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What I’ve Learned About Wearing Glasses Every Day for 20 Years

By Isabel Kallman

This post is sponsored by Lookmatic where you can buy stunning eyewear online at amazing prices.

I started wearing glasses about 20 years ago during my senior year in college. Throughout the years many of my classes were often held in this same one very large auditorium with stadium seating. My first year, I sat in the back row. The following year I was wondering why the professors were now using the cheaper brand of chalk and I was having a harder time reading their writing. And, each year I would move down a dozen rows until I was basically in the front row during my senior year. By then I realized that it wasn’t the crappy chalk but my deteriorating eyesight. I was nearsighted.

Ever since, eyewear has been a part of of my daily life. I’ve never tried contact lenses and haven’t had a desire to, either.

This is what I have learned about wearing eyeglasses over the past 20 years:

Own Your Look

Look to the right hand of the screen. See the “author box?” My cartoon avatar is there. Without so much as a conversation with the artist, he illustrated me and made eyewear clearly part of my signature look. Over the years I have embraced it with gusto. In past years, I went with slimmer glasses. But, now I prefer eyewear that is bolder, with larger frames. I’ve never gotten more compliments.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut. Instead, Experiment.

I’ve only now started to get more specs into my eyewear rotation. I was lackadaisical about getting new glasses, only getting a new pair every 5 to 8 years. BORING. Also, until very recently, prescription eyewear was a very expensive purchase, with a pair of glasses costing at least several hundred dollars. For example, prescription glasses through our sponsor start at $95 per pair. And, all of them are uber-stylish. Plus, you don’t need to get your tushie to a retail store. You can try on eyewear virtually (and, share your picture with your friends on Facebook and have them help you choose, too) and then order and purchase online. At such a good price point, I can have a few pairs in rotation for the price of what one pair cost in the past.

Everyone Needs to Get Their Eyes Checked at 40

Prior to getting my optical prescription updated for these new frames I’m wearing here, I had last visited the ophthalmologist two years ago. He surprised me by announcing that my prescription had stayed the same over the past 15 years. But since that conversation, I’ve turned 40. And virtually overnight, I found myself doing that tell-tale move where you adjust a newspaper or a book away from your eyes, to arm’s length, in order to focus them better.

I knew I needed to get my eyes rechecked and discovered that everyone, starting in their early-to-mid-40s, develops presbyopia which is the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. It’s just a natural part of aging and continues to worsen until you’re 65. It was explained to me that during your 20s and 30s your eyes change very little, and then when you hit 40, it’s a rapid decline.

Presbyopia is corrected with nonprescription reading glasses, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Since I already had a prescription for nearsightedness, I customized this pair of Ricky eyeglasses by Lookmatic with what’s called progressive lenses, which are basically bifocal lenses but without that line through the middle. The upper part of the lens is to help me see what’s in the distance and the lower part helps to correct for my naturally aging eyes.

The silver lining here? I’m totally giving myself permission to buy a pair of prescription sunglasses. I need it to soothe my aging ego and the optometrist told me I need to protect my eyes from sunlight. (If this is the most extravagant midlife crisis purchase I make, I think that’s pretty good.) Checkout the Marlowe sunglasses (with its fantastic price), as that’s the pair I’m coveting.

lookmatic glasses alpha mom

Now, it’s your turn. Tell me, do you wear prescription glasses? If so, what have you learned? I’m a Want-To-Know-It-All.


Thank you to our sponsor Lookmatic. Our sponsors help make this site possible.

Photos are by my talented friend Jessica Shyba of Momma’s Gone City. Thank you, wonderful lady.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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  • Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey

    March 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    LOVE! And I have been on the hunt for new glasses, will check them out! – fellow 20 year glasses wearer, to the year!

  • Kelcey Kintner

    Kelcey Kintner

    March 9, 2013 at 12:09 am

    You look so gorgeous in glasses. I can’t imagine you any other way!

    • Isabel


      March 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

      You and Aimee are my favorites. xo

  • allison

    March 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I have to admit that being in glasses stores always makes me think of that Jerry Seinfeld bit where he says something about how he looks at eyeglass ads and just thinks about how hot they models would be without the glasses (or something like that).I don’t agree with him, obviously, but I can’t stop myself from thinking about that quote.

  • IlinaP

    March 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    First of all, I love that you mention chalkboards!

    I am in the market for new glasses so this post came at the perfect time.

    • Isabel


      March 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

      fantastic. make sure to use the virtual try-on and then share on Facebook. It was helpful (and fun) to get my friends’ opinions! xo

  • A

    March 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I just picked out new glasses this week! I’ve worn them since I was 5 and I hated them. They were big brown cokebottle things that threatened to break the bridge of my nose. I buried them in the backyard more than once.

    I tried contacts a couple of times but the first (when I was eight) were hard lenses and they HURT! The second time was for a year (I was 22) and everyone asked me why I was so sad because my eyes were permanently red and watering.

    Since then I have owned the glasses thing. The lenses can be micro-thin now which is much more comfortable and glasses have become much more stylish, an accessory like jewelry rather than purely utilitarian. Now that I have big, thick frames everyone compliments them. I do sometimes take them off for pictures or nights out, but I’m happy to be a glasses girl!

    • Isabel


      March 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Me, too! I take them off for some pictures and nights out as well. But otherwise, they are so part of my identity now and I really like it. 🙂

  • agil pro

    October 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

    I too got glasses when I was in college, although I knew I needed them when I was in high school , however I was very shy and at the time I couldn’t bring myself to tell my parents. The funny part was that I secretly had always wanted to wear glasses!

    My second year of college I became friends with someone in one of my classes who wore glasses and realized I couldn’t see to well and constantly encouraged me to get glasses and with their help I was finally able to overcome my fear and go in for an eye exam. At the exam, I found out I was nearsighted and had astigmatism and came out with my first prescription for glasses.

    My friend went with me to pick out my first glasses and after trying on an endless number of frames we came to the conclusion that I owned a pair of half rimmed frames and they were the ones! A week later I went in for my fitting and was absolutely stunned at the clarity and felt like my world had gone into high definition! I had waited a long time for this day to arrive and I walked out loving my new look!

    I was still self conscious to be seen wearing glasses, but was determined to get this monkey off my back. I don’t know why, but my family was the hardest to face and when I showed up in my glasses, my parents were surprised, asked a lot of questions and couldn’t believe I didn’t say anything when I started having problems seeing in HS, but they weren’t surprised either knowing how shy I was. My older sister was shocked when she saw me wearing glasses, but was thrilled that she now had company and was no longer the only one in our family who needed to wear glasses. With each person who saw me my confidence level went up and within just a few weeks I was completely comfortable in my glasses and could not believe I had waited so long to finally get them.

    The main things I learned from getting glasses was: my fears were totally unfounded; I had feared that I would be teased, but only got compliments, I found out that nobody cared that I was wearing glasses and I found that I really loved wearing glasses and could not picture myself without them. The main benefit I realized besides excellent vision is that my shyness basically disappeared within a couple months of me getting glasses and I think it was because realizing my “secret desire” to wear glasses had completed me in some way of how I envisioned myself.

    It has now been over 30 years since my first pair of glasses and today my everyday glasses are a pair of rimless, progressive lenses with transition lenses that I love to wear!