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Selecting the Right Eyeglass Frame for your Face Shape

Updated on June 7, 2012

Eyeglass frames come in many sizes and shapes. This is a good thing, since heads come in many sizes and shapes. However, not every frame is proper for every prescription or head. Selecting the proper frame is essential in creating an acceptable final product. Patients will inevitably experience a gravitational pull toward the glasses that are the least appropriate for them.

In general, the frame should help counter any prominent facial features. For example, if someone has an unusually large forehead, we would not want to put this person into a frame with a large and dark-colored superior rim, since this would draw attention upward toward the forehead. This patient is better served with a frame with a light-colored and thinner upper rim.
There are some general rules to keep in mind as we discuss each of the following face forms.

Oval face

The oval face can look good in nearly any frame since there are no
overbearing angles to the face. The frame should be as wide as the widest
part of face.

Oblong face

This patient has a face that is longer than it is wide. In order to make the glasses look proportional on the head, select a frame which is a little deeper (longer from top to bottom) than average. Temples mounted low on the frame can help break the appearance of length. Frames
with decorative or colored temples can help add width to the facial appearance.

Square face

For the patient with a square head (shorter and wider than average), select a frame with soft oval curves to help offset the angular head shape.

Round face

For the round face, select a frame that is wider than deep. Additionally, if the prescription will allow for it, select a frame that has some distinctive sharp curves or angles to add contrast. Recall, however, that for high prescriptions you generally want to avoid frames with sharp edges and steer toward more rounded frames. Although a round pair of frames will draw attention to the round face, with higher prescriptions you will need to weigh priorities: the thickness of the lenses in a wide angular frame with the better cosmetic appearance of this type of frame on the face. There will not be one right answer in all situations.

Base up triangle

This patient has a wider forehead than chin. Try to avoid top-heavy
frames, since this will only accentuate the size of the forehead region.
Frames should be wider on the bottom with a low-mounted temple.

Base down triangle

The lower part of this patient’s face is wider than the top. You may want
to select a frame that has a heavy top rim to help the face appear more
symmetrical. Temples should be mounted high on the frame. Frames that
are rimless on the bottom half are a good choice as well.

Diamond face

In this patient, the cheekbones are dramatic and pronounced. Avoid
low-mounted temples. Lean toward frames with heavier upper rims to
widen the forehead. Use frames with softer curves and colors.

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    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I'll be sure to keep these ideas in mind when I choose my next pair of glasses.