Focus Fashion: Meet Kelsey and Jake Bang

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Name: Jacob and Kelsey Bang

Blog: Kelsey Bang

Instagram: @KelseyBang

What inspired you two to blog together?
When we met, one thing we found we loved to do together was go on adventures and take pictures! Both of us have always been into fashion and found incorporating style into our pictures made it even more exciting for us! Once we started transitioning what we loved to do into a blog, we were hooked! We have so much fun blogging and hope it’s something we get to do for a long time.

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Why do you love shopping on FramesDirect.com?
We love shopping at FramesDirect.com for the awesome selection! We love that we can find all our favorite sunglasses brands and get the sunglasses we want at a great price! The site is also super easy to use to find what you are looking for. We love that I can find a pair of frames I like in unique colors that I can’t find anywhere else.

What fashion trends are you loving right now?
Right now we are so excited for spring fashion! Some of our favorite trends for the season that we are excited to start incorporating into our wardrobe are fringe, colored suede, bold stripes and minimalist athletic wear.

fashion_blogger_shabby_apple_pink_nutcracker_dress_review_style-3Shop Kelsey’s Prada sunglasses here!

Why are sunglasses such an important accessory?
We have been big fans of sunglasses ever since we started a fashion blog. Sunglasses always help complete a look and take it up a notch and help us feel more put together! We feel like sunglasses can take an outfit from looking drab, to fab!

What’s something outside the realm of fashion that inspires you?
Nature! We love the outdoors! Whether it be snowy, sunny or rainy, we love spending time outdoors. We find that being in nature helps us be more at peace and find creativity in every day.

window_pane_navy_topman_suit_menswear_fashion-2Shop Jake’s sunglasses here!

When and where were you most happiest?
Disneyland! We are such Disney fans! Any chance we get, we love to sneak away for a trip to Disneyland! We love all the theme music, amazing food and of course the rides! We love anytime we go back because it reminds us of the happy times we have had there, and the happy times to come!

Focus Fashion: Meet Cristina Facundo

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Name: Cristina Facundo

Blog: http://cristinafacundoblog.com/

Instagram: @stylebycristina

What inspired you to become a wardrobe stylist?

Living in NYC surrounded by the arts, the culture and of course the fashion! I was heading home on the subway and passed by FIT. I decided to go in and speak with an advisor and less than a month later, I was enrolled as a Fashion Styling student.

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Why do you love shopping on FramesDirect.com?

I love FramesDirect.com because of their ability to instantly change my look. Similar to getting a new haircut, it’s making a statement without the commitment.

What fashion trends are you loving right now?

I’m loving everything 1970’s, from mules to bell bottom jeans but especially round sunglasses. I already have my eye on those round Ray-bans!

Why are sunglasses such an important accessory?

Not only do they have their place in history, they are easily a statement piece to any outfit.

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What’s something outside the realm of fashion that inspires you?

I love visiting botanical gardens, greenhouses, and farmers markets. I find the vibrant colors so inspiring and always leave with new combinations of colors to try in my outfits.

When and where were you most happiest?

I am happiest when I’m surrounded by people, whether family and friends or a group of strangers. I draw so much inspiration from people watching so I love attending music festivals, museums, and parties. And if there’s dancing involved, that’s a bonus!

Shop Cristina’s Prada Cinema PR 12QS Sunglasses here!

Sunglasses Trends at Milan Fashion Week

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Prada Rayban RayBan

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 Photos by: Phil Oh for Vogue

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By no means did the street style slow down with the arrival of Milan Fashion Week. From head-to-toe, the fashion elite strutted their style in playful jackets, graphic elements, and touches of 70’s fringe. But of course—our curiosity focused on the sunglasses trends.

Once again, Wayfarers were the chosen Ray-Ban of choice. Which we love because they’re reasonably priced (especially with a promocode). Mirrored aviator sunglasses in gold and silver reflected photographers and editors walking into shows. And the popular trend of mixed acetates with metal details popped up, too. Feeling inspired? Shop our stylish designer page here!

Pantone Inspiration: Marsala

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With spring around the corner, we’ve wanted to warm up our wardrobe with a little color. And Pantone’s 2015 color of the year, Marsala is the perfect hue to ignite our love for color this spring. Described as, “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” this Pantone pick is the perfect shade for an accessory like glasses with its impactful warmth. This color could also be used as a neutral, allowing you set your browns and greys aside for a bit. Shop this rich hue here! And if you love the Burberry glasses above—shop them here!

