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Frame Styling and Face Shape

How to find your perfect pair of glasses

Frame styling for your face shape can help you find your perfect pair of glasses. 

Your glasses make a huge statement about how people see you. First impressions count for a lot and your glasses are usually the first thing people notice about you. So it’s worth spending some time getting it right.

General Rules about Frame Styling and Face Shape

Many people believe that you need to counter-balance your features and structure. The simple rule is: the more angular your features, the rounder your glasses should be; the more rounded your features, the more angular your glasses should be.

These rules are very general and there are so many exceptions! You shouldn’t feel like you need to cover up your features, especially if you really like them! They are what make you unique. You can wear glasses that work in contrast to your natural features and lines, to highlight them. Working in contrast can also give you more character. So feel free to throw these rules aside and choose the frame you love the most.


The best way to find your perfect pair of glasses is to try them on. We are experts at helping you find the right frame for you. 

Frame Styling and Face Shape - pictures of each face shape

Round Shape

You have soft, rounded features and a lack of angles. Your forehead and jawline are similar width and cheekbones and length are also similar in length.

To add contour, you could wear glasses with a defined frame. Angular, square or wayfarer frames will highlight cheekbones and straight lines will give it a sharpness.

You can wear round frames if you want to complement your round face shape.


Celebrities with a round face shape include Drew Barrymore, Ingrid Bergman and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Long Shape

Your face can take an oversized frame. Ideally it will be a bit wider than your face with a longer lens shape, as this breaks up the face and makes your face appear wider. Aviators work well with this face shape. You could avoid small frames and short lenses, unless you want to emphasise your face shape.

Celebrities with an oblong face shape include Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Heart Shape

Your forehead and jawline are similar width and your cheekbones taper into your jawline. You could balance your face by drawing attention to the top. Round or oval frames are good if you want to soften your angles. Avoid heavy or oversized frames, straight lines across the top or those with embellishment which will add weight to your forehead. Thin frames will probably suit you better. You can also try crystal (clear) frames.

Celebrities with heart face shape include Christina Ricci, Michelle Pfeiffer and Reece Witherspoon.

Oval Shape

You face is taller than it is wide. This is the easiest face shape for wearing glasses as most shapes will suit you. You can pull off more adventurous frames, oversized, geometric, bold colours.

Celebrities with oval face shapes include Sharon Stone, Charlize Theron and Cindy Crawford.

Square Shape

You have a strong and angular jawline. To create length, you could choose thin, rounder frames that sits high on your nose. Semi-rimless can soften angles. You could avoid boxy shapes. Aviators work well to soften angles, as do cat eye and oversized frames.

Celebrities with square face shapes include Demi Moore, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Isabella Rossellini.

Small (petite) Face

Smaller faces have a small width and small face length.

You could try smaller glasses, rectangular, oval or cat eye. Square and round could also work well as long as they are not too big vertically for your face.

Thinner frames are the most flattering but you can wear thick frames too if they are correct size. Rimless frames will let your face show more, or crystal frames which won’t overpower you. You might find oversized and aviator frames not as flattering. Try finding glasses with shorter lenses as these give the illusion of a bigger height of face. 

Petite woman wearing a pair of attractive glasses

We carry a brand that is made specifically for petite faces called Nifties (see above). Some models also come in different sizes so it’s worth asking us if we can order in a smaller version.

If you have a positive prescription, your eyes will look bigger, so you may want to avoid big glasses. If you have a negative prescription, your lenses will be thicker at the edges, so you may want to avoid rimless or semi-rimless glasses.

Remember that these are just guidelines. As long as your glasses are comfortable and you feel confident, you can pull off just about anything!

Sizing of Glasses

What the numbers mean

Frame styling and face shape - glasses measurements
Frame and face Shape - Temple of a frame with numbers

On the inside temple (the side ‘arm’) of every pair of glasses, there are three numbers, usually separated by a dash, although sometimes there is a small square between the first two numbers (as shown above). These number describe the size of your glasses in millimetres (mm).

The first number is the lens width or eye size. This means the horizontal width of the lenses. In the image above, the lens width is 50. Most glasses will range from 40-62.

The second number is the bridge width. The bridge is the part of the frame that rests on your nose, and the measurement is the distance between the lenses. In the image above, the bridge size is 18. Most glasses will range from 14-24.

The third number is the temple length. These are the ‘arms’ of your glasses, measured from the hinge to the tip of the temple. In the image above, the temple length is 139. Most glasses will range from 120-150.

Any other numbers or names on the temples are usually the model name or number and the colour name or number.

Wide Face

If you have a wide face, you may want to find a frame that is wider, bigger or the same size as your face. Oversized and thick rimmed frames are best. Avoid narrow frames unless they are bigger vertically.

Wide frames are usually greater than 50mm.

Narrow Face

A narrow face isn’t necessarily small. You normally have a slim face.

Narrow frames are usually sized between 42-45 mm. 

Grey Hair

Our older patients often ask us what looks best with grey hair.

We find that soft, muted metals can be flattering.

Charcoal grey frames can complement your hair colour.

If you want a colourful frame, we love a red or bright pink frame with grey hair.

Crystal frames are really flattering as they can add warmth to a face without too much heaviness. You can wear a chunky oversized crystal frame without it overpowering your face.

The butterfly shape is also very good at lifting your face and drawing your eyes upward.

Frames that have a pop of colour at the top are great for lifting eyes upward and give you an instant facelift.

Semi-rimless frames also do the same thing.

Tortoiseshell frames are always popular with men and woman. The general rule is that the lighter your skin, the darker the tortoiseshell and the darker your skin, the lighter the tortoiseshell. But remember this is a general rule and rules are made to be broken!

More Than One Pair

Multiple pairs of glasses will allow you to change your look depending on the circumstances. A pair for work, night-time, special outings; colourful frames – there are so many options!