Picking eyeglasses can be a difficult process of trial and error, especially if you haven’t done it many times before. The problem is that, unlike shopping for clothing where you may have a good idea of what fits you and what your favorite colors and patterns are, people can sometimes be vague on what they want for glasses (or have no idea at all). Few people know the most important factors for getting the right glasses for you: the shape of your face and which glasses will accent that shape, color and design options available to fit your preference, and features that will work best with your lifestyle.
Instead of standing in front of racks of frames and trying them on for what could be hours, consider these things first. Ask an observant friend or your eye care professional if you need help.
Which glasses will look best on you is most reliant on the shape of your face. Take a head-on look in the mirror and notice the shape of your face. Is your face taller and more narrow, or shorter and rounded? Is your face more like a diamond, or maybe a triangle shape? Is the bone structure angular, or do you have soft curves? Once you narrow that down, it’s easier to start shopping.
If your face is small, large frames will make your face look even smaller, and your features will get lost behind your glasses. If you have a larger face, small glasses will look out of proportion and make your eyes appear small. Rounded glasses soften an angular face, but a soft face can look balanced and cool with an edgy pair of angular glasses. It may take a few tries to hit on what style of glasses look good on you, but usually there are several models that will look sharp. You can narrow down your selection further once you decide on the general style that you prefer.
You can also look at trends for frame styles based on age. There’s no reason that a young person can’t wear rimless glasses, or a senior can’t wear something bright, but we tend to see trends that vary by age group. Younger people are choosing old-fashioned styles that have become popular again. Vintage styles like horn-rimmed, Wayfarer, and Clubmaster glasses have become cool unisex styles for younger people who want a classic look. Older women are making fun, youthful looks with black frames and unique, funky shapes that are creative, but still convey their professional status. Older men in particular might like frameless and very thin frames that have a mature and barely-there look.
Next, think about your personality and fashion sense. Are you the kind of person who would enjoy something bold, or do you tend to shy away from being the center of attention? Don’t be afraid to be creative with your selection if it suits you. Many frames come in patterns like plaid or animal print, or offer clear or other modern materials that will make your glasses pop.
What color will look best with your skin tone, hair, eyes, and apparel? Do you have a varied color palette for clothing, or are most of your clothes in similar colors? If you don’t plan on buying a new wardrobe, it’s a good idea to factor in your apparel as well as the overall tone of your skin and hair. Do you wear blue jeans and lots of cool greens, grays, and purples, or are you a more summery, bright yellow and orange palette? For skin tone, warmer colors would be a pink or yellow skin, whereas olive skin falls on the cooler side. Someone with rich brown hair, a more yellow skin tone, and coppery brown eyes might look strange in cool blue frames, for instance.
How dark or fair your skin is will also have an effect on your choice. Darker skin looks good with light colored glasses for a nice contrast, but fair skin looks better with a neutral tone that won’t make them look washed out. People with a medium skin tone can get a slick look with solid, bright colors.
Finally, make sure that you pick glasses that work for your lifestyle. If you’re big on adventure or you have young children who might be after your eyewear, ask about frames that are more durable and able to bend without breaking. Do you usually have to look professional, or can you be casual on a daily basis? If you’re getting one pair of glasses and not multiple pairs, you’ll need to be sure that your final pick can fit your needs and normal daily setting.
If you’re getting ready for your visit and will be picking glasses, wear an outfit that you usually wear, and do your hair and makeup in a way that’s typical for you. Ask your eye care professional for help if you want a second opinion, or get their assistance to narrow down some options. Let a professional help you create a new face!