How to Find the Best Sunglasses for Your Face Shape
Sunglasses are way more than one of summer’s most fun accessories. Since the sun’s rays shine off of freshly fallen snow and bluer-than-blue ocean just the same, eyewear should be a year-round outfit staple no matter where you live (what else can you say that about, save a classic bag?). Turns out your shades are one serious style essential.
When worn right, sunglasses can make a look, and that starts with finding the style that best flatters your face shape. So we tapped the stylists at Ditto, an online designer eyewear retailer that also offers a monthly sunglasses subscriptions service (think: any pair, any time + unlimited sunnies swaps), to help us identify the most common face shapes, what sunglasses suit them best, and of course, outfit us with baller shades to model (including Beyoncé’s faves!). Read on to figure out what shades you should be wearing once and for all.
COMMON FACE SHAPES
Identifying your face shape is crucial for picking out a the perfect pair of sunglasses, and it’s fairly easy to do once you know what to look for. Most people fall into one of four common face shapes — circle, heart, square and oval — all of which are largely determined by how pronounced certain facial features are. If you can’t quite tell from glancing at your phone in selfie mode, then go old school and take a lipstick or dry erase marker and actually trace the outline of your reflection in the mirror. When you step away from the reveal, you should be left with an easy-to-ID shape on the mirror much like our graphic above.
Once you know your face shape, the hunt for your shades soul mates should be much easier, especially with the go-to guide we made below. Scroll through to find out which sunglasses styles suit your face shape best.
Your features are soft, and the width and length of your face is roughly equal. Like Roxy, it’s all about adding some edge.
BEST FIT: WAYFARERS
Because wayfarers are close to a rectangle shape, they’re time-tested go-tos for adding angularity and definition to circle-shaped faces. While classic wayfarers are slimmer, shorter and sportier than this pair, the wider-framed take on the style feels more luxe and decidedly feminine — all wins in our book. Plus, they’re equally as wearable. “The extra definition in the upper corners gives it a very slight cat-eye accent that adds depth and proportion to the face,” said Sarah Fraser, VP Merchandising for Ditto. Turns out we’re all about that wayfarer wiggle room.
Wearing: Selma Optique Amanda in Black ($385)
SWITCH IT UP WITH: SQUARE FRAMES
“Square frames are a very on-trend way to take the wayfarer to the next level,” said Sarah. The equal (or-just-about-equal) angles add a flattering contrast that balances out the roundness of your face — just be sure to look for pairs that have wide-set lenses to stand up to your features, like this one. “This particular pair is a great way for folks with circle faces to wear a pseudo-aviator style and pull it off,” said Sarah. It’s got that same airy feel and thin metal detailing without the exaggerated roundness that would, well, exaggerate your roundness.
Wearing: KREWE du Optic Banks in Matte Oyster With Gradient ($185)
Your features taper from your broad forehead to your pronounced chin, and your cheekbones are set nice and high. Like Krystal, it’s all about drawing attention downward.
BEST FIT: AVIATORS
There’s a reason why you see Reese Witherspoon rocking aviators almost exclusively. “The teardrop shape at the bottom [of aviator glasses] hits the cheekbones [on people with heart-shaped faces] at just the right point to add depth to and compliment their features,” said Sarah. That detail is so clutch because it draws attention downward and away from the widest part of your face. Aviators made of lighter, thinner materials are most complimentary to heart-shaped faces, and although that seems sartorially minimal, there are ways to amp up the look, like with colored frames. “I love the selection of the green color on these glasses, it upgrades your look just a little bit,” said Sarah. “It lets you add a little personality to your aviator.” If pop-of-color frames are hard to come by, you can also look for other next-level details like mirrored or tinted lenses.
Wearing: Burberry BE 3071 in Green ($240)
Switch It Up With: Oversized Frames
“Whether it’s an oversized rectangle, oval or square, you want your lenses BIG,” said Sarah. Sprawling lenses will, obviously, cover up more of your forehead and cheekbones, and on heart-shaped faces, that helps to balance your tapering proportions in the most bombshell way. Look for glasses with thin-as-possible frames so they won’t completely overpower your features, or ones with contrasting details like the metal accents on these frames, which helps to lighten them up.
