It’s time to purchase a new set of frames. Walk into the eyeglasses shop and you’ll be bombarded with choices: different shapes, sizes, colors, patterns and brands. If you didn’t need them to see, you might just turn around and book it out of there.
To help you narrow down your search, we’ve got a guide for picking the perfect pair for you.
How to choose glasses
There are a few things to take into account when choosing the right pair of glasses, including your face shape, skin tone, lifestyle and personality.
1. Determine your face shape
Glasses are smack-dab in the middle of your face, so it makes sense that the shape of your face has an impact on the aesthetic of different glasses. Take a look in the mirror: Is your face round, oval, square, heart-shaped or diamond-shaped? Elements to pay attention to are the width and length of your face, as well as angularity of your chin, cheeks and jaw.
We go deeper into each face shape and our recommendations for glasses below.
The best glasses for round faces
Those with a round face shape have soft facial features, with face width and length approximately the same. Rectangular glasses work well for those with round faces, since they often give a slimmer, longer and more balanced appearance. Avoid rimless, round and small frames.
The best glasses for oval faces
Oval faces are longer than they are wide and a bit more angular than round faces, with a narrower jaw and prominent cheekbones. Those with an oval face shape should avoid oversized glasses that dominate the face, but find frames that are a bit wider than their cheeks. Geometric glasses with strong bridges tend to look the best.
The best glasses for square faces
People with a square face shape have a wider hairline and strong, angular jaw. The forehead, cheekbones and jaw are approximately the same width. To contrast the angles, round or oval glasses are a good choice to give those with square faces a thinner appearance. Stay away from rectangular frames with sharp angles that will make your face look bulkier.
The best glasses for heart-shaped faces
If you’ve got a wider forehead that angles down to a slender jaw line and a point at the chin, you may have a heart-shaped face. You’ll want to opt for glasses that balance the width of the forehead and narrowness of the chin, like those that are heavier on the bottom or square glasses with curved edges. Frames with embellishments or decoration on the top or temples draw attention to the forehead, so avoid those.
The best glasses for diamond-shaped faces
Diamond-shaped faces are marked by a narrow forehead and small chin, with cheekbones that are the widest part of the face. Look for frames that sweep upward — like cat eyes — and/or are wider than your cheekbones that accentuate your delicate features. Avoid boxy and narrow glasses; both will make your face look even smaller.
2. Determine your skin tone
While the shape of your face dictates what frame shapes look best, your skin tone can impact how different color frames appear.
Eyeglass frame colors for cool skin tones
Cool skin tones are fairer, with pink or blue undertones. Stay away from frame colors that will blend in or wash you out, like clear, white and nude. Instead, try darker, bolder shades like silver, black, tortoise, purple, pink and gray.
Eyeglass frame colors for warm skin tones
Warm skin tones are those with gold, bronze and olive undertones. Individuals that fall into this category should opt for glasses frames that are shades of brown, lighter tortoise, gold, beige and olive green — which complements the warmth of the skin. Colors to avoid include white, black and pastels that are too contrasting.
3. Consider your lifestyle
If you’re an everyday glasses wearer, your profession, hobbies and more influence what type of frames will work best.
The best glasses for working professionals
Consider your professional setting when picking out a pair of glasses. If you do more hands-on manual labor on a daily basis, you may want to try sports glasses (more on that below). If you work in a buttoned-down office environment, you may prefer a more conservative pair in a traditional color like gunmetal, black or brown to maintain a professional appearance.
The best glasses for people who work at a computer
Many of us do the majority of our work on a computer, and spending hours looking at a screen can put strain on the eyes and expose them to harmful blue light. Look for or ask an expert about computer glasses with lenses that eliminate digital eye strain and block or absorb blue light emitted from the computer screen.
The best glasses for active people
Wearing glasses while running, playing sports and partaking in other physical activities can be difficult. You need to be able to see while exercising, but don’t want your glasses to fall off or break. There are frames and lenses specifically designed for this purpose, that wrap around the back of your head and/or are made of durable materials like plastic and metal.
4. Find frames that show off your personal style
Above all else, you want your glasses to express your personality, preferences and style. Look beyond current trends and find a pair that shows off who you are and makes you feel confident. There are always exceptions to the rules, so while we’ve provided recommendations above, you should ultimately select the pair that you feel the best wearing.
Get affordable frames with vision insurance
Whatever frames work best for your appearance and lifestyle, you can reduce the cost with vision insurance. For a small monthly premium, vision insurance will either partially or fully cover regular eye exams, contact lenses, frames and more Browse the Direct Benefits marketplace to find the right plan for you.