The Most Flattering Sunglasses for Your Face Shape
How to decide which face shape is closest to yours (round, square, oval and heart) and the ideal pair of sunglasses
An ideal pair of sunglasses is a Jane-of-all-trades. It scoffs in the face of Ultraviolet (UV) light and performs its due diligence of protection. It eliminates proof of a solo night dedicated to checking off chick flicks on the Netflix queue (now-empty boxes of tissues and Mint N’ Chip Thrifty ice cream notwithstanding). And again the next week, when a night at a bar that gloriously played "Drunk in Love" on repeat turned into a cruel morning. Plus, now that Mr. Golden Sun has slowly inched its way out of gloomy clouds (that are so last season), the perfect pair is more in need than ever. Beach day, anyone?
But, as they say: Nothing good comes easy. Regardless of that ideal pair’s future duties, it’s the hunt for the right pair that can be trying—particularly, when one essential aspect is a decent fit. With the help of Claudia Arroyo and Ritzy Ryciak, personal stylists at online eyewear boutique Rivet & Sway, we’ve come up with the following guidelines to four classic face shapes that can help you handle a bright future in style.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN, KEEP IN MIND:
- Not everyone fits into just one archetypal face shape. "Many people have elements of both oval and square," says Ritzy. "The trick is to look in the mirror and determine if your defining features are more angular (sharper) or round (softer)."
- When seeking an extra-protective pair of sunglasses, look for options with polarization. Polarized glasses can greatly reduce glare and put up a stronger fight against UV radiation, which may damage the cornea and the retina. Also, a darker tint does not always equate to greater protection. Polarization is more important.
- However, high-quality and polarized sunglasses do tend to have a higher price tag. Consider the likely occasions you’ll be wearing the pair. For example, a cheap but fun pair might be good for occasional wear, such as fun trip abroad or a quick weekend in a coastal city, and won't incite heartbreak if misplaced. A pair you’ll (carefully) wear often and while in direct sunlight may be worth an increased investment.
- Comfort should come first. When making normal facial expressions, the right pair shouldn't noticeably shift or move. Sunglasses should also fit close to the eyes, but not pinch or squeeze anywhere.
- In this case, size does matter. Smaller frames are best for smaller faces, as larger frames are better for larger faces. Ritzy advises, "Find frames that span the width of your face, center your eyes, and mirror the arch of your brows."
- Take our guide with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, your face shape isn’t the ultimate deciding factor for the right pair of sunglasses. That final push should be attributed to what you feel fantastic wearing, no matter what our—or any—guide suggests. First and foremost, we just want you to feel beautiful!
FOR A ROUND-SHAPED FACE:
( via Kayture )
A ROUND-SHAPED FACE USUALLY:
- Is sweetly spherical
- Has full cheekbones
- Has soft, curved edges
- Includes a more narrow forehead and jawline/chin
- Avoiding rounded frames. Disc-shaped frames are too similar to your face shape and may further amplify its roundness.
- Trying a new angle. Look for sharp edges and upward lines to lengthen the face, no matter how small the detail (e.g., in the upper-right corner of a Wayfarer style sunglasses). This adds interesting dimension as well. "Bold angles and a more geometric frame are the perfect contrast to curved lines," says Claudia.
FOR A SQUARE-SHAPED FACE
( via Fashion Hippie Loves )
A SQUARE-SHAPED FACE USUALLY:
- Is fairly symmetrical and proportionate
- Is wider than long
- Includes a broad forehead and a defined jawline
- Getting well-rounded. Since your face is angular, try softening pronounced features with a rounded pair of sunglasses (e.g., in butterfly, circular or aviator style sunglasses). The pair should be wider than tall. Claudia also recommends sunglasses that have curvy square edges (to balance your softer features), such as Rivet & Sway's Superfly.
- Or purrr-senal. A cat-eye frame with its sides that curve upwards will also draw the eye up, creating a softness in your strong jawline.
- Or even narrow-minded. Avoid bulky or thick frames, as they may appear heavier on the face. Try out frames with thinner, narrow rims that are more suitable for lengthening and softening a square-shaped face.
FOR AN OVAL-SHAPED FACE
( via Style Me Grasie )
AN OVAL-SHAPED FACE USUALLY:
- Is symmetrical and proportionate
- Is longer than wide
- Includes a more narrow forehead and jawline
- Experimenting. With your facial structure’s well-balanced proportions, all types of shades will be flattering on you. "Women with oval face shapes are likely to be balanced and do not need to stick to a particular shape," says Claudia. Give whimsical designs a try, such as eye-catching circular and mirrored sunglasses; a funky, over exaggerated cat-eye pair; or quirky heart-shaped frames.
- Not going overboard with frame size. Though testing out unfamiliar shapes and frames is encouraged, proportion is still key. Frames should not be wider than the face’s broadest point.
FOR A HEART-SHAPED FACE
( via Damsel in Dior )
A HEART-SHAPED FACE USUALLY:
- Includes a broad forehead
- Has high, prominent cheekbones
- Ends at a smaller jawline/chin
- Highlighting your cheekbones and jawline. Cat-eye shades are ideal for this duty, as their upward angle are parallel to the outline of the bottom half of your face and cheekbones. Or, simply elect any pair with that slight upslope angle.
- Balancing out your face shape. If focusing on proportion, a classic pair of aviators with a wider bottom can help shift focus downward on the face (as the jaw is quite narrow).
Do you know which face shape you have? Are you a hybrid of more than one type? What style of sunglasses do you feel is most flattering? Please share your tips below!