Picking Out The Right Frames For You!
So you have to get a new pair of glasses.
Maybe they are your first pair of glasses, maybe your old frames broke, or maybe it’s just time for a change. Some view their glasses as a necessary annoyance, but there is no reason why they can’t compliment your personal style.
But while some simply try on frames willy nilly, there are actually some factors to consider when picking out your new frames. Finding the right frames doesn’t have to be like finding a needle in a haystack, if you keep a few things in mind, you can find the right frames for you.
Finding Your Face Shape
It might seem a bit obvious, but different people’s faces are shaped differently. Some people have wider cheeks, some have stronger chins, some have rounder faces, some faces are more square. The quickest and easiest way to find your face shape is to stand in front of a mirror and use soap, grease pencil, or lipstick to trace the outline of your face. You should stand close enough to the mirror that you can trace your face without having to lean forward.
But while everybody is different, the various face shapes fall into – roughly – seven categories. The shape of your frames should contrast the shape of your face to create balance.
Round Faces – Round faces are roughly as wide as they are long. That is to say, people with round faces have cheeks that are roughly as broad as your face is long (from chin to forehead).
People with round faces should look at frames with angular, more narrow lenses. Rectangular frames, perhaps with a clear bridge, will make your face appear longer and more defined.
Square Faces – Square faces are similar to round faces, however they feature a stronger chin and broader forehead.
Like people with round faces, people with square faces should look at frames with narrower lenses. However those with square faces should look for oval lenses to soften the lines of their face.
Oblong Face – The oblong face is angular, with a strong forehead and chin. However unlike the square face, the oblong face is longer from chin to forehead than it is wide.
Much like the square face, people with oblong or rectangular faces should look at round lenses. But to add balance, those with oblong faces should look at frames with more depth than width. They could also consider frames with some sort of decoration at the temple to make their face look wider.
Oval Face – Oval faces are similar to oblong faces, but don’t have the strong foreheads and jaws of the oblong face.
The people with oval faces are lucky. Their faces have naturally balanced proportions that don’t need balancing from frames, and they can wear nearly any frame style. Their best frame styles are as wide as the broadest part of the wearer’s face, or with “walnut” shaped frames that are a bit deeper than they are wide.
Heart Or “Base Up Triangle” Shape – Base-Up triangle shaped faces are wider at the forehead than at the chin, they become “heart shape” faces with a “widows peak” hairline.
Base-up triangle, or heart faces look best in rimless glasses. Glasses without rims, just being held together with small screws, gives your face a lighter look and avoids emphasizing the width of your face around your eyes.
Base-Down Triangle – The “base-down” triangle is a face that is wider at the chin and narrower at the forehead.
To counterbalance the strength of the base-down triangle’s chin, people with this face shape should look for frames that are broad at the top. Cat-eye frames, or top-half frames – that is, glasses that only have frames on the top-half of the lens – will help bring balance to base-down triangle faces.
Diamond Shape – The diamond shaped face is the rarest face shape. The diamond is similar to the “round” and “square” shapes in that the face height is similar to the width of the cheeks, however it is angular, with sharper cheekbones, a narrow chin, as well as a narrow forehead.
Frames for diamond shaped faces need to soften the lines of the face. Rimless glasses, oval shaped frames work well. Also, frames with detailed or distinctive brow-lines to soften the diamond’s dramatic cheekbones.
Finding The Right Color For Your Frames
Now that you have picked out the right style frames for your face shape, you’re half way done. Unless you are getting rimless glasses, you will need to decide on a color for your frames.
Determining the right color for your frames is a two step process. The first step in figuring out the right color for your frames is to detirmine what you want to compliment. You will want to find a color that compliments your coloring as a whole, but it will also help to specifically compliment whatever you believe your best feature is.
For example, people with vibrant red hair, or striking blue eyes might want to make a point of complimenting that feature specifically.
In general, everyone will have their own color palette, and color base. The two general categories for color bases are described as “Warm” or “Cool”.
Skin – People with skin tones that tend toward “peaches and cream” or with yellow to gold undertones are considered to have warm tones. On the other hand, people with undertones that tend toward pink or blue have cooler skin tones
Eyes – Much like skin color, whether your eye color is considered cool or warm depends on where they fall in the range between blue (cooler) and brown (warmer). Complicating things is the fact that eye color covers a wide range of hues, even within similar colors. For instance, blue-grey eyes are considered warmer, while deep blue eyes are considered cooler. On the flip side, eyes so dark brown that they border on black is a cooler color, while almost golden brown eyes are warm.
Hair – Whether your hair color is considered cool or warm can largely depend on your hair’s undertones or highlights – even if it is artificially colored. For instance, if you have blond hair that tends towards platinum, your hair is considered cool. On the other hand, if you have blond hair with bronze highlights, your hair is warm.
When you have determined whether your natural color palette will look best in warm tones or cool tones, it’s time to figure out what color will be best.
Those who have color palettes that tend toward warm tones will want to compliment that with frames that have rich, earthy, or saturated colors or a lighter tortoise. Cooler tones are complemented well with more primary colors like black, silver, grey, white, pink, or a dark tortoise.
Once you have figured out your face shape and color palette, it becomes a snap to significantly narrow down the massive frame selection customers have to choose from. Once you have a pretty good idea what frame shape and color palette you will look best in, you can try on a few select choices. You can pick out frames that compliment your eyes, hair, or skin tones the best, or you can pick out frames that contrast them for a more striking look.
Whichever direction you end up going, a bit of forethought and having an idea where to focus your search can make choosing frames go from a time-consuming bother, to something that is quick, easy, and maybe even fun.