How to Choose the Best Eyeglasses For Your Face Shape

When it comes to picking out glasses, the options seem endless, and they are. I know from experience that finding a pair you love that is flattering can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Your perfect pair is out there, and I’ve got a few tips to help make it easier. Glasses are like jewelry for your face, so their style is pretty darn important. Let’s look at some things that’ll help you choose the most flattering eyeglasses for your face shape. 

display of eyeglass frames in optical store

Picking the most flattering frame is also a great opportunity to express your personal style because glasses are like jewelry on your face, and they’re the first thing most people notice about you. 

To select the best pair of glasses to suit your face, start with your face shape. Most of us know the shape of our faces, but if you need some help determining yours, you can simply look in a mirror and trace the outline with your finger. Ta Dah!

PEEPERS BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING READERS

Styling Tips for Face Shapes

Round Faces 

A round face is typically as wide as it is long. Look for frames that will add some angles for a nice contrast. Square frames and cat-eye shapes are as lovely as rectangular frames, which I’m seeing a lot of these days.

Oval Faces 

An oval face is well-balanced and slightly longer than wide. Most frame shapes work well, and they can basically wear any frame shape they like. 

PARKER WARBY FATIMA FRAME

MORE FUN FRAMES FROM WARBY PARKER

 

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Oblong Faces

A rectangle or oblong face shape is longer than it is wider and has a long, straight cheek line. Look for frames with deeper lenses (top to bottom), which adds balance and makes your face appear shorter. Round or oval frames are a great contrast and help add curves to your face. A square frame is a nice contrast if you choose ones that are wider than the broadest part of your face.

Square Faces

EYEBOBS READING GLASSES

A square face shape has a wide angular jaw and a broad forehead. Round or oval frames help soften the strong jawline and add balance to a square face.

 

 

Heart Shaped Faces

The heart face shape has a broader, wider forehead, narrower chin, and prominent cheekbones. Aviator and round frames help your more angular face appear softer. Avoid frames that are overly embellished or top-heavy, as these can accentuate the width of the upper face.

Diamond Face Shape

Diamond-shaped faces are the rarest face shape. They have a narrower forehead, defined cheekbones, and angular jawlines. They look great in a variety of shapes, like rectangle and oval frames.

Triangle Face Shape

A triangle face has a wide square jawline and a narrow forehead. Wide, heavier frames look best because they help balance out your jaw.

Other Style Tips For Eyeglasses

Choose a size that’s in harmony with your face size and a color that complements your skin tone. Warm skin tones look stunning with frames in shades like cream, tortoise, or honey, while a cool complexion is flattered by blue, gray, and silver-toned frames. Conversly, if bold red frames are your thing, go for it and make them your statement look.

Be aware that very wide temples may block your peripheral vision.

 

What Types Of Lenses Should You Choose?

Your choice of lens will impact the clarity and weight of your glasses.

  • Plastic Lenses are a common choice because they’re less prone to shattering than glass. They’re also lightweight and affordable, making them a common choice for prescription lenses.
  • Polycarbonate Lenses are thinner and lighter than plastic. They’re also impact-resistant.
  • Trivex Lenses are similar to polycarbonate. They’re lightweight, thin, and impact-resistant, with the added benefit of providing clearer vision with less distortion than polycarbonate lenses.
  • High-Index Plastic Lenses are thin and lightweight. These are especially beneficial for strong prescriptions because they reduce the “Coke bottle” effect that’s common with thicker lenses.
  • Aspheric Lenses have varying degrees of curvature, which makes them thinner and flatter than conventional lenses, allowing for wider, more accurate vision.
  • Photochromic Lenses automatically darken in sunlight, providing convenient UV protection and glare reduction. This allows many people to forgo getting prescription sunglasses.
  • Polarized Lenses reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water and pavement. I find these cut down on squinting, so I insist on this for my sunglasses.
  • Glass Lenses are heavier and more breakable. They offer excellent optical clarity and are scratch-resistant.

If you wear multifocal lenses, a deeper lens will give you a larger reading area. If you spend time on a computer or cell phone, consider adding the blue-light coating which can protect your eyes from damage and strain.

Anti-reflective coatings are pretty standard these days and worth every penny.

Frameless glasses

These are very popular for a good reason. They’re lightweight and offer a “barely there” look, which some find minimalistic and understated. Conversely, this “barely there” look can make us appear older than we are. It’s a personal choice. I have a pair and feel older in mine so I reserve them for wearing when at home because they are so darn comfortable!

