Different types of glasses better complement certain face shapes.
Research shows facial geometry generally factors into the way we perceive beauty. While the way we perceive beauty has a cultural component, it is broadly true that certain shapes appeal to the eye in different ways.
By extension, how we accentuate our faces, such as with glasses, also depends on our facial geometry. Once you identify your face shape, you can more easily choose glasses that look best on your face.
How to Determine Face Shape
Face shape is most commonly broken down into seven categories:
Fashion experts recommend that you find their face shape by looking in the mirror and pulling your hair back. Performing this check with wet hair can make it easier, as the water helps pad your hair down, so you can focus solely on your face.
Take note of several key features of your face to help determine its shape. Experts recommend noting the widest part of your face, the shape of your jaw, and the length of your face.
Faces Exist on a Spectrum
Notably, many people have faces that do not fall perfectly into a particular category of face shape. For example, one can characterize a round face as one with wide cheekbones and a round jaw. However, an oval face has many of those same traits, and even the “perfect” example of a round face is not literally a circle.
The face shape groupings exist as a helpful shorthand, guiding fashion choices to those that fit an individual’s body. If you believe your jaw puts your face somewhere between a heart shape and an oval shape, experiment with suggestions for both shapes and see which suits you best.
Glasses for a Square Face Shape
Experts suggest people who have square faces avoid glasses with hard lines in their design. Curvier, gentler shapes help to avoid making your face seem blockier than it actually is.
Rimless glasses can be an excellent choice, helping the face appear softer.
Glasses for a Round Face Shape
Round faces can offer a few more workable options than square faces, as the softer angles of the face mean that harder angles on glasses can work. In addition, curvy glasses can still work very well for round faces.
Less important is gentle lining. Thicker frames have a smaller chance of looking strange on round faces, with some experts even preferring them.
Glasses for a Heart Face Shape
Heart-shaped faces can benefit from wide frames, which pair well with high cheekbones and an angled jawline. Both curved and straight-angled frames can work well for this shape, depending on your preference and overall style.
Glasses for a Triangle Face Shape
Many recommendations for heart-shaped faces also apply to triangle-shaped faces. Both shapes have a characteristic strong jaw and fairly high cheekbones. The flatter top of a triangle-shaped face means you may prefer curved frames.
As a general rule, curves help soften faces with sharp angles. While some people may lean into their angled features and choose to accentuate them, the trend is to balance them with softer accessories.
Glasses for an Oval Face Shape
Oval faces have the fashion benefit of soft angles and excellent facial symmetry. This means finding glasses that work for an oval face tends to be easier than with many other face shapes.
Some experts say nearly any frame can work for an oval-shaped face. You can use this freedom to further accentuate the softness of your face or experiment with unusual choices that may not work as well with other facial structures.
Glasses for a Diamond Face Shape
Diamond-shaped faces have sharp angles. If one chooses frames that also utilize sharp angles, they can develop a striking look with some experimentation. If you want a quieter, gentler approach, frames with soft angles can be a very different alternative.
Likewise, a diamond face can benefit from the diametrically opposed choices of either hard-lined or rimless glasses. More material highlights the glasses and can emphasize your angles. Less material can allow the glasses to blend with the face and offer a softer look.
Glasses for a Pear Face Shape
The pear face shape has a characteristic broad jawline with a somewhat narrow forehead. Many individuals with this face shape choose frames that create a sense of balance, with the wider part of the frames at the top and then less material at the bottom.
What About Sunglasses?
Sunglasses can involve fun experimentation to the fashion-conscious, as they have a more striking look by design. While much of the above advice remains relevant, people notice sunglasses more.
This offers you an opportunity to get a little riskier with your choices. Subtle designs, such as smaller frames or those without rims, can still work well, though they will stand out more than traditional glasses simply because of their darker lenses. The opposite is also true. Sunglasses can take very loud designs and make them louder, which is sometimes desirable.
Where to Buy
There is no shortage of glasses retailers online. Here are some of the top retailers:
You can find a range of frame shapes and styles at these retailers. Many sites offer features to help you choose frames that work well with your face shape.
Additionally, many big-box retailers such as Costco and Walmart also offer a variety of glasses and sunglasses at affordable prices. The ideal place to shop for eyewear depends on the styles you’re seeking and any particular deals a company might offer. With so many companies offering a wide range of choices online, it’s worth it to shop around a bit.
Online vs. In-Store
You can buy fashionable frames both online and in stores. In the past, many people preferred to shop in person, as it helped them see how frames looked on their face. In-person shopping remains an excellent option in this regard, as you can immediately see whether you like an available frame.
However, online retailers have evolved in many ways. Most major eyewear retailers have websites with a long catalog of frame options that many physical locations lack the space to showcase. These sites also may have options that allow visitors to upload photos of themselves and then see how the frames look on the photo.
A few have generous return policies, meaning you can send a pair of glasses back that doesn’t work for you with little or no penalty. This gives you the freedom to shop online as easily as you would in person, and it opens you up to a much wider range of choices.
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How to Find Your Face Shape in 3 Simple Steps. (November 2020). MasterClass.
A Guide to Determining Your Face Shape (If That’s Something You Care About). (October 2019). Cosmopolitan.
Adding Up Attractiveness. (September 2008). University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Eyeglasses. Warby Parker.
Eyeglasses Online. (February 2021). EyeBuyDirect.
Eyewear for Everyone. Zenni.
O’s Eyeglasses Intervention. (August 2008). Oprah.com.
Last Updated April 5, 2022
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