Sunglasses Trends at LFW

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Photos by: British Vogue

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NYFW has ended, but the shows are far from over. Currently, London Fashion Week is in full swing, and we’ve been keeping an eye out on the latest street style for you. With new trends like flair jeans and leather fringe skirts—it comes as no surprise that round sunglasses have become the it frame to wear. In fact, these round Ray-Ban frames have already been seen on Sienna Miller. Of course, there is no replacing the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, a frame worn by anyone who wants to instantly add a classic cool element to their ensemble. Also, similar to NYFW, the cat-eye frame is in full force with Havana shades and textured frames. Shop the inspired looks above or check out the latest designer eyewear here!

Glasses at The Oscars

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shop Shuron Kate Spade Prada Cavalli

Photos: Getty Images

There were many big moments at the Oscars last night. From powerful speeches to chic gowns and sharp tuxedos. We watched every single moment (even when it ran long…) And although the Oscars didn’t get as much eyewear attention as The Golden Globes, there was still plenty of standout eyewear. Editor-In-Chief of Lucky Magazine, Eva Chen even tweeted out how much she loved seeing glasses at the award show, “#nerdychic” as she called it.

For instance, Patricia Arquette was wearing beautiful plum glasses with a slight cat-eye when she won Best Actress last night. Best Actor Nominee, Steve Carell may not have took home the Oscar, but he won major style points by wearing the popular trend of clear frames last night. If you’re feeling like it’s time to update your eyewear shop here or shop some similar frames above! You don’t need a red carpet to feel chic!

NEW Michael Kors Collection

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You can’t mention American luxury without thinking of Michael Kors. The award-winning designer has been creating beautiful collections for the runway since 1981. Recently, Michael Kors relaunched his eyewear collection, and we’re thrilled to be carrying this sleek and sophisticated collection on FramesDirect.com.

With Michael Kors, the beauty is in the detailing. Look for refined embellishments like subtle MK logos off the hinges. Color blocking goes one step further with the introduction of mixed materials. Otherwise flat temple arms are given added dimension and angle. Also, many MK sunglasses come with gradient lenses, optimal for viewing the dashboard of the road ahead. These small details bring into view a big picture of smart fashion.

The best part? This latest collection allows you to coordinate your Michael Kors handbag to your new chic sunglasses. They’re perfect for the person who’s ready to feel like the ultimate jetsetter.

Sunglasses Trends at NYFW

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Just because the weather is freezing in New York City—doesn’t mean the street style has been comprised. NYFW attendees have been working their layering magic amidst the snow and wind. But if there is one accessory that we love to see during this fashionable month, it’s eyewear. So far, we’ve noticed three trends dominating the tents at Lincoln Center: cat-eye frames, square aviators, and reflective lenses.

Each make their own statement. Cat-eye sunglasses in particular have been a huge trend for eyewear and will continue to be into the summer. Men have been seen in a more structured aviator, like the iconic Randolph Engineering sunglasses. Lastly, the trend of mirrored lenses isn’t going anywhere. With spring around the corner, we can only see more colors flash by us. Want to be ahead of the trends? Start shopping here!

Feed The Children Donation

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Since the start of their organization in 1979, Feed The Children has become one of the world’s leading anti-hunger organizations, dedicated to creating a world where no child goes to bed hungry. Accredited by GuideStar Exchange and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and given a 4-star rating from Charity hunger, the organization has given over $344 million in food, supplies, medicine and more to over 10 million individuals in the United States and 18 other countries in the fiscal year of 2013.

At FramesDirect.com, we understand the importance of helping others in need. After looking for a organization to work with, we were happy to find Feed The Children. Recently, we donated hundreds of designer frames with a hope that a brand new pair of eyewear will help enhance the vision and life of another. We encourage you to check out Feed The Children here and take the time to learn about such a impactful organization.

We Won Trustpilot’s High Flyers Award!

We are thrilled to announce that Trustpilot awarded us with their January High Flyers Award! Trustpilot is a review-driven community that connects online consumers with companies, allowing reviewers to make smarter, informed decisions about their purchasing. It feels great to have Trustpilot recognize our commitment to customer service. With over 5,300 reviews on Trustpilot, we have an 8.5 out of 10. And of those 5,300 reviews, over 82% of them are for 4 and 5 star ratings!

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Here’s a review from Trustpilot:

“I recently purchased a pair of Ray Bans online through Framesdirect.com and I couldn’t be more impressed!!!I shopped around at my local stores and they where HALF the price !!This was my first time ordering eyeglasses online so I was a little hesitate. Once I started the process online it was so easy. I was unsure about one or two things but my representative Sarah helped me and she was super friendly and extremely helpful. There website allows you to upload your picture and than place the frames on you to see if you like the look. ( amazing feature to the site) I received my order within 7 days and they were perfect. I didn’t even have to get them sized. I have already referred friends and family and will continue to do so. Thanks again Framesdirect.com !!! Can’t wait to order another pair!”

