Finding the right pair of frames can boost your self-confidence and express your unique style. But how do you choose frames that look good, fit well, and are comfortable? The numbers inside your frames are essential but not the only factors. Understanding the measurements and how to use them can make your glasses shopping experience easier.
The frames you choose should accent your features and reflect your style. But they also need to be compatible with your face shape. If your frame fit isn’t ideal, you won’t be able to see straight through the lenses’ middle (or optical center) and may experience blurry vision. Fortunately, there are several methods to help you find the perfect frames for your unique face shape. A common choice, rectangular frames add angles and balance to soft features, and their width can help lengthen the face and slim it down. If you’re shopping for women’s glasses and frames with a wide field of view, look for frames with a high lens height or a B measurement (sometimes included in the temple arm length). The higher the lens height, the more bifocal- and progressive-friendly the frame will be. Typically, this number is printed on the inside of the temple arms, and you can easily measure it at home with a millimeter ruler.
Frame width refers to the space between your lenses and where they rest on your nose. This measurement is usually listed second in the series of numbers displayed on a frame’s arms (the first number is the lens width, and the third is the bridge width). The golden rule here is that your pupils should be centered within the width of your lenses. Otherwise, the eyes will look close together, and the frames may appear too wide on your face. Regarding bridge width, it’s less critical than lens or temple length. It will, however, influence how well the frames fit on your nose. The bridge is the small piece in the middle of the frames where they sit on your nose, and it should be positioned so that it doesn’t pinch or cause discomfort. Typically, bridge sizes vary slightly, ranging from 14 mm to 24 mm.
If you have a round face shape, bold frames with angular lines provide balance and definition to soft features. A great option is a pair of rectangular frames that exude self-confidence and an easy-going personality. For a more slender, slim look, try browline frames (also known as club masters) that are a favorite among intelligent professionals who mean business. Consider dark, earthy frame colors such as brown or black if your complexion leans towards the warmer side. These tones add natural warmth to the complexion and harmonize with blonde hair colors well. A classic option for dark hair is a tortoiseshell – a popular, timeless, and trendy choice. These frames are reminiscent of vintage styles but feature modern lens coatings and tints, making them a powerful statement piece for those with an independent spirit and a sense of style.
When choosing a frame, the material could make a big difference in comfort and durability. The materials used in eyeglass frames range from durable plastic to high-tech metal composites that are super thin and light. Some of these materials are also hypoallergenic and will not rust. Stainless steel is popular as it resists corrosion and is extremely thin. It is easy to work with and can be made into various shapes for eyeglasses. Titanium is another lightweight metal option that is hypoallergenic and has a sleek, modern look. However, it is more expensive than other metals and can be difficult to color due to its resistance to soldering and welding. Plastic frames are available in various colors and styles and can be very inexpensive. If you want something even more budget-friendly, try a frame made of zyl or cellulose acetate propionate, which is incredibly lightweight. This material is also available in a rainbow of colors, and some frames are laminated with multiple layers of color for a unique look.
The style of a pair of glasses can impact how they fit your face. Some frame styles, such as aviators and brow line frames, are better suited to specific face shapes than others. The width of a frame can also affect how your eyes appear in the frames. A rule of thumb is that the frame width should equal or slightly wider than the broadest part of your face. This makes the frame look balanced on your face rather than oversized. If you wear too wide glasses, your nose can leave indents on the sides, and the frames can rest on your cheeks when you’re smiling or talking. This could be a better fit, making you look tired or unhappy. Also, it can cause problems with your vision because you cannot center your pupils behind the lenses (important for those who need progressives or multifocal). The width of your frame should be close enough that the top portion of the lens is in front of your pupils when you look straight ahead.