Made in the Shade

Sunglass Shapes to Fit Your Face


Sunglasses are no longer just a fashion statement; they're a necessity. But why not amp up the cool factor while at the same time protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays? (Oh, and also cover up those puffy eyes from last night.)

Here are a few ways to match the right style of sunglasses to the shape of your face:

Stick to opposites. The general rule of thumb has long been to go for glasses that are the opposite shape of your face. It does seem to work: Choose rounder frames for square faces; more angular frames for rounder shapes. If you have an oval face, you're in luck, since almost any sunglass shape will be flattering.

Face off in the mirror. If possible, try on sunglasses in front of a full-length mirror. You'll be amazed at what a difference it will make. You'll see the whole picture and be able to instantly tell if your sunglasses are in sync with the proportions of your body. Balance is key. Big, round, wide sunglasses do not normally flatter petite heads and body shapes. The same rule applies to larger men and women, who should steer clear of smaller, narrower frames.

Choose classic shapes. There's a reason that the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and aviator sunglasses have been around for decades. They are classic styles that flatter a wide variety of face shapes. Now, they are updated in an array of colored frames, metals and lenses. "Foldable" sunglasses in classic shapes are also making a comeback. You can't go wrong wearing a pair of these iconic shades.

Consider skin and hair color. Think about the colors of clothes you like to wear. More than likely, you'll like the same color of sunglasses. We all know those people whose colorful glasses have become their signature look. Darker frames and lenses are great contrasts to cooler pale skin; and lighter tones look best on darker complexions. Hair color can also be a determining factor in choosing sunglasses. Who can forget those black Ray-Bans Audrey Hepburn wore in 1961 in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"?

Change up your outlook. If you've been wearing the same pair of tortoise-shell sunglasses for the past 10 years, it's time to make a change. Even if you're a big fan of the classic shades, there are a lot of new ways to express yourself. Mixes of materials are making big news: sidepieces wrapped in printed leather or wood, reflective mirrored lenses in bold colors, and even UV-protective lenses to slide over your Google Glass.

Have an attitude. A glamorous pair of sunnies is one of the fastest ways to get into the movie-star mode. The retro shades of yesteryear are once again having a heyday on city streets and at the beach. There's a pair to fit every face. Don't be afraid to glam it up with frames decorated with graphic patterns or metallic studs. There are even plenty of cat-eye glasses that will make you purr.  
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.