There’s a lot to think about when it comes to selecting the right frame for you. Your glasses are as much of a medical device as they are fashion accessories. It’s not wrong to want to pick a frame that makes you look your best! Just like with clothing, it’s better to look at these tips more as guidelines or suggestions than full on “fashion rules” – history is full of fabulous individuals and trend-setters that have made and broken every “rule” in the book after all! At the end of the day, it’s important to pick something that you’d like to wear, that fits you well, fulfills your needs and suits your lifestyle.
How to Find the Best Frames for Your Face Shape
Oval or Round
Square or Rectangle
All of this said however, it’s important to remember that you are an individual with your own sense of style, and if you have a look you’re going for that contrasts the advice above then go for it! A round face looking for a rocking perfect round with lower set temples? A heart shape with their eyes set on an ultra straight-edged bold rectangle? Do it!
If there’s only a few things to take away as hard and fast “rules” with frame selection, it’s that a frame should physically fit your head properly and you should be aware of how your lenses are going to interact with a given frame shape or size.
What Do We Mean by Frame Fit?
There are almost eight billion people on this planet, and recent estimates put the number of glasses wearers at over sixty percent worldwide. Barring genetically identical individuals, faces are unique person to person: length, width, how close or how far apart our eyes are set, how large or small our noses are, where our ears are in relation to the front of our faces, etc. This is the thought process behind facial recognition techniques after all. We can go even further and point out that no one is one hundred percent symmetrical between the two halves of their faces; someone might have an ear set a little further back than the other, an eye that might be closer to their temple than the other, or a nose that leans more to the left than the right.
It goes without saying, but frames are not one size fits all. What might fit one person perfectly won’t work for another. A frame might be too small for someone, and too big on another before finding the perfect fit in someone else.
What does it look like when a frame doesn’t fit well?
It’s easy to spot a frame that is too small in width: the temples would be bowing outwards and pressing right against the side of someone’s head close enough to likely leave an indent or mark in the skin. The temples might not be long enough and only just barely curl behind the ears. These fits not only look obviously undersized, but they also add stress to what might normally be hardy frames; temples that are constantly stretched outward will weaken at the hinges faster than normal, and might result in breakage. Frames with temples that don’t reach fully behind the ears are more likely to slip and fall off the face constantly regardless of adjustment by the optician.
Frames that are too large can be equally as easy to spot but might be more socially “acceptable” if you follow current social media and influencing trends. Despite this, oversized frames can be just as awkward and ill-fitting to wear, with the frames having to be bent or adjusted in ways they are not meant to be just to keep them from slipping down your nose or falling off your face entirely.
What should I look for in a well-fitted frame?
Frames should fit along the side of the head, not pressing too hard into the skin, but also not so far away that there’s a noticeable gap between the side of the head and the inside of the temples. Temples should be long enough to reach the ear and curl behind them. This might require some adjustment depending on where the ears are, but a good rule of thumb is that the temple should have at minimum an inch of length left behind the ear in order to sit properly and not slip off a face.
Bridges should rest comfortably and evenly along a nose; frames with nose pads can be adjusted to balance properly on the nose and carry the weight of the frame without being too tight. Plastic or acetate frames with no nose pads cannot be adjusted in that way, so they should sit fully on the nose with as little space between the nose and the bridge as possible. There are some exceptions to this depending on the way the bridge is constructed, such as with keyhole bridges, so it’s always best to discuss the fit of a frame with your optician.
How Can My Prescription Influence the Frame Choice?
Speaking of opticians, it’s also advised to have at least a rough idea of the prescription that will be going into these frames, and how a frame shape or size might influence the final look of the lenses.
Frames for lenses with plus prescriptions
Lenses made with plus prescriptions are going to be thicker in the centre and thinner out towards the edges. Given the nature of plus prescriptions, the stronger the power the more the lenses will magnify everything behind the lenses. When it comes to frame consideration, this is important to remember. A smaller shape – a smaller square, oval, or round – where the eyes are located close to the centre of the lenses will disguise the visible magnification effect, and will also help keep the lenses from being too bowed or “bug-eyed” in the centre. Because of the way the plus prescription lens is fabricated it’s difficult to stretch the lens to fit in an oversized frame without inducing distracting distortions in the peripheries, so larger frames are advised against for these prescriptions. Care must be taken with selecting the right material of lens when considering a semi-rimless or full rimless frame; because these frames require a grooved channel or drilled holes along the edges of the lenses for installation, plus lenses are more likely to have issues with chipping or cracking given that their edges are the thinnest parts.
Frames for lenses with minus prescriptions
Minus prescriptions will produce lenses that are thinner in the centre and gradually grow thicker towards the outer edges. They tend to be naturally flatter with their front curve, and will minify everything behind the lens. The higher the minus power, the more than minification effect is visible. For these reasons, similar frame styles are recommended to not only compensate for the minification effect, but also to keep the lenses from being too thick along the side. Plastic frames are also favoured over metal-rim frames due to the thicker eye rim, which can hide or disguise some of that unavoidable thickness.
While this might all seem daunting or intimidating, choosing the right pair of frames is a lot more intuitive than you would think, especially when you remember to focus on what style makes you happy to wear. Glasses shopping should be fun and enjoyable, not a chore, and we here at 360 Eyecare are happy to help you on your glasses journey every step of the way – from the eye exam and prescription determination all the way to the frame and lens selection. Reach out to our offices in the Beaches or Rosedale to start your glasses hunt today!