We all have our staple pieces: the black coat we wear all winter, the ankle booties that look great with everything
in our closet, and the tote bag that carries all of our essentials. And, the one item many of us literally cannot get out of bed without: glasses.
Unlike a handbag, glasses are not a one-size-fits-all deal. Finding the perfect pair can test your patience. Are they cute and
durable? Do they make a statement but still go with everything? Do they even really fit, or are we just imagining ourselves as Zooey Deschanel? We set out to demystify the glasses-shopping process by going straight to the experts: Sarah Betzwieser, Lily Algair, and Catherine Magee from Ditto
; Vanina De Preneuf from glasses.com
; and Selima Salaun of Selima Optique
.Pay Attention To Face Shape
What ultimately determines which eyewear options work and which don't is your face shape. There are supposedly seven types: round, square, oval, oblong, heart-shaped, triangle-shaped, and diamond-shaped. If you're unsure of what category you fall under, Frames Direct recommends
simply "trac[ing] an outline of your face" using a picture of yourself, and noting which shape it resembles most closely.Pick A Shade That Flatters
Once you've got your frames in hand, you'll want to focus on the details: namely, the color of your glasses. You want to find a hue that coordinates with your skin and hair tones. Salaun chimes in: “If you have dark hair,” she suggests “glasses in a dark tone [that] will bring out the richness in [your] coloring. If you have light hair, you might want to choose a frame that brings out the cream color, [brightening] your skin and your hair. Dark frames tend to lighten [pale] skin by contrast, and mid-toned frames tend to bring out the warmth in your face.”Lens Logic
Then, you've got to fill in your frames with the right lenses — you know, the feature that actually improves your vision. There are four main lens categories, according to allaboutvision.com
: plastic, polycarbonate, trivex, and high-index plastic. Algair adds ultra-thin polyurethane to this list for individuals with stronger prescriptions. (For a full breakdown of lens options according to your prescription, check out this article.
)First Impressions Matter
When it’s time to try on your options, that first look is key — regardless of your face shape. "See if the frame is wearing you
," Salaun suggests, "or if you see yourself first.” If the first thing you notice are the glasses, you might want to go for a more subtle pair, so the effect is not so jarring. Both Salaun and Algair agree that one of the most common mistakes people make when shopping for glasses is gravitating towards options they’ve liked on other
people. We all want to copy our favorite four-eyed icons
, but we need to put ourselves (and our features) first.Ask For Help
Don't be afraid! "Opticians have seen many faces and should know their collections well," says Salaun. "If you have a good rapport with your optician, you can expect to find the best frames for you."
With the help of these optical experts, we found optical frames and
sunnies for each face shape — to make the eyewear-shopping process less of a doozy. Check out our picks and more tips, ahead.
Illustrated by Anna Sudit