Framing yourself up: How-to guide to choosing frames that flatter your face
Overwhelmed by the choices when shopping for frames? You’re not alone. Rather than trying on every pair of eyeglasses in the store, you’ll be relieved to know you can easily narrow your search in advance by determining your face shape and coloring. This information is your compass for selecting eyewear that magnifies you.
However, if you don’t have time to absorb these guidelines or are unsure of your face shape, don’t worry. The certified opticians at i.wear by oasa will guide you with their experience and expertise to the most flattering frames for you.
Matching frames to face shapes
According to the Vision Council of America (VCA), there are three points to consider when choosing eyeglass frames for your face shape:
- Frame shape should contrast with the face shape.
- Eyewear should repeat your personal best feature (exp. blue frame to match blue eyes).
- Frame size should be in scale with the face size.
You can determine your face shape by pulling back your hair and drawing your face with lipstick on the mirror or trace the outline of your face in a photo. While most faces are a combination of shapes and angles, there are seven basic face shapes: round, oval, oblong, base-down triangle, base-up triangle, diamond and square.
The VCA describes these face shapes and recommends the types of frames that work for each. Don’t be afraid to ask your optician for assistance.
Round faces look good with angular narrow eyeglass frames that lengthen the face. A round face has curvilinear lines with the width and length in the same proportions and no angles. To make the face appear thinner and longer, try angular narrow eyeglass frames to lengthen the face, a clear bridge that widens the eyes and frames that are wider than they are deep, such as a rectangular shape.
Oval faces need eyeglass frames that are at least as wide as the broadest part of the face. The oval face is considered to be the ideal shape because of its balanced proportions. To keep the oval's natural balance, look for eyeglass frames that are as wide as (or wider than) the broadest part of the face, or walnut-shaped frames that are not too deep or too narrow.
Eyeglass frames with a lot of depth, such as aviator frames, suit oblong faces. A low nose bridge will shorten the nose, too. The oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. To make the face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have a top-to-bottom depth, decorative or contrasting temples that add width to the face or a low bridge to shorten the nose.
Faces in the shape of a base down triangle look great with glasses that have color accents, details on the top half of the frame, or cat eye shapes. Rimless frames and semi rimless frames are also good choices. The triangular face has a narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and chin areas. To add width and emphasize the narrow upper third of the face, try frames that are heavily accented with color and detailing on the top half or cat-eye shapes.
Faces in the shape of a base up triangle need frames that are wider at the bottom, with very light colors. This face has a very wide top third and small bottom third. To minimize the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom, very light colors and materials, and rimless frame styles (which have a light, airy effect because the lenses are simply held in place to the temples by a few screws).
Diamond shaped faces look well with eyeglass frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines. Diamond-shaped faces are narrow at the eye line and jaw line, and cheekbones are often high and dramatic. This is the rarest face shape. To highlight the eyes and bring out the cheekbones, try frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines, or try rimless frames or oval and cat-eye shapes.
Square faces need eyeglass frames that soften the face angles, such as narrow ovals. A square face has a strong jaw line and a broad forehead, plus the width and length are in the same proportions. To make the square face look longer and soften the angles, try narrow frame styles, frames that have more width than depth and narrow ovals.
Matching frame color to personal coloring
When considering frame color, the VCA suggests you do a simple color analysis so that you can use the three guidelines below in choosing the right color(s) for you.
- Everyone looks best in his or her own color base.
- People have either a cool (blue-based) or warm (yellow-based) coloring.
- Eyewear color should complement personal coloring.
The main factors to determine the best color palette are the colors of the skin, eyes and hair. Are you warm or cool? Knowing the answer will help you easily select frame colors.
Skin tone is the prime element in determining coloring. All complexions fall into one of two color bases — blue (cool) or yellow (warm). A cool complexion has blue or pink undertones, and a warm complexion has a "peaches and cream" or yellow cast. Olive skin is considered cool because it is a mixture of blue and yellow. In the United States, cool, blue-based complexions are more common than the yellow-based warm complexions. About 60 percent of the population are "cools."
Eye colors are usually a secondary element in determining coloring because of the wide range of eye colors. For example, blue eyes can range from a cool almost-violet to a pale blue-gray, which is warm. Brown eyes can vary from a light cider shade (warm) through a medium-brown to a cool almost-black.
Hair colors are also considered warm or cool. Strawberry blond, platinum, blue-black, white, salt-and-pepper and "dishwater" brown are cool. Warm hair colors include golden blond, flat black, brown-gold, "carrot" and "dirty" gray.
Picking your frame color
Frame Colors Once you have determined if you are "warm" or "cool," then you can find the eyeglass frame colors that will suit you the best.
Best frames for warm coloring:
Camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blond tortoise.
Best frames for cool coloring:
Black, rose-brown, blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker) tortoise.
When selecting new eyeglasses, remember that proper fit is essential. To help find the perfect fit, consider these tips:
- The frame should follow your eyebrow closely.
- Your pupil should be in the center of the frame.
- The frame should feel comfortable, without pulling or pinching your face.
At i.wear, we guarantee a proper fit. When you first order your frames, our certified opticians will work closely with you to ensure your glasses fit comfortably. In addition, fit can change over time, so we offer free adjustments of eyewear purchased at i.wear for a lifetime.