The Gentleman’s Guide to Sunglasses

Find the right frames for your face.

The right pair of sunglasses can be the defining aspect of any look, and can also prevent serious health issues.  Studies done by The American Cancer Society show that every year over 2,600 adults (that’s 1,300 men) will be diagnosed with primary intraocular cancer.  A good pair of shades can keep out those destructive UV rays, but before going out and buying just any old sunglasses, make sure to pick up the right pair that compliments your facial structure and your style.

First, find a brand or style you like.  There are a lot of designers out there that have sleek, comfortable, and stylish glasses for less than you would expect.

For starters, Warby Parker offers a variety of expertly designed frames.  All of the styles they carry come polarized for less than $100.

A close up of sunglasses

If you’re looking for something a little more on the edgy side, try Sabre Optics.  Vintage and surf inspired shades are their specialty.  Sabre sunglasses are also very high quality and priced around $100-$125, so you can get the edgy surf look for cheap.

A pair of sunglasses on a table

Raen Optics, another vintage styled brand, produces ultra high class and trendy sunglasses.  They may be priced a little higher, ranging from around $100 to about $200, but with high quality materials in every pair, they’re very well priced.

A close up of sunglasses by Raen

If you’re looking for something a little more modern, Tres Noir has exactly what you need.  With slim, low profile styles, Tres Noir offers stylish shades for around $85-$90.

A close up of sunglasses

After finding a suitable designer, you’ll need to find out which kind of frames will perfectly compliment your facial structure.

Square faces

Face shape square

A square face is defined with a strong jawline, broad forehead, angular face, and square chin.

For a square face, the best way to go is round and oval frames.  Always choose frames with temples that either connect at the top of the frame or are centered.  Avoid low set temples and color accents in order to draw attention away from a square chin line.  Also avoid square and geometric shaped frames, as they will exaggerate the already angular qualities of a square face.

Oval faces

Face Shape Oval

A facial structure that has balanced proportions, high cheekbones, and a chin slightly more narrow than the forehead can be classified as an oval shaped face.

Most frames work well with oval shaped faces.  The best way to go is with more rectangular and geometric shapes, as they will add angles to the soft features of an oval facial structure.  Try to steer clear of frames that are too large for your features.  Large glasses tend to make the face seem smaller.

Oblong faces

Face shape oblong

An oblong face is longer than it is wide.  It also includes high cheekbones, a longer nose, and a tall forehead.

An oblong face is a taller face, so taller frames will help shorten up the facial structure.  Also, wider frames and an accented top rim or a flashy temple are a great way to widen the face.  Stay away from short frames that can make the face seem taller. Keep away from small, out of proportion frames as well.

Round faces

Face shape round

A face with rounded cheeks, few angles, and a rounded chin are classified as round.  The width and length of the face are usually the same proportions.

A variety of frames can help compliment a round face.  Angular and geometric frames can sharpen features.  More rectangular and horizontal frames help make the face taller and thinner. Upswept frames draw attention to the top of the face which also helps make a taller and thinner face.  Temples that connect at the top of the frame can add even more length.  Avoid small frames that are out of proportion, as they can accentuate the roundness of the face.

Heart faces

Face shape heart

Broad forehead, small chin, and wide cheekbones denote a heart face.

Round, narrow frames help soften the forehead.  Bottom heavy frames can add width to the narrow lower face.  Low set temples can draw attention downward and take attention off of the forehead.  Make sure to avoid overly top heavy styles that can draw attention upwards.  Also keep away from decorative temples that can broaden the upper face.

Diamond faces

Face shape diamond

The diamond face has a narrow eye and jaw line, a small forehead, dramatic cheekbones, and angular features.

Stick with anything that emphasizes the cheekbones. Upswept styles and rimless styles help make cheekbones stand out.  Also, oval frames can help maintain balance.  Avoid any narrow frames that draw attention to the eye line.

Triangle faces

triangle face shape

A narrow forehead, widening eyeline, and wide cheeks and chin make up a triangular face.

To compliment a triangularly structured face, the frames should balance the top and bottom of the face.  Semi-rimless frames can accent the top of the face.  Many top heavy styles can balance out the width of the jaw.  Frame bottoms that angle forward can also balance the face.  Avoid low set temples that can add emphasis to the jaw.  Also, narrow frames that are out of proportion can widen the lower face.

Sean Murphy

My name is Sean Joseph Murphy. I'm 19 and I live in San Francisco. I'm studying creative writing at San Francisco State University. In my spare time I work on and ride my 1979 Yamaha, as well as read and write as often as possible.