Wearing: Oakley Changeover in Nightfall Stripes With Grey ($150)
Your features are prominent, like your broad forehead and strong jawline. Like Kate, it’s all about working those angles.
BEST FIT: OVAL FRAMES
Just like circle-faced gals veer towards angular frames, you too, square-faced babes, are going to go for a style that’s the opposite of your face shape. That means your sunglasses P.I.C. is a rounder, oval shape. Unlike straight-up round frames, oval glasses are near universally easy to wear, regardless if they come in a half-frame or flat top style like this pair, that happens to come in a deep blue hue. “Cobalt is a great alternative to black,” said Sarah. Why not be one of the first to hop on the blue frame trend?
Wearing: RAEN Remmy in Cobalt With Smoke Lenses ($135)
Switch it Up With: Cat Eyes
Cat-eye glasses are like magic for square face shapes — they provide the best of both worlds. “[Like oval glasses], you get the rounded glasses toward the bottom but with the upsweep toward the eyes that provides definition and lift,” said Sarah. This flattering flick comes in all shapes and sizes, not just your exaggerated ’50s-style look. “These glasses have a more subtle cat eye for those not ready to go full-on cat woman,” said Sarah. Besides the soft pointed edges, their oversized nature makes these feel more familiar than vintage-leaning styles, which makes them easier to wear. Plus, the ultra-feminine shape is severely foxy.
Wearing: Jason Wu Brigitte in Black ($275)
Your face is gently rounded, longer than it is wide and your features are pretty much perfectly balanced. Like Ashley, it’s all about having pushing your style as far as you want!
BEST FIT: CIRCLE FRAMES*
*Okay, okay okay. Great news oval faced gals: you’ve been #blessed with the most easy-to-outfit face shape of all. In other words, basically any style goes on your mug, so roulette away with your sunglass selection. Here, we’re recommending some trendier, out-of-the-box styles because A) you can handle it and B) it’s fun! So, all things considered, your optimal *of-the-moment* sunglasses style is circle lenses.
Round lenses are all the rage these days, and there’s no reason for you to shy away from these It frames.”Frames that are perfectly balanced, whether they’re round or square, compliment oval faces because they’re the opposite dimensions of the face,” said Sarah. “It’s a definite upgrade from something traditional like a wayfarer or an aviator — two styles oval faced folks can wear no problem.” And we couldn’t agree more. These frames are — wait for it — Beyoncé’s current favorites, and have the perfect mix of boho babe and downtown chic. In other words, they’re #flawless.
Wearing: The Row Row 8 in Navy ($445)
SWITCH IT UP WITH: FLAT TOPS
According to Ditto, these ultra sporty sunnies are about to blow up, and oval shaped faces are going to be the ambassadors. “Not only are they very popular, but they actually add a little but of width, which is a really nice compliment to elongated faces,” said Sarah. This style of sunglasses ranges from ultra elegant, like these thin, blue and black tortoise shell frames, to Daft Punk-levels of futuristic (think: reflective lenses and a single wrap-around shield lens, apparently a fave of Rihanna). Either way, they’ll round out your athleisure look like that.
Wearing: Stella McCartney SM 4043 in Tortoise + Black Gradient ($250)
All in all, these sunglass suggestions follow Ditto’s two rules of thumb:
1. The frames should be proportional to your overall face size. That means if you have larger features, you should stick to larger sunnies and vice versa.
2. The frames should balance out your facial features, not play into them. So gals with circle faces should generally stay away from circle sunnies, etc. (Although gals with heart faces, totally feel free to wear heart-shaped frames!).
Follow these rules and you’re sure to find shades that flatter. But like we always say around here at Brit + Co, wear what makes you feel good! We know we’re brushing popular opinion aside to wear the same sunnies as Beyoncè, even if the results aren’t exactly flawless.
Bonus! Ditto wants to give YOU the first month of your Endless Eyewear monthly sunglasses subscription for FREE. Just sign up through this link to grab the deal!
What sunglass style suits your face shape best? Tell us about which shades are on your want-now list in the comments below (then see if you can snag ’em on Ditto!)