How To Choose The Right Sunglasses For Your Face Shape

Perhaps your accessories collection is so vast it needs its own closet. Or perhaps you’re one tie, one watch type who can barely remember if “accessory” has one S or two. Either way, men’s sunglasses are a required part of your wardrobe.

Buying sunnies is a high-stakes purchase. Not only is it important to protect your peepers from the sun, but the right pair can also become a trademark of your personal style. Unfortunately, so can the wrong one.

Trial and error will ultimately decide which sunglasses deserve to grace your face, but follow these guidelines to narrow the pool of potential candidates.

Measure Your Face

Treat your face like your latest DIY project. Measuring the dimensions of your face will help you get an idea of its size and shape. Note down the following numbers:

  • Cheekbone to cheekbone. Place the end of a tape measure just below your eye. This is the top of your cheekbone. Measure to the same point on the other side of your face.
  • Jaw line. Locate the ends of your jawbone below your ears. Measure from one side to the other, around the bottom of your face.
  • Face length. Measure a straight line from the centre of your hairline, down over the front of your nose, to the bottom of your chin.
  • Forehead width. Place the tape measure halfway between your eyebrows and hair. Measure the width of your forehead from one side of your hairline to the other.

Compare your measurements and use them to calculate your face shape.

Determine Your Face Shape

Face shapes are divided into a handful of common categories. Once you know which group your face falls into, you can easily shop for flattering frames.

  • Round. Round faces are characterised by a narrow forehead and curved jaw line. Defined angles are in short supply.
  • Square. Square faces are similar in length and width across the face, with a broad forehead and a strong jaw line.
  • Oval. Oval faces have gently rounded, largely even features, making them well-suited to almost any kind of adornment.
  • Oblong. Oblong faces, also called rectangular, are long and narrow with minimal angles.
  • Diamond. Diamond faces feature a narrow jawline and defined chin. The dominant cheekbones are the widest part of the face.
  • Heart. Heart-shaped faces, sometimes called triangle, narrow strongly at the chin and are widest at the temples.

Know Your Styles

Like faces, sunglasses also fall into common categories.

  • Aviator. Aviators are an instantly recognisable style. The aviator frame is metal and defined by clean lines. Colours are typically kept simple and lenses are a teardrop shape.
  • Rectangle. The frame of rectangular glasses is wider around the lens than it is tall.
  • Shield. Shield sunglasses are dominated by a single large lens that offers maximum protection from the sun.
  • Square. Share-shaped frames feature the same straight sides and defined angles of retangular frames, but with less length.
  • Wrap. Wrap-around frames are lightweight and streamlined for an aerodynamic, athletic look.
  • Wayfarer. The Wayfarer is a classic shape that’s been worn since the 1950s. Versatile and timeless, there’s a reason it’s lasted so long.

Putting It All Together

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Armed with knowledge of your face shape and popular frame styles, it’s time to put it all together.

  • Round. A round face lacks natural definition, so look for sunglasses that add it. Angular styles will help elongate your temples and lengthen your face. Steer clear of round frames that mimic your face shape.
  • Square. Strong natural features call for larger frames and minimal detailing that won’t compete for attention. Aviators are a good choice.
  • Oval. The oval is considered the holy grail of face shapes. Almost anything will suit, just keep proportion in mind. Any frames will look off if they’re too large or too small for your face.
  • Oblong. Choose round or square frames to offset the long, narrow line from forehead to chin. Stick to frames that don’t extend past the widest part of your face.
  • Diamond. Accentuate your prominent cheekbones by choosing deep frames that are more vertical than horizontal. A hint of cat-eye will be flattering to your face’s natural angles.
  • Heart. Avoid sunglasses that sit high on the face and accentuate your broad brow line. Retro, rectangular styles balance your pointed chin.

Men’s Sunglasses FAQ

What type of sunglass lens is best?

Polycarbonate lenses are the best choice for sunglasses because they are more impact resistant and have good optical clarity. They are also low-bulk, lightweight and affordable.

How can I tell if my sunglasses are UV protected?

Most sunglasses have UV protection embedded in or coated over the lens. Look for the label that says “100% protection against both UVA and UVB” or “100% protection against UV 400.”

Do darker sunglass lenses provide more UV protection than lighter lens tints?

Not necessarily. Darker sunglasses decrease the amount of visible light passing through the lens compared with lens with lighter tints, but they not provide greater protection from UV rays.