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Framing Your Face: How to Choose the Best Eyewear Style for Your Face Shape


Jenny Wymore - SunKissed Photography / Collection:Moment Open / Getty Images
It's a great time to be wearing glasses. With frames now available in a creative variety of shapes, colors andd materials, shopping for a new pair can make you feel like a kid in an eye candy store.

There are general guidelines that can help you hone in on eyewear shapes that will suit and fit your face well while complementing your image and lifestyle needs. First, determine your face shape by pulling back your hair and using a mirror to match up with one of the shapes in the image. You can also follow these facial measurements if you want to be more precise.

Then, keep these tips in mind when exploring the mind-boggling frame and sunglass selections out there:

Opposites Attract: Play against facial contours, so if you have angular features such as prominent cheekbones and jawline, get curvaceous with rounder frame shapes. This diverts attention away from parts of your face that may be a little tooeye-catching—literally!

Color You Beautiful: Just like make-up, frame color can really give your eyes a lift. Darker irises should be enhanced with brightly colored frames while blue and green irises should match well with frame colors such as tortoise-shell, woody tones, and fun tones like purple and red.

Size Does Matter: If you have a higher prescription, keep the frame small so that your eyes don't get magnified comically. Narrow glasses with accentuated corners and decoration details on the front "slim down" wider faces.

Stay Centered: Your eyes should always be centered in the frame—often, this is a matter of fitting but if your nose tends to be flatter on the top, you might need frames with more height to lose that librarian look. You know, when your glasses are hanging low and you're peering over them always. One solution is to have your optician mount nosepads onto the frame to give them a boost to match your eye level. However, this is only possible with plastic frames. On the other hand, picking a frame with too much height will block your eyebrows, making your overall appearance rather odd.

But don't let this confine you to exploring all the great eyewear designs out there.

"The 'formula' of face shapes is a guide, but it's not a rule," says Brent Zerger, director of operations for Los Angeles-based l.a. Eyeworks. "The frame that delights and excites you is the frame you should have. Finding that perfect design is the reason a talented optician is your irreplaceable best friend."

According to Zerger, color, pattern and proportion are also key elements to really successful eyeglass styling and can often override the "shapes" rule. The one outfit that goes best with any pair of spectacles or sunglasses out there? Confidence. If you wear your frames with class, a naturally beautiful glow emanates from your countenance and it doesn't matter how much it clash matchability conventions or go against the grain of all shape logics—you are going to have a killer look! The best way to know if you're comfortable with a frame is to keep trying them on—what may not look good on the shelf will have a very different feel once you inhabit it.

Ready? Let's help you shape up with the right frame!

Oval Faces: Lucky you! Your almost perfect symmetries mean most frames will enhance your facial features beautifully.

Square Faces: A wide variety of eyewear styles show why it's hip to be square(-faced).
Heart Shape Faces: Broad foreheads that taper down to pointy chins may seem tricky to frame, but your options are fun and full of variety.
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