The perfect pair of glasses

January 02, 2019 | By Joe Fell

Trying to find the perfect pair of glasses should feel fun, not frustrating. Your face shape, hair colour, eye colour, and personal style all play a part in determining the right frames for you. I’m here to lay out the guidelines, but ultimately rules were made to be broken: round glasses with a round face could be the perfect signature look, and red hair and red glasses might be just your thing.

This guide will help you understand how to weigh all of those factors as you make your choice. We’ll also encourage you to think about situation, are you looking for glasses to wear in a work setting, or for going out? Different frames may suit different occasions, or you can find a pair that looks good anywhere.

Figuring out your face shape

You can read the full face shape guide here to figure out your closest match. Just know that in general there are particular frame shapes that go well with particular face shapes, and so these rules are mostly intended for people who want the most flattering option that requires the least amount of fuss.

  • Do you have a round face? Find frames with bold, sharp angles like rectangular, cat eye, and retro wingtip styles.For a bolder statement, round frames on a round face can be a stark style choice that stands out from the crowd.
  • Do you have a square face? Pick a frame that set against sharp angles — meaning curved styles like oval glasses, round, and Aviator frames.
  • Want to make a bolder statement? Angular cat eyes and squared-off wingtip frames all starkly emphasise your features.
  • Do you have a triangular face? Pick a frame that’s wide and bold on top, elongating a narrower forehead and balancing a wider jaw. Examples include browlines, Aviators, and cat eye glasses.
  • Want to make a bolder statement? A round style offers an interesting collocation to angular features.
  • Do you have a heart-shaped face? Pick a frame with a deep base, like the D-shaped lens of a retro wingtip frame. You’ll also want to choose pairs wider than your brow, making Aviators and cat eye frames another good option.
  • Want to make a bolder statement? If you have soft features, try rounded or oval metal frames for a classic 90s look.
  • Do you have an oval face? Oval is considered the most ‘universal’ face shape as almost all styles look good on oval face shapes due to their symmetry and balance.

Shopping by frame colour

Most people settle toward neutral frames, black, brown, and tortoise because they’re easy to match with just about any hair colour, eye colour, and skin tone. But if you’re looking to have a little more fun, here’s our guide to choosing the frame colour that makes you favourite features stand out.

Matching frames to eye colour

Before deciding what frame colour will work best with your eye colour, ask yourself whether you want to stand out, or blend in. For a subdued, professional look, you’ll want frames that are a neutral colour, or that match with your eye colour. But, for occasions more festive than the Monday morning conference, you might want a different look. For your fun or casual glasses, choose a colour that’s contrasting, but complementary to your eye colour.

  • Blue Eyes - Yellow or orange the complementary colour of blue, will really make your eyes pop. Tortoise-shell and brown glasses will also look good with blue eyes.
  • Brown/Amber Eyes - Any colour will look great with brown/amber eyes, from classic black to brighter tones. If you want to stand out, choose a very bold bright colour.
  • Green Eyes - Red is the complementary colour of green, but you probably want to save that look for the holidays. We recommend brown or other plain tones. These subdued frame colours always look good with green eyes. If you want to be bold, consider colour frames such as purple.
  • Hazel Eyes- Hazel eyes often seem to switch from brown to green. So, choosing green or brown frames both provide contrast and will blend in. Amber frames are also a good choice.

Matching frames to hair colour

Hair plays by similar rules as your eyes, there may be certain shades you want to avoid, but for the most part you’re looking to enhance and play around with your ideal palette.

  • Black Hair - For black hair, choose darker frames like black or tortoise shell. You can experiment with brighter colours, but whether they work will depend on your undertone.
  • White/Grey Hair - This is the ideal hair colour for experimentation. Bright colours will look best with your hair. Go crazy!
  • Red Hair - Red hair calls out for bold frames. You can experiment with colour or for a more conventional look, go with darker frames. Just avoid red frames, as they may blend in too much.
  • Dark Brown Hair - If you have dark brown hair you’re the perfect match with tortoise shell frames. Or look for frames that also have the warm, earthy colours of tortoise shell.
  • Light Brown hair - Light brown hair looks terrific with a dark or black frame, but you can also experiment with pastel colours.
  • Blonde Hair - If you have dark tones in your blonde hair, look for warm colours. Tortoise shell would also be a good choice for you. Consider bright colours for fascinating contrast with your light hair and skin.

Shopping by frame thickness

Are you making a fashion statement with your glasses or do you want people to barely notice them?

  • Thick Frames - Thick frames are bold and unmissable. People with strong facial features like prominent noses or chins should think about trying thick frames, which will help de-emphasize those features. Thick frames usually come in dark colours, but as they’ve grown in popularity other options have joined the mix, clear thick frames are a cool and trendy look.
  • Thin Frames - Thin frames blend into your face. They emphasize your eyes and other facial features. If you want people to notice your face and not your frames or if you don’t want to draw attention to your glasses, go for thin frames.

Shopping by frame width

The width of your frames is like the your shoe size it isn’t a fashion choice, it’s a matter of getting the correct fit. A couple of frame width fit rules to keep in mind:

  1. There should be a gap between the arm of the glasses and your temple, but it should be a very small gap.
  2. When you smile, the glasses should continue to rest on your nose, not get jostled by your cheeks.

Shopping by arm width and length

  • Arm width - Don’t worry too much about the width of the frame’s arms. These are nearly always designed to be in proportion with the thickness of the frame overall. Thick arms usually go along with thick frames and provide balance. They are most common on sunglasses. Most frames for regular glasses have thin arms.
  • Arm length - Frame length, however, is another matter. Most adult women want a frame arm between about 135-140, whereas most adult men should look for frame arms from 140-145. These figures vary depending on face shape and size.
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