How many of us have rolled our eyes as we got something practical for a gift? You wanted the latest electronic gadget and you got socks. You needed that pair of fancy shoes and you got shampoo. Ok, maybe these are a bit extreme (especially if you got shampoo as a gift); but we’ve all been there.

But there are some “practical” items that are breaking out their hapless notoriety and becoming something of want! Eyeglasses are becoming a “must have” gift for 2011.


Let’s look at some statistics. According to the Vision Council of America, roughly 75% of adults use some form of vision correction. About 64% of them wear eyeglasses, and approximately 11% wear contact lenses, either exclusively or with glasses. More than half of all women and about 42% of men wear glasses. Eyeglasses have become extension of our individual style.

Technology has allowed eyeglasses to become lighter, brighter and stylish. Heavy, thick glass or standard plastic lenses are being replaced with lightweight polycarbonate lenses. Materials like titanium and newer spins on classic metal plastic styles are bringing an aura of coolness to boring frames. Even photochromic lenses in all the colors of the rainbow are making assembly line type glasses into unique eye specs that everyone is talking about.

“We have seen glasses being bought without Rx lenses simply for the fashion statement” said John Schofield, Director of Marketing for “People are buying glasses because they need them, but they will no longer settle for just any frame .”

2011 has seen an explosion of new styles and colors and with advancements in technology; costs have been reduced to allow customers to buy several pairs to match their different styles. So the next time you think “practical” gift consider giving glasses!