In the last couple years I started wearing bright red glasses. You may have seen them in my profile photo on social media or seen them on me in person. I get quite a few questions about them so I thought I’d share the back story on why I got them and my experience with them so far.

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Here’s the Story On My Red Glasses

For many years I wore thick black Ray-Ban Wayfarers. At any given time I looked like I was writing a novel or editing someone else’s novel. My wife told me one day I should wear red glasses and I thought she was crazy. No way would I wear red glasses, that is way too overboard.

Turns out, her fashion advice was on point. Per the usual.

The very first time I actually wore red glasses was for a photo shoot in New Mexico back in late 2010. I picked up a pair of cheap red sunglasses at 7/11 and on the way to the photo shoot I carefully popped out the dark lenses. My photographer Amy Brimhall was a genius with the camera and took on the challenge.

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After I got the final photos from Amy I updated my LinkedIn and Twitter profile with the red glasses and didn’t give it much more thought. Then I removed the photo from my profile because I wasn’t actually the owner of red glasses and thought I should live a more honest life. Then I got this twitter response:

Meh, what the heck. I’ll live the lie for a while longer.

Fast forward 2 years to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I was on a gear testing adventure with Columbia Sportswear with a large group of media editors and outdoor bloggers. I got into a fashion conversation with one of the editors of a style magazine.

Sidenote: I don’t have fashion conversations very often.

She told me, “You know your color is red right?”

Apparently we all have a fashion color and she revealed to me that mine is red. This is knowledge that my wife revealed to me years earlier. After all the passive back and forth on the idea of red glasses I started to think it was a good idea to actually wear REAL prescription red glasses.

So I did. I told my eye doctor what I wanted and he asked me 11 times if I was sure I wanted 35% of my face to be red. I had also recently crushed my black Ray-Bans which helped me make the decision.

The Benefits of Bright Red Glasses

I was excited to start wearing my new red specs but wasn’t sure what people would say. The 7th grader in me started to freak out when I started wearing them in public. Yes, sometimes my inner 7th grader pays me a visit…

People thought they were cool, and very red. I remember early on people saying, “Wow! Those are really red glasses!” or “I didn’t know they made red glasses!” I really wish these things came with a voice recorder to document all the responses.

  • I’ve really enjoyed conferences because if I’m trying to meet someone for the first time I just say, “I’m the one in red glasses.” People can usually spot me across a busy room pretty easily, which saves me gobs of time.
  • For the workplace red glasses have been super helpful. When someone emails me in the company and needs to come find me in the sea of desks I just tell them to look for the guy in red glasses. Works every time.
  • They also work great as a form of ID. I came in to work one time not wearing them and almost got escorted off the premises. I quickly put them on and said, “It’s me guys.”
  • Red glasses are great for public speaking. If someone in the audience wants to connect with me after my speech they can find me.
  • Building my personal brand. People know me as the guy who does social media marketing and wears red glasses. It’s been the cheapest $100 investment in my personal brand.

The utility on these glasses are worth more than the fashion value the majority of the time.

While people think I’m really confident in wearing these glasses little do they know it took me about 4~ years to actually commit and wear them.

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My son trying on my red glasses. 

Fashion Advice

I’m not a fashion blogger (clearly) but what I’ve learned through this experience is one of my favorite phrases of all time:

You Do You. 

If you’re ever worried about what you should or shouldn’t wear if You Do You, you’ll be fine. While the red glasses are fun and often spark a conversation, they’re just glasses. Without them I’m still me. But with them, I can see my computer.


Adam Buchanan

Adam helps brands be their best by helping them unlock the powers of trust to be more impactful in their digital marketing efforts. By using social media effectively, brands can benefit their customers by being authentic and developing a stronger relationship with them. Adam is an advisor, speaker, and wearer of red glasses.

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