Accessories usually fall into the optional bin for men, but some reside solidly in essential territory. Sunglasses serve a dual purpose in every man’s wardrobe since they’re designed to protect your vision whilst reinforcing your vanity.
A lot of guys throw on whatever bargain shades they can find – or, God forbid, the free ones handed out at student parties – but you are not that average guy.
You’re a man who knows there’s actual logic behind which frames look good on what faces. Sunglasses are notoriously difficult to get right, so we’ve put together a short guide to help you navigate the minefield of stylishly functional goggles. So here’s how to choose sunglasses.
Figure Out Your Face Shape
The shape of your face isn’t the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of shades, but it’s certainly one of the most important. Your haircut can easily change, but your face…well…that change requires a little more of a time investment and a lot more of a financial investment. Stick to the simple fixes.
For best results, take a picture of yourself looking straight into the camera without smiling, then ask a series of questions to figure out your face shape. Is your face longer than it is wide? By how much? What shape is your jawline? Based on this monologue you should be able to come to a conclusion of the below.
Common face shape types are as follows:
- Round: A round face is just about equal in width and doesn’t have pronounced jaw corners.
- Oval: An oval face is longer than it is wide with no major corners around the hairline or on the jawline.
- Oblong: An oblong face is thin and narrow with soft angles.
- Square: A square face is equal or nearly equal in width with a strong, angular jawline and wide cheekbones.
- Triangular: Triangular faces have a broad jaw and chin with a smaller forehead. The jawline may be angular or rounded.
- Diamond: A diamond face is distinguished by a defined chin, wide cheekbones and a narrower forehead.
- Heart-Shaped: On a heart-shaped face, the cheek area is slightly wider than the hairline and drops into a narrow chin.
If Your Face Is Round
The goal with a rounded face is to create as much definition as possible. Look for sunglasses that contrast well with your softer features. Frames that are slightly wider than your face will make your cheeks appear slimmer. A subtle cat-eye upturn can also make your face appear thinner and sharper, while angular frames elongate your temples and lengthen your face. Avoid round frames that mimic your face shape.
If Your Face Is Oval
Congratulations – you are the proud owner of the most coveted face shape of them all. With your features and proportions, you can experiment with pretty much any frame you want, as most styles available will suit an oval face. The one thing to avoid is sunglasses with arms that hang too low, because they elongate your already-long face.
If Your Face Is Oblong
Balance out your face’s narrow proportions and soft features with a frame that is thick or lenses that are oversized. Round or square frames work well, but steer clear of more diminutive styles that make your features appear small. Vintage styles with clean, bold lines also work well on oblong faces as do aviators, because the convex shape and teardrop silhouette of their lenses accentuate the cheek and jaw bones.
If Your Face Is Square
Avoid anything boxy or too sharp. Your face already has strong features, so opting for sunglasses that are also angular will look too harsh. Complement the strong structure of your face with a rounded, slightly curved frame or aviators.
Stronger features can get away with bigger glasses, while more delicate faces should stick with subtler sizes. Keep detailing to a minimum to put the spotlight on your naturally interesting features.
If Your Face Is Triangular
A triangular face is bottom-heavy by definition, so the best sunglasses for this face shape pull the emphasis upwards. Top-heavy frames offset your broad jaw and chin, while teardrop lenses can draw the eye up to your forehead. Anything with a heavy browline adds width to the upper portion of your face, which is a major plus for triangular shapes.
If Your Face Is A Diamond
Your defined chin and wide cheekbones are well-suited to retro, rectangular styles that balance out your pointed chin. Look for sunglasses that soften the bottom half of your face by drawing attention to the upper half. Your face shape is perfect for experimenting with strong colours and creative details.
If Your Face Is Heart-Shaped
The heart-shaped face is a tricky one to frame. Rounder sunglasses will help balance the wider forehead. Frames that direct attention downward elongate your look and keep your proportions in check. Frames that are embellished at the bottom or are otherwise bottom-heavy broaden the lower part of your face.
Rules For Every Face Shape
There are a few rules and regulations that apply no matter what shape your face is.
Consider your colours: Your sunglasses should complement your hair colour and skin tone without clashing, competing for attention or dulling their natural appeal.
Take the cut into account: Your hair is directly next your face, so it has an immediate effect on how your face shape is perceived and what sunglasses look best. Longer hair tends to soften features while shorter hair leaves them exposed.
Classics are classics for a reason: And sports glasses are sports glasses for a reason. Classic frames have earned the right to be called classics. They’ve looked great for decades and they’re going to look great now. Sports glasses, on the other hand, do not belong on your face unless you’re currently in the middle of an athletic pursuit.
Don’t be afraid to invest: You’re going to need to protect your eyes from the sun at some point, so you might as well do it in style. Not only will you get a lot of wear out of the right pair, making the investment worth it, but cheap knock-off alternatives lack the quality, longevity and protective strength of their more expensive counterparts.
Always try before you buy: Knowing your face shape is important, but that’s not the only thing that makes a pair of sunglasses perfect for you. Test out different styles and colours in person.
Then, if you’ve done your research and still want to order online, you can do so armed with a model number and the confidence that what you’re ordering really suits you.