Have you recently been told you need glasses? Or are you looking for a new pair of frames? Picking prescription glasses can be super hard, and we’re not always the best at judging what suits us. Plus, optical stores can be intimidating; and while websites like Sneaking Duck and Oscar Wylee are great, offering obligation-free, try-at-home services, you still need to know what to order.
We’ve put together a quick guide to choosing the right specs for your face. It’s not an exact science, but if you follow a few simple rules, you might just find your ultimate specs.
Know your face shape
While every face is unique – and you are 100% the beautiful snowflake your mum says you are – there are some basic shape categories that all faces can more or less fit into.
If you work out your face shape, you can then narrow your search to recommended styles for that shape. Don’t worry, there’ll still be plenty of variety in terms of size, colour and design, so you can project your individual style and personality through your frames.
Here are the four most common face shapes: square, round, oval and heart-shaped.
Are people always complimenting your beautiful, strong jawline? Chances are you have a square face.
Features: Square faces are generally proportional in width and length, just like a…yup, square. The defining features are a broad forehead, prominent, horizontal jawline, and a square chin.
Style guide: Look for frames that complement your strong features, balance out your jawline, draw attention to your eyes, and elongate your face. Oval and round shapes will contrast well with your sharp lines, as will rectangular frames with softened edges. Consider picking a strong colour to draw attention to your browline.
First try: Aviator frames.
Big no nos: Avoid square and angular frames, as they will work against your wonderful, strong features. Also steer clear of too much detail on the outer edges and arms.
Celebrities: Olivia Wilde, Angelina Jolie, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp
Having a round face means you’ve got curves in all the right places. Congratulations!
Features: Just like their square-shaped counterparts, round faces are generally quite short, and proportional in width and length. But that’s where the similarity ends. People with circular faces tend to have wide foreheads, full cheeks and rounded chins.
Style guide: If this is you, your aim is to find frames that narrow and lengthen your face, and hopefully widen your eyes. Look for glasses that are wider than they are tall, with angular lines that slim out your cheeks and draw attention to the top half of your face.
First try: Cat Eye frames.
Big no nos: Steer away from oval and round frames, and those with rounded edges and corners.
Celebrities: Leonardo DiCaprio, Aziz Ansari, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence
If you’re blessed with an oval face, your proportions are balanced – which means you have loads of choices in styles that will suit your features.
Features: Oval faces feature high cheekbones (lucky you!) and a gently curving jawline that is narrower than your forehead. The face is elongated and evenly proportioned, with its length approximately 1.5 times its width.
Style guide: The best thing about having an oval face is that almost all styles of glasses will suit you. Start with quite wide frames, as wide as or wider than the broadest part of your face, in square and rectangular styles. ‘Walnut’ frames are also popular with oval faces, but be adventurous, because you can.
First try: Rectangular frames.
Big no nos: There aren’t a lot of rules for oval faces, but watch out you don’t select frames that are too small or too large, as they will throw off the natural symmetry of your face.
Celebrities: J-Lo, George Clooney, Blake Lively, Kerry Washington
How lovely it must be to have a heart-shaped face, how romantic. Some of the most beautiful people in the world have heart-shaped faces, so you’ve lucked out there.
Features: If this is you, the dimensions of your face form an inverted triangle. You have a broad forehead that tapers down to a small, defined chin, and high cheekbones that could cut glass.
Style guide: The trick for hearts is to find shapes that balance the varying widths of our face, and draw attention to the eyes and cheekbones. Look for frames as wide as your face, but definitely NO WIDER. Cat eye glasses are great for heart-shaped faces, as are those in which the arms are set in the middle of the lens, rather than the top.
First try: Clubmaster frames.
Big no nos: Try to avoid heavy rims, as they will emphasize the length of your forehead. And definitely say no to oversized glasses as they will disrupt your proportions and draw attention to the chin.
Celebrities: Scarlett Johansson, Robert Pattinson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Reese Witherspoon
Buying new glasses can be expensive, but you don’t want to wear the same pair year after year. If you are a Medibank member with Extras cover and have served your 6 month waiting period, you can get 100% back on optical items (up to your annual limit) at any Members’ Choice provider. This includes frames, prescription lenses and contacts.