Whilst many optical businesses are constantly striving to attract the 18- 54 cohort, my ideal clients are the over 40s’ crowd and I particularly enjoy styling men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Here are my top reasons why it’s a great business strategy :
NO 1- They know who they are!
The American Academy of Retired Persons (AARP) recently reported that 65% of over 50’s feel the happiest they have ever felt about themselves. In general, as people hit midlife they are no longer so influenced by others or feel a deep desire to ‘fit in’ or be part of the crowd. They are much happier in their own skin and crave authenticity.
Many of this age group are rejecting society’s attempts to define them as traditional and staid, and are actively seeking out companies who understand them. These clients are most likely to experiment with color, unique shapes and are prepared to have a little fun with their eyewear!
No 2- They are happy to spend- this is their time!
In recent years the over 50s have quickly become the biggest demographic of total consumer spending. They have more disposable income than any other cohort and have reached a stage in their lives where they are happy to invest in themselves. This generation is most likely to invest in the concept of the eyewear wardrobe and invest in multiple pairs for different outfits and occasions.
We frequently hear our clients say things like “I’ve worked all my life I deserve it.”
Younger generations, especially those with dependents, have to think more carefully about their spending habits and are far less likely to treat themselves to $10,000 worth of spectacles, just because it makes them feel good.
No 3 -They appreciate professional advice from experts
This generation is most likely to listen and appreciate professional advice, especially when it comes to health and style. They care about looking and feeling good, but in a different way to younger generations. It’s less about having a thin body, pretty face, and more about being healthy, enjoying life, and feeling confident. In fact, leading-edge boomers – the 55 plus – are the fastest-growing segment of the health club market, and report wanting to look and feel the best version of themselves for as long as they can.
Advice on colors that enhance, shapes that add lift, and styles that reflect their personality is especially welcomed in this age group, as well as lenses with health benefits that give them optimum vision.
No 4 – Experience wins over gimmicky deals and low prices
As this generation has matured many have realized ‘you buy cheap, you buy twice.’ They are keen to enjoy life as much as possible and are much more likely to value meaningful experiences and high-quality, products which last- over cheap prices and gimmicky deals. Practices who focus on creating a comfortable environment, who offer refreshments, special touches, and spend lots of quality time with their clients will be especially rewarded by this generation.
Here is some specific helpful style advice that your over 50’s will love
As we age we begin to lose pigment from our hair skin and eyes and very often the darker or brighter tones that looked fabulous in our youth can now highlight our dark circles or make our skin look dull and sallow. So the colors we put on our faces begin to have much more of an impact and are more important to get right if we want to keep that youthful healthy glow for as long as possible.
Blond Hair– If your client has blond hair, lighter shades will be more flattering – dark colors and heavy styles should be avoided and left to their teens or grandchildren. In their 40s those lighter, brighter colors like, aquas, and geranium red can work well. As they reach their 50s/60s their coloring often fades further, and the lighter powder pinks, icy violets, and light aquas become much more flattering.
Dark hair -if your client has very dark hair they can look great in strong deep and rich eyewear colors like black, reds, and emerald greens. However as they age into their 50s, their coloring often begins to lose its intensity and slightly softer tones work better eg charcoal rather than black, rose instead of true red, and teal rather than bold emerald green. We don’t want to go too soft though as a very pale color will appear to wash them out and age them further.
Red hair – These are your clients whose hair varies from deep auburn to strawberry blond and their overall look is warm and golden. In their youth, they look fabulous in bold yellow-based colors like gold, lime, orange, and aqua. As they approach their 50 and 60s their natural coloring becomes more delicate and softer warmer tones like peaches and light golds now look far more flattering. Avoid blue-based colors which will appear to add a greyness to their skin.
Grey Hair –Many boomers since lockdown have chosen to embrace the grey. In these cases, blue-based colors, like silvers, pinks raspberry reds, and aquas will work best. In their 40s and 50’s, they will still look fabulous in the brighter blue-based colors like fuchsias and royal blues, but as they approach their 60s & 70s the softer cooler colors like baby pinks and baby blues become a lot more flattering. Avoid yellow-based colors which may appear to make them look sallow.
Thinning Hair – As men/ women lose their hair through age or health, they begin to lose contrast in their looks. Blacks and bold bright colors can become overpowering and cast shadows on the face. Now mid-toned colors such as mid-grey, light navy, and teals now become far more flattering.
As we age, gravity begins to take its toll and pulls our face downwards. So, eyewear styles like the popular aviator -which can appear to pull the face downwards – no longer work as effectively.
Eyewear styles that add lift are far better. For example, glasses with detail on the upper rim or upswept styles can appear to visually lift the face and cheekbones, creating a more flattering, lifted, youthful appearance. Think upwards!
Eliminate the Dark Circles
Dark undereye circles can become a real concern with clients as they age, and billions are spent on light-reflecting concealers, creams, and surgery. But eyewear that follows the exact circle can appear to eliminate dark puffy under eyes like magic.
These simple rules can help you guide your clients towards flattering styles which make them look younger, but the real magic is helping them discover eyewear that reflects their personality, allows them to express their authenticity, and makes them feel great about themselves.
If they put on a frame that makes them feel youthful and fabulous irrespective of the advice above, that confidence will be reflected in the way they act and behave. Remember, we are only as old as we feel in our hearts!
Learn more styling tips by visiting the Eyewear Styling Academy at eyewearstylingacademy.com.