5 Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing Glasses Frames



Hi, could you please address what color and shape of glasses to wear depending upon coloring? I am a cool brunette. Thanks.how to choose a glasses frame colour

There are so many elements to choosing a flattering frame, including colour – here are my top 5 essential factors to consider.

Choosing frames

1. Colour

Is your undertone warm or cool?

  • If you are warm you will find that warmer hues such as tortoiseshell, gold or olive green or orange will look good on you.
  • If you are cool then silver, grey, blues, pinks and black are more likely to flatter your skin tone.

Do you look better in lighter or darker frames?

  • If you have lighter hair and fairer skin, opt for frames that aren’t too dark (unless you’re going for a dramatic look).
  • If you have darker hair or skin, then a deeper darker frame will suit your colouring.

Do you look better in brighter or more muted colours?

  • If the clothes you wear are brighter in their intensity, then a shiny metallic or acetate (plastic) frame will work well, in a brighter colour.
  • If you tend to favour more muted or soft/smoky colours in clothing, then harmonise them with either a brushed metal frame or softer coloured acetate frame.
  • Choosing colour of your glasses frames

If you have a colour swatch, use it to find the frames that blend with it and they will work with your colouring.

2. Face shape

Wider faces vs Narrower faces

  • Look for glasses that the temple (that’s the technical word for the ‘arm’ of the frame) is parallel to the side of your face, not stretched out (if you have a wider face) or angling in (if your face is narrow).  There are frames made for all widths of faces so look for ones that suit the size and shape of your head.
  • Wide faces need a lighter temple so that you don’t define the width of your face so much with the arms.
  • Narrow faces can wear a heavier temple.

Longer faces vs Shorter faces

  • Longer faces need deeper frames.
  • Shorter faces look best with narrower and shallower frames (rimless and half rimless can be great for you).


3. Defining Features

Angular or curved

Are your facial features more straight or angular in appearance or curved and softened?

  • Angular faces suit frames that are made up of straighter lines.
  • Curved faces need softer and curved frames to mirror its appearance.


4. Eyes and Nose

Length of nose

  • Do you have a long nose or a hooked or pointed nose?  You may find that glasses with a high bridge will make your nose look like a beak and further elongate it (which can be less than flattering.  Instead opt for frames with a low bridge to visually shorten the length of your nose.

Width of eyes

Are your eyes wide set or narrow set?

  • Wide set eyes need a frame with more width, as your eyes are expected to sit just in from the middle of the lens.  A heavy bridge will also help to make your eyes appear closer set.
  • Narrow set eyes need a lighter and wider bridge so that it helps to visually push the eyes further apart.

5. Personality

Of course your personality is the MOST important factor when choosing a frame.  The frame needs to be matched to your personality, it needs to be something that represents you.  You want to feel great in your glasses, so the style you choose has to represent in glasses form your personality traits.  This is where understanding your personality style and signature style can come in so handy as it’s applied to everything you wear – including your frames!


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  • I found it pretty hard to choose frames on my own. I had a lot of these concepts in mind, and still found it difficult. Eventually I went to a store that had a clerk who did it well; she just picked up a frame that suited me right away. Some clerks chose what suits THEIR colouring and style, not mine; it was good to be able to recognize that.

    • This is so true, clerks choose what they want for you…i have noticed this a lot when i am choosing my frames often insisting to them that i am looking for a particular color or style. when selecting a frame i have to remember that i will be wearing it like a hair cut so it have to suit my style, personality, face and color.

  • I am currently searching for new reading glasses and it is so hard to find what i want and to finfd anyone in a store who “gets it”, after explaning what I want , the first thing they do is grab a pair that are totally unsuitable for my colouring and face shape. i like the suggestion of viewing the frames against my colour swatches. its surprising that store that sell frames dont spend any time in training staff on selecting frames to suit the clients, nor do thet appear to think that having good size mirrors are a sales tool judging by the stores I have visited. Thank you Imogen for adding some hints on what to look out for in selecting frames.

  • Do you have any tips for how to compensate for the distortion caused by a high prescription? I’m quite nearsighted, and it makes my eyes appear smaller than they are. I also have a fairly round, undefined jaw, so I’d rather the attention was elsewhere. Here’s an example picture (not me) of a woman with this kind of distortion–looking through her lenses, the sides of her face are much closer together than in reality, and her eyes are that much smaller.
    I currently have lightweight rectangular half-frames, but I’ve also had thicker black rims.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Imogene, my face is widest at the top of my cheek-bones with a strong jaw and narrow forehead with my eyes being close set. I’ve been looking for frames for over a year and can’t land on ones that work as some of the advice given above would contradict because I have several things going on that would suggest a different frame. Ideas?

    • Close set eyes can make it harder if your face is not narrow – so look for frames that don’t have a heavy or wide arm as this will make your eyes look more close set.

      Then think about a wider top bar – this should help to balance your jaw.

      If you can find them (of course, this is all about fashion) then look for a frame where there is a gap at the outer edge of the lense and the arm as it helps to lessen the impact of close set eyes but a wider frame to fit your face.

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