I make no secret of the fact that my appearance isn’t always up to scratch. Be it my deteriorating physique or lacklustre dress sense, looking ‘good’ just isn’t at the top of my list. I try, but stuff just kind of gets in the way – I say stuff, but we all know that I really mean ‘the toddler’.
Toddler aside, I guess you could also call me “tight’, although I prefer “careful with my money”. As such, I’ve never been one of those people who spends cash on designer gear. Sure, I buy some stuff with decent labels, but to me, a pair of jeans is a pair of jeans regardless of who made them.
So, when Specsavers got in touch about a recent collaboration with American lifestyle brand GANT, which would not only get me ready for summer, but also update my appearance, it didn’t take me long to agree. It turns out that GANT has just launched a new designer collection of 18 male and female optical frames and four sunglasses, which are available in Specsavers stores.
The marketing spiel around the glasses certainly sounds impressive – “The range offers quality craftsmanship and effortless American style for everyone – from vintage-inspired pilot styles, to refined petite shapes”. It would appear that glasses aren’t just glasses when they’re designer ones!
As part of helping to promote this launch, Specsavers kindly provided me with vouchers to cover the cost of two pairs of glasses from the new GANT range, along with a voucher to spend on GANT clothes. My current glasses are over three years old and my prescription sunglasses are – I kid you not – seven years old, so an upgrade in eyewear was definitely overdue.
As a current Specsavers customer, I didn’t need to take a prescription or anything with me. I just popped into my local store, tried on some of the GANT range and chose which ones I liked. Obviously, this called for plenty of ‘potential new glasses selfies’ whilst the missus and toddler watched on with bored expressions.
Having tried on all of the different glasses in the GANT range, I decided to get two new pair of glasses (GA3131-1) and (GA3049-1) – the latter I’d turn into sunglasses. The glasses had an angular frame with an all-over matt tortoiseshell finish with dark blue temple tips. The sunglasses were relatively similar in terms of the frame shape, tortoiseshell finish and blue tips, however these had contrasting matt and shiny temples with added gold-coloured detailing. Both RRP at £149, but are available on the 2-for-1 offer.
Having chosen the frames, the next step was to get my measurements, which was done by taking a photo of me wearing the glasses and using some funky app. Although all Specsavers glasses come with free standard single vision lenses and scratch-resistant treatment, I decided to pay for the option of thinning the lenses in both glasses (£40 each). This makes them thinner and lighter than standard lenses and includes an UltraClear coating.
As I’m a bit blind, my lenses are relatively thick, so I’ve found that thinning them improves the appearance and makes them more comfortable. I usually do this with any new glasses, but my old prescription sunglasses weren’t thinned.
After prolonged use, I’d find that they really hurt the bridge of my nose, so that’s the last thing I wanted to happen with these new designer ones. To turn the second pair into sunglasses, I also went with the sun tints and UV option – this was a brown ‘medium’ tint, which I thought would look nice with the frames.
A week later, both pairs of frames arrived in store and I picked them up. Here’s the result:
I’ll be honest though, it’s taking a bit of time to get accustomed to the glasses. I’m used to quite small, thin frames as I have a “pea-head” to quote the missus, so these glasses are very different to normal. They are bolder and much bigger than anything I’ve had before, so I’m a little conscious about whether they’re too big for my face. However, loads of people – Tom from McFly springs to mind – wear big, bold glasses, so I’m hoping that they work for me.
From a practical perspective, I actually really like the bigger frames as it means I just have lens to look through. With smaller glasses, there was always a frame at the top and bottom of my eye line, so it’s nice to not have this distraction. I’m also finding them comfortable to wear and am really pleased I went with the thinning option to reduce the weight.
Although big, I’m less conscious of the size of my sunglasses because sunglasses tend to be larger and bolder anyway. Again, I find them to be comfortable – particularly with the thinning – and really like the look of the shiny tortoiseshell frames with the brown, tinted lenses. As I don’t wear contact lenses as much as I used to, I often have to go without sunglasses when it’s bright – the new prescription sunglasses have helped me to get around this problem.
At the start, I mentioned that I’d also been sent a voucher to spend at GANT on some of their bloke’s clothing. And this is exactly what I did! I’ve never looked at GANT stuff before – mainly due to the price – but the fact there was a 50% sale online got me very interested. I love a good bargain.
I liked a lot of the clothes. Some of it wasn’t my style as it was a bit preppy, but there was plenty of stuff I liked. After spending a long time browsing the different sale items, I settled on four separate items. I could have easily spent the entire voucher on one item, but instead tried to make it go as far as possible thanks to the tight Northerner in me! I ended up with a t-shirt, polo shirt, boxer shorts and socks:
- GANT Flamingo Pocket T-shirt (£20.00 on sale from £40.00) – in 100% cotton, features a classic crewneck style, contrasting neck tape, finished edges, a single chest pocket with a flamingo print and a hanging loop.
- GANT Tennis Racquet Polo Shirt (£47.50 on sale from £95.00) – in 100% cotton, features a two-button placket, a flat knit collar, allover embroidered tennis rackets, Americano neck tape and an embroidered GANT shield on the chest.
- 2-pack snowflake trunks – (£18.00 on sale from £30.00) – in stretch cotton, features one pair with an allover snowflake pattern and the other with a colourful solid pattern. Both feature a closer fit and an elasticised waistband with knit GANT logos.
- GANT Stars & Stripes Sock Box (£11 on sale from £18.00) – in a stretch cotton blend, featuring an elasticised band at the top, and a knit GANT logo.
I’ve worn the items a number of times now and have no complaints – well apart from the price. Personally, I just can’t justify spending the best part of £50 on a polo shirt, let alone the full price of £100. Having said that, the items are all well made, use quality materials and fit well.
I particularly like the t-shirt, featuring the colourful flamingo pocket standing out against the blue fabric, and the boxer shorts are just how I like them (sorry, no photos…). Now that Wimbledon is over, I also feel happy wearing the polo shirt in public without it making me look like I’m the sports number 1 fan.
All in all, I’m really chuffed with my new glasses and sunglasses, plus the GANT clothes have been a welcome addition to my wardrobe. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for other GANT stuff in the future – it may just be that I only ever look at the sale items!
N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the products. I was provided with two vouchers for GANT glasses at Specsavers, as well as a shopping voucher for GANT, with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the products.
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