Picking out new glasses should be a fun experience and an opportunity to play with your personal style. But it can also feel overwhelming—there are so many frames to choose from!
In our opinion, there’s no one correct way to go about selecting your new frames. It really comes down to trying a bunch of them on and choosing the pair that makes you look and feel like the best version of yourself.
However, there are a few factors you might want to consider before you buy. In this piece, we’ll talk about how to choose the best eyeglass frames for you based on eye health needs, fashion considerations, and more.
First, Establish What Kind of Eyeglasses You Need
Before shopping around, it’s crucial to know what kind of eyeglasses and lenses you need from a health perspective. Different types of lenses accommodate different vision problems and can impact the style of frame you choose.
For example, lenses that correct astigmatism are different from lenses that correct for nearsightedness—and that’s not even getting into the world of multifocal lenses for presbyopia.
An eye doctor will determine the best prescription lenses and glasses type for you depending on the results of your comprehensive eye exam. Once you know these requirements, you can start thinking about aesthetics.
How To Choose Glasses That Look Great on You
Time to address the question of the hour: What kind of glasses should I get?
Although we can’t definitively tell you how to decide on glasses frames—everyone’s needs and wants are different—we can recommend some approaches for making that decision easier.
Step 1: Get To Know Your Face Shape
Glasses can highlight or counterbalance different facial features, so some people find it helpful to research different face shapes before picking out frames.
Of course, everyone’s face is unique and can’t be neatly placed into a simple category. But face shapes can function as rough guidelines for choosing glasses if you’re willing to make some generalizations. Some common face shapes include:
- Oval: An evenly proportional shape. Narrows slightly at the forehead and chin and is widest at the cheekbones. Has rounded face “corners” (chin and forehead).
- Round: Even proportions with a rounded forehead, jawline, and cheeks.
- Square: Broad forehead with strong cheekbones and an angular jawline.
- Diamond: Narrow forehead with high cheekbones and a pointy chin.
- Heart: Broad forehead with a narrow jawline and a tapering chin that finishes at a point.
Once you’ve figured out your closest face shape match, you can look into glasses that are thought to work well with that shape. We’ve even written some explainers to help:
But remember, face shape is just a fun way to explore your glasses options. You should always feel empowered to break the “rules” because the rules aren’t real!
Step 2: Find a Color That Complements Your Skin Tone and Undertone
Like face shape, your skin tone and undertone are potential considerations when you’re on the hunt for new frames. They both have to do with the natural colors in your skin, but they aren’t the same thing: Skin tone is your skin’s “surface” color, whereas your undertone is the subtle mix of hues underneath it.
Undertone colors can include the following:
- Warm: Golden, yellow, and/or peach hues
- Cool: Pink, red, or blue hues
- Neutral: A combination of yellow and blue hues
Unsure what your undertone color might be? One trick to try is to look at your veins. If your veins are blue or purple, you probably have a cool undertone, whereas veins with a greenish tint mean your undertone is warm.
Some people believe that specific colors match certain undertones better than others. Black, gray, or blue frames are often recommended if you have cool undertones, whereas tan, pink, or red may be suggested for a warm undertone.
Of course, these matchups are subjective—we think you should always go with whatever color you like best.
Step 3: Think About Your Lifestyle Needs
Lifestyle is another key component that can help you choose glasses that suit you. Consider your daily activities and which of them will require you to wear your frames.
Are you an athlete that runs often? Do you work remotely and look at a computer screen all day? Do you like to wear colorful makeup? These kinds of questions might direct you toward or away from a particular frame based on how well it would mesh with your routines.
If you’re quite active, a sturdy utilitarian frame might be a better choice than a delicate, embellished design. If you’re a big reader in need of progressive lenses, then frames that allow for taller, wider lenses may be the best fit.
Your lifestyle can also impact the lenses you choose. For example, if you look at a screen most of the day, you might want to get anti-fatigue lenses or lenses that block blue light.
Step 4: Show Your Personality Through Your Frame Style
Now, the fun part—choosing eyeglass frames that gel with your sense of self.
The good news: You have lots of options. While classic black and brown frames are still pretty popular, today’s glasses come in numerous colors and patterns, from tortoiseshell patterns to transparent crystal.
Frame shape can also come into play: Cat-eye frames with upswept corners might broadcast a playful vibe, whereas round frames can look either distinguished and scholarly or hip and bohemian. Play around with different shapes to see which ones speak to you.
Don’t know where to start? Answer a few simple questions through our frames quiz, and we’ll narrow down some strong contenders for you.
Our No. 1 Tip? Choose Glasses That You Love!
Face shape, skin tone, lifestyle, and personal aesthetic are all factors that can affect your choice of glasses, but at the end of the day, your feelings about a frame should reign supreme. Listen to your heart as you shop for your eyes! And if you find more than one frame that seems like an amazing fit, it never hurts to begin a collection of favorites.