So, are glasses ever spexy?
Published 09/01/2013 | 06:00
Mum-of-two Clodagh McGovern (34) from Westport has worn glasses since she was 11 – and loves having four eyes so much that she founded www.claimtheframe.com.
"When I first started wearing glasses at 11, you got one pair that did you until your next sight test.
"Back then, there was a lot of stigma attached to wearing glasses. Now with celebrities like Victoria Beckham wearing them and so many different styles available, all that has changed.
"As I'm short-sighted, I need to wear my glasses 24/7. For me, though, they're as much an accessory as a necessity. I don't feel fully dressed unless I have my specs on.
"When I'm getting ready to go out, I actually start with my glasses and work back.
"I couldn't tell you how many pairs of glasses I've collected at this stage. But I usually have around six 'active' pairs at any one time.
"At the moment, I'm embracing the 'geek chic' trend – tomorrow it could be something else. Wearing glasses actually helps my confidence – not the other way around.
"I always get lots of compliments on them. The most I've ever spent on a pair of glasses is €500, which come out on special occasions.
"However, you don't have to spend huge money on stylish specs any more – and the best part is they hardly take up any room in your wardrobe!"
Insurance underwriter Aisling Coughlan (36), from Bray, Co Wicklow, underwent laser eye surgery to ditch her glasses last year – and says her only regret is that she didn't do it sooner.
"As a kid, I had big Deirdre Barlow glasses. With minus-eight vision in one eye and minus-five in the other, I was totally reliant on my glasses to get around. And believe me, there's nothing trendy about fumbling about in the dark for your glasses in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
"Even in my 20s, when I splashed out on designer frames, I always felt a bit odd wearing glasses and loved putting in my contact lenses on nights out.
"Then last August, I finally decided to get rid of my glasses altogether by getting laser eye surgery at Blackrock Clinic. I can honestly say it's the best thing I've ever done.
"At first, I was nervous – but it literally took five minutes and there was no pain, just a bit of grittiness after.
"When they sat me up in the chair, I could see everyone's faces for the first time since I was seven. The next morning, I had 20/20 vision.
"Even though it cost €3,250, I figure I'm already saving money having spent a fortune on glasses and contact lenses over the years.
"I can't understand why anyone would wear glasses if they don't have to."