The Best Readers

THE MAX SQUARE PEEPERS BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING READERS

Readers, or cheaters, as I used to call them, are plentiful everywhere, from the checkout line at the pharmacy to your local optometrist’s office. Many provide blue-light protection, and they come in strengths up to 4.0. If you’re like me and tend to leave them everywhere, I recommend inexpensive sets of three like these. These are an opportunity to have fun with your frames because the investment is low. I like to wear readers when working on my laptop.

Do you wear glasses? When was the last time you updated your frame?

 

38 Comments

  1. My attitude is that if you are going to wear glasses, make them glasses! I have been wearing readers with bold, slightly cat-eyed frames in great colors, red, green, blue, yellow. I always get compliments on them, often from young women. My face is square, and my style leans boho. My favorite brand is A J Morgan.

    1. I tend to agree with you. There are so many great options out there.

  2. I wear glasses all the time. And picking out a frame is challenging. I have readers just for that purpose, but also have progressive lenses with photo changing sun lenses built in. They are expensive but I don’t have to change glasses or find sunglasses or readers when I put them down somewhere. Just one pair not three. My thing is comfort and that can be a back and forth to the optical store for a few adjustments. Just got new glasses and one pair is perfect and the other is coming along. The ones I wear all the time are wire and do get out of wack a bit, so back for a quick adjustment and all is well for a while.
    Thanks for all the great tips Jennifer.

  3. I discovered Pair Eyewear last year and have been very pleased. You pick your base frame, available as prescription lenses or blanks; then you can order from a wide selection of magnetic toppers to fit your mood or even the season. Helps to make wearing glasses more fun and definitely amps up the accessory aspect!

    1. That’s a fun idea.

  4. I have found, for me, it is absolutely critical to have frames with adjustable nose pieces fo get a comfortable fit. Otherwise the glasses are always sliding down my nose.

    1. Great point! I like those nose pads too because the bridge of my nose is uneven.

  5. Well annual glasses is out of the question for me! My regular prescription cost over $800 and my readers were $600. I went with a Classic tortoise in light grey and tan mix. The shape is like the Nadia but mine are Kate Spade. I change out my lenses as needed only. I wear the frames for years. Last November was my time to change frames as my readers fell apart and my darkening glasses I keep for sunglasses. The script barely changed and my optician said I probably wouldn’t see a difference. I don’t like the way they are still slightly shaded inside now so my new lenses are clear. I had cataracts removed also a few years ago so my prescription doesn’t change much, thank goodness!

  6. Timely post! Just picked out new frames the other day. I agree with all your hints when selecting. During my process, it was recommended that your eyes be centred in your frame ie. your pupil should be equal distance horizontally as well as vertically, if that makes sense. ( like the red ones you posted)
    But maybe that all depends on your face shape and the look you are going for 🤷🏻‍♀️.

  7. Sheila in SC says:

    What a good post, much information! I’ll come back and read the comments, which are always informative too. I’ve noticed you often wear beautiful shades of green and wear them well. A stylist told me once that green is the hardest frame color to pull off but I think it’s a great go to for you! 💚

    1. They’re an aqua shade which picks up a color in my iris.

      1. Sheila in SC says:

        I love that, makes sense 🩵

  8. Figuring out your face shape can be very challenging. For some, as with body shapes, it’s obvious. For others, it’s not clear at all. There are variations on each type. I finally figured it out, thanks to line drawings of men’s face shapes. Then I went to a mirror and used an erasable marker to draw dots on the mirror, marking the outer points of my forehead, cheekbones and jaw. I connected the dots with a line. I’m a diamond! This was not what I expected but my cheekbones are definitely wider than my forehead. I had thought my face was oblong with a square jaw. Quite a few frame types work for me: cat-eyes, ovals, angled squares that narrow at the bottom. It really is a matter of finding a good optician to help you out and trying on several frame shapes. Then consider color and frame size. Good luck, everyone!

  9. Thanks for fixing the link. I really only need readers, (like a sharpening lense for driving) and in order to be able to find them, wore around my neck. Made me look older. So…now have one pair of transitions lenses that also darken in sunlight. Living in Florida THAT is a godsend. No more having to schlepp sunglasses and readers around in my purse. One and done!

    1. That’s a great idea!

  10. After decades of wearing super-thick glasses lenses (or contacts that were never too comfortable), cataract surgery changed my life. I can now get by without any glasses at all! I’ve been having so much fun picking out flattering readers (I like Peepers), as well as frames for Rx glasses that sharpen my vision while driving or using a computer since each eye is set to a very different distance. (Previously I had to stick to the smallest frames to help the lenses be less thick.) All this to say, I’ve had very good luck buying frames with prescription lenses online. Sites usually have a virtual try on feature that works well. I’ve been pleased with GlassesUSA and CoolFrames. The cost is generally half as much as I would have spent at an optician’s shop for the exact same frames.

