In an ideal world, you would have dozens of pairs of glasses in different colours, shapes and styles to suit your every mood and look, but in reality, glasses can be
expensive and you are limited to just one or two pairs. It can be overwhelming being confronted by many different frames and trying to find the perfect one, but there
are certain guidelines that can be followed to help narrow down your options. Apart from the obvious considerations such as the shape of your face, your personal style
and colour preferences, take into account your lifestyle, personality, and the impression you want to make.
While the choice of frames is determined to a large extent by face shape, "rules" can be broken or at least bent to accommodate personal taste. In general, a frame
should balance and contrast the features of the face, and be in proportion to the rest of the face, while also complementing your personal style.
Round Face - Frames that are square or rectangular tend to be wider than a round face, elongating it and creating the appearance of a slimmer face.
While round frames are not recommended, if you do prefer that shape, avoid small round frames, choosing larger frames that do not get lost in the face. Generally,
whatever the shape, large frames work best on round faces. Plain coloured thick rimmed frames are a better choice than rimless ones.
Oval Face - If you have an oval face, almost any frame shape would look good on you. The classic advice, though, is to go for a geometric shape with a
strong bridge over the nose. To balance broad cheek bones with a narrower forehead and chin, select frames that are thicker or darker on the top than the bottom;
cat-eye shaped frames which give the face an instant lift, are perfect for an oval face. Over-large frames are believed to interfere with the symmetry of an oval face,
but if you prefer them and have the confidence to wear them, opt for frames with an angular edge.
Square Face - Frames that soften the angularity of the jaw and sit high on the bridge of the nose look best on square faces. Oval or round glasses
balance and add a thinner appearance to the angles of a square face. Generally people with square-shaped faces are advised to avoid square shaped frames; however, if
you like that shape, they are available in a large variety of sizes, materials and colours, so it is possible to find one to suit you. Look for thin metal frames in
neutral colours, or choose frames with detail on the temples.
Diamond Face - Accentuate your cheek bones and draw attention away from a narrow forehead and chin with frames that sweep up or are wider than the
cheekbones, such as cat-eye and oval frames. Boxy and narrow frames add width to the face, and detract from delicate features rather than enhancing them. If you want
to wear a pair of square glasses, a good choice would be half transparent frames that are darker on top and transparent at the bottom. Alternatively, go for thinner
frames which soften the face.
Heart-Shaped Face - Frames that balance the width of the forehead with the narrowness of the chin are ideal. Glasses with low-set temples and bottom
heavy frame lines will add width to the narrower part of your face. Round or square glasses with curved edges draw attention away from a broad, high forehead, and
rimless styles prevent the face from looking top-heavy. It is advisable to steer clear of styles that draw attention to the forehead, such as those with decorative
temples or embellished tops. If you do enjoy patterns and colour, experiment with decorated frames, but avoid too much colour, rather trying a frame in a solid bright
Just as the shape of your face helps determine which frames look best, so does your skin tone.
Warm Skin Tone - If you have a yellow, bronze or golden cast to your skin, stay away from white, black and contrasting colours such as pastels.
Instead, the best frame colours for you are light tortoise shell, browns, gold, beige, and olive green.
Cool Skin Tone - If your skin has pink or blue undertones, avoid colours that make you look washed out, and instead opt for frames in silver, black,
dark tortoise shell, pink, purple, blue, mauve and grey.
Black hair - Dark hair looks best with darker coloured frames and tortoise shell. For a more interesting look, try deep reds or blues.
White and grey hair - Lift these hair colours by choosing brightly coloured or patterned frames, and wear them with a confident attitude!
Red hair - Red hair is vibrant, so it's the perfect hair colour for strong powerful frames. Redheads look good wearing black, tortoise shell and
forest green frames.
Brown hair - Different shades of brown hair invite different frame choices. If your hair is a lighter brown, try pastel colours or black for contrast.
Frames with warmer undertones, such as tortoise shell, dark greens or even cream, are best if your hair has shades of red.
Blonde hair - Blondes with warm undertones in their hair look best in warm colours, including tortoise shell, bronze and peach shades. For blonde hair
with cool undertones, choose pinks, blues and even black, but avoid yellow or gold.
The colour of your eyes can have a subtle influence on the look of your glasses, and vice versa. Selecting frames close to your eye colour will reinforce your natural
palette and create depth, while contrasting colours tend to have a more dramatic effect, drawing attention to your eyes.
Green Eyes - Frames with rich earthy tones and golds will make your eyes stand out, while shades of pink, purple and opal will give greater contrast.
Blue Eyes - For blue eyes, coordinate with blue and grey tones, or choose frames in contrasting colours such as rich browns and oranges for a bolder
Hazel Eyes - To bring out the gold flecks in hazel eyes try browns and greens, and even greys when choosing frames.
Brown Eyes - Brown eyes are complemented by other warm tones, but if you want to highlight them, opt for shades of green to create a contrast.
The frames you choose reflect your identity, lifestyle and personality, as well as the image you want to project. Do you work in the corporate world where you need to
instill confidence in your clients? Are you in the creative or fashion arena where your personal choices showcase your talent? Do your frames need to be sturdy to fit
in with your active lifestyle? When will you wear your glasses; all the time or only for certain activities like reading or computer work? Are you able to have more
than one pair of glasses to complement different outfits or occasions?
ITS NOT ALL ABOUT STYLE!
While personal preference is the major consideration when choosing a frame, there are certain factors on which your optometrist needs to offer expert advice. Is the
frame you have chosen appropriate for your prescription? Does it fit your face properly to allow for comfort and optimal vision?