Why Some Sunglasses Don’t Look Good On — And How You Can Find The Right One

Find what suits you best.

Originally Published: 
Courtesy of Nanushka
Nanushka model wears a sunglass from their Spring/Summer 2021 collection.

One of the main shopping struggles for most people is buying a swimsuit that flatters their figure or selecting a pair of sunglasses that fits their face. There are endless aspects to consider in this category, namely style, color, and budget. The most important first step, however, should be figuring out the shape of your face and which sunglasses are the best for said face shape. Have you ever wondered why your friend’s trendy new frames look fantastic on her, but when you try it on, it doesn’t seem to fit properly, or the other way around? The reason is that each face shape has sunglasses that complement it best and no two faces are the same.

In order to get a deeper understanding on the variations of face shapes and find out, once and for all, which sunglasses suit them best, TZR spoke with Dr. Lilan Le, head of optometry at HEYWEAR, a New York City optical studio. Le says, “the four main faces that we generally organize people into are: round, oval, square, or heart.” However, the shape is just a general guideline and those who have facial features that are in between or mixed just have to find glasses that suit either face shape. Additionally, within these four categories, there are also specific features that can affect the shape of your face like a nose bridge.

Asian individuals, in particular, have always struggled to find sunglasses that work for their faces because some might have a lower nose bridge, wider face, or both. To address this, some companies such as Le Specs’ Alternate Fit collection and Gentle Monster are offering sunglasses and optical frames to account for these issues. “Asians tend to have higher cheekbones, or their faces are generally rounder and their nose bridge tends to be lower,” says Le. “Whenever you see a pair of glasses that says Asian fit, it means that it’s a lower nose bridge fit, so that the actual bridge of the sunglasses can fit on top of the nose. Sometimes if you pick up the wrong frame that doesn’t exactly fit an Asian face, it’ll hit the cheekbones, but then the bridge doesn’t even touch your nose.” Look for lenses that are slightly tilted outwards, so it doesn’t touch your cheek like Gentle Monster’s Dans M01.

If you’re curious about what your face shape is and which type of frames would look the best on you, continue reading below.

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Round-Shaped Face

Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Mulberry

People with round faces can have difficulty finding sunglasses as their features are closer together. Le says, “For round faces, you want to add contrast to your wide face, so choose frames that have a bit of angle such as square-shaped sunglasses, aviators, cat-eye styles, or rectangle shapes. Round faces also do really well with oversize frames that have bold acetate or a nice brow bar that would add a little bit of style.” Take actor Gemma Chan’s lead and go for a bold, colorful pair of oversize sunnies.

Oval-Shaped Face

Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty Images

“For oval faces, they generally match almost all types of frames. Since you have a longer distance from the forehead to the chin, you’re not as restricted as those with round faces, so you’re able to choose any style to your liking,” Le says. She also adds that one of the only struggles for people with oval faces would be finding sunglasses that suit your skin tone.

If you have a warm skin tone, you’ll have green or yellow undertones. For cool skin tones, you might have undertones of blue or pink. If you wear glasses that complement your skin tone, then the color of the glasses will be enhanced. For those with warmer skin tones, look for frames in colors such as gold, brown, red, or peach. For those with cooler tones, look for frames in black, blue, or gray. Model Bella Hadid has an oval face and as you can tell, she is not afraid to try a multitude of different sunglasses from thin cat-eye glasses to retro rectangular ones.

Square-Shaped Face

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

“When people say ‘square face,’ it’s not that they actually have a square face, but it’s that their jaw is a bit more prominent with their hairline,” says Le. “Since the hairline is more straight at the top than curvy, we would want to soften those angles and go for round-shape sunglasses, oval [designs], cat-eye sunglasses, and aviators. This face shape even does well with oversize frames, as their face is generally wider.” Priyanka Chopra has a square-shaped face and the actor tends to wear oval frames like her Le Specs Synthcat or her iconic black Manhattan Vida Fede shades.

Heart-Shaped Face

Marc Piasecki/GC Images/Getty Images

“[For people with heart-shaped faces], their width from their eyes is generally wider than their jaw, so if you look at the forehead and move down to the jawline, it tends to be a little bit pointer and smaller than an oval face,” says Le. “You’ll want to mimic the facial features by adding a little bit of prominence to a pointed chin, so cat-eye sunglasses or slightly pointed aviators would work.”

Furthermore, there are different facial features in a heart-shaped face that would affect the kind of sunglasses you can wear. Some people might have a slightly more overpowering jaw, where round sunglasses would then work to soften the appearance. In addition, glasses that have a strong browline would draw more attention to the person’s eyes versus their distinguished jaw features. The general rule of thumb, here, is to steer clear of sunglasses that have a teardrop-styled emphasis, as the overall appearance blends in with a heart-shaped face. Jennifer Aniston, who has a heart-shaped face loves her aviators, as it’s a staple in her wardrobe. In the photo, you can tell that even though her frames are slightly pointed at the bottom, they are rounded and versatile for any season.

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