Face-Shape: Which Frames Suit Yours?

Choosing eyewear, whether eyeglasses or sunglasses, is not what it used to be. Form, function, and comfort used to call the shots. Today, if not fused with fashion, style, and trends, your eyewear may just create a mistaken identity and miss the mark completely. It is important to choose this key wardrobe accessory wisely.

Audrey Hepbern with hat and sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

There is so much to consider when choosing spectacles or sunglasses: face size and shape, hair and skin color, image, fashion sense, budget, frame materials, usage, and much more. Analyzing these factors and using them as criteria to choose your next frames allows you to pick something that will complement your best facial features and enhance your overall look. In this series of articles, we will guide you through the many components to consider when choosing your next pair of eyeglasses and/or sunglasses.

Determine your Face Shape:
Your face shape is crucial when choosing the most flattering glasses’ frame. In general, faces fit seven shapes: oval, round, square, triangle, oblong, heart, and diamond. Your eyewear frames should complement your best features while hiding less desirable ones. According to The Vision Council, your eyeglass frames should meet three criteria:

  • They should emphasize your best facial feature (a golden brown frame for beautiful light brown eyes, or a reddish frame for a stunning mane of red hair.)
  • They should offset your face shape (long rectangular frames contrast an oblong face or boxy square ones contrast a round face).
  • They should be in proportion to your face size (not too big or too small).

Now, let’s determine your face shape. In front of a mirror, pull your hair back, grab a lipstick or lip liner, and outline your face straight on to the mirror. Now step back and evaluate what you see. Look for one of the following shapes in the mirror:

Round
Round faces feature soft foreheads and chins, no angles, and equal width and length. When choosing frames, try angular, narrow frames to lengthen a round face, create a thinner, longer appearance, and balance its softness.

Oval
Oval faces are longer than wide, balanced, and ideal for all types of eyewear, since most frames complement an oval face. To preserve the oval’s natural symmetry, try frames that are as wide or wider as the broadest part of the face, and that are not too deep or narrow.

Square
Square faces are characterized by a strong jaw and broad forehead that are proportionate to one another. To elongate and soften a square’s natural angles, choose a narrow frame style that is oval or round and wider than deep.

Oblong
Oblong faces are recognized by their long length, narrow width, and square chins. Look for wide frames to contrast the long oblong face. Round, square, or rectangular frames with detailed temples will balance an oblong face.

Heart
Heart faces are easy to spot with their wider forehead and cheekbones and narrower chin. To create balance for a heart shaped face, look for smaller frames with a lower set temple and no detail. Rectangular, square, and aviator style frames all complement this face shape.

Diamond
Diamond faces are narrow around the eye and jaw with high, broad, possibly dramatic cheekbones. This is the most unusual face shape. The goal in choosing frames for a diamond face is to highlight the eyes and minimize the cheekbones. Choose highly decorated frames with a strong brow line. Cat-eye, rimless, and oval shaped frames will all enhance this face shape.

Base-up triangle
Base-up triangle faces are similar to heart shapes with their wide top and narrower bottom. To balance the width of the upper third of the face, choose frames that are wider at the bottom, come in light colors and materials, or are rimless. Less surrounding frame material and less detail create a light, airy effect. A rectangular, square, or aviator frame all balance this face shape.

Base-down triangle
Base-down triangle faces feature a narrow forehead that widens at the cheekbones and chin area. Heavily accented, colorful frames with pronounced detail on the top half will add width and emphasis to the narrow upper third of the face. Try tipped-up cat-eye frames for maximum balance.

Aren’t sure? Ask someone for feedback. Watch the following video for a great visual on how to determine your face shape: