Scenario: You're walking through LensCrafters after your latest eye exam. It's time to get some new frames. Pair after pair, you look in the mirror and immediately put them back on the rack. Why do these frames look so great on the models but you look like you're playing dress-up with grandma's accessories?
If you wear glasses, that scenario may elicit some familiar feelings of frustration. But don't feel bad, because those models were expertly fitted for glasses based on their face shape -- and you can have the same luxury. Knowing the basics of face shape and understanding your shape can make choosing glasses much easier (not to mention much more fun).
There's one important truth about face shapes, though: Almost no one actually embodies a perfect square, diamond, heart, oval or round face. Instead, many people have features from multiple face shapes, and these face-shape categories act as a general guide for choosing accessories. The key is determining which category sounds most like you, which can change over time.
And if you like the way a certain frame looks on you, even if it's not one of the "best" for your face shape, own it. Your style is yours, and you aren't limited to any rule book. That said, here are the basics of five main face shapes and how to choose flattering glasses frames for each. These tips even work if you're searching for glasses online!
Glasses for round faces
Even as adults, most people have at least one friend or family member who still has a cute "baby face" with plump cheeks. Except that's no baby face -- just a round face. Round faces feature soft curves, smooth lines and a fullness that tends to make people look younger than they actually are.
If that's you, go for frames that offset the uniformity of your face shape and add a subtle sharpness: Bold, angular or upswept glasses that highlight the eyes and cheekbones work the best for round faces.
The best frame shapes for round faces:
- Cat eye
Glasses for oval faces
People with oval faces kind of struck genetic gold when it comes to glasses -- just about any frames look great on this oblong shape. Many people consider an oval face shape as the most balanced, because it features cheekbones just slightly wider than the forehead and jaw, making the entire face really proportionate.
Oval faces can pull off bold frame shapes, but are usually better off steering clear of any super narrow frames. For the best look, choose a pair that are as wide as or slightly wider than the broadest part of your face.
The best frame styles for oval faces:
Glasses for square faces
Square faces feature a strong jaw and broad forehead: The width at the top and bottom of the face are nearly equal. The length of the face also nearly equals the width, which is where this robust face shape gets its name.
The best glasses for square faces sit high on the nose and add length. Usually, square faces look better with rounded frames rather than angular ones, as square faces already boast their own strong angles. To make your face look thinner or longer, choose a frame wider than the broadest part of your face.
The best frame shapes for square faces:
- Rounded Wayfarer
Glasses for heart-shaped faces
A heart-shaped face usually features one sweeping curve from the forehead to the jaw. Widest at the brow and gradually narrows, the jaw is the narrowest point of the face. Characterized by prominent cheekbones and a pointed chin, heart-shaped faces can be long or round.
When it comes to glasses, heart-shaped faces are pretty versatile, but frames that aren't oversized or full of design elements usually work best.
The best frame shapes for heart-shaped faces:
- Rounded Wayfarer
- Rounded square
Glasses for diamond-shaped faces
Another dramatic face shape, diamond-shaped faces are narrowest at the forehead and jawline, with broad (and often high) cheekbones. Try frames that have a lot of design elements at the top or that have bold browlines, as frames that accentuate the brow and temples help even out the angles of diamond-shaped faces.
The best frame shapes for diamond-shaped faces:
- Rimless or semi-rimless
Feeling inspired to don your best style? See if you can find it at one of the best places to buy prescription eyeglasses online.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.