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Fashion Blog

You’ll find all the right looks at JCPenney Optical’s Fashion Blog. Our fashion insiders are blogging about eyewear products that reflect the latest trends and complement your unique style.

  • Saluting our Nation’s Capital

    Written by mmcgroary | April 16, 2015

    2015 Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.

    cherry blossom festival
    This past weekend, the cherry blossoms in DC reached their full bloom and I got to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival with my family. Every year, our nation’s capital commemorates the gift of the cherry blossom tree given to the United States by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City in March 1912, thus celebrating the friendship between the two countries. The first festival was held in 1935 and has been a beautiful event every year since filled with parades, family activities, and of course, the most picturesque view.

    While this was my second time going, I couldn’t help but feel enchanted being there. We made our way through the, admittedly, very very busy crowds to get to the tidal basin near the Jefferson Memorial. On our way, we passed the Washington Monument on the National Mall and I felt a strong sense of national pride. The visitors came from near and far, echoing the melting pot that our beautiful country has become.

    cherry blossom festival

    I had some of our frames handy knowing that their beautiful design will pop against the serene backdrop of the cherry blossoms…and I was right! From the super feminine cutouts and patterns of our Lulu Guinness collection to the chic, modern look of our Nicole Miller frames, I finally started to feel like spring is officially here. The soft-hued styles mixed with pops of bold patterns all around me told me it was time to whip out all of my most girly frames! Check out some of the images I snapped while I was there…

  • Realizing the Power of the Third Eye

    Written by mmcgroary | April 1, 2015

    My mantra for beautiful eyes has always been: be healthy, be hip, and stay glassy. I devote a ton of time and energy to upholding that mantra – from healthy eating to staying up to date with my frame look (probably a bit more up to date than necessary). But from time to time, I find that it’s kind of nice to search deeper – to look beyond the outer and focus on the inner.

    The third eye, or the inner eye, is a mythical concept that provides one with perception beyond just ordinary sight. It is not visible but is said to be located where your eyebrows meet. In fact, it is theorized by some traditions that, in ancient times, humans did have a visible third eye. Over time, it sunk in and became what is now known as the pineal gland, which resides between the two hemispheres of the brain and is responsible for regulating our circadian rhythms by responding to changes in light throughout the day.

    In Hindusim, the third eye refers to the gate that leads to inner realms of higher consciousness. If you have ever taken a yoga class, you were probably encouraged to focus on your third eye in order to gain a deeper level of awareness. Truly being able to shut out the “noise” of the outside world to focus within is actually a strength to be valued. It took me years – close to a decade – before I actually understood the meaning of this esoteric third eye. However, once I unlocked the power and strength to really be able to quiet my thoughts as well as the hustle and bustle of those around me, I was able to reach a level of calm I had never experienced before.

    Did you know about your third eye? It has been there all along! We invite you to look deeper within yourself to find what it means for you.

  • What Your Glasses Say About You

    Written by mmcgroary |

    “For the apparel oft proclaims the man…”
    – Shakespeare -

    If clothes maketh the man, then glasses certainly maketh the woman. Judging a book by its cover takes on new meaning when it comes to your specs. Whether your artfully honed aesthetic is ambiguously austere, achingly cool or sartorially rebellious, you can rest assured that your frames are defining to the world just exactly who are you…or whom you’d like to be on that particular day.

    Here is my round up of the types of frames you can find and what they say about your personality…

    The You-Mean-Business frames

    If you want to be taken seriously by colleagues and/or prospective clients, you’re probably wearing frames that are classic in shape (oval or rectangle) and traditional in color (black, gold, silver, gray, or brown).

    Black glasses

    liz claiborne

    The Fashionable at Work, Party Girl at Night Frames

    You have already prepared the report your boss hasn’t even asked for yet and you know you’re ready to knock his/her socks off. That doesn’t mean, however, that once your presentation is done and the clock strikes 5…or 6…or even 7pm, you won’t be off to paint the town red. You go for modern shapes and geometric designs in expressive colors.

    a.n.a glasses

    womens ana glasses

    The Busy Mom or Dad

    You keep your frames stylish but basic enough to not get disappointed every time your little one tears the frames off your face to test their flexibility…which is often a daily occurrence.

