The sweaters are off and the backless dresses are on; we’re trading out our boots for statement sandals, and summer vacation is just one, final exam away. But have you found your trustiest summer companion, your go-to accessory for when you’re strolling along the boardwalk or lounging by the pool? We’re talking about that perfect pair of glamorous sunglasses.
But before you prepare to plunge into the tangle of plastic frames at your local Forever 21, allow us to cut your work in half. Choosing a pair that complements your face shape is the number one rule if you want to slay in your shades, so we’ve come up with a guide to help you figure out whether you’re better suited to a pair of inverted-triangle aviators or a retro, wide-rectangle fit. Make sure that the glasses are also proportional to the size of your face and that they sit comfortably on your ears and nose (no sliding down or pinching at the sides), and voilà: a match made in paradise for these sun-soaked months.
Discover how to choose the perfect sunglasses for your face shape, and shop our curated selection of on-trend frames for this season:
If you have an angular face (with a wider forehead and jawline), you’ll want to look for larger frames with soft, rounded contours to complement your features. This doesn’t mean that you’re limited to John Lennon circle frames – rectangular frames with rounded edges and aviators will also sit beautifully. Styles such as the vintage cat eye will also balance out your features by drawing the eye upward, giving the rest of your face a more tapered look.
If you have a shorter face that is widest at the cheekbones, angular sunglasses (the opposite of your natural curves) will be the most flattering on you. For a classic look, go for a pair of rectangular frames, or even semi-rimless frames that are rounded at the bottom but structured at the top. A sharp cat eye – or frames with stronger lines – will create dimension in your face and give it a more angular silhouette. If you want to accentuate the roundness in your cheeks, a pair of perfectly circular lenses will do the trick. But if you’d prefer not, go with one of the other options.
If you have a wider forehead, high cheekbones and a tapered chin, you can either choose frames that will balance out your smaller chin or ones that will further accentuate your heart-shaped head. For the former, choose frames that are wider at the bottom to fill out a pointy chin. On the other hand, if you want to emphasize your original shape, pick a pair with similar contours to your face: wide at the top and tapering inward. Have we suggested a cat eye?
Image: via @imjennim on Instagram
If you have a face that is longer than it is wide, with a narrow jawline and forehead, you might want to go for a wider fit, such as Ray Ban-style clubmaster or oversized lenses, in order to balance out the length of your face. However, oval faces lend themselves easily to a variety of different styles, so determining the perfect, complementary shade shape for you is less of an issue. Just make sure that the frames aren’t too small for your face, or too overpowering — unless you’re going for that mid-'00s bug-eyed look.
Low Nose Bridge
If you often find sunglasses sliding down the bridge of your nose or sitting uncomfortably on the top of your cheeks, you’ll want to invest in a pair with a thicker nosepad or built-in nose pieces, such as classic aviators, to lift them off your cheeks and keep them in place. If you want to be sure that you're buying a pair that won't cause you any discomfort, you'll find all types of stylish designs from popular brands like Gentle Monster, Warby Parker's Low Bridge Fit Collection and Covry, whose sunglasses are created specifically for those with low nose bridges and high cheekbones.
Cover image: Kellyaugustine.com