How to Choose the Right Sunglasses for Your Face

July 9th, 2008

Everybody loves sunglasses. Here’s a primer on how to find the right pair for you:

To find the right sunglasses for you, start with the shape of your face.  Everyone’s face is unique, but there are a few general shapes into which faces can be categorized.  The basic idea is to get a pair of sunglasses that balances out your face shape; that is, a pair that exemplifies the opposite of your face shape.  Moreover, the edges of the glasses should “frame” your face exactly.  If the outer edge of the lens’ frame is wider or narrower than your face, the glasses don’t fit.  Oh, and always make sure you try on the pair in person before buying them.

Round Face
Jack Spade Chad Sunglasses
Jack Spade Chad Sunglasses | $275 at Marqsmen 

If you have full cheeks and a curved jawline, get a pair that contrasts this roundness.  To balance out your face, you’ll want a pair of sunglasses in a boxier shape.  For best results, make sure the edges of the sunglasses are rounded, not pointy or sharp. I love this pair by Jack Spade.

Oval Face
Oliver Goldsmith Mistinguett Sunglasses
Oliver Goldsmith Mistinguett Sunglasses | $290 (approx) at Adam Simmonds

If your face is long and lean (think Adrian Brody), you’ll want sunglasses that make your face appear wider.  A lot of people will say an oval shaped face will look good with any pair of sunglasses, but in my opinion, the ones that widen the face look the very best.  Look for lenses that are basically wide rectangles, like this pair by Oliver Goldsmith.

Triangular Face
Prada Aviator Sunglasses
Prada Aviator Sunglasses | $275 at Saks Fifth Avenue 

If you have a broad forehead and a narrower chin, you’ll want a pair that complements that shape.  That means you want a pair that are wider at the top and narrower at the bottom.  Aviators are ideal here.  I like this sleek pair by Prada.

Bonus Sunglasses Style Tips:
(1) The best sunglasses offer both UVA and UVB protection and are polarized.  Polarized sunglasses also distort natural colors the least.  If you spend a lot of time on the water, these features are a must; the sunlight reflecting off the water is poison for your eyes.

(2) Often, like with the classic Wayfarer (probably the most timeless pair out there), you can put in regular lenses and wear your sunglasses as a stylish pair of regular glasses.  Go to your optometrist for more information.

Ray Ban Wayfarer
Ray Ban Wayfarer | $110 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Have a great tip about how to choose the right pair of sunglasses?  Share it with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: How To, Men, Men's, Shopping Guide

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laura  |  July 9th, 2008 at 5:25 am

    I used to work at an optical shop that sold both glasses and sunglasses. What you say is true, but women need to consider their eyebrows as well. I have an oval face but naturally arched eye brows, and I have found that I need to match my eyebrows more than my face for the glasses to look good.

  • 2. ktc  |  July 9th, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Are there any brands out there that make sunglasses for people with small faces? My face is too small for the huge lenses that are in style now, but it’s almost impossible to find anything that’s small enough to fit my face without going to the kids section.

  • 3. Trisha  |  July 9th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Laura - have any tips about how to pick glasses while considering eyebrow shape?

    KTC - My boyfriend has the same problem. He likes the Oakley Square Frame glasses (the old ones from a few years ago, not the most recent style, which is larger). You may be able to find these on eBay, if you like this style.

  • 4. Ashley  |  July 9th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    What about those of us with square faces? (Jaw and forehead same width)

  • 5. Trisha  |  July 9th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Ashley - I have a square-ish type face, and I’ve found that oversized sunglasses in a rounded, boxy shape work well. The trick is for the top of the sunglasses to be slightly wider than the bottom.

  • 6. kay.  |  July 10th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    i have extremely arched eyebrows and i find that i look strange with most smaller sunglasses that dont cover them completely. aside from that, i have an oval shaped face, so if not for my eyebrows, it would be a lot easier!

  • 7. lily  |  April 9th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    agree about eyebrows.. there are people that looks silly showing them, and then there are those who look good only while showing them (me).
    My best facial feature is my eyes and eyebrows..and my worst is my small rounded button nose… and when I put on glasses that hides also my brows - I simply disappear , even more all you can see is my piggy nose on which glasses are sitting on .
    basically i am not sunglasses person and over sized shade trend ain`t helping !

  • 8. kristen stewart  |  July 22nd, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I like the wayfarer sunglasses but I’m not so sure that they are for my face shape which is round??? What do I do continue wearing these or go for a different style. But I really like these ones they are really in style.

  • 9. melanie  |  May 21st, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    my biggest problem is my lashes- they are naturally long. and to make matters worse, bridge of my nose is almost non existent! i have high eyebrows and a round face. i cant seem to find a frame to match my face and actually have room for my lashes

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