How to choose glasses frames for a face shape

Written by cheryl starr
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How to choose glasses frames for a face shape
Frames should always be in proportion to the size of your face. (Frauenportrait image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

Frames for eyeglasses come in many styles and colours. Choosing a frame can be overwhelming. Narrow down your choices by first determining which frames your prescription lenses need. Some bifocal prescriptions need larger lenses. Your second step is to determine your personal face shape. Choose eyeglass frames that enhance your best facial features. There are seven basic face shapes. Most people have a combination of shapes and angles.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Find your personal facial shape. There are seven main shape groups. Some faces are a combination of more than one. The shapes are round, square, oval, oblong, base-down triangle, base-up triangle and diamond. To find your face shape, clip your hair away from your face and stand before a mirror. With an eyebrow pencil in hand, draw the shape of your face on the mirror carefully. You may need to cover one eye to make this easier. If you find it difficult, cover one eye with an eye-patch or half of a gel eye mask, before drawing.

  2. 2

    Choose frames that are as wide or wider than the broadest section of your face if you have an oval face shape. You don't want to choose frames that are too narrow or deep. You want to keep the natural shape and balance of the oval shape.

  3. 3

    Try frames that have temples that contrast with your face shape. Try squared or rectangular frames with an oblong face with oval features. Frames with distinctive designs or colour will also contrast with your temples. Try frames with a low bridge that shortens the nose and more depth than width if you have an oblong facial shape. This face is long with a long nose and a long straight cheekbone.

  4. 4

    Consider eyeglass frames that are cat-eye shaped or that have coloured accents. This type of frame adds width to the narrow upper third of the face for faces that have the base-down triangle shape.

  5. 5

    Try frames that are wider at the bottom or that have a rimless effect. This style of frame enhances the base-up triangle shaped face, which has a wide top third and a small bottom third.

  6. 6

    Consider narrow frames with narrow ovals and wide widths if your face has the square shape. The frame width includes the endpieces. The endpieces refer to the width of the frame from the edge of the lens out to the edge of the frame where the temples connect to the front of the frame. Endpieces vary from 3 millimetres to 15 millimetres each, which adds up to 6 millimetres to 30 millimetres in total width per pair of glass frames. You will want to go with a wider millimetre size.

    Total frame width = left endpiece + left eye size + bridge size + right eye size + right endpiece

    (See Resource 1)

  7. 7

    Try cat-eye frames, oval or rimless frames if you have the rare diamond shaped face. You will want your frames to soften the cheekbones to balance them out. The diamond shaped face has narrow jawbones and eyes and wide cheekbones. Frames that have detailing or distinctive features, such as brow lines will be effective for this face shape.

  8. 8

    Choose frames that are rectangular in shape and are as wide as they are deep if you have a round face. Angular narrow frames will help your face appear thinner. Round faces have no angles. Rectangles add angles to a round face and gives it length.

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