKC!

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