What’s New on Siesta Key: The eyes have it at Eye Style Optical Boutique

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“Eyewear is jewelry for your face,” said Darlene Tomasiello, owner of the new Eye Style Optical Boutique in Crescent Plaza.

Style experts, actors and anyone interested in changing their look will agree that the right pair of glasses can be transformative.

Think back to Superman. When soft-spoken newspaper reporter Clark Kent removed his heavy black frames, his whole world changed.

Darlene Tomasiello adjusts eyewear in her new Crescent Plaza store. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

“Glasses can add glamour, an air of professionalism or creativity, and they can make a statement about who you are. Change your glasses and you change your look,” said Tomasiello.

Drawn to the artistic nature of Siesta Key and the Sarasota area, the New Jersey native and licensed optician decided to open the new boutique at 6627 Midnight Pass Rd. with the goal of bringing artisan-inspired eyewear to Siesta Key.

“The frames that I offer are more curated than what you will find in the large optical stores,” she explained.

Designs of more than 15 American and European eyeglass designers are showcased in a collection of hand-crafted eyewear from designers around the world. 

Drawing on her 30-year career in the optical business, she said she is excited by the prospect of helping visitors as well as local residents find an attractive pair of glasses that will complement their appearance and also help them to have their best vision.

When a patient brings Tomasiello a prescription from an optometrist or ophthalmologist and a frame has been chosen, she takes measurements and then sends the frames to the Zeiss laboratory for processing.

“NASA uses Zeiss lenses in their space programs,” Tomasiello said. 

The prescription is then made into either single-vision, bi-focal, tri-focal or the popular progressive lens. 

Eye Style Optical Boutique offers eyeglass frames for every day and special-occasion wear. There’s a wide collection of sunglasses for sports enthusiasts and beachgoers, and also “ready readers,” that begin at $35 each with a magnification number of 1.00 and higher.

Also, “make-up specs” for women who wear glasses and struggle to apply eye makeup (the lens flips from one eye to the other and the glasses are sold in different strengths), as well as eyeglass accessories, are this specialty store. 

Sunglasses for every activity

“Because we’re right across from Crescent Beach, we see a lot of people who come in looking for a good pair of sunglasses,” said the optician.

Maui Jim is a popular line. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

When choosing a colored lens for beachgoers, Tomasiello recommends a gray or brown polarized lens with UV protection.

“Gray provides a cooler view and brown lenses provide more contrast. Both colors are truer to natural colors of the beach,” she said.

For those trying to catch up on their beach reading, she sells over-the-counter tinted bi-focal sunglasses for outdoor wear.

 Outdoor sports enthusiasts and active men and women who enjoy boating, cycling, tennis and angling will find sunglasses designed for specific sports. For the water, Tomasiello recommends polarized styles. She carries the popular Maui Jim sunglasses that includes an ultra- lightweight titanium-framed model. Other lines include the eco-friendly, Florida-made Costa del Mar sunglass for men and women, the fashionable new California-designed Raen sunglasses, as well as the elegant women’s Slyk sunglasses that are handmade made from wood and layered with genuine iridescent abalone seashells.

For everyday wear

In addition to her extensive sunglass collection, Tomasiello offers a unique line of European and American eyeglass frames not normally found in large optical stores.

“Today’s eyeglass trend is toward bolder looks, especially for younger customers,” Tomasiello said. “Bigger frames that were popular in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s are today’s look with thick frames, interesting shapes and retro designs.”

Miyagi glasses deliver plenty of flair. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

Bold bright colors and cat-eye frames for women are also very popular.

For men, tortoiseshell and bold dark frames are in.

If you’re drawn to a vintage look, Tomasiello suggests French designer Michel Atlan.

Meanwhile, Hollywood stars such as Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman wear the Italian designer Patty Paillette’s colorful and playful frames that are sold at the shop.

For a glamorous look, Tomasiello suggests a dramatic pair of black Miyagi Eyewear frames be-jeweled with Swarovski crystals.

The Massimo men’s and women’s brand frames from Italy are crafted in titanium, stainless steel and available in colors ranging from translucent to burgundy, and in rimless to semi-rimless styles.

 While fashionable frames are important, Tomasiello emphasizes that “The most important thing to be aware of is how the glasses fit on a person’s face.

“The pads should line up with the eye wire, under the frame. The glasses should sit close to the eye and fit comfortably on the bridge of the nose. Glasses should balance your face and, most importantly, provide excellent vision.”

Jane Bartnett
Author: Jane Bartnett

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