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A Guide To Choosing The Right Glasses For Your Face

Clearly Instagram finding frames that fit your faceImage via Clearly 

As our lives continue to get busier and time becomes more of a limited resource, we’ve really leaned into products and services that make life easier. As such, our shopping habits have evolved so much over the last few years that many brands now offer digital services for ease and convenience. That being said, despite our familiarity with online shopping, certain activities such as buying glasses are still tricky. You can flick through photos of glasses on other people, but all of the variables — frame sizes, frame styles, colour, and fit are highly dependent on your unique face shape, facial features, and colouring.

We recently spoke to the Eyewear Experts from Clearly who were kind enough to ease our fears of ordering glasses online by breaking down the basics, showing us their innovative fit guides, and giving us a taste of the coolest upcoming trends in eyewear.

The Basics

1. Discover the right frame size for your face.

Where to start:

If you have a pair of glasses that fit you well, there will be little numbers on the inside of the arm. These numbers explain the size of your frames. The first number is almost always your lens width, second is bridge width and third is arm length from temple to temple. They often look like this: 52 – 16 – 135

If you don’t see those numbers on your frame you can always grab a ruler to measure your glasses. Here is a guide for reference:

clearly finding the right frame for your face

Clearly has a great face fitting tool called MyFit. Enter in your measurements and it narrows down all of the options on the website to display frames that will fit your face. (How convenient is that?)

Different shapes often have different size variations as well. A rectangular frame will often time be slightly wider than a round frame depending on the style. This can usually fluctuate between 2-3mm for the lens width.

2. Understand your prescription.

Understanding what your prescription means can help you narrow down frame styles, as some prescriptions are better suited for certain styles of frames.

For high (-) prescriptions: Thick acetate frames are great for hiding lens thickness – avoid going for frame styles that are deep, as the bigger you go the thicker the lenses will look. Higher – prescriptions should shy away from metal frames due to the thickness of the lens. Kam Dhillon Cassis 3096-52, $95 CAD, Clearly

For high (+) prescriptions: Smaller frames are best for high + prescriptions as the larger the lens, the more of a coke bottle effect you will get (think Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys).

calvin-klein-ck7723-crystal-havana-top-angleCalvin Klein CK7723, $95 CAD, Clearly

3. Know your pupillary distance.

The pupillary distance (PD) helps to ensure that your prescription is properly focused within your glasses for the clearest and most accurate vision. Knowing your PD opens up your options to thousands of styles online. Clearly has a guide for measuring your PD here.

4. Understand your face shape.

Oval, round, heart shaped, square, etc., there’s a frame for every face shape. We wrote a story on Stylish Glasses for Every Face Shape which you can find here. Clearly also has a nifty guide here.

Personalized Tips

5. If you have a flat nose and your glasses often slide down…

Look for frames that have nose pads. These little pads are easily adjustable and help make sure glasses stay put. Metal frames more commonly have nose pads or frames that have a metal hook in the middle. If you have an acetate pair without nose pads that are constantly sliding down this could be because the bridge size is too wide. You could look for a frame with a smaller bridge or a simple adjustment to hook the arms of the frame behind your ears can help prevent sliding as well!

joseph-marc-4128-havana-top-angleJoseph Marc 4128, $95 CAD, Clearly

6. Frames for smaller faces. 

Round frames or frames with round edges are softer and easier to wear for small faces. Wayfarers are a great shape for smaller faces because they round out at the bottom, giving an illusion of a smaller frame. Avoid oversized chunky acetates as they will take over smaller faces. Rule of thumb: If you can see your temples through the lenses the glasses are too wide.

ray-ban-rx6317-black-top-angleRay Ban RX6317, $180 CAD, Clearly

7. Frames that fit wider faces.

Cat eyes are great for a wider face as they cut into your cheekbones and make them look higher. Added benefit, this shape emphasizes your feminine features and make you look younger. (Note: this shape is also great for showing off bold makeup looks!)

kam-dhillon-3083-bare-top-angleKam Dhillon Claudia 3083, $95 CAD, Clearly

8. Great frames for close-set eyes.

Avoid frames that are too wide. Frames that have a large or prominent nose bridge will also draw attention to close-set eyes. Glasses with nose pads are highly recommended as you can adjust them to fit where you want them to fit.

9. Great frames for wide-set eyes.

Frames that have a wide nose bridge or keyhole bridge will offset the look of wide set eyes.

Eyewear Trends for Spring/Summer 2017

  1. Metals… The most popular of all: retro metro frames with rounded shapes. Metal is in and sticking around, and it comes in all different colours (ex. Flat black, green matte metal, fuschia metal).
  2. Rimless frames… Dad frames are back in style but rethink your options! Rimless frames now come in interesting shapes like the cat eye, aviator, and the squared-circle.
  3. Bold Tortoise… Different coloured tortoiseshells are super wearable for everyday.
  4. Peaches & Honey… Light nude and pink tones are seen as the new neutrals.
  5. Matte frames… Play with textures like a matte style if colours or shapes are too daring!

Thanks for chatting with us Clearly!

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Reader's Comments

  1. My son was recently told that he needs glasses. I didn’t realize that there were so many factors that determine what type or shape of eyewear you should get based solely on face shape! He has a bit of a smaller face, so we’ll take the article’s suggestion to get round frames when he goes to pick out his glasses.

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