A good rule of thumb when choosing frames for your glasses is to consider three Fs: fit, function and fashion. So says Robert Dalton, a Halifax licensed optician and executive director of the Opticians Association of Canada. Fit: Frames shouldn’t slip off the bridge of your nose and the arms (temples) should be comfortable on the ears. Function: The frame should be the right size for your prescription; an eye care specialist will guide you. Fashion: If that’s your priority, go to a practitioner who is up to date on the latest styles.
According to New York style expert Charla Krupp, the hottest trend now is "geek chic"‘studious-looking plastic frames. Whatever the style, she generally likes plastic because it’s "softer and more youthful than metal." But lightness of weight and bold colours make metal the choice for many, says Beverly Suliteanu, vice-president of product development for Wescan Optical. A general guideline: Choose a frame shape in contrast to your face shape.
We consulted with Dalton, Krupp, and Suliteanu’plus eyecessorize.com‘for some match-up tips.
The best glasses for your face shape
If your face is oval (Chin is slightly narrower than forehead) ‘This balanced shape has the most choices, says Dalton. ‘Any frames look good.’ But Krupp warns that round frames can make you look heavy. If you want to give your face a youthful lift, choose frames with an uptick at the outer corner.
If your face is heart-shaped (Wide forehead; high cheekbones; very narrow chin) Aviator glasses are ideal for the heart-shaped face, says Dalton. You can also try rimless styles and frames with low temples. Frames with an uptick at the outer corner can also flatter a heart shape, says Suliteanu.
If your face is Square (Strong jaw; wide forehead and cheekbones)’ Choose an oval frame, says Dalton. "A frame with some uplift will draw attention away from the jawline, creating a softer look," says Suliteanu. Frames should be wider than the widest part of your face.
If your face is Round (No angles; width and length are the same) ‘Create angles with rectangular or angular frames. Krupp suggests frames with an uptick at the outer corner. You might want to try metal frames; the adjustable nose pads ìwill keep lenses from resting on fuller cheeks,” says.
If your face is Oblong (Face is noticeably longer than it is wide) ‘Krupp likes a square frame on an oblong face. Another option is a shape with more depth than width; it can help shorten and balance this face shape. Decorative contrasting temples add width, as do frames with strong horizontal lines.
The best glasses for your hair colour
Charla Krupp, bestselling author of How Not to Look Old and How to Never Look Fat Again, says hair colour is an important consideration when choosing frames. Tortoiseshell is almost universally flattering, she says. The exception might be grey hair, which can clash with it.
‘ Blond hair Krupp likes olive tortoiseshell or medium-tone brown frames. If you like black, choose frames with crystal accents; solid black can look harsh. Suliteanu likes medium tones of purple, blue and green.
‘ Brown hair Brunettes have the most choices, says Krupp, who favours deep brown or burgundy. If going with tortoiseshell, choose a golden tone. Red works, if it’s not too strong.
‘ Red hair ‘You can’t miss with tortoiseshell,’ says Krupp (but avoid yellow tones). Warm brown and rich henna are other options. Black hair Choose solid black or a non-yellow tortoiseshell, says Krupp. Suliteanu favours bold colours and contrasting combin-ations such as black and white.
‘ Grey hair Burgundy and blue are wonderful. ‘Avoid tortoiseshell and silver,’ says Krupp.
This article was originally titled "What style of frame is best for your face?" in the January/February 2011 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health