Print Edition: April 3, 2013
I recently bought a new pair of glasses. Not sunglasses, but just regular glasses. This is a huge investment, of course, not only because of the price but because I wear glasses every day and they’ve got to look alright.
I ended up choosing round ones that sort of emphasized the roundness of my chin, and not in a flattering way. But I’m convinced I made the right choice because they are a gorgeous red, they feel comfortable, and they fit me – I don’t think my face was meant to be pretty in the generic sense.
Anyway, my experience made me think about glasses as an accessory rather than a necessity. Sunglasses are appearing once again on the racks in all shapes and sizes. After a few hours of putting glasses on and taking them off, I can give you few tips about the kind of frames you should be looking for.
I read in Best Health that there are basically five face-shapes: round (face width and length are nearly the same, no angles), heart-shaped (wide forehead, narrow chin), square (strong jaw and wide forehead), oblong (a long face) and oval (chin narrower that forehead).
You’re probably somewhere in between those. I would say I am fairly oval, with a chin that isn’t quite narrow, so maybe a mix between square and oval.
So how to best compliment your face with frames? I’ll tell you how.
For all you round-faced people out there: avoid matching frames and features – no round frames. No Harry Potter glasses. Create some angles with sharp, squared glasses. No one wants to see your face being too round, so you best stay away from round frames.
Yep, I’m just yanking your chain. Who cares? I ended up going with glasses that don’t necessarily “flatter” my features, and I feel awesome about my choice.
Your face shape is what it is. I love unusual faces and features. Play around with thick frames, thin ones – round, square, horned-rimmed, cats-eye and oval. I don’t know why Best Health needs to dictate what your face should or should not look like.
And I am still waiting to be awed by the man or lady who rocks a wrap-around on campus. I could see it now: “I’m gonna pop some tags / Only got 20 dollas in my pocket.” That song would be your theme song.
Besides frames, there’s the actual lens: something to think about is the tint. Sunglasses are meant to protect your eyes from the sunlight and glare, and there are different kinds of tints that can change the way you see things (literally). Of course, never buy sunglasses that don’t actually protect your eyes from UV rays – look for the label that either reads either “UV 400” or “100 per cent UV protection.”
If you’re active and don’t want to be impeded by glasses that are too dark, look for rose-coloured tints or grey tints. If you don’t want colour distortion, keep it simple with grey tints. To enhance contrast, copper and brown tints are ideal; in low lighting yellow can work as well.
There are also a number of practical qualities to look for.
Do you want glass, or plastic lenses? Glass tend to be more scratch resistant, but is also much heavier.
The same goes with frames: if you pick out weighty glasses, they tend to slip down your nose. Also, if you’re not used to glasses they might be a bit distracting. Make sure when you’re trying glasses on that you’re going to be able to wear them without being bothered by the weight.
There are special features you can have with sunglasses.
Polarizing films—lenses treated to reduce the glare—are popular especially on the beach because of the sun’s powerful glare.
Photochromatic lenses become darker when exposed to UV radiation. So if you go from being in the shade to direct sunlight, the lenses will darken. This is pretty useful, because it’s annoying to have extremely dark lenses in the shade, or alternatively, extremely light lenses in the blazing sun.
Of course, the more features, the more expensive. You can go water-resistant with a hydrophobic coating. You can get an anti-reflective coating to keep the sun from bouncing into your eyes when it hits the back-side of your lenses. You can get scratch-resistant lenses, mirror-coated lenses—for blocking more light—and even glasses with ventilation for the athletes.
The majority of us just want to shade our eyes in the summer. We want a pair of aviators to make us look like a boss. Make sure the shades are designed to protect you from UV rays, make sure they’re comfortable, and make sure you feel like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. You’re ready for summer.