Getting the right pair of specs is no mean feat, given the plethora of different styles and silhouettes out there. Keeping your peepers supported with top quality lenses that hold the perfect prescription for you is vital for long term, consistent eye care whatever the season, as well as being an accessory for your look, whatever your personal style.
First things first though, working out your face shape to determine what frame will work for you is vital when choosing a pair of glasses, so check out our guide on determining your face shapes and picking the perfect pair of glasses, whatever your lifestyle.
How to determine your face shape
The first step is to decide if your face is round, oval, square, or heart-shaped. Take a photo of yourself directly facing the camera and use a piece of tracing paper to outline the edge of your face to work out your face shape. No camera? Then look in the mirror and with an erasable pen, trace the outline of your face on the mirror - Whatever you do, just make sure you can wipe it off afterwards!
Now you have your face shape sorted, check out our definitive guide on each face shape and what will work for you.
Oval Face Shape
Oval faces are the most forgiving, as these long rounded faces can pull of any style of frame, even oversized and wide ones. The only rule of thumb for oval faces is to avoid narrow frames and frames with heavy design elements, as these will add unnecessary length. Celebrity examples are endless and include Andy Warhol’s oversized round frames, Meryl Streep’s wide rectangle glasses, Woody Allen’s wayfarers, and Blues Brothers’ Dan Aykroyd’s square shades.
Oval Face Guidelines
Choose: Rectangle, Oval, Square, Round, Wayfarer, and Horn
- Go for a classic unisex wayfarer, medium to large size, as anything smaller would squash your face shape.
- The larger the frame the better for oval face as this will accentuate and chisel your cheekbones.
- Any details on the arms will print your temples out, adding definition to your face shape.
- Branding, embellishment and colour blocking will add an edgy accent to your shades.
- Dark lenses work well on cat-eyed frames and visors for oval faces. Just make sure you go for a large style.
- Metal framework will soften an angular shaped shade if you prefer a more subtle, everyday design.
- Make sure that the arms don’t sit too low on your face if you are going for a square frame as this has the potential to elongated the face- an unnecessary factor for an oval face shape.
Square Face Shape
Square faces are widest along their strong jaw lines and foreheads. Because these faces are defined by their jaws, glasses that sit high on the nose will add face length. To keep focus on strong features, choose rounded, rather than geometric, frames. Rimless and Semi Rim look great on these faces. For square-faced celebrity inspiration, turn to Tina Fey’s oval frames, Johnny Depp’s rounded wayfarers, or Audrey Hepburn’s iconic round sunglasses.
Square Face Guidelines
Choose: Oval, Round, Aviators, and Wayfarer
- Aviators are a great shape for a square face. If you have strong features then go big. Delicate features are better suited to the small to medium sized option.
- Larger specs with strong detailing will complement your own defined framework.
- Oval and round frames look great edged with a solid acetate rim. For a more masculine approach, metal framework also looks great on square faces, accentuating your chiselled features.
- Rectangular shaped frames with soft edges are a classic, unisex option. Stay away from too much detail on the outer edges and arms. This shape needs to be kept soft on a defined shaped face.
- To soften a really strong jaw, go for the butterfly frame, ladies. Over sized and glam, and most importantly, ultra feminine.
- Stay away from heavy brow detailing if you want to soften your face shape. A double brow bar will only mimic a strong jaw so if you want to play it down, lay off any angular brown detailing.
Round Face Shape
These full-cheeked faces are equal in width and length. Round faces should keep frames angular to add face definition. Full Rim and Semi Rim frames add length to these faces. Famous frames of circle-faced celebrities include Austin Power’s square wayfarers and Hillary Clinton’s rectangle glasses.
Round Face Guidelines
Choose: Rectangle, Square, and Wayfarer
- Go for a frame that is wider than you face. This will give your silhouette that little bit more definition.
- Stay away from round frames and opt for angular silhouettes instead. Square and rectangular glasses fit the bill.
- Embellished and branded arms will accent a frame, giving a round face more definition.
- For guys, solid acetate framework in dark colours and prints will keep things masculine and create a defined outline.
- Wayfarer frames hold a unisex appeal with bold prints and colours packing a punch and complimenting a round face.
Oblong Face Shape
To balance out your face and give it width, choose glasses that don’t extend beyond the widest part of your head. Opt for round or square shapes. You don’t want the pea head effect here, so ensure that you opt for a substantial circumference. Keep away from anything too angular that might jut out at the edges.
Diamond Face Shape - Base Up Triangle
Base Up triangle faces are widest at the forehead with a narrow chin. Avoid bottom-heavy frames, oversized frames, and frames with lots of design elements, as they keep the attention only on the top of the face. Rimless frames work well to soften this face shape. Ryan Reynolds’ Rimless frames and Jennifer Anniston’s petite wayfarers are marvelous models for these faces.
Base Up Triangle Guidelines
Choose: Rectangle, Oval, and Wayfarer
- Cat-eyed frames look great in classic tortoise and black and creams for a feminine option. Wrap-around frames work well in balancing out a diamond face shape. A great masculine option for a sporty lifestyle.
- Keep your choice of frame small and neat.
- Rectangular frames will sit neatly on a heart shaped face, balancing out a pointed chin.
- The wayfarer is unisex and offers an array of colour options as well as working in perfect synergy with small features.
Diamond Face Shape - Base Down Triangle
These rain-dropped shaped faces have full cheeks that sit in line with a prominent chin. Try elongating these faces with edgy and angular frames. Choosing noticeable frames will balance out full cheeks. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s rectangle wayfarers and Hilary Duff’s oversized square wayfarers are excellent examples.
Base Down Triangle Guidelines
Choose: Wayfarer, and Horn