Ask FGG: Best Glasses for a Round Face?

16 Mar 10 - Ask FGG - Angela - 7 Comments

Play up your strengths with frames that flatter

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 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. 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. 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 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.

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Nat says:

I used to have red glasses which i really loved. They only had a frame on top so the bottom blended into my face and they looked really good. When i needed to buy a new pair i had planned to buying glasses similar to my old ones but ended up falling in love with these orange ones that dont really look like my old ones at all :P
These are a mettalic light orange and have a frame around the entire lense.
I think its good to try on lots of different pairs of glasses because you never know what may look good on you. Even try on crazy colors :D

Glasses is a very beautiful jewelry, we can make our eyes through the glasses become more beautiful, of course, you can decorate our glasses, let us become more attractive.

Sinem says:

I wear prescription (sorry for my horrible spelling) glasses, so I need to choose a frame that suits me and I found one that works. I noticed that rectangular frames suit me, but somehow look a bit too much. Then found the prefect glasses, the rectangular ones without a bottom. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s basically so that at the bottom of the glasses, there is no frame. The glasses are framed from the sides and above, but on the bottom, the part that basically rests above your cheeks, there is no frame. It gives a balanced, calm look while remaining soft and kind. I swear by these glasses!

Regina says:

So does this mean I did it right? lol I hope so since I just got those new glasses. I am thinking about getting contacts but I’m scared :( I’ve worn glasses for at least 19 out of my 25 years!

gina says:

Nomulent, I agree. Can we send photos or something? :)

I’m shopping for my new glasses now and have managed to narrow it down to 2 frames (!) One of the pair is decidedly visually heavier than the other, and I’m wondering if I actually should go for that one because it’s ‘more flattering’ to my big face/head. They both have the same basic (rectangular) shape.

nomulent says:

How timely – I need new glasses, sun and otherwise.

Um, I think you should just come shopping with me.

Barb in Minn. says:

I have some rectangular frames, but generally prefer a softer look. I’ve found that teardrop-shaped (smallish ones – leaning more towards cat-eye rather than aviator) often work for my round face.
Nose pieces are a must — they can be adjusted to help the frames fit better and they keep the frames from sitting on my chipmunk cheeks.
Also pay attention to your eyebrows & how they look with the frames.