    ana womens glasses

    liz claiborne

    The Weekend Warrior

    Sure you might choose to vaguely blend in during your 9-5 but come Friday, the true outgoing fashionista in you shines bright like a diamond. You shake up your look depending on your mood and the occasion. And with a weekend maven like you, there is always an occasion.


    liz claiborne

  • Tips To Have a Productive Work Week

    Written by Annie Raykher | March 23, 2015

    After what is hopefully a fun-filled relaxing weekend, it can be pretty hard getting back into the swing of things. However, research shows that developing – and keeping – a good morning routine can lead to increased productivity all day. Establishing a routine allows it to become so ingrained in your way of life that what once seemed like an impossible time-consuming feat (i.e. going to the gym in the morning) becomes second nature. Here are some tips to help you get charged for a super productive day:

    Prep for the AM starts in the PM

    picking out an outfit

    • Write out to do list for next day
    • Prepare your outfit, accessories including frames, jewelry and shoes. Review your clothing for any stains and be sure your outfit doesn’t need to be ironed. Check the weather and pack an umbrella if it will rain.
    • Get some shut eye. Your chances at a good morning, and therefore a productive day, start the night before. Prioritize sleep so that you are getting at least 7 hours every night. It also helps to stick to a similar bedtime and wake-up time as that will train your body to get tired at the same time daily and feel well rested and ready to take on the day in the mornings.

    Establish a healthy routine

    working out routine

    • Gym
    • Breakfast
    • Meditate / Goal setting for the day
    • Consult to do list and map out my day

    When you get to work:

    working on a laptop

    • Tackle the most difficult project first so you can get it out of the way
    • Take breaks
    • Reward yourself

    Try this for a week or two and let us know how it goes. Still having trouble hitting your mid-morning or even late afternoon stride?…

    Tune in to our custom made playlist to get you going!

  • Scrumptious Shamrock Smoothie

    Written by mmcgroary | March 17, 2015

    As you know, we’re all pretty health conscious around here. So, in honor of St. Patty’s Day AND March being the official Eye Health Awareness month, we wanted to post our Scrumptious Shamrock Smoothie recipe. Yes of course its #vegan. Yes of course it’s #paleo. Yes of course it’s #dairy-free and #sugar-free. And do you even have to ask…IT IS INDEED MAGICAL!

    Scrumptious Shamrock Smoothie:


    1 banana peeled and frozen
    1 cup loosely packed spinach
    1/4 cup packed mint leaves
    1/2 cup almond milk (you can substitute with soy or coconut)
    1-2 drops pure peppermint extract
    4 ice cubes


    Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Voila! You’ve got yourself a delicious and healthy shamrock smoothie! You’re also getting lutein from spinach, which has an antioxidant function of collecting in the center of the retina, supporting the structure of delicate photoreceptors and filtering out certain types of light that cause damage. Woohoo! #goinggreen #getyourgreenon

  • Keeping Your Sights on Healthy Eyes

    Written by Annie Raykher | March 11, 2015

    We take eye health very seriously around here so we are excited that the entire month of March is dedicated to Eye Health Awareness. Keeping health eyes is important! Along with our New Year’s resolutions to exercise and eat healthy, we like to keep eye health a top priority. The benefits of healthy vision are far reaching and can last a lifetime.

    Taking care of your vision is a very easily attainable goal. We have put together a list of 3 simple steps on how to protect your eyes:

    Schedule a comprehensive eye exam ›

    The best way to make sure your peepers are in superior condition is to get a comprehensive eye exam. In addition to determining your prescription for eyeglasses or contacts, your doctor will place drops into the eyes to dilate the pupils in order to examine your retina to look for signs of damage or other eye problems.

    Eye exams are an important part of vision health maintenance and are recommended for all ages starting at 3 years old. In fact, academic achievement and normal vision development are closely tied with eye health maintenance from an early age.

    Even if you think your vision is in good shape, it might be a good idea to follow these steps as a lot of vision problems such as Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease often have no symptoms.

    Stay Healthy! Healthy eyes are important, and so is your overall health

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will benefit your overall health, and that includes your eyes. The good news is that whatever you are currently doing to stay healthy – exercising, eating right, not smoking, etc is precisely what you can continue doing to keep up your vision health.

    Obesity can increase your risk of developing diabetes which can lead to vision loss, so maintaining a healthy diet is crucial to your overall physical health. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (such as kale or spinach), as well as one rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such salmon or nuts) is important for your eye health.

