I got my first pair of glasses when I was 12. They were a no-nonsense metal-framed pair that were chosen on my behalf. Since then—despite a few short-lived dalliances with contact lenses—I’ve pretty much worn glasses everyday since.
I’ve had to buy a total of three pairs of glasses in my life and let me tell you, picking a new pair of specs is not easy. Considering that your going to be wearing them pretty much all the time, it’s important to pick a pair of glasses that match your face. Here’s how to make the right decision.
First of all, and most importantly, you need to figure out your face shape. Your face will most likely be one of the following shapes: Oval, diamond, square, round, rectangle, and heart.
To work out your face shape you’ll need to measure the distance between the widest points of your forehead, the distance between the widest points of your cheeks, the distance between the widest points of your jawline, and your face length from the middle of your hairline to your chin. Using these measurements you should be able to work out the vague shape of your face. Once you’ve figured this out, it’s time to pick your frames!
Certain frames only work with certain face shapes so you can save some time and effort by only trying on shapes that are going to compliment your face. The general rule of thumb is pick frames that draw attention to the narrower parts of your face and and draw attention away from the wider parts.
If you have an oval-shaped face consider yourself lucky! You can get away with pretty much any type of glasses frame. However, you should pick glasses that are slightly wider or as wide as the broadest part of your face.
Diamond-shaped faces are narrower at the forehead and jaw than they are at the cheeks. This face shape is also pretty rare. If you have a diamond-shaped face go for spectacles that highlight the eyes and deemphasise the cheekbones. Cat’s-eye glasses, like these ones from Vint and York, are a great choice, but narrow glasses should be avoided as they tend to draw focus towards the cheekbones.
Square faces are broad at the forehead and jawline, and are fairly angular. Narrow frames will make the face seem longer and oval shapes will soften the angles of the face. Steer clear of angular or thin frames if you have a square face. These trendy round frames from Warby Parker are ideal for square faces.
Round faces are short and feature a broad forehead and rounded cheeks and chin. Rectangular frames are very flattering on round faces. They will make the face seem slimmer and longer and will balance out the softer features. Try these frames, also from Warby Parker. Those with round faces should avoid rimless, round, and overly small frames. These will overemphasis the roundness of the face.
As the name suggests a heart-shaped face is wide at the forehead and cheeks and narrow and round at the chin and jawline. If you have a heart-shaped face try on frames that are bottom heavy. The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is a classic pick for those with heart-shaped faces. These will make the lower part of your face seem wider and result in a more symmetrical effect. Avoid any glasses that are overly wide at the top and draw attention to the forehead.