Choosing Glasses That Flatter

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Monday 11th October 2010
In this article
  • Matching your face and coloring to the perfect pair of glasses.
  • When the latest trend doesn’t look so sharp on you.
  • Getting comfortable.
Choosing Glasses That Flatter

Thinking about getting a pair of shades or other glasses? You’re not alone. In 1998 alone, retail sales of eyewear in the USA topped $15 billion. By 2002, sales are expected to surpass $19 billion.

The thing is, with so many styles, colors and shapes of glasses to choose from, how do you know what best suits your look? Check out this quick SharpGrooming guide to get you started:

Choosing Glasses

Not sold on contacts? No big deal. With so many style, colors and shapes of glasses available, most SharpMen are able to find glasses that flatter their mugs. Not sure which style works best with yours? Check out this quick SharpGrooming guide:

Matching Your Mug

The key to getting a flattering pair of shades or glasses is to match the shape, color and style to your face. Here are some quick tips to get you started:

Step One: The Shape.

The shape of your glasses should blend with the shape of your face, so take a look in the mirror and determine yours. Are you round and full? Long and thin? Medium, with prominent cheekbones or chin? Think about what you have. Your facial features will help you find a style of glasses that can balance out, minimize or maximize on certain attributes to best flatter you.

Round face. The SharpMan with a round face would benefit from creating the illusion of length and cheekbones. Choose glasses that are straight across the top and that angle slightly inwards at the sides. The bottom part should also be straight. Avoid square and round shapes, as these shapes tend to emphasize the roundness of a face.

Square jawline. For those SharpMen whose features are a bit too boxy for their taste, consider drawing attention away from your jawline to lengthen the look of your face. Choose glasses that are slightly rounded or curved, with height on the top of the frame.

Long face. For SharpMen with long or oblong faces, consider adding more width to your features. Select slightly wider frames (don't go too wide, though, or it will look exaggerated) with rounded sides and a straight bottom rim.

Triangular face. If you have a broad forehead and narrow chin, consider creating balance with your glasses. Avoid square shapes and frames with a heavy top rim. Ideally, choose frames with a curved bottom rim that are no wider than your temples.

SharpMan Tip: Can’t tell what shape your face is? Need more information about those listed? Salespeople in eyeglass shops are trained to match faces with frames. Go in and ask.

Step Two. The Color.

According to the Vision Council of America (VCA), everyone falls into one of two color categories (the idea is that the glasses that suit you best will match with your color categories).

Don’t have any idea what your color "categories" are? No big deal. The two categories are warm (yellow-based) and cool (blue-based). How do you determine which one you fall in to? Skin tone is the biggest indicator. If your skin has blue or pink undertones or you have olive skin, then you are in the "cool" category. For those who have a yellow cast to their skin or a "peaches and cream" look, you are "warm."

Hair color can also help you determine your color category. Brown hair, strawberry blond, blue-black and white all fall into the "cool" category while golden blond, flat black, red and dirty gray are all "warm" colors.

Got yours?

OK. Now that you know your color category, choose a glasses frame hue that blends with your color. Warm coloring looks best with camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, coral, off-white, warm blue, and blond tortoise. For cool coloring, the best eyeglass frame hues are black, rose brown, blue gray, plum, magenta, jade, blue, and demi-amber (darker) tortoise.

Got all that down? Now for the tough part…

Step Three: Style.

Of course, there are countless styles of frames to choose from. Luckily, your first two steps — shape and color — will have likely eliminated a good portion of the overwhelming choices. Of what's left, ask yourself what kind of image you want to present. Generally the larger styles are more masculine and while the John Lennon-type glasses are still available, most men today are opting for the larger frames.

Recently the rimless or semi-rimmed style has become popular. They are less obvious on the face and highlight your features rather than the fact that you wear glasses. They tend to have a very slick and professional look.

For a more classic look, you might want to go for tortoise-shell or horned rims, while the old-fashioned wire specs often represent seriousness and intelligence.

Cool vs. Flattering

You know that cool pair of glasses your brother/buddy/coworker has, that you’re just sure will be the cornerstone of your new, sharp look? They may not be for you.


There will always be those trendy glasses — or clothing — that you wish you could wear, but that turn out to be less flattering to you than other, less in-at-the-moment styles. Why? The fact is that all trends, styles and colors don’t suit every face or body. Don’t be surprised if the latest trend in eyewear doesn’t work for you. Do you buy it anyway? That’s a personal decision. Our advice? Trends come and go — and often look stupid. Stick to those styles and colors that bring out the best in your facial attributes. That’s what the ladies will notice, anyway.

Built for Comfort

In most cases you’ll be wearing your glasses every day. For this reason, be sure to choose glasses that fit comfortably on your face. Take an extra half hour to have your glasses properly fitted and adjusted. There’s nothing more annoying than having frames constantly slip down your nose.

SharpMan Tip: Forgot to get a fitting? Need a realignment? To avoid breaking frames you just shelled out bucks for, don’t try to adjust the arms of your frames yourself. Drop by an eyeglass store for a professional adjustment. They’re usually free, even if you didn’t buy your glasses there!

Do you plan to exercise in your glasses or pick up a b-ball game at the gym? Consider lighter, safer and more durable plastic lenses. Spend a lot of time outside? Check out optional UV coatings or lenses that darken when exposed to bright light. Sure, they’re more expensive, but so are another pair of cool sunglasses. Alternatively, consider a pair of clip-on sunglasses lenses. Many eyeglass stores can have clips made for any pair you choose.

Glasses vs. Contacts?

The Glasses Argument

  • Touch what? Some SharpMen don't like the idea of putting something into their eyes every day.
  • Time is short. Contact lenses require time for insertion, sometimes every morning.
  • Damaged goods. Contact lenses are easy to damage and lose and costly to replace.
  • A sharp change. With so many — and ever more affordable — hip styles sprouting up, glasses allow SharpMen to change the way they look and feel depending on whether they’re at work, socializing or hanging out with the guys.
  • No can do. Finally, some SharpMen have eye conditions that prevent them from wearing contact lenses.

The Contact Lens Argument

  • Cosmetic reasons. Many SharpMen, particularly those who wore glasses as youngsters, believe that they look more attractive without their spectacles.
  • Activity. Contact lenses allow SharpMen to engage in sports more freely — particularly water and contact sports — with a reduced risk of eye injury.
  • Care free, sort of. Glasses require frequent cleaning and wiping, sometimes several times a day if you can’t keep you hands off of them. With many disposable brands that require a fresh pair every week to 10 days, many SharpMen often forget they have a need to correct their vision!
  • Crystal clear. Finally, some types of contact lenses actually facilitate better vision than glasses do for many SharpMen.
This article last updated on Wednesday 13th October 2010
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