Three-quarters of American adults need corrective lenses. For those who choose glasses, the frames become an integral part of their look. But how do you find the best frames for your face?
Different types of frames for different faces
Many simple guides promise to synchronize particular frame styles with specific face shapes. However, the reality is that many faces do not fit a particular shape, but are somewhere between the extremes (such as "oval" or "square"). Choosing the right glasses does not mean following a formula, but understanding the effect that specific frames will produce when you wear them.
Let's take a look at the most common shapes and styles of eyeglasses, and how they can complement (or distract from your face) the features of your face. Use it as a point of reference for your decisions – but remember: the best frames are always the ones that make you feel good when you look in the mirror.
Thick frames offer a sensational look and remain popular even though thinner frames are in vogue right now.
Thick frames were once the daring and trendy choice of glasses, but they have now taken their place among classic looks. However, the thicker the frame, the bolder your glasses become. This means that if you have small and delicate features, a pair of thick frames may hurt your face and take the stage.
But for some, this mighty effect might be what you are looking for. If you want your glasses to be the focal point of your face, consider a thicker frame. Otherwise, avoid thick mounts unless you have bold features (like big eyes or prominent cheekbones) for more balance.
Thin-wire frames have become an interesting alternative to the bold frames that have dominated fashionable eyewear for years. Metallic frames lend themselves to rounded and softer patterns for a more neutral look.
These slim frames offer one of the most flattering looks in the world of glasses because they do not make a bold statement on your face. Delicate metallic glasses allow your features to stand out more, which is ideal for those who do not want their glasses to be the boldest part of their look or for anyone with small features.
If you do not like the idea of wire frames, you can also choose a thin plastic pair to achieve the same effect. Opt for clear plastic or a translucent neutral shade for a subtle look.
Most eyeglass guides suggest to people with square or angular faces to wear round-frame glasses. In general, they are right: the contrast between the shape of your face and that of your frame can add balance to your overall appearance.
However, round frames can also be attractive to people with round face shapes, if you want to emphasize this aspect. A softer, rounder face is often associated with a more feminine look. So you can consider rounded glasses if you want to play your feminine side.
How can you tell if your face is round? Features like full cheeks and a soft chin usually lend themselves to a rounded appearance. Round frames will draw more attention to the smoothness of your face.
Square or angular faces, on the other hand, tend to offer more masculine energy. You can highlight this feature with a pair of angular frames. In the meantime, if you have a round face, you can soften the roundness by shifting it with square frames.
Again, there is no rule to match face shape and frame shape here. Instead, you must choose the facial features that you want the most attention on. Square frames make an angular jaw more visible, for example, while round frames soften it.
In addition to choosing the style of your frames, you will also need to consider the size.
Following the rules is a little more important when it comes to the size of the glasses rather than the shape. If you choose frames that are too big or too small for your face, they may look comical or costumed.
To avoid this effect, check the position of the frames on your face. The edges of the frames should not exceed the edges of your face, or land very far in the contours of your face. Ideally, your eyes will be placed horizontally in the center of the lenses and in the top third of the lenses vertically. Having properly fitted glasses also allows you to see through them more easily.
Once you have properly adjusted the frames, the other size considerations are purely aesthetic. If you have small eyes, a large pair of glasses will make them even smaller.
On the other hand, a small pair of frames can make big eyes look bigger. In general, it is a safe bet to match the size of the frame to the size of your eyes. Wear smaller frames if your eyes are small and vice versa.
Think of the frame of your glasses as your eyes. Just like when you frame a photo, you want the frame to conform to the shape, but not cut at the edges.
Choose the best glasses for you
Now that you know how certain eyewear styles affect your look, you can reduce the countless options offered by your favorite eyewear retailers.
Although we have not covered each specific frame style here, you can apply this information to any frame you are looking at …even sunglasses. For example, you now know that sharp-angled glasses, such as square frames and cat's eye, will minimize rounded lines and accentuate angles.
When you understand how different glasses will play with your facial features, you can confidently choose the pair you like the most. If you love your angular cheekbones, for example, you can highlight them with angular glasses. Instead of following a list of rules, this guide will help you choose frames that showcase your features in your favorite ways.