Buying spectacles or sunglasses can be an overwhelming experience. While the eyes feast on the dazzling offerings from established institutions and the latest market shakers, it’s important to focus your lens on what will suit your own face best.
The World Wide Web and Social Media Platforms are rife with ‘how to’ guides and ‘rules to follow’ aiding your eyewear browsing into buying. You find yourself with a ruler held to your forehead, is the mug staring back at you confirmed a ‘square’? Or is your life changed forevermore? You’re the ‘diamond’ you always dreamed of being.
Are the beautifully illustrated diagrams right? This opticians answer in short, is no.
Picking an ergonomically fitting pair in the style or vibe you’re after is more about complimenting and balancing your facial features.
Your general face shape is a start, a key consideration not to be ignored. Though simply deducing you have a square face and therefore round glasses are your one match, well, the peg may not fit.
Start with: Measurements.
Eyewear is no different to shopping for any other item of clothing. As you mindlessly flick through the visually rich world of Instagram, your thumb taps an image to a complete stop, you’re inspired. Your next step, buying the look in your size. Pulling it off, that’s subjective. Take a suit for example; your measurements are paired by your tailor to a pattern in the style of your selection. Your measurements don’t govern your free choice! Restricting you to a lifetime of one suit style! I shudder to imagine the sartorial outrage if that were the case!
If you already wear glasses or sunglasses, use your existing frames as a reference. Scan them for two numbers separated by a ¨, the left temple is the best place to start.
The first number references the size in mm of a single lens and the second number references the bridge size or distance between the lenses.
Like all apparel, sizing is a guide. Precise as possible while accounting for a minutia of design variances. And like other apparel, buy in your size and if it works you’ve won, if it doesn’t, then onto the next.
Check for: Visual Proportion; ‘The rule of thirds’:
The rule of thirds is perhaps the most well-known “rule” of photographic composition. Use it during eyewear selection for stunningly framed results.
In the lens:
Break your lens depth down into thirds. The top third of the lens is where your eye should be placed. Two thirds of clear lens should remain below. No more and no less.
Why is this so important? It creates a balanced composition. Your eye is the focal (no pun intended) point and negative space is created by the remaining area of lens below. If your eye is centrally aligned to the middle of the lens, tension is created as the frame and eyes battle for your attention.
The bigger picture: Do they wear you or are you wearing them?
A balanced composition feels right. It feels stable and aesthetically pleasing. Keep this in mind with the overall size of your frames on your face. The amount of real estate they take up and what’s left over is important to consider. Too big and you become immortalised as a pair of glasses with legs and nothing more, the person behind them lost forever. Too small and you create discomfort those interacting with you, resisting the urge to stare at the bug eye or mail slot situation you’ve adorned your head with.
Brows: Above, below, in line?
This one is easy. While styling clients into frames all day, I repeatedly find myself saying – “just don’t start an argument”. Every option is right. Just ensure all elements in the equation have their moment. Hostile interference between the sweeping curve of a sunglass rim and an undeviating devoted brow should be avoided at all costs.
Where the top of your frames land in conjunction with your brow line yields various results. Below your brow creates a double line effect – strong, borderline intimidating. Above, covering the brows completely softens and simplifies.
Cheekbones: Follow them, it’s as simple as that. The contour of your cheekbone should be matched to the outside edge angle of your piece of eye protection or functional vision enhancement equipment.
Your sunglasses or spectacles are your style choice to own, enjoy and damn well flaunt. Tips, rules and guides are wonderful tools to have in your arsenal, but they were made to be broken. Wear what sparks a smile and makes you feel f**king hot.
By Todd Aitken, manager & optician – onepointsevenfour.