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Buying Guide

Purchasing your new spectacles online is easy and straightforward however our buying guide is designed to help with any queries that may arise during the decision process. Our website is designed to keep the ordering process as simple as possible. In this Guide we will discuss the prescription, the frame choice, lens choice and how to order. If at any point there are any additional queries please do not hesitate to contact us on our telephone number or email address.


Already seen a frame you like? In many instances a customer will already have seen the frame that they wish to purchase. This may have been a frame owned previously, worn by a friend or seen in a high street store. If this is the case then all you need is the frame codes for the model, colour and size.

These will be found on the sidearm of the frame and the bridge.

In the D&G frame above the Model code is 5013, the colour code is 095 and the size is 51/17 with a 135 arm length Occasionally the lens width and bridge size will be located on the bridge of the frame


It maybe you haven’t seen or decided on your perfect frame yet? If this is the case the basic guidelines below may help in your search


Oval face - An oval face gives you the widest choice of frames to choose from – virtually any frame will suit you!

Diamond Shaped face – Square frames or frames with a straight top and rounded bottom are good options. The aim is to add width to the forehead and jaw and make your cheekbones appear narrow. Avoid “bling” on the temples and decorative logos as it will exaggerate the cheekbones

Round Face – wide rectangles shapes are good as they make the face look longer, thinner and less round

Square face – oval frames or angular frames with soft corners. This will give your face softer curves.

Triangle shaped face – Choose frame styles that angle up and out at the top corners. Cats eye shapes are good for ladies and square for men. Half rim frames are also good.


Ideally the frame colour should complement the skin tone, hair and eye colour.

Skin tone can be categorised into warm and cool tones. Warm toned skin is a bronzed, golden tone. Cool tones are paler, pink and blue undertones

Warm tones are ideally suited to: gold, bronze, copper, Havana, tortoise, Havana, brown, corals, and also bright strong colours

Cool tones are ideally suited to: silver, pewter, gunmetal, blue, grey, and pink, black, violet

Colour choices for hair colour follow the same rules as skin tone.

Warm hair colours would be blond, brown, light brown and jet black

Cool hair tones would be silver, grey, auburn, blue black

Your skin tone is the best way to match frames.

Occasionally it’s better to just throw out the rule book and go for the dramatic, funky look and choose something that suits your personality. After all sometimes it’s good to make a statement!

Frames are often available in more than one size and are usually categorised by the lens width, bridge width and occasionally the arm length. The two most important dimensions are the lens width and bridge width.
These measurements are usually located on the bridge of the frame or occasionally the sidearm. There will be a number for each measurement and they will typically be:
Lens width = 47mm – 56mm
Bridge width = 15mm – 18mm
In most cases they will appear as 55 - 17
The Lens Width
Imagine if we drew a box around the spectacle lens. Then the horizontal measurement of this box (in mm) would be the lens width.
The Bridge Width
The bridge width is shown on the picture below. This is measured in mm and is fixed on plastic frames. Frames with pads (as below) can be adjusted to fit by moving the pads into alignment with the surface of the nose. This kind of adjustment can easily be achieved at the local opticians for a small fee.
Side Length
This is the full length of the side from its dowel point (where the screw attaches the side to the front) to the tip of the side. The length to bend is the distance from the dowel point to where the side are starts to bend.
The length to bend can be adjusted to fit if the glasses are loose or tight. This is better done at the local opticians who may charge a small fee. If you attempt to do this yourself then you should warm the side with a directional hairdryer and make very small gentle adjustments.
Comparing the style and frame size of your current frames can help give an idea of the best option for your new spectacles.

Please ensure when entering your prescription details the SPHERE AND CYL powers are correctly selected as + or –

Once you have had your eye test you will be given a copy of your prescription with which you can order you new glasses. The content of this will depend on the prescription / correction required.

A typical prescription will look similar to this -

RIGHT-2.25+0.25180+2.25 6/5
LEFT-2.00+0.7590+2.25 6/5

The sphere is the power of the lens for long or short sight. This figure will be a minus (-) power for short sight and (+) power for long sight. Please ensure that when entering this figure you select the correct + or – sign. It is possible to have a plus powered sphere in one eye and a minus in the other, however this is not common. If this is the case it may be wise to confirm the details with your Optician.

The Cyl and Axis are a measurement of the astigmatism of the eye. This is not present in all prescriptions and it is quite normal to have a Sphere value only. In this instance you should leave the Cyl and Axis boxes unchanged. Some Opticians will add a note to confirm there is no CYL and AXIS and this is commonly written in the CYL box. If you see DS or SPH written after the Sphere power then this is confirmation there is no Cyl and Axis.


In the example above there is no Cyl or Axis in the right eye

The Sphere and Cyl powers will consist of a + or – power (unless 0.00) and will be in 0.25 steps e.g. -0.25. -0.50, -0.75,-1.00, -1.25 and so on.

The + and – signs may be written in front of the power but is normally written above.

The axis will be a numerical figure between 0 and 180 and it is normal for this to be different in each eye.

The ADD is the additional power required for reading. This occurs naturally in the eyes after the age of 40-45. The first sign is that reading will become a little more difficult and you will have to hold things further away. The ADD is the additional power required to focus close work.

