Does face shape really matter when it comes to glasses?

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2017

The idea for this post came to me the other day when a lovely lady asked me “what shape of glasses best suit my face shape?” I’m very familiar with the rule that if you have a round face you must choose square or rectangle glasses, but I’m here to tell you that’s not the case at all. I myself have a very small round face (chubby cheeks included) yet I have a pair of cat eye glasses (think Marilyn Monroe) which are more oval than rectangle. I have a large square pair which if I abided by the face shape rules I wouldn’t dare choose due to my tiny features. I also have a round pair (yes round)! Which I shouldn’t have because round glasses with a round face should make my face look…well rounder surely! I’m not here to shunt the rules, when it comes to the first time eyewear buyer they certainly help but we now live in a world full of spectacles, a world where wearing glasses no longer has a stigma attached but are a fashion statement!

So what are the face shape rules?

Round face – Rectangle lens shape

Square face – Round or cat eye lens shape

Oval face – Square lens shape

Heart shape – Deep square frames

Now throw those face shape rules out the window, there are now so many options out there and so many different lens shapes it’s impossible to categorise them to face shapes. For example we recently dispensed the same round frame to three completely different people, one of them being a lady with a round face shape and the other a young male. Yet on each of them the frame looked fantastic. A “round” lens shape can be large or small, it can be winged at the top of the lens or have a slightly square look to it with very rounded edges. A “square” shaped lens can be wider at the top of the lens or have a slight arch to look almost cat eye.

I’m going to explain what really matters when it comes to choosing spectacles.

First things first is…comfort, yes comfort. It’s no good having a pair of really fabulous looking spectacles when after an hour of wear, they hurt your nose, ears and fall off every 5 minutes. You would probably think that a fitting from your dispensing optician would solve that problem but this is not always the case. The one thing I check when choosing new specs, before I even look at them is do the lenses rest on my chubby cheeks? If they do it’s an instant no. So when you first try glasses on have a look at the bridge of your nose. If you are trying on a plastic frame the bridge should sit flush all the way around the bridge of your nose with no gap at the top (some exceptions if the glasses have keyhole shaped detailing as part of the bridge). If the frame has little nose pads these can be adjusted but it is worth checking the top of the bridge is wide or narrow enough for your nose. Secondly have a look at the length of the sides, make sure they are not too short and there is a good 4-5cm’s behind where the top of your ear starts, any shorter than that and you may have issues with them falling off.

Secondly, do they look great? Regardless of lens shape. If you try them on, look in the mirror and love them instantly that is all that matters. Glasses are after all an important part of your look, nobody else’s. Now I’m not saying all glasses suit everyone, that is not the case, we are of course here to advise you and any good dispensing optician will tell you if they feel the glasses don’t quite suit you. What I am saying is if you want round spectacles and have a round face, you go out and you buy those round glasses. The same goes for all you other face types.


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So in summary, yes use the face shape rules as a rough guide and work from there but never be afraid to try on glasses that are “just not the right shape for your face”.

My advice is try on as many as you can or are willing to, you’ll be surprised with how many suit you.

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