Color, shape, material, fit and more all matter when shopping for eyeglass frames. Choosing frames can be overwhelming, but these seven tips will make the process of finding great-looking glasses much easier.
Match or balance skin type and hair.
One common feature that you might forget to consider is your skin quality. If your skin tends to be oily, shiny frames can draw
attention to this and have a negative impact on your look. A matte finish will suit shinier skin types best. In addition to the shine of your skin, you’ll also need to account for the fullness of your hair.
Many people’s hair becomes thinner as they age, but your glasses can steal attention away from your hairline. Choose bold, thick frames to return attention to your eyes, and strong, sharp angles to firm up weakness in the jawline.
2. Choose frames that complement your face shape, features and coloring.
If your face is angular or square, round and oval frames look best. The opposite is also true: if your face is round or oval, you'll look good in square and angular frames. Also, if the top of your face is wider than the bottom (often called heart-shaped), select a frame with a dramatic (wider, heavier, etc.) bottom edge to even out your face. Of course, if your face is wider on the bottom, choose a frame with a dramatic top edge.
The frame's bridge can affect how your eyes and nose look. A thin or clear bridge gives the illusion of width to close-set eyes, while a colored one will make wide-set eyes appear closer together. A low bridge will make your nose appear shorter.
The frame color should complement your coloring, including skin tone (warm or cool), skin color (ranging from fair to dark) and hair color. It can be kind of hard to tell which skin tone you have; warm skin has a golden yellow tint, while cool skin has either blue or pink.
For a trendy look that doesn't hide your eyes, try a style with a clear front, such as this new frame by bebe optical.
Still not sure? Take a look at your veins (they're easy to see in your wrists and feet, usually): if they seem mostly greenish, you have warm skin, while mostly blue veins mean you have cool skin.
Frame colors that look nice with warm skin include browns, most metals and splashy colors like turquoise. Colors that complement cool tones include grays, silver and muted colors.
The colors of your skin and hair play roles as well. Those who are light in coloring (ivory skin and blond hair, for example) look nice with faint-colored frames.
Those with medium coloring (olive skin and brown hair, for example) look nice with light-colored metals and browns. Those with dark coloring (chocolate skin and black hair, for example) look nice with most metallic frames.
What if your coloring is kind of mixed, like fair skin and medium-brown hair? Try frames that match each coloring to see which suits you better.
Can't trust your own judgment? Absolutely bring a friend along to help you decide.
Pick frames that are not too big, not too small.
If you choose a frame that is too large, visual distortion and glare can occur. If your frame is too small, you limit your peripheral vision.
Generally, the frames shouldn't be wider than the widest part of your face, with the exception of frames for oval faces, which can be a little wider.
When you put on a pair of glasses, your eyes should look out of the center of each lens. The frames should not be so tight that they pinch your nose or leave red marks. Conversely, they should not be so loose that they slide down your nose. If they have nose pads, an eye care professional can easily adjust them.
The top of the frames should not be above the eyebrow line, and the bottom shouldn't touch your cheeks, so they don't irritate your skin. Finally, they should be comfortable around your ears.
If your frames become uncomfortable over time, bring them back to your eye care professional. Usually readjustments are free. Never try to adjust frames yourself!
Choose eyeglass frames that match your lifestyle.
Maybe you won't want that ultra-funky pair if you're really funky only on Saturday night and you're getting just one pair of glasses. Chances are, you'll probably also need to wear them to school, religious services, Grandma's house and more. You know what your style is: dressy, jeans and T-shirts, bohemian, whatever. Choose something that matches most of your moods.
Consider your prescription.
Eyeglass lenses that correct nearsightedness are thicker along the edges than in the middle, and the opposite is true of lenses that correct farsightedness. Some frames can be incompatible with lens edges that are particularly thick or thin, so double check with your optician to make sure the frames you like will work with your eyeglasses prescription.
Thick lenses are not only heavy and bulky, but these can also lead people associate you with nerdy pursuits. Even if your vision isn’t very good, you don't have to suffer with noticeable, thick lenses. Thanks to technology you can purchase lightweight lenses, sometimes referred to as featherweight lenses, which will be much thinner and elegant than your normal ones.
Lightweight lenses make use of a special kind material to create thinner, lighter lenses. The most common material used in this process, polycarbonate, is light, resistant to damage from impact, and relatively affordable compared to other lightweight lenses.
Weigh the value of frame materials and other features.
Generally you can choose frames in plastic, metal or a combination of both. Metal frames usually last longer, particularly stainless steel and titanium, which is nice if you think you'll want to keep the frames a long time and just get new lenses as needed. Because most metal frames have adjustable nose pads, they work well for people whose noses are too small or large for plastic frames.
If you are allergic to certain metals (for example, many people are allergic to nickel), but have your heart set on a metal frame, make sure to get one that's hypoallergenic.
Also, you should take into account the kind of jewelry you like to wear: if you wear a lot of gold, you might not want silver-colored frames, and vice versa.
Plastic frames tend to be less expensive and feel lighter on your face. They usually need less maintenance than metal ones, but certain types of plastic contract and expand with temperature changes and require more frequent adjustments.
Do you tend to accidentally break things a lot? If so, you might want to look into flexible hinges, which are more indestructible than regular hinges. For example, you can bend the temples (the side "arms") out more than you can with regular hinges.
7. Choose colored frames.
If you can afford multiple pairs of glasses, you can get creative with your use of color. You can match the color of your frames with your outfit, the weather, and even your mood. However, for a more all-around good look, you should choose either a “cool” color or a “warm” color.
Cool colors are blue based while warm colors are yellow based. Of these two color bases, most people will fall into either one of these two categories. Approximately 60% of the US population are considered to be better suited by cool tones than warm.
Your skin tone can also have a significant impact on the color of your base tone. Warm skin tones tend to have a color described as “peaches and cream”, while olive colors are considered cool.
Examples of warm colored frames include: camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, red, blonde tortoise.
Examples of cool colored frames include: black, silver, rose-brown, blueish gray, plum, magenta, pink, blue, amber, darker colored tortoise.