Choosing the Best Glasses for Your Face’s Shape
We’re all unique, and the style and size of glasses that suit one person may not work for another. With that in mind, we’ve written this handy guide to help you choose the best glasses to complement the shape of your face.
Understanding Your Face’s Shape
Everyone’s face is an individual shape, but many of us fall into one of five broad groups, and have a face that’s square, oblong, round, oval or heart shaped. Some people’s faces match perfectly with these shapes, but others may be partway between two (or even more) types of shape. Luckily, you don’t need to be a perfect match for any one shape to use this guide, since the tips and advice here are general, and are simply intended to give you a rough idea of what to look for (and what to avoid) when choosing frames.
A basic principle is to go with frames that are the opposite of your face’s shape. So, if you have angular features, or a very square-shaped faced, choosing glasses with a round-shaped frame can help to soften your appearance. On the other hand, if your face and features are naturally round, then square or rectangular frames with strong angles can help add definition to your look.
Let’s look at the five common face shapes, and the types of frames that suit each:
If you have a square face, then your jaws, cheeks and forehead will have sharply defined angles, and your face won’t taper, or narrow significantly towards the bottom.
Glasses with curved or rounded frames will help soften the harder contours of your face. A frame that’s thicker at the top can focus attention higher on your face, and distract from the strength of your jawline. Meanwhile, choosing slightly wider frames can make your face appear narrower by comparison.
If your face is long but narrow, then you probably have an oblong-shaped face. People with oblong faces may either have softer, more rounded facial contours, or harder, squarer facial contours – especially around the forehead and jawline.
If your features are angular, then rounded frames can soften these, while squarer frames can add definition if your features are rounder and less angular. Oblong-shaped faces can look distinguished and classically attractive, but you’ll probably want to avoid accentuating the length too much. Large frames with bold colours and patterns, or strong geometric angles, will catch the eye, and help break up your face’s apparent length.
A round-shaped face is roughly as wide as it is long. If your face is round, you’ll probably have attractive plump cheeks, a forehead that tapers evenly, and a smooth jawline.
Round glasses are best avoided – instead, square or angular frames are the ideal way to add a sense of definition to your face and features.
An oval-shaped face is mid-way between an oblong and round shape, with well-balanced features and attractive proportions. Typically, your forehead will be a little wider than your chin, and your cheek bones will tend to be set a little higher than average.
You can count yourself lucky if you have an oval-shaped face! Many styles will look perfect on you, but you may want to avoid very round shapes, and opt instead for frames with defined top corners, which will accentuate the taper towards your jaw, making this seem thinner and more defined. This shape of frame will also bring out the attractive contours of your cheeks.
A heart-shaped face starts narrow, with a slimline chin and jaw, before opening out towards a wider forehead.
Heart-shaped faces can be attractive, but you’ll need to choose frames carefully to avoid over-emphasising the natural triangle between your forehead and chin. The best frames for heart-shaped faces are round or oval, since these kinds of shapes can help prevent your face from appearing too pointed.
Measuring Up for Your New Glasses
Hopefully you’ve selected the perfect shape of glasses for your face. Now, the next step is to ensure you choose a pair that fit correctly.
There are three numbers that describe the size of glasses – and these are presented in this format: 55-18-142. These numbers relate to the frame width, bridge width and temple length respectively. The unit of measurement for each is the millimetre. You’ll see all three numbers clearly included on all of our product pages.
Let’s look at each number in turn:
The first number (55 in the example above) gives you the width of one lens. Focusing on this number will provide the clearest idea of how wide your new glasses will be. It’s best to choose a width that’s appropriate for you, based on how far apart your eyes are set.
Frames that are too narrow can make your face look wider than it really is, while over-wide frames will make your face appear very thin, and can leave your eyes looking as though they’re too close together. Ideally, you should aim for a balance, where your eyes look through the centre of each lens, and the width suits your face’s dimensions.
The next number (18 in our example) shows you how far apart the two lenses are set. Looking closely at how wide apart your own eyes are, and how broad the bridge of your nose is, will give you a good guide of what to look for here.
If you have wide-set eyes, and a broad bridge to your nose, then looking for a larger bridge width is important, and we recommend a bridge width of 18mm or higher. If you have close-set eyes, and a small bridge to your nose, then you should select frames with a bridge width of 18mm or lower.
The final number shows the length of the glasses’ arms. Most of our frames have 140mm arms, which is the standard size best suited to most wearers, but we have frames available between 135 and 145mms – perfect for the vast majority of our customers.
If you already wear glasses, then you’ll probably have noticed if you need longer or shorter arms than average. If not, looking at how far back your ears are set will help you to judge (the further back your ears lie, the longer the arms should be).
Our Final Thoughts
As we’ve seen, opposites attract! So, angular or square frames can work best if you have a rounded face, while rounder frames can complement a squarer face.
Think about the width of your face, and try to pick frames that will match this, and fit correctly.
Don’t forget to match your frames with your overall style! Choose a look that will work with the clothes you wear, the cut and colour of your hair, and the kind of makeup you like to apply.
Your frames should sit against the bridge of your nose – not against your cheekbones.
Try to pick frames that won’t hide or sit against your eyebrows.
When choosing sunglasses, don’t be shy about choosing an oversized look – larger sunglasses can look great, and may shield your eyes from more of the sun’s rays.
Finally, never forget that it’s your own face! We’ve offered lots of hints and tips, but the choice is yours, and the key thing is to choose frames that you’ll feel good about wearing!