Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Choose the Best Eyeglass Frames for You

By Tricia Drevets
Eyeglasses – they have the ability to mask your good looks or let them take center stage. Because not all faces are the same, eyewear should not be approached with a “one-size-fits-all mentality and, rather, you should find the design that best enhances your features. 
Shape and Size: Have you ever considered the shape and size of your face?  Are you unsure of what your face shape even is? To find out, pull your hair back completely off your face and look in the mirror. Turn to the right and to the left, lift your chin up and down and consider the following categories:
  • Round: Have you been told you have a baby face? Chances are your face is round. Does your face have curved lines with proportional width and length and no real angles?  To lengthen and slim a round face, look for frames that are narrow and rectangular in shape. Also consider frames with a clear bridge to widen the eyes.
  • Oval:  If your face is oval, you have balanced proportions with your chin slightly narrower than your forehead. Choose among frames that are at least as wide as the broadest part of the face. To maintain your natural facial balance, look for glasses that are as wide as or a little wider than the broadest part of the face. Walnut-shaped frames could work well.
  • Oblong: Your face is longer than it is wide. You have a long, straight cheek line and you probably have a long nose as well. Look for frames with more depth than width (such as aviator styles) and a low nose bridge.  Contrasting temples are a good choice for you. 
  • Base-Down Triangle:  You have a narrow forehead and a face that widens at the cheek and chin areas. Look for frames with color accents or details on the top part of the frame. Retro cat eye frames might be a fun choice for you. 
  • Base-Up Triangle:  Your face has a wide top third and a smaller bottom third. To balance your face, choose among light-colored frames that are wider at the bottom than they are at the top. Rimless frames or semi-rimless styles are good choices for you.
  • Diamond: A face that is narrow at the eye line and jawline with broad, high cheekbones defines your look. Choose frames that have detailed and distinctive brow lines to highlight your eyes. Rimless or cat-eye styles may work well.
  • Square:  Your face features a strong jaw line and a broad forehead, and your width and length are proportional. To soften the angles of you face, try narrow oval frames and other styles that have more width than depth.
Now let’s look at colors. Not surprisingly, the factors to consider in choosing the hue are the colors of your skin, your eyes and your hair. To help you decide what color palette is best for you, let’s find out if your coloring is “warm” or “cool.”
Skin: Your eyewear should complement your skin color, and we all fall into two basic categories: cool tones, which are blue-based, and warm tones, which are yellow-based. If you have a cool complexion, you have blue or pink undertones to your skin, and if you have a warm complexion, you have a yellow cast. Olive skin, a mixture of blue and yellow, is considered a cool complexion.
Eyes:  Our eye colors vary much more subtlety than our skin color. For example, blue eyes can range from a cool violet to a warm pale blue-gray. Brown eyes can be a warm light cider shade or cool dark almost-black color.
Hair:  The hair colors that are considered in the cool spectrum are platinum, blue-black, white, strawberry blond, auburn, salt-and-pepper, and ash brown. Warm hair shades are brownish- black, brownish-gold, golden blond, traditional red, and most grays.
Selecting a Color:  Now that you know whether you are "warm" or "cool," you can see what eyeglass frame colors are the most attractive choices for you. Some frame colors that complement “warm” coloring are light tortoise, fire-engine red, camel, gold, copper, khaki, orange, off-white, warm blue, peach and coral.
Your “cools” should look for frames in the following colors:  black, blue-gray, magenta, plum, rose-brown, pink, jade, blue, dark tortoise and silver.
While it might seem like a good idea to choose a neutral color that will not clash with whatever you are wearing, it really is best to choose a color that flatters your face and your coloring. 
Hopefully, now you are ready to walk into that eyeglass shop ready to choose from the frames that will suit you best, rather than feeling overwhelmed by all the myriads of choices.  There are plenty of eyeglass retailers like Warby Parker and Reading Glasses that will allow you to browse by details like shape, size and color, to allow you to streamline the browsing process. So let your eyewear be an expression of your personal style and a tool to help you really shine.

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