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Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher

Not only do glasses alter the way a man sees, but they also have an unrivalled power to affect the way he looks. And while every item of clothing, and every accessory, we put on says something about us, none speak as eloquently as spectacles, because they're worn on the face. They carry traditional associations with academia, intellect and age, as well as a myriad of cultural references. Did you choose vintage-style frames or modern-looking ones? Are they reminiscent of Mr Buddy Holly, Sir Michael Caine or Mr Bret Easton Ellis' fictional killer Patrick Bateman? Do they complement your clothes or contrast with them?

However, it's also vital to consider the manner in which the frames interact with your face shape, skin and hair. This is important because frames can flatter a thin face or accentuate a fat one, they can emphasise dark eyes or distract from pale blue ones. To get the lowdown, MR PORTER spoke to Mr Larry Leight, who in 1987 founded LA brand Oliver Peoples and is still its creative director, and asked what goes through his mind when he's helping men pick out the best glasses for them.

Mr Leight photographed in the Oliver Peoples headquarters, Los Angeles, July 2012

Where do you start when making a recommendation?
First I look at a man from head to toe, noticing what he is wearing, his features and colouring. I'm already imaging what frames will fit him in terms of size, shape and colour.
Does personality come into it?
I try to work out if he's shy, quiet or outlandish, and what business he's in. Does he have to be subtle or can he wear something more outgoing?
Is it always appropriate to suggest a change of direction?
I ask guys, "Do you like what you're wearing now? Did you see something that you like? What do you think you should be wearing?" I'm trying to find out if they're open to other things.
How do you tell if glasses fit correctly?
Frames need to fit with your eyebrow line, meaning they should coincide with it, and fit just inside the width of your head - neither too wide nor too narrow - and your eyes should be just above the centre of the lenses.
Are there certain frames that flatter different faces?
If you're full in the face then you may want a more rectangular shape, rather than something that's large and round. Thinner frames will make a face look lighter.

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