Choosing new Spectacles

Choosing new spectacles can seem to be quite a daunting task, particularly for the new wearer- most people new to specs seem to consider that no frames suit them, as they are not used to seeing themselves in glasses.

You could try on every pair of frames in the shop, an approach that definitely has merit, if you have time and can be bothered! However, most people would soon figure out that a particular frame shape suits them better than another shape, people  intuitively know this, without necessarily being able to verbalise or explain the reason why this one might suit and that one might not.

Below are some tips to try to help you select your new glasses.


Matching Frames to Face Shapes:

You should consider three main points when choosing spectacle frames to suit your face shape;

  1. Eyewear should repeat your personal best feature (such as a blue frame to match blue eyes).
  2. The frame shape should contrast with your face shape.
  3. The frame size should be in scale with your face size (but there may need to be compromises here, depending on your correction).

Also, while most faces are a combination of shapes and angles, there are seven basic face shapes: round, oval, oblong, base-down triangle, heart shaped (also sometimes called base-up triangle) , diamond and square.

Here is a further description of these face shapes and which types of frames work best for each.



A CircleA round face has curved lines with the width and length in the same proportions and no angles. To make a round face appear thinner and longer, try angular narrow eyeglass frames to lengthen the face, a clear bridge that widens the eyes, and frames that are wider than they are deep, such as a rectangular shape.



An oval face is considered to be the ideal shape because of its balanced proportions. To keep the oval’s natural balance, look for eyeglass frames that are as wide as (or wider than) the broadest part of the face, or walnut-shaped frames that are not too deep or too narrow.



A RectangleAn oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. To make an oblong face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have more depth than width, decorative or contrasting sides that add width to the face, or a low bridge to shorten the nose.



TriangleA base-down triangular face has a narrow forehead and widens at the cheek and chin areas. To add width and emphasize the narrow upper third of the face, try frames that are heavily accented with color and detailing on the top half or cat-eye shapes.


Heart Shaped

This face shape (also referred to as a base up triangle)has a very wide top third and small bottom third. To minimize the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom, very light colors and materials and rimless frame styles (which have a light, airy effect because the lenses are simply held in place by a few screws, with no surrounding frame).



Diamond-shaped faces are narrow at the eye line and jawline, and have broad cheekbones that may be high and dramatic. This is the rarest face shape. To highlight the eyes and soften the cheekbones, try frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines, or try rimless frames or oval and cat-eye shapes.



A square face has a strong jaw line and a broad forehead, plus the width and length are in the same proportions. To make a square face look longer and soften the angles, try narrow frame styles, frames that have more width than depth, and narrow ovals.




Color Analysis:

According to those in the know, three keys to color analysis are;

  • All people have either cool (blue-based) or warm (yellow-based) coloring.
  • Everyone looks best in his or her own color base.
  • Spectacle frames should complement personal coloring. (If it matches your face it will go with any clothes!)

The main factors that determine the best color palette are the colors of the skin, eyes and hair.


Skin tone is the prime element in determining colouring. All complexions fall into one of two color bases — blue (cool) or yellow (warm).
A cool complexion has blue or pink undertones, and a warm complexion has a “peaches and cream” or yellow cast. Olive skin is considered cool because it is a mixture of blue and yellow.


Eye colors usually are a secondary element in determining coloring because of the many variations of eye color. For example, blue eyes can range from a cool almost-violet to a pale blue-grey, which is warm. Brown eyes can vary from a light cider shade (warm) through a medium-brown to a cool almost-black.


Hair colors also are considered warm or cool. Strawberry blond, platinum, blue-black, white, auburn, salt-and-pepper and ash brown are cool. Warm hair colors include golden blond, brownish black, brown-gold, red hair and  grey.

Choosing your Frame Colors.

Once you have determined if you are “warm” or “cool,” then you can find the spectacle frame colors that will suit you the best.
Some examples of frame colors best for warm colouring are: camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, cream coloured, off-white, bright reds, warm blue and light tortoiseshell effect frames.
For cool coloring, the best s frame hues are black, silver, rose-brown, blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker) tortoise.

But the most important thing is to pick a frame that you like! Get a second opinion- ask a friend to come with you- someone who you think has style, so ladies, leave the husband at home? And gents, bring the wife or girlfriend with you!

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