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How to Choose Your Glasses

Choosing the right frame for you.

In this section you will find information on choosing frames which suit you, by finding out about your face shape, your personal colouring then matching this with frame colours which enhance your best features.

You'll also find out about selecting frames which fit you and about the different ways of searching for just the frames you want.

Frames Which Suit You

What shape of frame will look best on me?

For all of us, the most important aspects of choosing a new pair of glasses are; how they make us look! and how they make us feel!

Our simple guide makes it easier to choose frames which make you look and feel your best. First you need to figure out your Face Shape and your Personal Colouring.

Face Shape

There are three principles for matching your frames to your face shape;

  • The frame shape should contract with your face shape,
  • The frame size should be in proportion with the size of your face,
  • Your frames should repeat or enhance your best feature, e.g. eye colour or hair colour.

All faces are a combination of shapes and angles though most of our faces fall more or less into one of the seven basic face shapes:

Round faces are equal in width and length, are curvilinear and have no clearly defined angles. To compliment a round face try angular frames which can lengthen the face, a clear bridge that can widen the eyes and try frames which are wider than they are deep such as a rectangular frame.

Oval faces have well balanced proportions, slightly longer than they are wide, a non pronounced angles. To enhance this balance try frames that are as wide or wider than the widest part of the face and which are well proportioned, especially not too deep or to narrow.

Oblong faces are longer than they are wide and have a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. To make the face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have a top-to-bottom depth, decorative or contrasting arms that add width to the face and maybe a low bridge to shorten the nose.

Base-Down Triangle faces have a narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and chin areas. To add width and emphasize the narrow upper third of the face, try cat-eye shapes or frames that are heavily accented with colour and detailing on the top half.

Base-Up Triangle faces have a very wide top third and small bottom third. To minimize the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom, very light colours and materials, and rimless frame styles.

Diamond shaped faces are narrow at the eye line and jaw-line, and cheekbones are often high and dramatic. This is the rarest face shape. To highlight the eyes and bring out the cheekbones, try frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines, or try rimless frames or oval and cat-eye shapes.

Square faces have strong a jaw line and a broad forehead, plus the width and length are in equal proportion. To make the square face look longer and soften the angles, try narrow frame styles, frames that have more width than depth and narrow ovals.

Personal Colouring

The three key points to remember about colour analysis are:

  • Everyone has either warm (yellow based) or cool, (blue based) colouring,
  • Everyone looks best in their own base colouring,
  • Eyewear colour should complement your personal colouring.

The main factors in determining your personal colouring are the colour of your skin, hair and your eyes.

Skin tone is the main element determining colouring. Everyone’s complexion falls into one of two colour bases, blue (cool) or yellow (warm).

Cool complexions have blue or pink undertones. Warm complexion have a "peaches and cream" or yellow cast. Olive skin is considered cool because it is a mixture of blue and yellow.

Hair colours are also considered warm or cool. Strawberry blond, platinum, blue-black, white, salt-and-pepper and "dishwater" brown are cool. Golden blond, flat black, brown-gold, "carrot" and "dirty" grey are warm.

Eye colour is usually a secondary element in determining colouring. This is because of the wide range of eye colours, for example, blue eyes can range from a cool almost-violet to a pale blue-grey, which is warm. Brown eyes can vary from a light cider shade (warm) through a medium-brown to a cool almost-black.

Frame Colouring

Once you have determined if you are "warm" or "cool," then you can find the frame colours that will suit you the best

Frame colours best for warm colouring are: camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blond tortoise.

Frame colours best for cool colouring, are black, rose-brown, blue-grey, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker) tortoise.

Frames Which Fit You

Take a look around, how many of us look exactly the same? None, right! So how do you choose a frame that's going to fit?

Well every frame has a standard set of measurements printed either on the arm or the bridge (often beside the model number and colour, a typical example would be 48-19-140).

These numbers are measurements, in millimeters, of the width of each lens, the width of the bridge and the length of the arms from hinge to tip. If you have a frame which fits you well you can use these measurements as a useful guide to selecting a new frame.

Here are a few fitting tips:

  • Make sure that the frames are wide enough and the arms don't touch the side of your head as they extend back towards your ears.
  • Make sure the arms are long enough! The curve at the end of the arm should extend over the ear without pressing down on it. The curve can be adjusted up or down but it can't be lengthened.
  • If the glasses fit properly you should be able to bend down and pick something and the glasses feel secure and stay in place.
  • Check out the nosepiece for comfort and fit. Many glasses have adjustable nosepieces for fine tuning with soft silicon nose-pads.
  • For frames without nose-pads make sure they fit securely without pinching.
  • If you have selected a suitable frame based on our guidelines, and tried them on at home then your glasses should only require some very minor fine tuning for a perfect fit.