Shopping online is awesome, yeah? The days before we could fill up a virtual shopping cart and click “buy” while still curled up cozy in bed sound like dark days indeed. Still, sunglasses are the exception to the rule—a pair can look so cute on a model but arrive on your doorstep a few days later and somehow not work, at all, when you try them on. So how is a shopper supposed to successfully buy sunglasses online? “The best rule of thumb is that opposites attract. Find frames that contrast with the shape of your face, and keep everything proportional,” Jenna McGill, the Vision Council’s marketing and communications fashion manager, told us.
Figuring Out Your Face Shape
“The first thing you want to do is to figure out your face shape,” McGill explained, suggesting Eyecessorize’s guide if you’re not quite sure what shape you are. “Take a picture of yourself facing the camera head-on with your hair pulled back. On the photo, create dots at the brow line, cheekbones, and jawline and compare those dots to the descriptions below.” If you’re not Photoshop-savvy or don’t have a way of printing out your picture, work with your reflection. “The same process can be done by tracing your face with lipstick on a mirror.” After you’ve figured out your shape, check out the specific suggestions McGill gave us.
General Rules for a Flattering Fit
Avoiding a problem might be as simple as grabbing a measuring tape. “You want the frames to span the complete width of your face, and you don’t want to be able to see the sides of your head through the lenses,” she said. Plenty of online shops offer specific measurements with product descriptions (often listed as “frame width” or “temple length”). Check them out and then measure your face, comparing the two numbers to get a general feel for whether the style would work on you.
How to Tell What Shape Your Face Is (and Frame Suggestions!)
You have an oval face if…: The dots that mark your cheeks are the pair that’s furthest apart; the brow line and jawline curve slightly inward. There aren’t many frames that don’t work with this shape, so experiment with classic and trendy picks. You have a round face if…: Like oval, your cheekbones have the most space between them; the brow line and jawline both have a stronger curve. Rectangular and square frames are likely going to be the most flattering. You have a square face if…: Symmetry rules and all dots are equally as far apart from each other. Try rounded or cat-eye styles. You have a heart-shaped face if…: The dots on your brow area are the furthest apart, while the jawline dots are the closest. The shade shapes most likely to work for you are aviators and other rimless styles. You have an oblong face if…: Your face is long, with the most space between the dots at the brow line and jawline. Oversize styles are likely going to be the most flattering on you.
To shorten a face: McGill suggested picking glasses with deep, narrow frames with legs that connect closer to the middle of the body (typically the pieces are joined at the upper corner). To widen a face: Try styles with decorative, embellished temples. To avoid overwhelming a small face: When looking at given measurements, note the ones with the shortest distance between side hinges. These will likely be your most flattering. To lengthen a face: Rimless or wide styles can help elongate, as do styles with a high nose bridge. To minimize a larger forehead: If you’re self-conscious about your forehead, look for glasses where the legs connect at the middle or bottom of the frame, rather than the top corner. To make close-set eyes appear wider: Narrow frames will help center your eyes, McGill said; or “try a clear bridge with colored temples.” To flatter a larger nose: Shop for oversize frames with a low bridge. Per McGill, the build will focus attention on the glasses, rather than your features. To accentuate cheekbones: “Try printed or intricate temples to draw attention to the side of the face.”