Whether you’re looking for a new pair of shades to protect your eyes from the blazing sun, or shopping for prescription glasses (yes, you’ll need it at some point or other, don’t kid yourself), you owe it to yourself to make sure you get a pair of frames that suit your face.
But before you splurge your hard-earned money on that designer frame, here are some basic do’s and don’ts to help you out.
Let's Face It
First, you need to determine your face shape. If you see curves from the neck up in the bathroom mirror, you have a Round face. You have fuller cheeks (all the better to kiss on), wide forehead (a sign of intelligence), and a rounded chin (pointy is so over-rated).
Oval faces are the so-called “well-balanced” ones, with a gently curved jawline, slightly narrower than the forehead. Your cheekbones are generally high and you’re probably the envy of your less blessed acquaintances. Oval faces are versatile and are generally hated by the other face groups.
Is it hip to be Square? You have a square forehead, a square jawline and a square chin. Sponge Bob is your friend. It’s also the shape of most runway models. You get the picture. (And it’s Instagram-shaped.)
Bless you, Heart. You have a broad forehead that tapers to a small chin. This gives you higher cheekbones and an angled contour. You might look like you’ve just stepped out of Wonderland, but you probably have a warm heart beating in your chest. Oh, Helena Bonham-Carter called and she wants her teeny-weeny crown back.
What do Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie and Hilary Swank have in common? No, they don’t sleep standing up in the stable. They’ve all got Rectangle faces! With more length than width, Rectangles have long foreheads, high cheekbones, and a longer nose.
Does This Frame Make My Face Look Fat?
Now, armed with your newly-acquired facial self-awareness, what’s the best type of frames for you? Here are some of the generally accepted guidelines that the interwebs will offer.
Circles: you’ll want angular frames that are wider than your face. A slight upsweep at the corners will show off your cheeks and bring focus to your eyes. Avoid Harry Potter type frames that are as curvy as your face. Also, stay away from small frames, or you might end up looking like Peter the Family Guy.
Ovals: why are you even reading this? You can practically pull off any kind of frames. Your best bets are over-sized glasses, so you can pretend you’re hiding from the paparazzi. What should you say No to? Narrow frames. These make your face look squished.
Squares: soften your face shape with curvier frames. Go for normal to thin frames, but watch where the temples are set. Frames where the arms are fixed to the centre (as opposed to the top) are a good choice. What’s not a good choice are chunky, architectural-type designs. So no rectangular or square frames (obvs!) and avoid anything that draws attention to the lower part of your frames, like colour accents.
Hearts: choose frames that are at least equal to the width of your face, preferably wider. This will help set off your great cheekbone structure, and complements your chin. With your wider upper face, you’ll want to steer clear of chunky frames or those with fancy decorated sides and upper rims. Also, no narrow frames.
Rectangles: add width and break up the length of your face. Choose one with a strong brow line for a distinctive horizontal visual effect. Deeper frames help balance the length of the face, and can give you an intellectual vibe too. You’ll want a bit of curvature too to soften your lines. Again, avoid narrow, small frames like the plague.
Got All That? Now Forget It.
You see, one way to look at frames is to go with what suits YOU best. After all, your face might not easily fall into one, two or even three face types.
According to Moh Lee, owner of Eyes@Work at MilleniaWalk, the prevailing guidelines for matching frames and faces are just that: guidelines. “There aren’t any rules. Only a motto that I follow: Frames to see as well as to be seen. Know your products well... Be passionate about what you do.” With 12 years under her belt in the business, Moh clearly knows what she’s talking about and many will attest to her inexplicable knack for understanding her client’s needs and styles.
What’s more important is that the customer feels comfortable and confident with the frames they are wearing. Which is why she will spend as much time as necessary to help her customers find that perfect frame.
Furthermore, fashion trends and styles are often started by bold individuals breaking the rules. So go ahead and throw these guidelines to the monsoon wind. Mix and match, make a brave decision, and dive straight into the sea of frames.
After all, who cares if you walk in with a new pair of cat eyes on Monday morning and have your colleagues start nicknaming you tai-tai by lunchtime? Be confident, be real, and most of all, be happy. The work of art that is your face is now perfectly framed. And your daring new frames might just start catching on like, well, flames!