The Right Eyeglasses for Every Face Shape

I have what my ophthalmologist diplomatically refers to as “a sophisticated prescription”. What he is referring to is my severe nearsightedness, coupled with an astigmatism that renders me incapacitated without my glasses. A glasses girl since the 4th grade, I’ve tried every shape imaginable and have a small collection of frames at home that I change out, depending on my mood. What I’ve found is that certain frames make my face look more balanced, and bring out my features. Depending on your face shape, the right pair of glasses can be very flattering. And because eyewear is expensive, a more timeless look is key. My recommendations for a pair that suits each facial shape are sure to make shopping for frames a bit easier.

Not sure what your facial shape is? Take a look at this thorough guide to figuring out your facial shape and check back in with us for our recommendations.

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If you have a square face, try rounded frames

More angular features are softened and balanced out by a pair of rounded frames. If circular, John Lennon-style frames are not for you, try a Panto shape, like this rounded, Tom Ford design which angles slightly upward. The tortoise shell finish is classic, but adds a bit of interest, and the relatively thin acetate frames complement a square face perfectly.

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Rounded facial shape? Try a cat’s eye

This retro style has made so many comebacks that it is now a modern classic. Perfectly suited to rounder faces, the cat’s eye frame’s elongated shape balances out softer features, while the tilt upward at the outer corners brings out the best in everyone’s bone structure. This pair designed by Prada take the cat’s eye style and give it a classic spin. The black frames, outfitted with subtle tortoise shell temples, ground this look and give the cat’s eye more gravitas.

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Rectangular frames suit a heart-shaped face

The key to choosing the right shape of eyewear for your face is to think about balance. A heart shaped face is often rounded in the cheeks, with a smaller chin, and wide, squared off frames are angular enough to balance rounded features, while also being wide enough to fit a face that is broader across the forehead. Oliver Peoples excels at making classic, refined eyewear, and this squared pair is less blocky and more delicate than other more trendy pairs.

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Oval face shapes benefit from longer, rectangular frames

Oval faces are very common, and are typically longer than they are wide. To balance out an oval face, choose frames which are rectangular, and wider than they are tall. These glasses made by Ray-Ban are a perfect shape for an oval face, and the Ray-Ban logo etched on the inside of the temples is subtle, but still adds some visual interest.

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WBUR Guide Picks

Square facial shape: Look for rounded eyewear, especially with a thinner frame
Round facial shape: Check out a cat’s eye design, which have become more pared down and classic.
Heart-shaped face: Look for squared-off frames.
Oval-shaped face: Find a lengthened, rectangular pair.