    Practice Workplace Eye Safety

    Computer eye strain is a major job-related issue. The problems that develop from computer-related eye strain range from fatigue and decreased productivity to red eyes and an increase in number of work errors. While there is no way to limit computer use at work, you can make a few simple changes:

    • Avoid any excessively bright lights – whether from an overhead lamp or a window.
    • Glare on your computer screen is artificially making your eyes work harder than they have to. If you are having this issue, you can install an anti-glare screen as well as purchase lenses with anti-reflective coating.
    • Exercise your eyes by blinking more often and taking frequent breaks. Eye doctors recommend that you look away from your computer every 20 minutes to gaze at an object 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. This allows your eye muscles to relax and it’s not a bad break for your mind either!
    • Consider “office eyewear.” Speak to your optometrist about modifying your eyewear for the workplace based on your work and vision needs.

    And while we’re chatting about eye health, we wanted to share 3 interesting eye facts with you…

    Eye Health Fact #1:

    It is possible to see better than 20/20. In fact, the maximum acuity of the human eye without any visual aids is 20/10.

    Eye Health Fact #2:

    Most people start to become near sighted soon after turning 40, even people who enjoyed perfect vision up to that point.

    Eye Health Fact #3:

    Eye disease can happen at any time. That is why yearly eye exams are important at any age.

    Stay Healthy, Stay Glassy.


    JCPenney Optical Team

  • VIRAL: What Color is This Dress?

    Written by mmcgroary | February 27, 2015

    black and blue white and gold dressEye test! What color is this dress?

    This viral photo has been making it’s waves across social media. So what color is it? Some people are interpreting it as white and gold, whereas others are seeing black and blue. While some are seeing both.

    The image first appeared on Tumbler. A user asked Tumbler users to help prove what color the dress is to solve the mystery. The internet soon was flooded with the image and people claiming the dress was either black and blue or white and gold.

    Soon after, explanations for the major difference in colors started circling. So why are some people seeing the dress as gold and white, and others are seeing blue and black?

    Basically our retinas are made up of cones and rods. The cones interpret colors and the rods interpret shades. With the combination of light, your eyes form the colors that you see everyday.

    According to the test, if you see Blue and Black: “Your retina’s cones are more high functioning, and this results in your eyes doing subtractive mixing.”

    If you are seeing White and Gold: “your eyes don’t work well in dim light so our retinas rods see white, and this makes them less light sensitive, causing additive mixing, (that of green and red), to make gold.”

    Here’s the full explanation from @andyrexford on Twitter:

    dress explanation

    So what color do you see?

  • Night Vision Problems While Driving

    Written by Annie Raykher | February 24, 2015

    Night Driving Vision Woes

    If you experience vision issues at night – such as blurriness, glare and multiple images – while seemingly having great eyesight in the daytime, you are not alone. Vision problems at night, particularly while driving, are prevalent among the general population. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Mubashra Tahir and Dr. Andrew Bock – two awesome optometrists who practice at JCP Optical locations across the country – to gain a more thorough understanding of how to deal with such issues.

    Dr. Bock explained that as people age, cataracts will sometimes form that dim night vision and can make glare worse. According to Dr. Tahir, there may also be other diseases at the root of nighttime driving issues. While they are rare, it is certainly worth getting a comprehensive eye exam just to be sure.

    Both doctors commented that age is not the only factor contributing to nighttime driving issues. Younger patients have this issue as well, particularly if they are nearsighted, says Dr. Tahir. Working at your laptop for too long without a break, for instance, can contribute to dry eyes, thereby worsening glare at night, says Dr. Bock. In addition, exposure to UV rays, as a result of not properly protecting eyes with sunglasses when outdoors, can contribute to these issues as well. Finally, as Dr. Tahir points out, sometimes even wearing your contacts for too long, or not having the perfect fit, can make the cornea swell leading to vision issues at night.

    So if you are plagued with these issues, what can you do? Your first goal is to schedule an eye exam ASAP. At the appointment, your doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to gain an understanding of what is going on with your eyesight as well as to rule out any other serious underlying causes. Then, you will be prescribed special lenses, called anti-glare or non-glare, to diffract light enabling you to see more. A clear coating is applied to the top of the lens, or built within the lens itself, to reduce reflections off the lenses.


    anti-reflective glasses
    Not sure if your glasses already have this coating? Just hold them up to a light. Is there a reflection coming back onto the lens? If there is, then you do not have this special coating. Once you get this coating for your lenses, you will see what a huge difference it will make in all nighttime activities. Happy driving!

