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Sunglasses are the ultimate accessory, but not everyone can pull off every style. If your idea of shopping for shades involves hours in the accessories aisle, squinting at that tiny mirror (presumably, a mirror for ants) trying on every shape, style, color, and frame until, after several unsuccessful attempts, you are forced to leave.
Luckily for you, we are here to help! Here’s everything you need to know about picking the right pair of sunglasses for your face shape (as well as avoiding the burning gaze of the disgruntled store clerk painstakingly repacking every pair you’ve tried on!)
Before you go anywhere near a store, you need to know who can pull off which frames, what style suits your face shape best, where to buy them and how to wear them.
Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
The first thing you need to know is if the frames will suit the shape of your face. Whether it’s round, square, oval or heart-shaped, there’s a gorgeous celebrity you share it with!
Has anyone ever said you look like Kirsten Dunst from Spiderman? Assuming they were referring to your similarly round-shaped face and not your ability to kiss guys hanging upside down; if you’ve got soft features where the width and length of your face are in proportion from forehead to chin and cheek to cheek, you’ve got a round face.
Celebrity doppelganger: Kirsten Dunst and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Style: Wayfarer glasses
If Lara Croft is more your style, and people have recognized you for sharing a characteristically symmetrical face shape with Angelina Jolie, your angular cheekbones and jawline mean that you have a square-shaped face.
Celebrity doppelganger: Angelina Jolie and Lea Michelle.
Style: Round frames
When deciding which Charlies Angel you would be, did friends always suggest Alex Munday? Your high cheekbones and narrower chin than forehead mean that you share an oval face shape with Lucy Liu.
Celebrity doppelganger: Saldana and Lucy Liu.
Style: Any, but over-sized and wraparound look best.
If you’ve got a wide forehead, narrow chin, and high cheekbones, your ideal superpower being regenerative healing is not the only thing you share with heart-shaped face heroes actress, Hayden Panettiere.
Celebrity doppelganger: Hayden Panettiere and the appropriately named Jennifer Love Hewitt.
What Style Would Suit you?
Once you know what your face shape is, you need to decide which shades to decorate it with!
With so many options available; polarized lenses, UVA protected lenses, plastic frames, metal frames, colors, patterns, shapes and styles it’s hard to choose which ones would suit you best.
Although throwing the right pair of Aviators on a homeless guy with a heart-shaped face could be all it takes to get him from drab to fab! Make sure you pick one that matches your face shape, style and personality.
It only took Tom Cruise a few well-timed catchphrases and a massive F-14 Tomcat jet to propel these shades into popularity! Girls and guys can rock aviators and, when paired with the right face shape, will guarantee that you're 'up there with the best of the best!'
Bonus: Most Aviators come with a reflective mirrored lens, perfect as an emergency mirror, or for deflecting harmful UV rays.
Face shape: Heart
Wear: Go for an anti-reflective, mirrored lens to protect your eyes if you’ll be wearing these shades on the beach or anywhere near water.
Originally 1950s/1960s glam, made famous when Audrey Hepburn brought them onto the big screen in Breakfast at Tiffany's, wayfarers are usually worn by every actor, actress, hipster, and trendsetter effortlessly bringing retro styles back into fashion!
Bonus: Multi-colored detachable temples offer so much more variety, so you can match your frames to your fedora!
Face Shape: Round
Wear: Perfect to wear while blocking the paparazzi from an invasive shot, wayfarer frames are inter-changeable so these can be worn anywhere and will suit your outfit.
Another style reintroduced from the '50s, made magnificent by Marilyn Monroe and worn today by fashionistas everywhere!
Bonus: Your cat may be more inclined to bond with you.
Face Shape: Heart
Wear: Leopard print frames with a matching-hued lens are a great way to spiff up an everyday, casual outfit!
Try a little vintage bo-ho chic with round frames, also known as “Teashades”. Are you wondering if John Lennon imagined all the people would be copying his style in 2013!?
Bonus: Unisex frames which means that much to the annoyance of your friends, you can both wear matching shades!
Face Shape: Square
Wear: Go for reflective mirrored lenses in bright sunlight and dimmed, black lenses in overcast weather.
An instant fix to your otherwise plebian status, over-sized sunglasses will give you that glamorous movie-star look no matter what you’re wearing. Celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens and Nicole Richie manage to pull off sweat pants and headbands by pairing them with these stylish frames.
Bonus: Perfect for that "rushing out of the house, just woke up with no time for make-up, and need to cover the majority of my face", look.
Face Shape: Oval / Any
Wear: With slouchy casuals or to complement a summer dress with contrasting colored frames.
Although these frames won’t give you super-human laser powers like Cyclops from X-men, if you’re looking for the same futuristic, sporty style, go for wraparounds. Even the President’s rocking them!
Bonus: A cheaper alternative to the Google Glass look.
Face Shape: Oval/Any
Wear: Opt for polarized, UV-protected colored lenses if you’ll be wearing these on ski slopes, or while snowboarding or mountain biking.
If you’re looking for something a little more eccentric, get inspiration from 80-year-old Rita Hammer. She’s collected over 70 pairs of outrageous sunglasses that she wears every day!
Have some fun with Ray-Ban’s Virtual Mirror to see what you’d look like in any style.
Wear Frames That Play to Your Strengths!
When you’ve figured out which style of glasses would suit your face shape best, you need to know where to get them and how to wear them!
Where: You can check out top brands like Ray Ban and Oakley, but if budget is not your strong point and you just heard your bank account scream, opt for something cheaper - just remember not to forgo quality for quantity. There are some very good quality, reasonably priced sunglasses out there so try to avoid the temptation to give in to ‘Foakleys’. You get what you pay for and no replica will ever be up to scratch with the original.
Wear: It’s often a good idea to invest in more than one pair of shades, depending on what you plan to do in them. You don’t want to be speeding down a slippery ski slope in Gucci’s best over-sized frames, or hitting the trendiest fashion shows in sporty wraparounds.
Lens color and hue plays an important role in deciding when you’ll be wearing them. Yellow or rose tinted glasses make it difficult to see the change in traffic lights, while grey, green or brown lenses minimize color distortion, so they might be the better choice for when you’re behind the wheel.
Polarized lenses reduce the glare of water, so they’re a good option for activities like water sports.
- Make sure your frames fit you. The last thing you want is that glasses-on-a-string look, popular amongst the elderly. Go for something flattering and functional!
- Unless you’re at a sunglasses-themed fancy dress party, blind or Bono, wearing sunglasses at night is never okay.
- Whether you go for name brand or generic, check that the lenses are UV protected to block out harmful rays, protecting your eyes from the sun.
Polarized vs Non-polarized
- Good for outdoor sports
- Filter light allowing crisp vision
- Not always UV protected
- Reflects sunlight from cars, water, and snow
- Dims everything, without filtering light
- Usually, UV protected
- Good for casual, everyday wear
Sophia_Luxebutik on May 02, 2014:
The best part I like this post is that I come to know many new types of sunglasses. Earlier I just know about Aviators, Wayfarers and Oversized. Thanks man now I have many other design options to buy sunglasses.
Brian Schoedel from Naples, Florida USA on April 30, 2014:
I really like the pictures that show your face shape and complimentary sunglass styles you should consider. By far one of the best guides on matching the right glasses to your face shape. Many of these styles are at www.naplessunglasses.com .