A new, sharper outlook on life with Spectacle World


WHEN the nice people at Spectacle World offered me a personal consultation to find the perfect frames to suit my personality, I wasn’t sure it was a fit for this blog. But then again, I’m the boss and always explain eat and drink speak for themselves, and play is anything I say it is.

Seeing clearly is rather important to all the things I do, and once I’d been to Spectacle World I was inspired to tell the story.

For many years I’ve been wearing those reading glasses you get at Clicks and Dischem and PNA…nothing wrong; I could read fine. But after having a proper eye test – which we should all be doing every two years – I realised just how bad my eyes were. I’d grown used to seeing three stars instead of one (if you know, you know), and so what if the clock on the TV was a tad out of focus.

So off I went. There were forms to fill in, and I was like, what really? Why do you need to know if I have high blood pressure? It’s a real thing though, and there are many factors that affect our eyes, and eye health. I stand humbled. There’s also no getting anything past these people. As a masseuse knows where your body is stressed and where the knots are, the staff at Spectacle World know exactly what you are going through, and why.

I had a whole bunch of tests, and thankfully, overall, my eyes are okay. These included a comprehensive visual examination, fundus photography, intra ocular pressure test, colour depth perception, eye muscle balance and screening for ocular diseases. I saw a picture of the back of my eyeball, which is flipping amazing.

Adele Camerana

I thought I could see but after optometrist and Spectacle World owner Adele Camarena worked her magic on me, I realised things could be so much finer. She did that thing where they flip between “is this one better?” or “this one?”, which always feels like a test I’m going to fail somehow. Once she’d finished, she showed me what it should be like, and what it was actually like – and I was amazed.

Afterwards, there was the frame-choosing process. This was based on another form I’d filled in, about my style and fashion and accessory preferences. This helps to find the frame that’s just right, and it’s an important decision if you’re going to be wearing them all the time, and how you present yourself to the world. This happens in a room that is beautifully lit, and having the assistance is priceless. It takes into account your colour type and your facial features too. (My uneven eyebrows presented a bit of a challenge.)

“Facial feature analysis helps to determine what frame size and shape will suit you best,” they say. “We consider your face length in order to determine the depth of the frame.  We then look at your cheek bones and jaw line in order to determine the width of the frame. The shape of your brow line is taken into consideration in order to determine a suitable frame shape.”

The first couple suggested were a bit over the top for me, but the third was simply perfect – a slight cat’s eye, with inlaid mother of pearl (from Hermanus). Then I was told the brand is David Green, made in Cape Town, and – wait for it – biodegradable. Say what now? Yep, they use leaves that have dropped from trees and somehow smoosh them into frames. You can find more details on their website.

These gorgeous frames would be fitted with multifocal lenses to allow me to see far, middle, and close. A pair of prescription reading glasses for when I’m in bed with my book were added to sweeten the deal. All I had to do was wait two weeks (I got the WhatsApp one day before that deadline). Then you go back to Spectacle World and have your new glasses adjusted to fit your face perfectly.

It’s a life changing experience and requires some adjustment; habits have to be broken and reformed. I’m still figuring out how to navigate the outside world without falling over (no wine jokes please), and have to tell myself not to wipe the lenses on my clothes, or push the glasses up on my head. But oh boy, things are in focus, which in itself is a novelty.

Spectacle World, also known as Camarena Porter Optometrist, is the first company in South Africa to obtain a certificate in The Art of Eyewear Styling course with Eva Davé, presented by the Eyewear Styling Academy. The company is now well-equipped to make frame selection easier, create a stream of satisfied clients, and enhance its practice credibility.

Says Adele: “As an independent optometrist for more than 30 years in practice, it has always been of paramount importance to me that we offer excellent clinical care, customer service, optical lens and frame styling. Poor sight is a disability that can have an enormous effect on your success and security. Eyewear enables you to see well and at the same time look great. It’s wonderful if the frame lets the client feel confident and attractive.”

I’m grateful and delighted for the change Spectacle World has made in my life, and to make them even cooler, they have given me 10 (TEN!) R1000 vouchers to give away to my readers so you too can see what a difference the right eyewear can make. Email me [email protected] to go into the draw, and join me, Jenny Morris and Ingrid Jones in having the glasses that are right for you.

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