  • nicole by Nicole Miller Pinterest Contest

    Written by Annie Raykher | January 30, 2015

    The budding (read: wannabe) fashion designer in me is jumping for joy! Nicole Miller and JCPenney Optical are teaming up to launch a contest that is worthy of some serious mention…and participation!

    Think of it as a digital version of Project Runway – complete with a talented group of judges, an upcoming launch that will be sure to wow any specthusiast, and awesome prizes galore. If your board is chosen by Nicole Miller as the best inspiration for her upcoming launch, you will win a pair of Nicole by Nicole Miller frames, a $200 JCPenney gift card and, of course, some serious bragging rights.

    Check out the video featuring
    fashion designer Nicole Miller!

    The steps are super easy:

    1) Create a board on Pinterest and name it Nicole by Nicole Miller Spring Collection Contest

    2) Pin colors, patterns and anything you think will inspire Nicole as she designs her spring collection

    3) Go to the JCPenney Optical Facebook page and fill out the entry form, or click here

    Our team got the opportunity to visit Nicole Miller at her design studio in New York and it was pretty awesome to spend the day with a real life fashion designer. We learned how she gets inspired and I can’t say we didn’t swoon when she expressed her love for eyewear in particular.

    After our day with Nicole, I felt so inspired that I couldn’t wait to put my board together. Here is a snapshot! So, what are YOU waiting for? Jump on this now!


    nicole by nicole miller pinterest contest

  • How To Take The Best Selfie

    Written by Annie Raykher | January 23, 2015

    In 2013, to no one’s surprise, the word SELFIE was proclaimed word of the year. As 2015 kicks into high gear, the term selfie shows no signs of slowing down. It is impressive to see that not only is the selfie still around, but it has gained even more momentum and has brought to the table new variations such as the ussie, the felfie, and my personal favorite, the belfie.

    I have been known to take more than the average number of ussies of my toddler and I because… a) he’s just so darn cute and b) I’d like to think that I am, after all, a hip mommy. However, what’s the good of a selfie if you can’t show it off to all your friends and family? Within seconds my ussie or selfie is on Instagram and/or Facebook, emailed to close family members, and then somehow sent it to the family members’ and friends’ not-so-close family members and friends. Before I know it, my selfie – in which I am dressed to the 9’s in sweats and my hair is in a messy bun, has been seen by hundreds of people. This made me realize that a selfie is no joke and I need to start taking them more seriously.

    So, without further ado, here are some tips on taking the best selfie:

    1)     Lighting, lighting, lighting

    Any good photographer knows that lighting is everything in a picture. How much more so is this the case when the picture is taken by a less than professional camera just a few inches from your face?!

    • If you are outside, face directly into or away from the sun. Aim for sunrise or sunset, as the other times of the day, particularly around noon, the position of the sun can cast a shadow on your face making it look like you haven’t slept in months. (I am a mom to a toddler so I haven’t slept in months but there is no need to broadcast that in a selfie!)
    • If you are inside, the best place to take a selfie is, of course, by a window.

    2)     Leave self-consciousness at the door

    A selfie is no place for shyness. This is your time to shine. So flash your best – and MOST NATURAL – smile and leave the pouty lips and any other unnecessary/embarrassing pose for the photo booth. If you do ever feel inclined to do something awkward with your hands and/or lips, don’t fret! Just put down your phone, give yourself a few minutes and try again once you have regained your composure.

    3)     This isn’t your driver’s license

    Please do not stare directly into the camera. Most people look their best when they turn a bit to the side.

    4)     Remind yourself that you are in control

    You can delete or send out any image you see fit. So relax, smile and rest assured that you will have taken and looked through at least a dozen photos before you find the perfect one.

    5)     De-clutter…or just hide it somewhere

    There’s nothing more distracting and DETRACTING in a selfie than a mess in the background. So do yourself and your fans a favor – pick a clean, relaxing background. Solid colored walls are ideal!

    6)     Edit!

    Use those apps to your advantage to highlight your beauty and, perhaps, low-light a feature that isn’t your fave.

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