Buying Eyeglasses – The Right Shape And Style

How to choose the best frame for your face shape, skin tone and eye color

Sure, you could try on every single pair of glasses on display. But you probably don’t have the time – or the desire – to do that. So narrowing down your choices ahead of time can save time and probably frustration. The idea is to determine the best frames for your face by matching the best shape and color for you.

Face Shape

First, consider your face shape. Is is oval, round, square, diamond, heart-shaped? Determining your face shape will help you better match the perfect pair of glasses. Here’s a look at common face shapes and how they pair up with the best-fit glasses:

Round-Shaped Face

A round face typically has the same width and length, and for this type of shape, frames that add length to the face are often the most suited. Hence, eyeglasses that are square or rectangular tend to be wider than a round face, and so they can enhance your face by making it appear slimmer and longer. If you have a round face, try to avoid rimless frames, round frames and frames that are small and that tend to accentuate the roundness, making a round face seem even more round.

Oval-Shaped Face

Frames that are wider than the broadest part of the face and have a strong bridge compliment the natural proportions of an oval-shaped face, which usually has a forehead that is wider than the chin and cheekbones are high. Also, choose frames that are wide or wider than the broadest part of the face. But try to avoid frames that are oversized and cover more than half your face.

Square-Shaped Face

This type of face is usually characterized by a strong jaw line, a wide chin and a broad forehead. Oval or round eyeglasses will help soften the square angles of the face and make the face look longer. Try to avoid frames that are boxy or angular, which can make a square face look bulky.

Heart-Shaped Face

With a heart-shaped – or base-up triangle-shaped face – frames that balance the width of the forehead with the slimmer part of the chin are ideal. Try to counterbalance the narrow chin by choosing frames that are wider at the bottom. Generally, light colored and rimless frames work best. Steer clear of any style or color of frames that draw attention to the forehead.

Diamond-Shaped Face

A diamond-shaped face is often characterized by high, dramatic cheekbones with a narrow eye line and jaw line. You can play up the narrow forehead with frames that sweep up or are wider at the cheekbones. Oval frames that are soft in style often work best with diamond-shaped faces. Try a rimless pair or cat-eye-shaped frames and try to avoid boxy or narrow frames that accentuate the width of your cheeks.

Base-down Triangle-Shaped Face (or, an upside-down heart shape)

If you have a narrow forehead and your face widens at the cheek and chin areas, consider frames that are heavily accented with color and that widen at the top. Details at the top, or cat-eye glasses, work well to add width and emphasize the narrower, upper part of the face.

Choosing the Right Color of Frames

According to the Vision Council, there are three main keys to matching the right color of frames with each individual:

  • Most people have either a warm (yellow based) or cool (blue based) coloring
  • Everyone looks best in his or her own color base
  • Eyewear should complement personal coloring

More on Skin Tone – Warm or Cool?

A cool complexion has blue or pink undertones, while a warm complexion has a peach, cream or yellow cast. Olive skin is considered cool because it is a mixture of blue and yellow.

Once you have determined if you are “warm” or “cool,” it makes it easier to find the perfect eyeglass frames and colors that will suit you best.

If you have cool coloring, the best eyeglass frame has hues that are black, silver, blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and a dark tortoise. If you have warm coloring, try colors like camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blond tortoise.

The Eye (Colors) Have It

Since there are so many variations of eye color, they are usually a secondary element in determining frames. Here are some suggestions for matching eye color with the best eyeglasses.

Blue Eyes: Make your blue eyes stand out with a contrasting brown tone.

Brown Eyes: A lavender color offers a good contrast to make brown eyes stand out, while a matching tortoise or coffee shade will help deepen natural brown eye tones.

Hazel Eyes: A greenish frame can emphasize the gold in hazel eyes, and for depth, try a brownish tone.

Green Eyes: For a complementary shade, try a plum tone, and for something more colorful, go with an emerald-green.