How to pick the perfect shades
Written by Kathy Phan
Sunglasses have evolved from a more practical tool to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays to an everyday essential that will elevate your outfit to a whole new level. The original idea for these lenses goes back to Ancient Rome when Emperor Nero would enjoy outdoor gladiator events through an emerald to protect his eyes from the sun. Of course, true sunglasses weren’t invented until thousands of years later in the 20th century when the film industry was rising, and the need for eye protection against the sun was necessary for actors who spent hours filming outside under the Hollywood sun.
Sunglasses are definitely an accessory every well dressed man should carry around and when it comes to your closet essentials, you want to invest not just in quality but also in appearance. It’s important to take into careful consideration the type of face shape you have along with the different designs available for you to help you make the best decision when purchasing that pair (or two) of go-to sunglasses.
Types of Sunglasses
Knowing what your options are will help guide you in deciding what style is best for you. Essentially, the name of sunglasses styles are characterized by their shape, making it easy to remember. Here are the most popular designs for men and their specific attributes.
Round sunglasses are definitely a statement accessory, especially during the 90’s era when everyone decided to take a break from bolder frames and opted for a more minimalist design. Actually. they can be considered the most difficult to pull off, as they are very specific to what face shape they suit best. They are very unique in silhouette and can be recognized by their round frames and lenses, making them perfect for softening bold features and sharp jawlines.
In contrast to their rounded counterpart, square sunglasses have sharper frames. While they are not necessarily all perfect square shapes, they are definitely much more angular than round sunglasses. This allows them to add structure and definition to faces with round jaws and subtle cheekbones.
Historically, aviators were created to protect a pilot’s eyes during flight. Characterized by their thin metal frames and double (sometimes triple) bridge, aviators have become a very popular sunglasses option for stylish men. Their long shape helps they elongate face and balance features. Aviators are often designed with cable temples that hook behind the ear, which is helpful in keeping the frames on your face no matter what you’re doing.
Distinct due to their flat straight edge across the top of the rims and rounded bottom rims. The shape is meant to look like the capital letter “D.” D-frames are a perfect combination between retro and modern, making them very stylish and great for anyone who likes a statement accessory to amplify their look.
The Best Frame for Your Face Shape
The general rule is that rounded or aviator style frames suit faces with strong jawlines and defined cheekbones.The stronger your facial features, the bigger your sunglasses should be for optimal balance. Similarly, faces with less defined features should stick to small or medium-sized frames. Keeping all that in mind, you should absolutely try them on before you buy. Here are some things to look out for when choosing the perfect frame for your face.
Oval Face Shape
The length of the face shape is longer than the width of the cheekbones. Also, the forehead is wider than the jawline, which is slightly rounded. If you have an oval face, you’re in luck. This is probably the most versatile of all face shapes, making it suitable for all sunglasses styles.
Square Face Shape
Square faces have strong and boxy jawlines and cheekbones. The forehead, cheekbones and jawline are similar in length. Unlike round faces, square faces have almost too much definition and need to be toned down more. Sunglasses with round rims go best with this face shape, as the roundness of the rims help to soften the bold facial features. Stick to small and medium-sized sunglasses that are not too overwhelming on the face.
Rectangle Face Shape
Rectangle face shapes are very similar to square face in that they both have strong boxy jawlines and cheekbones. The only noticeable difference is that the length of the face is longer. When choosing sunglasses for this face shape, you want to create balance and soften sharp lines. Don’t extend beyond the widest part of your face and avoid sunglasses with sharp lines.
Round Face Shape
The angle of jaw is not as defined in a round face shape. They usually have larger cheekbones and wider face widths that are almost symmetrical in size. In addition, they also have smaller forehead and jawline, which are also nearly symmetrical. If you have a round face shape, you should seek ways to add more definition to your face. Sunglasses that best accentuate round faces and help to slim the cheeks are those that are angular and slightly larger than the face. Square styles are great options for men with round faces. You definitely want to avoid wearing round frames but if you are intent on rocking a pair, then go for a d-frame style that has a straight top rim but a round bottom rim.
Diamond Face Shape
With the diamond face shape, the size of features will funnel down. The face length is longest and then in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and jawline. The chin is pointed, creating that “diamond” appearance. D-frame glasses suit diamond face shapes the best because the balance between the straight edge and round rims also help balance out the shape of the face overall. Make sure to keep the lenses on the smaller side, as the top of the face is the widest and does not need more attention.
Heart Face Shape
Men with heart face shapes will find that their chin is pointier than any other dimensions on their face and their forehead is wider than cheekbones. Heart face shapes go best with small and medium-sized sunglasses that create balance between the smaller jaw and larger forehead. D-frame and aviator styles suit this face shape extremely well because they add length to the face. Try to avoid round styles because they will add too much emphasis to the forehead.
Triangle Face Shape
Men with a triangular face shape have large jawlines, small cheekbones and an even smaller forehead. Since triangle face shapes have more definition at the bottom of the face, it’s best to go for larger sunglasses that will balance the top of the face. Avoid small frames that will put too much attention to the bottom portion of your face. Besides scale, this face shape tends to give you free range on what style of frame you can wear.
Like all essentials, finding that perfect pair of sunglasses can be difficult and tedious but the result is so worth it. A stylish and versatile pair of sunglasses is definitely an item every man should carry in his wardrobe. Not only are you obligated to protect your eyes from the sun but they can transform your entire outfit. Take some time to experiment with different frames until you find the perfect one. When you do, it’ll be life-changing!
Photo Of Kathy Phan
SOURCE: THE GENTLEMANUAL