Fashion

How to find the best glasses for your face shape

By: Alexandra Donaldson

Photography by Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Getty Images

Fashion

How to find the best glasses for your face shape

By: Alexandra Donaldson
No longer a fashion faux pas, eyewear has become a statement-making accessory that calls to mind words like chic, pulled together and fun. Think of Iris Apfel, whose round frames are synonymous with the 94-year-old fashion icon. Or stylish J.Crew designer Jenna Lyons with her trademark black specs. And let’s not forget Lupita Nyong’o, who presented at the Golden Globes this year in a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown and thick eyeglasses.

We spoke to Terence Lo at Josephson Opticians in Toronto about key things to remember when buying a new pair of frames, and the shapes that will flatter your face.

Fit first
Fit is the most important factor to consider when purchasing glasses. Many women wear frames that are too small or too big. “The width of the frame needs to be the same width as the widest part of your face,” says Lo. Why? Because your optician cannot change the frame size to fit you better. Your frames are too small if the arms splay outwards and too big if they cover your eyebrows or don’t fit snugly against the bridge of your nose.

Note, too, the position of your eyes within your face. For the optimal fit, your peepers should sit right in the centre of the lenses (horizontally) and in the centre of the upper half of the lenses (vertically).

Your face shape
Next, find out your face shape and which frames suit it. When you try on frames, you want to think about balance and proportion. By drawing the eye to, or away from, certain facial characteristics, you can have a lot of fun with this accessory.   

Oval
If you have an oval face, lucky you! You’re in the same boat as Charlize Theron and Eva Mendes. Your face is longer than it is wide and gently slopes at the forehead and chin without any hard or angular lines. "This shape is the most versatile because it's considered the most balanced," says Lo. With glasses, this means you can have fun and try whatever you want.

Glasses for oval faces
Miu Miu, $266, eBay.ca. Prism, $340, net-a-porter.com.
Leisure Society, $1,270, available at Josephson Opticians.

Round
Round faces have full cheeks and are as long as they are wide—think Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. With a round face, you want to avoid round frames because they will echo the shape of your face. Instead, try rectangular or square frames. The angular details will balance full cheeks and a rounder jaw. Lo also notes that "a great rectangular frame can be very slimming.”

Frames for round faces
Glasses, $7, forever21.com. Anni Shades P1149883, $645, available at Josephson Opticians. Ralph by Ralph Lauren, $150, lenscrafters.ca.

Square
Square faces—like those of Olivia Wilde, Demi Moore and Kyra Sedgwick—have broad foreheads and strong jaw lines, both of a similar width. Avoid square glasses, which will accentuate the hard lines, and instead, says Lo, try “round frames in a darker colour to add softness to a hard, angular face."
Eyeglasses for square faces
Michael Kors, $250, lenscrafters.ca. Francis Klein Gaspard, $445; Anni Shades P8120529, $645; both available at Josephson Opticians.

Heart
Those with heart-shaped faces have wide foreheads and pointy, defined chins—as is the case with Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson. To create balance, steer clear of top-heavy frames, which means avoiding cat-eye shapes and two-toned frames that will accentuate the top half of the face, creating an even more pronounced forehead. "Balance the lines of the face with finer, lighter and thinner curvy frames,” says Lo.
Glasses for heart faces
Leisure Society, $1,080, available at Josephson Opticians. Carolee, $150, lenscrafters.ca. Oliver Peoples, $300, available at Josephson Opticians.

Long
Long faces are defined, predictably, by their length. They tend to have long foreheads and a jaw line that gently tapers towards a prominent chin—think Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler. Skip small frames, as they’ll look childish. “This is a face shape where an oversized frame won’t look sloppy,” says Lo.
Glasses for long face shapes Oliver Peoples, $300, available at Josephson Opticians. Warby Parker, $130-$370, warbyparker.com. Anna Karin Karlsson, $390, net-a-porter.com.


Now trending
If you're looking for a modern frame—no matter the shape—Lo let us in on a couple trending looks.

1. Matte finishes: These sandblasted frames nix the typical glossy finish. We’ve seen this matte finish take off in nail trends; now watch it become popular in eyewear.

2. Modified cat-eye style frames:
These glasses tend to have a strong, straight brow line and a frame that gently tapers inwards, often in a curve. This shape can draw attention to cheekbones and can be a slimming pick for fuller faces. Because the cat eye is less exaggerated, and because this style relies on both hard lines and gentle sloping, this is a shape that most face shapes can try.

3. Fine metal frames: These frames are thin and often found in gold, silver or antique metals. You may be thinking of Harry Potter or your grandmother's reading glasses, but these fine metal can come in many shapes and is an example of great craftsmanship.

Glasses trends Matte: Warby Parker, $130-$370, warbyparker.com.
Modified cat eye: Anne et Valentin, $655, available at Josephson Opticians.
Fine metal: Warby Parker, $180-$420, warbyparker.com.

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