 

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We were awarded this honor with a visit from Trustpilot employees and a fun office party full of yummy eats. We are thankful to work with Trustpilot and can’t wait to celebrate more wonderful reviews in the future! Check out Trustpilot here or shop for some eyewear with us here.

 

Up Close with FramesDirect.com’s Master Optican

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Alan, Master Optician and Packers fan

Did you know that EVERY customer service agent on staff at FramesDirect.com is an optician? One of the greatest assets and distinctions of our business is the expertise of our opticians. They double check every order and are on hand to answer any question our customers may have. They have over 200 years of combined experience working with patients. The highest level of certification possible for an optician is to become a Master of Ophthalmic Optics. There are only around 300 Master Opticians in the United States, and one of them is our very own Alan. Here’s a look into what brought Alan to FramesDirect.com and some insights into his day-to-day at the company.

Q: How did your career in optics begin?

A: I’m originally from El Paso, TX and I started part-time in an optical laboratory there in 1975. My brother, who is ten years older than me, was an optometrist. When I was a senior in high school I went to school ½ days and I was his receptionist in the afternoons. And then every summer when I was home from college, I worked in my brother’s office or in the laboratory manufacturing the lenses.

After getting my BA in Biology in 1980, I wanted to stay in the business, so I completed a course at the American College of Optics, in Hollywood, CA.

When I came back to Texas, my brother and I opened a two door operation with doctors and optical in the same building.  We called it El Paso Optical Center, and we were very successful. We opened in April of ‘81 and then we sold it in April of ‘14.

Q: What brought you to FramesDirect.com?

A: My brother wanted to retire and I had always stuck around El Paso so I wanted to try something different. I’ve always liked Austin and I felt this was our opportunity. I interviewed at a few different places. I knew I didn’t want work in a retail store in the mall, and I didn’t want to work mall hours.  When I got offered the job at FramesDirect.com, I talked to my wife and she said “you know this is way things are going, look at all the stuff that people buy from Amazon.” A lot of people don’t like going in the stores anymore. I’m one of them, I hate going to the mall. So this was a nice change and its different here, different in a good way.master optician

Q: What does it mean to be a Master Optician?

A: Well, first of all you have to be American Board Of Opticianry (ABO) Certified. I had to take a test and had to have been in the business for a certain number of years. I passed the test in 1998, then I took the masters exam and wrote my thesis. So now I’m one of 330 master opticians in the country. I knew my brother would want to retire eventually, so I wanted to get the highest possible credentials to have the flexibility to move on when that time came.

Q: How is helping FramesDirect.com customers different from working with patients in-person?

A: Its very similar to working with customers in the brick and mortar shop, you just have to be more descriptive on the phone. You’re not as hands-on physically but you are mentally. You’re still showing them the ins and outs of the process and the products.

Not having the patient there in front of you forces you to look extra carefully at their orders. For example, if they’re ordering two pairs of glasses and they’re different sizes, we need to talk to them about it. Sunglasses can be larger, but if the customer ordered two drastically different sized regular pairs of glasses, we have to call and walk them through what size would be best for them. Most of the time we can easily get the correct size from their old glasses.

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Some of Alan’s cube decor

You have to be able to put the customer at ease and assure them that you actually know what you’re doing. That’s the biggest thing I’d want all our customers to know. When you call us, we are all opticians. Every person you’re going to talk to to place an order has been in the optical field. The newest one has 2 years experience, the oldest one, well…a LONG time. So many companies get laypeople on the phone and they’re just salesmen, they just process the orders but don’t know anything. That’s what sets FramesDirect.com apart.  Plus, we are based in America, we are home-grown and not an outsourced call center.

Q: What are some common questions or concerns for customers?

A: They don’t think that they can order over the internet and get glasses that work for them (without seeing us person, seeing the glasses on them, or measuring for the no-line bifocals.) But with the algorithms that FramesDirect.com have developed, it works perfectly. In fact, when I started here, I had them make me a pair of glasses in a progressive lens (because I wear no-line bifocals.)  I said “don’t measure me, I want you to do it the way you would for a customer online or on the phone.” And that’s what I tell customers to make them feel more comfortable with it. I’m able to explain to them that I went through it.

Q: What do you like best about working at FramesDirect.com?

A: We’re all here to work as a team and to help each other. Everyone is very competent, but if there is something they don’t know, they will put the customer on hold and ask somebody.

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Punk rock never dies, neither does that dinosaur cactus.

Even the ones that have been here the longest will ask questions. Plus I like that I can wear jeans and Converse and I don’t have to wear a lab coat. I wore a smock for 34 years. I donated them all to Goodwill.

