Choose the right glasses and frames that match your face shape
The days of thick, black NHS-issue specs and choosing to squint rather than wear embarrassing eyewear should be over in this age of lightweight designer frames. Sunglasses, too, have never been so important as we get more sunny days and jet off for beach holidays all year round. Yet it's amazing how many people still opt for glasses that simply aren't flattering to their faces.
There's no reason for practical items to be unattractive. Make sure you follow these guidelines to get a pair of specs or sunnies that'll look great.
What's your face shape?
Ok, let's start with the various face shapes:
(If you are unsure, see our measuring guide below)
- Oval-shaped - You are very lucky, this shape of face lends itself to almost all frame styles.
- Heart/triangle (face is wider at the forehead, with high cheekbones and a narrow chin) Choose frames that are all one colour and made of a light material.
- Round (full with few angles) Frames that are narrow with a high-set temple will lengthen your face.
- Square (forehead and jaw line are equal in width with a strong, angular jaw) Choose angular styles, as they keep the eyes centred in the frame. Make sure the frame is wide, to balance the face.
- Pear (narrow forehead that gently broadens to jaw line) These look best in frames that have a strong top bar, which will add width to the forehead. And frames that have detail at the temple will balance out the jaw line.
- Diamond (forehead is small, widens at temple and narrows at chin) Choose sharp-angled frames. Strong top bars will add width to the forehead.
- Oblong/rectangle (face is longer than it is wide, with equal width at forehead, cheekbones and jaw line) Deep frames are best, as they shorten the face.
Achieving the perfect match!
If you're unsure of your face shape, measure the widest part of your forehead, across your cheekbones, and from your hairline to the tip of your chin. Similar length and width measurements mean you've got a round or square face (this should be obvious from the angle of your jaw), while long faces will be twice as long as they are wide.
A classic 'oval' face will be one and a half times as a long as the width of your cheekbones - and you'll look great in anything you choose to try on.
For round-faced people, an angular frame that balances out your curves is great. Don't pick anything too rectangular, though, as they'll 'stretch' across your face and give an impression of greater width. Big bug-eyed frames as popularised by slender celebrities are also out, as they mimic the shape of your jaw.
Square faces need to follow the opposite rule - look for round shapes to offset your own angles. Again, avoid narrow ovals that add width, and it's obviously a bad idea to pick a bold square shape.
Slender styles and heavy frames suit a long face, as they effectively 'shorten' a lengthy chin by drawing attention to the centre. Don't go for big frames though - they could make the rest of your face look bigger.
Take a look at your nose as well while choosing glasses. Too lightweight a frame will seem overly fragile on a broad-bridged nose, while a heavy plastic frame will overwhelm small noses.
For regular glasses wearers, bear in mind they'll need to match all of the clothes you own, so don't go for anything too outrageously coloured or shaped. A lot of people have one ear higher than the other, or a quirk to the bridge of their nose. At Spectacular, we can quickly alter frames if they don't sit easily on your face, so ask our opinion on the fit and we'll be able to advise you if anything needs adjusting.
Glass & Spectacles resourcesTop 5 frame choice tips Information on lens options (Varifocals/Bifocals/Transitions/Hi-Index) and coatings Back to glasses main page
Jimmy Choo, Rayban, Oakley
Just some of the brands we sell at Spectacular.
learn more »
Need something bespoke?
We are highly qualified with experience in both standard and bespoke contact lens fittings.
learn more »
Spoilt for choice
Each of the Spectacular practices has a wide range of glasses and frames.
learn more »
Spectacular for kids.
Pre-school screening and a multitude of other services for children at your local practice.
learn more »
Learn more about some of the questions we are asked on a regular basis...