If you are under this age and/or have no problems reading up close with your glasses on then you may not have an ADD on your prescription. We only require this value if you require glasses specifically for reading, bifocals or varifocals. 

If you have prism in your prescription please contact us for advice

You may also have VAs or visual acuities on the prescription. These are generally written as 6/6, 6/5, etc. This represents the line of letters you can read on the chart and are not required to order glasses


Summary of abbreviations you may see on your prescription.

DS - this means Dioptre Sphere and means there is no astigmatism and thus the CYL and AXIS have no value and should be left blank

Plano, 0.00, infinite, ∞ - these all mean the same thing, there is no power.

OD – this is Latin and means “right eye”

OS – again this is Latin and means “left eye”

BVD – this is the back vertex distance and is the distance from your eye the lens was held when you were tested. Please add this to the additional comments


Also known as the PD this is the measurement in mm between the 2 pupils when looking into the distance.

This figure maybe on your prescription and is usually written as “PD 63” or “PD 63/59”. In the second example the first number (63) is the measurement between the pupils for distance and the second (59) is the measurement for reading, when we look at a close object the eyes converge and thus the distance between the pupils narrow.

If your PD is not on the prescription don’t panic! For most prescriptions, except particularly high ones, we can calculate the PD accurately using factors such as the frame size, prescription, gender and many years experience. All of our orders are checked by a qualified Optician and we will always contact you to clarify any possible mistakes or if further confirmation is required.

There are iOS and android apps that will allow you to measure you PD eg Pupilmeter.

The measurement will usually be 56-66 mm for distance. If you are ordering reading glasses take the measurement above and then subtract 3mm

E.g., if you measure 63 mm then the PD for distance glasses would be 63 and the PD for reading glasses would be 60.

If you prefer you can send an old pair of glasses or sunglasses to us. The PD does not change once you are fully gown and is not affected by changes in prescription. If you wish to do this simply make a note in the additional comments box of “sending old glasses for PD”? We will email the details required to send the glasses in and they will be returned with your order.

Please remember. If you have any queries on your prescription please contact us. We can offer email help from a qualified optician.


Once you have selected the Lens type you need to select the lens material you would like the lenses made from. You will be presented with different “indexes of lens materials” (standard, 1.6 index, 1.67 index, and 1.74 index)

The index of a lens (refractive index) is essentially how dense the material is. In a nutshell the denser the material, the less of it is required and thus lenses will be thinner and lighter.

The choice of lens index is based on the prescription and as a general guideline:

Prescription of SPH ( applies to + and - ) Lens choice

0.00 to 2.00 Standard

2.00 - 3.50 1.6 index (approx 25% thinner than standard)

3.50 - 4.50 1.67 index (approx 40% thinner than standard)

4.50+ 1.74 index (approx 50% thinner than standard)

The above is a general guideline to lens materials and there are other factors to consider.

If you have selected a plastic frame then the rim will be thicker and will cover more lens thickness and a lower index lens maybe ok. Conversely a fine metal rim would show more lens edge and a higher index choice would be more suitable.

If you have a CYL power of over + or – 2.00 you may also want to consider a higher level of index.

We recommend a minimum of 1.6 index for all rimless or half rim frames as this is more resistant to chipping and breakage than standard.

REMEMBER! If you have any queries then call us or email.

All orders are checked by a qualified optician so if we have any queries or recommendations on lens material for your order we will contact you before they are made.


This coating is also known as reflection free, anti-glare and multi coated anti-reflection (MAR). The coating reduces the reflection on the front surface of the lens and thus reduces glare from bright objects (e.g. PC screens, oncoming headlights at night). As the reflections are reduced they also look far more cosmetically appealing. The Crizal Forte option is our fave coating and the Crizal prevencia is designed specifically for using a VDU. Crizal prevencia reduces blue light reaching the eye and can help offset cataracts and ARMD. This is helpful if you are sat in front of a VDU for long periods. The coating is quite noticeable and had a distinct blue bloom on the lens and can cause the lens material to look a little yellow.

Without coatings

With coatings


Your varifocal order can be completed online by selecting the frame and relevant lenses. Due to the advances in technology nearly all frames are suitable for varifocals, even the smaller ones.

There are certain measurements that are required for a varifocal lens to be aligned. Using over 20 years of optical experience we have designed a highly successful method of dispensing varifocals. Your frame will be sent out to you prior to having lenses fitted and we ask you to take a digital photo of the frame being worn. This photo need only include the frame and the 2 eyes and is straightforward to take. We will, however, supply a written guide and telephone/ email support. The photo is then emailed to us so we can confirm the measurements and alignment. Once approved the frame is then returned to have lenses fitted.

There is a common misconception that frames have to be a certain depth and size to have a varifocal lens fitted. Whilst this is true to a certain extent it is actually the depth of lens available below the pupil that is important and not the overall lens size. Therefore the critical element is how the frame fits on the face and also ensuring an appropriate design is fitted. During this process we will confirm both of these factors to ensure you and your varifocals become great friends!

REMEMBER! If you have any queries then call us or drop us an email.

Congratulations. You have built you perfect spectacles! Simply follow the checkout steps and confirm the details to complete your order. We usually despatch single vision orders in 7-10 working days and rimless in 10-14 working days. Due to the order process on varifocals these take a little longer.