How To Style Your Custom Sunglasses

Here's everything you need to know to style your perfect custom sunglasses.
Custom Fit sunglasses made to order for one person at a time. Available in any style or color, with or without prescription.
Topology Custom Fit Sunglasses.

Many of the most important, most challenging and most memorable times of our lives happen while we are wearing our sunglasses. Whether driving at high speed, driving a hole in one, scaling half dome or posing for post-wedding photos, our sunglasses are becoming just as precious as our eyeglasses.

Custom-tailored sunglasses from Topology set a new standard against which all other sunglasses should be compared. And when compared to any stock sunglasses brand, Topology custom-fit sunglasses allow you to:

  • Wear sunglasses for longer: And benefit from better UV protection with greater comfort
  • Be more active: And feel more confident while working out, adventuring or just living life
  • Finally find the perfect fit for your face: Both stylistically and physically
  • Enjoy perfect vision: With your vision prescription applied to any frame

‍Any Face, Any Frame, Any Color, Any Prescription

Topology custom-tailored sunglasses are made-to-order, from scratch, only when you place your order. So any design you desire is available, and always with a guaranteed perfect fit.

But now that you can suddenly have everything you want, how do you know what to choose? 

Read on for valuable sunglass styling advice, including:

  • How to choose the right frame style for you
  • How to adjust sizing for sunglasses
  • Special advice for styling Transition sunglasses
  • Styling prescription lenses
  • Choosing lens tints and filters
  • How to get more advice

How to choose a frame style

The internet is awash with advice about which frames suit which types of face shape, and we’ve read most of it.  Having now styled thousands of custom pairs for Topology shoppers, we are able to condense what we believe to be the most helpful advice into four points that will get you to your ideal custom sunglasses.

Topology Custom Sunglasses available in any color and prescription

1. Contrast your features

Forget trying to decipher whether your face is heart, diamond or triangle shaped. We love the advice written by blogger The Modest Man in his article about eyewear shapes. In summary, the primary thing you should ask yourself is whether your facial features are sharp, angular and bold, or softer and more rounded?

Lucy has sharp features and straighter contours, whereas Scarlett has softer, more rounded features.

Mostly Sharp and/or Angular Features

  • If you have: 
    Straight nose, angular eyebrows, sharp cheekbones, square or pointed jaw or straight, angular beard lines.
  • You should:
    Contrast and soften your look with rounded frames with soft edges.

Top 3 Topology styles for you:
  • Bay: Both rounded and accented, looks amazing when oversized.
  • Presidio: The most timeless and iconic sunglass silhouette of all
  • Angel: The vintage feminine favorite

Mostly Round or Soft Features

  • If you have: 
    A round face, curvy nose and mouth contours, soft browlines and big eyes
  • You should:
    Embolden your look with angular frames to add impact

Top 3 Topology styles for you:
  • Union: Our most popular square with flared corners
  • Montgomery: With a strong browline and square corners
  • Cortland: Thick frame with a square silhouette and broad temples for extra side coverage

Or, if you think you be neither or both of these…!

Choose a style that offers the best of both these worlds, for a guaranteed great match for anyone.

Top 3 Topology styles for you:
  • Lombard: A rounded square with accented nose bridge
  • Sansome: Rectangular in proportion with sweeping curves throughout
  • Octavia: A classic cat eye, where smooth curves meet at statement upper corners.

But remember: These rules are made to be broken!

If you like to rock sunglasses at the forefront of fashion, you’ll probably enjoy making trends setting statements by bending and breaking these rules for fun.

2. Complement your proportions

While opposites attract for contrasting features, the trick for overall proportions is actually to complement your face.

  • If your face is taller than it is wide:
    Then taller frames like Lombard, Bay or Octavia are a great starting point. 

  • If your face is wider than it is tall:
    Then you’ll want to gravitate to warders a narrower frame like Union, Montgomery, or Dolores.

You can adjust the proportions of any frame in the Topology app

Make any frame your way using the “Adjust” options in the Topology try-on.  Use the “Width” and “Height” sliders to:

Give Union, Cortland or Sansome extra height for tall faces
Left: Default eyeglass proprtions applied to Union. Right: Increased height better suits Ashley's proportions
Give Lombard, Octavia or Presidio a sleeker profile for wider faces
Left: Default eyeglass width based on centering eyes within lenses. Right: Bosting width suits Parker much better.

3. Important: Adjusting sizing for sunglasses

By default, the Topology app automatically sizes frames to you based on an eyeglasses aesthetic, which is typically smaller than you would want for sunglasses.

Therefore we recommend over-sizing and repositioning your frames for a perfect sunglasses aesthetic.

Follow these steps:

  • Boost size for greater eye coverage and protection
    Use the Width and Height sliders within “Adjust” to increase the overall size of your sunglasses to a more typical sunglass aesthetic
Left: Default eyeglasses sizing. Middle: Increased width. Right: Increased height
  • Sit high on the brow
    Although we recommend eyeglasses don’t cover the eyebrow, for sunglasses we recommend you do raise the position of wear up to the eyebrow, to better shield your eyes from the sun above
Left: Ideal eye positioning for eyeglasses. Middle: decreased "drop" to raise glasses to brow. Right: A natural sunglasses look.

