Choosing the perfect frames to suit your face
The perfect pair of frames can make all the difference to your look, so it’s worth investing the time to find a pair which compliment your unique features and make you feel confident wearing them. The general rule to keep in mind when shopping for eyewear is to figure out your face shape and then look to styles which are the opposite shape to your face. This will add balance and create a flattering, harmonious effect. It is important to remember that although it is useful to take these rules into account, they are not set in stone and they should not stop you from choosing a pair you enjoy. Picking a pair which mirror your face shape, instead of balancing it, can sometimes create a beautifully dramatic effect which works very well if you like a statement look. Trying on different styles is the best way to be sure you find the perfect pair for you.
How to find your face shape
There are a few ways to help determine which face shape you fall under. Make sure your hair is pushed back from your face, take off any eyewear you may already be wearing so you can clearly see your face’s contours. Stand in front of a mirror then take a lipstick, bar of soap or whiteboard marker and draw around the outline of your face. Another way is to take a photo of yourself facing straight to camera and trace around the edges using a sheet of tracing paper, or a graphics programme on your computer. The shape this outline most resembles is your face shape.
Heart shaped faces start with a broad forehead and gradually narrow to a defined, pointed chin. High cheekbones and soft angles are a common defining feature of this face shape and the trick when choosing eyewear is in finding styles to balance the varying widths of the face. Frames which are bottom heavy or have details on the lower half will help to add width to the bottom of your face, balancing a narrow jaw line and slimming a wide forehead. Styles with low set temples can draw the eye downward and away from the forehead whilst oval shapes can help to take focus away from a pointed chin. Sweeping angles and pointed corners will showcase enviously high cheekbones. Avoid styles which are wider at the top and mirror the shape of your face too closely. Aviators and semi-rimless glasses will emphasise this and add width to the upper part of the face.
Those with a square face shape have a strong, wide jawline and a broad forehead. This shape is usually roughly equal in length and width, with very angular features. Look for eyewear which will help to soften these angles and create the illusion of length. Round and oval shapes will help to soften an angular face and draw attention to the eyes. Frames which are both narrow and wider than the cheekbones will also create a lengthening effect, making for a more proportional look and slim oval or cat eye frames are ideal for this. Bottom heavy styles should be avoided, as these will bring focus to the jaw and add unwanted width. Square frames and angular styles can make the face appear harsh and should also be skipped.
An oval face shape is often considered to be ‘ideal’ as its proportions are evenly balanced and most styles will suit those lucky enough to have this shape. Oval faces are longer than they are wide, with a softly rounded jawline. Bold styles work particularly well on oval faces, with their harmonious proportions providing the perfect blank canvas for almost all styles. Frames which are wider than the broadest part of the face complement this shape beautifully and help to maintain a balanced look. Although there aren’t really any styles that ovals need to steer clear of, narrow frames can make the face appear longer and can disrupt this shapes natural balance.
Round faces are short in length with full cheeks, a broad forehead and a rounded chin. The best choices for eyewear are those which help to create a narrower and longer shape, slimming down the fullness of the face and creating definition. Angular, narrow frame styles will help to add angles and lengthen the face, with bold rectangular styles working particularly well on round faces. Heavy brow bars and details across the brows and temples will draw the eye upwards and create a more defined silhouette. A clear bridge can help to draw emphasis to the eyes. Avoid round shapes and oversized styles which will make the face look fuller and only serve to accentuate its roundedness. Frames which are too small can also create the impression of a very full face, the most flattering styles are those which are wider than the broadest part of the face.
Rectangular faces share many of the same traits as the square, but are longer than they are wide and look best with frames which help to break up the length of the face. A strong, square jawline and chin, along with a longer nose are classic characteristics of this shape. Aviator frames are a good choice for rectangular faces, as are any styles which are deeper than they are wide. This contrast helps to create the illusion of a shorter and wider silhouette, bringing everything into balance. Shapes with rounded edges will add softness and large circular frames look best on this face shape. Contrasting coloured or decorative temples will add width to the face and a low bridge can help to shorten a long nose. Narrow frames should be avoided as these will make the face appear even longer in comparison. Very angular rectangles should also take caution in choosing square lenses, which can appear severe, though this style can work well on those with softer angles.