The camaraderie is my favorite thing about working here. We get the job done, but it’s laid back and we don’t have to work directly with doctors.

Q: Why does a Texan love the Yankees and the Packers?

A: Because we didn’t have anything in El Paso, you know where El Paso is? It’s way out there. I loved Mickey Mantle when I was six years old. I used to pretend I was him in the backyard.

And then with the Packers, I saw their quarterback get hurt in 1964 and I felt sorry for him so I became a Packers fan. When they carried Bart Starr off in a stretcher I felt bad for him and for the team, because they lost their quarterback.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Pizza with pepperoni and pineapple

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: The Ramones, I like punk (Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols.) It was what I loved in college and it’s what I still listen to today. I also love Elvis Costello and New Wave music.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?

A: Criminal Minds or anything baseball

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Alan’s magnet collection shows his rock n roll spirit.

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

A: Having my health and family. Spending time with my wife and son anywhere. Collecting baseball cards.

Avoid Sore Eyes with Safe Screen Time

With the preponderance of digital devices in our lives it’s easy to lose track of the hours we spend staring at screens. Whether you are obliged to be in front of a computer for your job duties, or just a TV or video game junkie, the dangers are applicable to you. And that’s not to mention the ubiquitous smartphone, which has now become an appendage on even the youngest members of society.  Considering this, it’s no surprise that Digital Eye Strain is a potential problem for most of us, whether we wear glasses or not. And it’s important to consider the ways in which we can mitigate the cumulative damage done to our eyes from digital devices.

So what exactly is Digital Eye Strain? It’s simply the discomfort many of us feel after two or more hours in front of any type of digital screen. This includes desktops and laptops, smart phones and tablets, e-readers, TVs, and video games. Other bodily symptoms of overexposure include neck, shoulder, and back pain, headache, blurred vision, and dry eyes. The average person blinks about 18 times a minute, but staring at screen causes blink rates to reduce, resulting in dry, itchy or burning eyes and can even cause permanent changes to tear fluid.

The optical industry has begun paying attention to blue light, also called high-energy visible (HEV) light, exposure. This is the category of light emitted from backlit displays. Blue light can reach even deeper into the eye than UV, and may damage the retina with cumulative exposure (which could lead to macular degeneration.)  Digital devices expose the eye to hidden spikes in intensity at wavelengths within the blue part of the spectrum.

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Blue light can also impact circadian rhythms by suppressing the release of melatonin (the hormone that controls the day-night cycle in the body.)

This January, The Vision Council released its third annual Digital Eye Strain Report, based on a study involving around 10k participants conducted in October, 2014. Its findings about the amount of time most of us spend on digital devices is a little shocking – 1/3 of adults spend more than half their waking hours staring at a screen.  But many of us have no choice; our livelihoods are dependent on hours in front a computer. So what can be done?

Tips for preventing digital eye strain:

  • Increase the text size and adjust the contrast to make text easier to read
  • Change the background color from white to grey
  • 20-20-20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds at something 20 feet away
  • Remind yourself to blink
  • Dust & wipe down screens to cut down on glare
  • Put your computer screen one arms length from your face (20-28 inches from your eyes)
  • Your screen should be directly in front of your face, slightly below eye level
  • Anti-reflective coatings on the front and back of lenses (more info)
  • Anti-glare protective screens on monitors
  • Adjust the lighting in your workspace using desk lamps or other portable lighting (since fluorescent lighting emits blue light as well)
  • Try blue-light blocking lenses (like these, or any lens with an amber, yellow, or gold tint that has UV coating)

Tips for kids

  1.       Take regular breaks
  2.       Don’t let them hold the screen too close to their eyes
  3.       Correctly set up workstation, with 2 feet flat on the floor.

If you suspect you are suffering from digital eye strain, get an evaluation from your eye care provider.

 

The Vision Council (2015, January) Hindsight is 20/20/20: Protect Your Eyes from Digital Devices, 2015 Digital Eye Strain Report, Retrieved February, 03, 2015, from http://www.thevisioncouncil.org/

 

Wiley X in American Sniper

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Wiley X sunglasses are engineered for ultimate eye protection. They are the leading provider of protective sunglasses and ballistic eyewear products for the U.S. Military, outdoor sports participants, and for the safety and shooting enthusiasts. Wiley X sunglasses are also the go-to choice for service members who require sunglasses that can provide both unsurpassed protection and all-day comfort.

 

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Wiley X WX Saint

 

Recently, Wiley X Saint sunglasses were seen on Bradley Cooper in the movie American Sniper. The movie is a biographical war drama directed by Clint Eastwood. It is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. Get this look here.

 

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.