FRAMED

Darren Kennedy’s ultimate guide
Top tips for picking the perfect pair of glasses

Saranne, 29

Saranne, who works in the circulation department of the Irish Times, has been wearing glasses since she was a teenager.
“I loved having them. But I didn’t really need them full-time until a few years ago. Now I wear them all the time.” She likes to alternate between more traditional styles and something a little bit quirky.“I loved the pair I wore on the day, I'm planning on getting that exact pair.”

"with her colouring she could really pull off any frame, I loved the contrast of the green with her red hair."

Darren Kennedy, who chose the frames for Saranne

Saranne, after her makeover, wears frames by Nicole Farhi 09 €189, dress, €219
Whistles, Arnotts, coat, €110, Marks & Spencer

Bernadine 64

Always a fan of a strong look, having worn both purple and red pairs in the past, grandmother Bernadine has been wearing glasses since her mid-forties.

“I’ve always loved glasses. I just think they should make a statement, if you have to wear them. I loved the ones Darren picked out for me because red is one of my favourite colours. I don’t like little glasses; the ones with no frame, I think they add ten years to your life. And glasses can be a wonderful thing for hiding the few wrinkles! It’s nice to have fun with them.”

"I just loved this shade on her and red is the colour of season. This colour and style lifted everything about her face, she’s such a beautiful vivacious woman. It worked with all her natural colouring, her hair, her skin, her eyes."

Darren Kennedy

Bernadine, after her makeover, wears Specsavers Abott €89, Coat, €210, blouse €37, both Marks & Spencer, earrings, €79, Pandora

Shane, 22

Shane Gallagher, a photographer from Donegal, has been wearing glasses for almost a decade.

“Glasses are definitely an easier way to put across your style. Since I started getting glasses, you can see now that there are far more options for men.”

This light grey pair provides an alternative for the classic black square style.

"I call these clinical chic. It is moving on from that classic hipster style shape. Pairing it back, so it’s slightly more minimalist.And the translucent grey is really contemporary."

Darren Kennedy

Shane, after his makeover, wears frames by Diesel 5242 €199, shirt, €30, jacket, €60, jeans, €55, all River Island

Caroline 36

Make-up artist Caroline started wearing glasses as a child but it was only as an adult that she really embraced them as part of her look.
“Specsavers had more selection and more fashionable styles available. I like styles that are oversized. I have lots of pairs, and for me, they finish off the outfit, as the accessory. I style them as a fashion item.”Darren balanced richness of Caroline’s own style with pair of classic frames.

“I just thought she was such a vibrant looking woman, the tortoiseshell was a really nice anchor to her look, a frame that she could do whatever she wanted with.”

Caroline, after her makeover, wears frames by GANT 4060-1 €199, Dress, €72, Oasi

Specstacular

Long established as Ireland’s most stylish spectacle wearer, Darren Kennedy has been wearing glasses for twenty years.

“It was my first week at school and I ended up sitting down the back of the class with this group who had no more interest in school than the back of a bus. I wanted to learn French so I thought I have to get away from these lads,” he laughs.

“So I told my mom I couldn’t see the blackboard. She brought me for an eye test, which I wasn’t expecting, and it turns out I couldn’t see the board.”

Having since made them a signature part of his look, he tends to keep two to three on rotation. “At the moment, for me, it’s a Gant pair, a really lightweight titanium. I’ve nicknamed them my Harry Potters. Then another pair of tortoiseshell that I love. I give them all nicknames.”

As one of Ireland’s best-dressed men, Darren says his glasses are now a key ingredient of his style.

“Guys have less maintenance, but the result of that is we have fewer tools at our disposal; no make-up, fewer accessories. So glasses are a great way of injecting a little bit more personality to your look. It’s also a great way of changing up your look without costing the earth.”

If you’re keen to try something different but a little nervous, Darren’s tip is Specsacers 2 for 1 offer. “It allows you to buy an experimental pair, and also a pair that you know are going to work hard for you. What you’ll probably find is that the more you get used to wearing the experimental pair, the more you pull yourself out of your comfort zone. It allows you to be more free with yourself.

“Working with Specsavers is an absolute dream. My relationship with the brand began about five years ago and it has grown very organically. Each year I travel to their headquarters in Guernsey to go through hundreds of frame styles to put together my seasonal collections.

Kylie Minogue 13, €149

Kylie Minogue 13, €149

Why Darren Loves:
“The Kylie Minogue range itself is full of petite frames. Some women struggle with finding glasses if they’ve got a petite face, and the Kylie collection has nailed that. I love this pair because they have that strong tortoiseshell, which is really versatile, and a good all day wear.”

Boss Orange 0056, €199

Boss Orange 0056, €199

Why Darren Loves:
“These are a really good, sturdy pair that will get you through the day; they’re a classic. If you’re someone who needs a multi-functional wardrobe, and a multi-functional pair of frames, these are a really great go-to.”

Tommy Hilfiger 91, €189

Tommy Hilfiger 91, €189

Why Darren Loves:
“These are a really strong frame; they have rounded edges but ultimately are that slightly rectangular classic frame that’s going to work for most guys. If you’ve got brown eyes blue frames are a nice contrast and if you’ve got blue or green eyes they can really accentuate the colour.”

Tommy 84, €189

Tommy 84, €189

Why Darren Loves:
“This frame is a nod to the cat eye without being a cat eye, very subtle. They’re a frame that will give you a natural facelift, which everyone will want right?! Coming into this time of year people’s default can be to switch to wearing dark colours. Whereas I think now is the time of year we should be going for brighter colours. This is a way of introducing a little bit of colour into your everyday look.”

Nicole Farhi 02, €189

Nicole Farhi 02, €189

Why Darren Loves:
“Reds of every shade across the spectrum are huge this season. If you look at the catwalks it’s red worn in head-to-toe looks, all tonal. So this pair works two ways, if you want to channel the catwalk tonal look, and you want your accessories to compliment that, or you just want a nod to the red trend, this is a nice way of introducing it through your accessories. The contrasting arm is a nice addition, and it’s one of those shapes that will work for every face.”

Diesel 5151, €199

Diesel 5151, €199

Why Darren Loves:
“These are like the Clark Kent frames. What’s nice is they’re classic in shape and style but are made from really light, modern materials. For someone who doesn’t want a frame that dominates their face, they are a lighter look but at the same time you’ve got that anchor with the strong brow.”

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