Don’t worry about pupil positioning

  • Since the tint of the lens will hide your eye positioning, you don’t need to worry about centering your eyes horizontally within the lens. You can safely increase width for greater coverage, without worrying about the cross-eyed look.
Left: Way too big for eyeglasses. Right: But perfect when tinted as sunglasses.

4. Special Advice For Styling Transition Sunglasses.

Transition lenses are “Photochromic” lenses that change from clear to tinted when exposed to sunlight, and are a great option for anyone that hates switching their glasses multiple times per day.  Here are a couple of points to keep in mind:

  1. Check Your Eyes Are Centered
    As you will be wearing the glasses in both clear and tinted mode, it is important you check the look in both clear and tinted states!  Use the Topology app to switch between clear and lenses to check that your eye is within the horizontal center third of the lens, and don’t make the glasses so wide as sunglasses that you look cross-eyed when lenses are clear.

  2. Remember: Transitions Don’t Work For Driving!
    Unfortunately the spectrum of light that is needed to activate the change to tinted in Transition frames is blocked by your car windscreen, so transition lenses remain clear inside the car.  If driving is a key use case for you, we recommend separate prescription sunglasses instead.

  3. Good to Know: Transition Lenses Also Block Blue Light!
    If you spend a lot of time staring into a computer or smartphone screen, you may have heard of blue light blocking lenses, that reduce the harmful effects of the blue light spectrum.  A little known fact is that Transition lenses also block this type of light even when clear, making them an excellent choice for heavy computer and phone users, which is, well, most of us!

Styling Prescription Sunglasses

Jamie's Octavia in Crystal and Turtle with Brown Transition Progressive Lenses.

You can also choose any Topology frame and lens tint in your prescription, subject to the normal applicable cost of standard, bifocal or progressive lenses as needed.

Top Tips For Prescription Glasses

  1. Stronger prescriptions require smaller lenses
    The larger you style your lenses, the thicker your lens may get.  So you may want to adjust size to more closely match eyeglasses proportions.  If you are not sure go ahead and style them as you want them to look, and we will always flag to you if we think the lenses might get thicker than you’ll like.

  2. Expect strong negative prescriptions to have flatter lenses
    Strong negative prescriptions (E.G, “-4” or stronger) lead to flatter lenses, so wrapped/curved frames may not work for you

  3. Expect strong positive prescriptions to have more curved lenses
    The inverse of the above, positive prescriptions require a lens with a higher ”base curve”, so avoid flat-fronted sunglasses styles

Choosing Lens Tints and Filters

Parker's Bay in Turtle with Brown Face Gradient Lenses.

Choose Any Frame Color For Any Frame

There are currently 30 color options for Acetate (Plastic) frames and 20 choices for steel frames.  You can read more about choosing the best color for you on this previous blog post.

Understanding Lens Tint Colors

  • Brown
    The go-to classic sunglass option, this gives the wearer a warm, nostalgic view of the world.

Left: Montgomery in Charcoal with Olive Lenses. Right: Montgomery in Charcoal with Brown Lenses.
  • Olive
    Although the idea of a greenish tint might sound strange, this is actually the most common color of tint used by some of the world’s most popular sunglass brands.  Viewed by others the lens appears gray, and for the wearer colors are vibrant and distinct.

  • Fade
    Also known as “Gradients”, Fade tint lenses are available in Brown or Olive and from strong tint at top of lens, to clear at bottom.

Left: Octavia in Pink Salt with Brown Fade Lenses. Right: Octavia in Fig with Olive Fade Lenses.
  • More bold colors available
    For the more daring, we also offer mirror tints in silver, blue and orange.  Check the app for new colors being added frequently.
Left: Presidio in Silver with Mirror Lenses. Middle: Blue Mirror Lenses. Right: Orange Mirror Lenses.

Polarized Sunglass Lenses

When light is reflected, for example by a wet road, car windscreen or surface of a lake, it becomes “scattered” in a way that creates unpleasant glare.  Polarized sunglass lenses filter out this light to improve visibility and comfort.  

Available as a premium add-on for any lens prescription or tint color, and are fantastic for several uses including:

  • Driving
    Reduces glare from wet roads, car windscreens and buildings

  • Watersports
    From yachting to fishing, Polarized lenses often allow the wearer to see through the surface of the water and what is underneath

  • Winter Sports
    Reduce glare from snow and ice on sunny days

Please Note: Polarized lenses can interfere with visibility of some screens, which make it more difficult to read laptops and smartphones outdoors in the sun.

More tips and advice

If you would like further help choosing the right design for you, you are welcome to book a free 15 minute consultation with one of our eyewear specialists.

You might also enjoy this further reading:

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