For most people, sunglasses are a luxury purchase. Most of the time, the process involves strolling into the store, finding a high-profile brand before deciding which style you think looks the best.
Well, there’s a chance that you might be doing it all wrong.
While some styles might “appear” to look stylish, and would seemingly suit every guy under the sun – they don’t. Sure, there are sunglasses which are nicely designed, but whether or not they will be suitable for your face is another matter.
You see, sunglasses arrive in all kinds of shapes and sizes. What looks the dream on one guy’s face, is going to look a disaster on another’s.
Frustrating? You bet. While they are unlikely to be worn the whole year-round, shades are quickly becoming one of the must-have accessories in a guy’s wardrobes. It’s not just about shading your eyes from the glare of the sun – they are an essential style item as well.
Following on from the above, let’s now take a look at all of the different face shapes to see what really works. But first, let’s get the most important issue sorted.
What shape is your face?
You’ve probably already asked yourself this question and fear not, we have the answer on a plate.
Unfortunately, most of us just don’t know what shape face we actually have. It’s hard to look in the mirror and establish it straight away, which is why we have devised a nifty trick.
The era of selfies has made this somewhat easier, as you firstly need to take a photograph of yourself looking straight into the camera. Once you are armed with this, simply print out (or perform on your phone, if you are technologically inclined) and trace your face with straight lines. The straight lines are really important here, as if you do deviate to a simple curve then you’ll struggle to establish the real shape of your face.
By sticking to straight lines, it should give you a good indication of what shape your face is – especially after you have read through the different types which we’re about to run through.
The square face
Let’s firstly define what the square face is. If you have wide cheekbones and a distinctive jaw line, there’s every chance you fall into this category.
From here on the choice is simple. Aviator sunglasses are your best bet by a country mile, with your features favoring glasses which are heavily rounded.
The size of the Aviators should also come into play here. If you have features which are quite strong, you need to be finding ones that are as large as possible. If on the other hand you have subtle features, you should still stick with the Aviators but perhaps opt for a smaller pair.
If you’re really not keen on the Aviator look, there is another option. This comes in the form of frames which are rectangular in shape – but still retain soft edges.
However, if you do go for this solution exercise caution – the aim of the game is to let your natural features become as prominent as ever before, don’t let the sunglasses themselves steal the show.
The oval face
If you’re blessed with an oval face and you’re really struggling to find a pair of shades that suit you – quit cursing. This face shape is regarded as one of the most attractive around and those that have it generally have very sharp features.
The only problem, at least when it comes down to sunglasses, is the fact that the oval face is so versatile. In other words, while some other face shapes might be directed to just one style, there are umpteen that can work well with a guy who has an oval face.
Experimenting is the best bet but from experience, most types of frames will suit you. If we were to pinpoint any in particular, you should probably go for large frames as these will just emphasize those sharp features of yours even more.
The ones to avoid? If you spot any pair which have low arms then you should run a mile. This will have the opposite effect on your face and if anything, will elongate it.
The diamond face
Once again sharp features are in on this one, although your shape will be somewhat different to the oval. As the name suggests, the diamond involves a very defined chin, widened cheekbones and a slightly narrower forehead to complete the shape.
Unfortunately, you don’t exactly qualify for every type of shade on the market. Instead, those with a diamond face are recommended to sway towards retro styles that are rectangular in shape. By opting for the rectangle, you’ll find that the glasses will sit much more comfortably on your face and actually balance out the chin region.
There’s an extra pointer here in relation to color. This time you should be looking for bold colors with as much detailing as possible. This will help to draw people’s eyes to your own eye area – and perhaps side-track them from concentrating too much on the lower half of your face.
The round face
We probably don’t need to explain the round face too much – it’s one which doesn’t boast tremendous amounts of definition and one that which in short, is just very round.
It means that the aim of choosing a suitable pair of sunglasses is simple; you need to be making your cheeks look as slim as possible. To do this, opt for frames which tend to protrude outwards. This should help to lengthen your face and ultimately, help to disguise your natural, round shape.
It should go without saying that you should not be looking to opt for round frames or anything similar – these are going to have the opposite effect and will just exaggerate your features. Instead, you need something that’s squarer to help you along your way.
Oblong face shape
Last but not least is the oblong face shape. As you have probably worked out by now, little needs explaining in this respect – your face will merely resemble that of an oblong if you were to sketch it out.
The aim of anyone with this shape is balance. As your face tends to widen near the ears, it’s important not to go for glasses that stretch beyond this. Ultimately, you’ll probably find yourself swaying towards round or square frames – but on both occasions trying to find large glasses so you emphasize all the right features.
In fact, if we were to go one step further, Aviators are a very good choice. The shape of these glasses will highlight your cheek and jaw bones – the exact parts of your face which need to be exaggerated if the oblong-owner is to pull off sunglasses successfully.
What other tips can help you find the perfect shades for your face shape?
While the above five face shapes should give you a very good indication on exactly the type of sunglasses you should be going for, there are of course plenty of other suggestions which can help you along your way.
To provide these in actionable form, let’s take a look in brief at some of the best recommendations.
There’s no alternative to trying in the flesh
The internet has changed how we shop; but it shouldn’t completely replace the high-street when it comes to sunglasses.
This is one accessory where the advice of try before you buy is more important than ever before. While all of the guidance we have documented above will help you substantially, you’ll only truly be able to tell if a pair of shades will suit you by actually trying them on.
Nowadays, you don’t even have to go all the way to the shop – there are some services that will ship pairs out to you.
Don’t forget the hair-factor
Sure, your face shape is especially important when buying a new pair of sunglasses. Something that can potentially wreak havoc with this is your hair style, though.
If you’ve just chopped off your huge locks, it goes without saying that the shape of your head has effectively changed.
As well as the obvious factor above, don’t forget that different hair types can disguise certain features of your face and make them more susceptible to certain styles. For example, if you have very short hair, your features are right out there and potentially need to be softened by your shades.
Skin tone also plays a part
We’ve briefly touched on the color of the actual shades through the course of this guide, but let’s not forget that your skin tone can play a part as well.
Generally, the rule is that if you have light skin, you should be looking to stick to shades with darker frames. Dark skin on the other hand you should be opting for lighter frames – although don’t necessarily just filter down to white as it can completely throw off the balance in some people. Sometimes, you may even find yourself going for light shades of red, orange and yellow to compliment your skin – there’s most definitely a degree of experimentation required here.