    1. Those are great resources! Thanks for sharing Ann.

  11. I love Peepers blue light readers. I have 3 pairs around the house. I am very sensitive to even the slightest distortion and I find that Peepers lenses have good optic quality lenses. Also, they make it really easy to return a pair if they aren’t quite right for you.

    1. I agree about the quality. It’s worth it to buy the best quality lens even in a reader.

  12. Hi Jennifer, great insightful article. Sorry to say, I’ve never really felt great with glasses, I mean veering into feeling really ugly. Maybe my poor choice as a 6 year old with baby blue, silver sparkles cat eye glasses as my first pair, 1956 was not in the forefront of style..moving thru the years I opted to not wear glasses, and squinted a lot, lived in contacts for a very long time. Now that I’m 73 for the past 10 years or so, I only need glasses for distance/driving.. I’ve been able to invest in some gorgeous prescription glasses, and I finally happy. Readers are next but the strength is tricky, can’t quite find what I need so , I really appreciated your info on the readers. BTW, you look lovely in glasses………thanks for all the tips…

    1. I prefer not weariong glasses and have tried contacts, but my dry eyes make them impossible. Thanks Nancy

  13. I find buying new frames stressful. My face is small so most overwhelm me and I don’t want little dainty frames that will age me or look outdated. I’m drawn to some of the trending shapes but when I try them on they just aren’t me. I take photos of myself in frames I like, then when home transfer them to my iPad. I can get a better sense of how they look from a picture, then in the store with a salesperson telling me “these look great”. Usually the frames are wearing me so it’s back to the store. Ugh!

    1. I take selfies at the store too because I can’t see what I look like in the mirrow without my prescription glasses on!

    2. I have a small face too. Warby Parker has many frames labeled “narrow” and I’ve also found that frames that are a 49 width or under fit my face better. Also, you might want to look in the children’s section. I know that sounds strange, but some of them can be trending without overwhelming your face. Good luck!

      1. I’ve tried the children’s section but find the frames are small therefore looking outdated. I’ll be sure to ask for narrow next time I purchase glasses. I sometimes think the ladies are pushing what they like and not considering how big they are on my face. I’ve learned to tell them I am just browsing so they will leave me alone as I search. I’d love to have several pairs to change up with my outfits but it is such a challenge to find a pair that I usually get frustrated and give up. Patience is not my long suit.

  14. Jennifer, you look stunning in the muti-coloured readers. Readers are perfect to play with different shapes and colours than prescription glasses.

    1. Thanks. I was surprised to like them on me too. They’re square and my face is square which shouldn’t work on me. Lol!

      1. I don’t consider your face shape to be square, Jennifer. Your face is longer than a square face shape. Are you sure you’re not a diamond like me?

      2. I am definitly not a diamond. My jaw, cheekc and forehead are the same width accross.

  15. Rhoda Clark says:

    I began wearing glasses when I turned 21. Two years ago I had cataract surgery. Cost me a bunch, but for the first time I am now eye glass free. Sometimes, I still reach automatically for my non existent glasses. lol. But with the recommendation of my ophthalmologist I went out and bought three pair of sun glasses. I was warned to never go out without them. So now I do some fun shopping for just the right pair for what I’m wearing and where I’m going. Such fun!

    1. That’s a great benefit from your surgery! I’d love to be able to buy non RX glasses. I’d have a wardrobe of them.

  16. Thank you for getting the link fixed. I will go back to reference this again but I just got new readers and they appear to be the right shape for me.
    I finally got a chance to dive into your info pieces from Sunday, and I was fascinated with the article on Albert Einstien. There is always something interesting to read in those posts.

    1. With all my email provider problems, now I can add user (me) issues to the mix 🤣

  17. Deborah Evers says:

    I love this! I am a retired optician. I always tried to remind folks that eyeglasses should be considered an accessory . Great advice for those who are trying to stay current ! Always replace your prescription eyeglasses annually! Just because your prescription does not changed doesn’t mean your style may not need an update .

  18. I have wore glasses since I was three years old. The variety of frames that I tried ran the gamut. Today, at 78, my last two pair were a tortoise, plastic frame. For me, they are accessory number one! The tortoise color adds a bit of interest without being dramatic. This color goes well with my hair and makeup choices also. My eye glasses are the last place that I would add a trending style. It’s just not me, never has been me.

    1. New glasses are so expensive I overthink the frame because I don’t like how most look on me.

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