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Ask FGG: Best Glasses for a Round Face?
Posted by Angela in Ask FGG
Image by happywalks

A funny thing happened in Chicago this weekend: the sun came out. And it stayed out, as if it felt guilty about hiding for the past five months. Startled by the sudden reappearance of bare earth and the unfamiliar ball of flame in the sky, I reached for my sunglasses and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I headed out the door.

It wasn't pretty.

I bought this pair of basic shades on clearance at Target after breaking two pair last summer. But in the harsh, pre-spring light of day, the over-sized black frames did nothing for my rounded face and Casper-kindred skin. I realized that while I spend plenty of time worrying about the way a pair of jeans sit on my hips or whether my girls are appropriately accented by a particular sweater, I sometimes forget about the simple ways I can best highlight where I really want people to focus: my face.

In that spirit, this week we consider the question:
What style(s) of glasses look best on round faces?

Like anything else we put on our bodies, some designs in the sea of existing eyeglass/sunglasses options are better suited to certain features. While the standard "your mileage may vary" caveat applies, it turns out that basic eyewear aesthetics aren't as complicated as one might believe.

Rule #1: Think balance


When it comes to flattering round, full faces (those with approximately equal width and height), the experts at LensCrafters, Pearl Vision and FramesDirect.com all agree -- go geometric. Angular, geometric styles help sharpen your features and create balance for a fuller face. These rectangular and horizontal styles elongate and thin the face's appearance because they contrast its natural, angle-free shape. On the flip side, steer clear of round frames, which usually make full faces look wider (AKA: The "Why Ang Can't Pull Off John Lennon Frames Even Though They're Awesome" Rule).

The pros also suggest two more ideas: Consider glasses with temples that connect at the top of the frames to add length to your face. You might also try a pair of upswept frames, which can draw attention to the top of the face instead of the fullness. FramesDirect.com even counsels avoiding large frames because of their tendency to shorten the face's appearance (sorry, giant sunglasses trend-hoppers).

Rule #2: Complement your features

Got some gorgeous baby blues? Look for your favorite frame shape in a blue hue that will emphasize your eyes without overpowering them. AllAboutVision.com advises that the best eyewear choices echo the wearer's best feature. Understanding your personal color palette will also help you make an educated color choice. Cooler skin tones tend to favor cooler colors (including black), while warm skin tones glow in brown, gold, copper, red, etc. And fair complexions may find it more challenging to rock a pair of darker frames.

Your optometrist should be a terrific resource for helping match you with frames for corrective lenses that suit your appearance, style and budget. Shopping just for sunglasses or want to get a home preview of how different styles will look? Try uploading your photo into the simulators at either LensCrafters or FramesDirect.com and try your glasses on virtually.

And for those hearts and ovals out there (not every fat girl is round-faced, after all), don't despair. Each site discussed here provides plenty of guidance for most face shapes -- meaning your perfect frames are just waiting to be discovered.

Eyeglass divas in the readership: Tell us your favorite styles or share shopping tips for face-friendly frames.