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MAKEOVER: How to find the right frames

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:27 01 July 2010

Top left and right: These frames are wrong for our model Emily as they clash with her colouring or make her look to old. The bottom two are better suited for her round face shape. PHOTOS: ANTONY KELLY

Top left and right: These frames are wrong for our model Emily as they clash with her colouring or make her look to old. The bottom two are better suited for her round face shape. PHOTOS: ANTONY KELLY

Emma Harrowing

Wearing glasses is so fashionable at the moment that you can even buy fake ones with clear glass in the shops. However, get the wrong shape or colour and you could look more geek than chic.

The perfect pair: These frames suit both Emily's round face shape and her colouring making them the perfect frames for her. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wearing glasses is so fashionable at the moment that you can even buy fake ones with clear glass in the shops. However, get the wrong shape or colour and you could look more geek than chic. EMMA HARROWING finds out how glasses wearer Emily Underwood can find a pair of glasses that suit her so that she doesn't make a spectacle of herself in the fashion stakes.

Tips for choosing glasses to suit your face shape

Managing Director of The Specs Factory, Duncan Hockney, says: “Understanding your face shape is a useful way to gain confidence in choosing the kind of frames that will suit you. The trick to finding glasses that suit you is to find a trend that works with the shape of your face. If you don't know the shape of your face a quick and easy solution to find out is to tie your hair up off your face, stand in front of a mirror and using a lipstick trace around the shape of your face. Once this is done look back at the shape you have drawn and decide which face shape it matches best.

Whatever your face shape, you should also check that the pupil of each eye is in the centre of the lens both horizontally and vertically. This ensures the frames you have chosen are in correct proportion to your face.”

Oval

Those with an oval face are lucky in that most styles will suit them. Oval faces are well balanced and often feature high cheekbones and a gentle jaw line which means they can carry off curved or angular glasses.

Be adventurous and try out a number of different frames to see which ones suit your personality and style.

Oversized glasses are the new oversized handbag. Oval faces should try their hand at big glasses and sunglasses. And remember bigger really is better.

Round

The width and length of a round face are similar in proportion and won't have any sharp angles. People with rounds faces also tend to have broad foreheads and rounded chins.

Glasses that have sharp, angular lines are a great way to slim, lengthen and contrast round facial features.

Choose square frames that are wider than they are deep. Avoid big, deep frames that will hide more of the face and can tend to make a round face look short.

Characterised by boxy forms and 90 degree angles, cubic glasses were inspired by sharp edge squares and rectangles. This style of eyewear not only has undeniably chic and modern qualities, but also works perfectly for rounder faces.

Heart-Shaped

Heart shaped faces are quite distinctive and usually easy to identify. They tend to feature quite a large forehead with a narrow, neat chin. Many different styles of glasses suit the heart shaped face.

Pale coloured, delicate oval frames, or the semi rimless glasses that are currently very popular can look particularly good.

You may want to avoid frames that are wider at the top than the bottom as this can accentuate your natural features and give a 'top heavy' appearance.

Rimless glasses can be extremely flattering to the heart-shaped face because they open up the face by being more subtle than rimmed eyewear and make the eyes look bigger and more expressive.

Square

Like a round face, a square face is as long as it is wide, but it will look completely different due to its sharp, angled features.

Square faces tend to have deep foreheads, wide jaw lines and a prominent chin. Glasses that have more width than depth will complement well.

Soften and balance the facial lines with glasses that have rounded edges. Oval glasses tend to work very well on this face shape.

If you are really keen on the square frames that are currently fashionable, perhaps choose ones which curve at each edge to soften the overall effect.

Wayfarers, were originally marketed as sunglasses for pilots, but started to appear very quickly on Hollywood stars as eyewear. Complimenting Square faces perfectly, the style has been extremely popular since Audrey Hepburn's appearance in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Long

Oblong faces are longer than they are wide and often have long noses and high cheekbones.

Wider, larger frames look fantastic on a long face and it is a good idea to go for those glasses with a thick top frame.

Avoid small and narrow glasses which will get lost on an oblong face. Try choosing frames where the glasses sit lower on the bridge to shorten the appearance of the nose.

A big trend this year is the theatrically designed glasses known as geek-chic. Working best on longer, more oval shaped faces these spectacle stylings have seen a surge in popularity due to the geek-chic trend that is currently making everything that was once 'nerdy' and 'un-cool' popular again. With frames the bigger the better. These glasses work best in either a heavy black or tortoiseshell frame.

Colour

In addition to face shape, it is also very important to consider carefully the colour of your frames.

Those with dark, striking hair and skin colouring will be able to carry off the bolder frames in black or dark brown, as the well as the very fashionable heavy acetate frames.

Blond spectacle wearers with pale skin tones, who don't like to make a bold statement, may prefer a more delicate look. If you choose a heavier frame then perhaps consider a lighter, complementary colour such as pale gold or tortoiseshell.

Metallic colours, especially silver, look elegant with grey or white hair.

Well fitting glasses will be equally balanced, they will not slip forward and the nose pad should not dig in. It is also worth checking if you can get your finger in between your temples and the frames. If so then your glasses are too big.


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