Eyewear 101: Finding Your Perfect Frames

You look in the mirror. You look back at the page. You look back at the mirror. Is my face heart shaped? Is anyone’s? I guess it’s kind of round. But isn’t everyone’s?

You’ve seen the magazine articles before. “How to Choose The Right Frame for Your Face.” For round faces, wear this. For heart-shaped faces, wear this.  

You look in the mirror. You look back at the page. You look back at the mirror. Is my face heart shaped? Is anyone’s? I guess it’s kind of round. But isn’t everyone’s?

The truth is, everyone is different. Nobody’s face fits perfectly into any one particular mold, and therefore, common advice about choosing frames based on so-called face shapes can be more confusing than useful.

But there are three good guidelines that we find to be helpful in finding a good start point. Have idea what style you want already but not sure about the color? Check out our guide to picking the perfect shade for your frames.

Tip #1: Contrast your features.

When selecting a frame, you should choose the opposite of your facial features. For example, a square or angular faces look great in round frames. Whereas round faces or softer features benefit from the contrast of square frames.

Sharp, squared jaws are offset by softly curved frames.

But why is that? It’s about balance. Any graphic designer or art director worth their salt will tell you, balance is the key to a visually pleasing look. The angles of a square frame balance the smooth curves of a round cheek. A rounded lens balances a sharp, defined chin. And so on.

Then again, there are exceptions to every rule, and these especially were made to be broken. 

Case in point. Round face, round glasses - still utterly gorgeous.

The key to finding the perfect frame is more about where your features are set on your face than the shape of your face overall. Whether you want a classic square frame or a funky modern round, finding the right fit is everything. Think of a suit. No matter how expensive the fabric, it won’t look good if the waist is sagging and the hems are too long.

When finding the right pair of glasses, no matter how impressive the frame, it won’t stop traffic unless it fits like it was made for you.

The next two elements are crucial to consider when selecting a flattering frame...

Tip #2: Eye Placement

The position of your eyes between your nose and temple is the first measurement to consider. For both looks and lens placement, your eye should sit at the horizontal center of the lens and vertically in the top third.

Perfect. Both their eyes are vertically in the top third of the lens, and horizontally close to center.

This is for two very important reasons:

  • Optics
    The position of your eye in the lens is measured when you buy prescription lenses, and the most accurate point of your prescription (the optical center) is positioned directly in front of your eye. When the optical center of your lens is centered in the frame, it minimizes thickness at the edge of the lens. Vertically, your eyes should be in the top third so that when you look down at your phone, book, keyboard, etc. you are still looking through your lens.
  • Aesthetics
    The fit simply looks better the closer your eyes are to the corner of the lens. When your eyes sit in the inner corner, it can make you appear cross eyed. Too far out and it looks like your frame is too small.
‍‍Left: Too much glasses, not enough face. The lens is too wide and his eyes appear cramped in the corner. Right: Much better. The round lens shape cuts off the excess material around the outer corners and balances his pointed chin.

Tip #3: Something To Hold On To

To stay in place, your frame needs something to hold on to. That’s why it is crucial to find a frame that is the same width as your face, with a comfortable fit for your nose.

The frame should rest with equal weight on your ears and nose, gripping your temples lightly. You can see the correct fit visually when the width of the frame is equal to the width of your face from ear to ear, and there is no gap, or only a very slight gap, between the top of your nose and the bridge of the frame.Too wide, and there will be no grip on your temple; the frame will sit heavy on your nose and leave a mark. If the frame is too wide and you have a lower nose bridge, the frame will constantly slip out of place. Too narrow, and the temples will pinch the side of your face and leave painful red marks.

Left: With too much space between nose and frame, these will likely slide out of place. Right: Good impact, but better fit on the bridge of her nose. The frame temples are also perfectly parallel to the side of her face.

Ultra-oversized frames have been trendy for several years. They’re great if you wear glasses as an accessory and can take them off when they get uncomfortable; not so much if you actually need them to see. If you have a smaller face but love the oversized look, consider a well-fitting frame in a chunkier material or a darker color. You’ll get the same bold look, but they won’t be sliding down your nose after five minutes and driving you crazy by the end of the day.

Topology Eyewear makes this easy

When you style eyeglasses or sunglasses using Topology for iOS, we completely take care of the fit for you.  Every pair you view is instantly auto-fit to your unique size and shape, with even the nose bridges custom sculpted to fit the unique contours of your nose.

Glasses that fit perfectly not look better and are more comfortable, but also feel lighter and can be worn for longer, because the weight of the frame is more evenly distributed on your face.  Finally, a perfect fit also means no slippage, which means no more pushing them back up your nose.

So if you have ever wanted to try an oversized frame, or rock something a little bigger and bolder than usual, now is the time.

Finally found your perfect frame?

Now that you have found the right frame shape for your face, it's time to find your perfect color. Read more for more tips to help you find the perfect frame color for your skin.

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