Getting Framed: The Right Glasses for Your Face

  • BY Lainie Petersen

A pair of eyeglasses is like jewelry for your face: The frame’s color can enhance your eyes, skin and hair, while its shape can emphasize your best features. The trick to finding the right frames is spending a lot of time trying on different frames until you find one that works, though feedback from a third party can also help. Still, it’s possible to shave some time off the choosing process by knowing a few things about facial shape and eyeglass design.

Frame Shape

It’s your choice: Your eyeglass frames can either accentuate the good, or the not-so-good, aspects of your bone structure, so knowing your facial shape can be a big help. Hairstylists are usually pretty good at analyzing facial shape, but if you’re between trims, here’s a quick guide:

  • Oval: Considered by many to be the “perfect” facial shape, an oval shaped face is balanced, with a narrow forehead and chin. People with oval faces tend to have the most flexibility in choosing eyeglass frames, so feel free to experiment.
  • Heart: A heart shaped face has wide cheekbones and a narrow chin (many people think that heart shaped faces are more interesting than oval shapes). Avoid frames that have a thick line across your forehead or cheekbones. Try rimless glasses that don’t accentuate any one aspect of your bone structure.
  • Square: Square faces are characterized by a strong jawline and square brow. This face shape often benefits from the softening that round-ish frames can offer.
  • Round: In contrast to the square face type, a round face doesn’t have a lot of well-defined angles. Glass frames with some structure can enhance a round face. Avoid round or oval frames.

Frame Color

Frame #633521

Frame color can make a big difference too. Basic black frames, for example, are indeed versatile, but can look harsh on a delicate complexion. Brown, tortoise shell or metallic frames are typically a better choice if you are looking for neutral frame color. If you do choose a metallic frame, you’ll have to coordinate your jewelry with your glasses, so decide whether you are a “silver” or a “gold” person before ordering your frames.

Another option is to choose colored frames: Try a color that compliments or contrasts with your eyes. As with metallic frames, however, colored frames can clash with what you are wearing. You might want to keep a second pair of glasses in a neutral frame on hand in case you run into a wardrobe conflict.

Zenni Frame Fit

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If you’re concerned about selecting eyeglass frames online, don’t be. Zenni’s Frame Fit service lets you upload a photograph of yourself to Zenni’s site and then “try out” different frames to see how they’ll look on you. This allows you to take some time evaluating how you look: The system even has a “compare’ feature that allows you to view, side by side, your face in up to four different styles.

Need a second opinion? Post your Frame Fit photo on Facebook and ask your friends for feedback! And while you’re there, why not enter Zenni’s Weekly Giveaway for a chance to win the frames for free?

More Than One Pair

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While some people treat their (usually very distinctive) eyeglasses as a wardrobe “signature,” others prefer to own more than one pair so that they can switch out different frames to go with different outfits. This is a really good idea if you routinely need to change your style for different occasions: For example, you normally wear business casual clothes at the office, but must also frequently attend black tie dinners. Owning pairs suitable for both types of clothing can help you stay looking pulled-together.

(Plus, having an extra pair or two keeps you covered in case one gets lost or broken.)