How to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape

How to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape

Sunglasses have been around for centuries but it’s only in the past 115 years or thereabouts that they’ve become a real fashion statement as well as doing what they are supposed to do – protect eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Even as far back as prehistoric times Inuit people wore ivory sunglasses to block out the bright sunlight and in Ancient Rome, Emperor Nero wore polished gems to watch gladiator fights. Later on in China during the 12th century smoky quartz sunglasses appeared and much later in 1752 it was discovered that tinted lenses in regular glasses could help to correct poor vision. In the 1900’s Hollywood film stars favoured sunglasses because they looked so stylish and they started to be mass produced in 1929 as cheaper versions of what the stars wore. These styles became more fashionable and different shapes and styles began to emerge.

Today, there are so many different shapes available but not all of them suit every face shape, hair colour or skin colour. It’s important to get it right because choosing the right pair will help to flatter your looks whereas the wrong pair could highlight areas you would rather not draw too much attention to.

If it’s time to update your sunglasses then you might want some advice from Maui Jim to help you choose the right sunglasses for your face shape, complexion and hair colour. Don’t just rush out to find the pair of sunglasses you’ve seen on your favourite celebrity because it’s possible that they won’t look good on your face shape and may well not suit your colouring.

Remember, a pair of sunglasses is something which is more than a fashion statement. Sunglasses should look great and be well-made so they last you for a long time. They should also have suitable protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Choose sunglasses that block out 99 to 100% of UV rays and your new sunglasses should screen out between 75 to 90% of sunlight. A good tip to see if your new sunglasses do this is to try on a pair in front of a mirror and see if you can still see your eyes. If you can, they are too light for wearing in sunlight.

This handy guide below will advise you on the seven different face shapes so you can easily work one which is yours. Then we take a look at hair colour and skin colour to determine what is right for you. Working out your face shape isn’t as difficult as you think and once you know what it is you will know what sunglasses shapes to look for and which to avoid.

Men and Women are Different

While face shapes don’t vary, men and women have different variations. So this means that men’s faces tend to be longer or broader than women’s which is why there are different ranges for both. There are also some unisex styles from Maui Jim available. Overall men’s faces are squarer in appearance and the lower part of a man’s face is usually longer than a woman’s. A man’s hairline is higher and the bone ridge across a man’s forehead is more noticeable. A man’s eyebrows are straighter and thicker than a woman’s and a female’s nose tends to be smaller overall than a man’s nose. Cheeks in a woman are normally rounder and fuller than a man’s cheeks and a man’s chin is usually far wider and flatter. A man’s jawline is heavier built than a woman’s too. Finally, a woman’s eyes appear much bigger than a man’s. So in summary, it’s important to buy sunglasses according to your gender.

How To Work Out Your Face Shape

If you aren’t sure what your face shape is, it’s definitely a good idea to find out! Start by sitting in front of a large mirror and make sure you can see your entire face in it. Your face is one of seven different shapes, round, rectangular, diamond, triangle, heart, square or oval. You can take a selfie of yourself facing the camera and trace over the photograph with a pencil to work out your face shape. Don’t worry if you don’t have a camera, you could look in your mirror and trace your face using a lipstick or similar. Then look at your face shape to determine which shape it matches best. Remember, it probably won’t be an exact match but choose the closest shape to your face.

Here are the different face shapes to help you work out what your own is along with Maui Jim’s suggestions for sunglasses styles.

Diamond Shape Faces

You have the same face shape as celebrities Scarlett Johansson or Kiefer Sutherland! A diamond shape face has various features; they are wider around the cheek area and narrower at the chin and forehead. The cheekbones are usually well defined. Not many people have diamond face shapes and they are fairly dainty even though slightly angular. It’s important to make the eyes a feature and add some width to this area so look for sunglasses with attractive decoration. As an example, rimless or semi-rimless sunglasses are excellent for diamond faces. You should definitely try large oval frames and cat eye shaped sunglasses. Always avoid narrow sunglasses.

Square Shape Faces

You have the same face shape as Lady Gaga or Tom Cruise! This type of face shape has a large and deep forehead with a square chin and a wide set jaw. It’s best advised to choose oval frames with wide sides if this is your face shape and look for frames which are narrow in width softening any angles. The aim is to draw attention to your eyes and lengthen your nose so balance out the rest of your features. Avoid small, thin styles and square styles which will just emphasise the squareness of your face shape. Look for softer round shapes, aviator shapes and shield shapes. Rimless sunglasses will help to soften a square face.

Rectangular or Oblong Face Shapes

You have the same face shape as Jade Jagger or George Clooney! If your face is an oblong or rectangular shape then it will be wide at the forehead and base with length from the cheek to the jaw. The best type of glasses for you will be aviator styles because they shorten a face. Some square style sunglasses will also suit you as will frames boasting a low bridge. Avoid narrow frames and short frames which will make your face appear longer.

Triangular Face Shapes

You have the same face shape as Victoria Beckham or Justin Timberlake! Your face is triangular if it is wide at the top and smaller at the chin. This means you should try and find a pair of sunglasses which reduce the appearance of the top of your face. Try and find frames which are wide at the base. You could also wear light colours and choose rimless sunglasses styles. Look for light materials and glass frames and avoid wide frames with thick rims.

Heart Face Shapes

You have the same face shape as Katie Holmes or Ryan Gosling! You have a heart shape face if your forehead is broad and you have wide set cheek bones along with a narrow or a pointy chin. Try your best to find a pair of suitable sunglasses that emphasise your face rather than overpower it. Avoid aviator styles and semi-rimmed styles because they add width to the cheek area, making it look broader than it is. The best styles to look for are frames which are wide at the bottom. Light colours will suit you too and completely rimless frames. Your most flattering styles will be retro, cat eye and sport styles.

Round Shape Faces

You have the same face shape as Cameron Diaz or Jack Black! A round face is normally short and has full cheeks, round base and is equally balanced at the top and the base. The best sunglasses styles for you are rectangular shapes because they soften any angles at your brow and jaw. You will probably want to slim and lengthen your face so a rectangular style will be the most flattering. Look for brow bars which will lift your eyes upwards and seek out narrow frames with décor at the temples, also look for colourful styles. Additionally, try and find frames with nose pads which lift glasses off the cheeks ever so slightly. You should definitely avoid small sunglasses, round shapes and giant oversized styles which will make your face appear rounder than it is. Your best sunglasses styles will be retro square, cat eye and square styles.

Oval Shape Faces

You have the same face shape as Beyoncé or David Beckham! If you have an oval face shape, consider yourself very lucky because you are blessed with the type of face which suits almost every style. Your face is well balanced all over with soft curves. Your forehead is wider than your chin and you have high set cheekbones. You can choose any style you want although the most flattering will be those with wide frames. Alternatively, another style which is very flattering for your oval shape face is a walnut shape frame. If there is any frame to avoid, don’t choose a narrow frame which will draw attention to the narrow area at the top of your nose. Try not to choose very large or very small styles – something in the middle will be perfectly suitable. Opt for aviator styles, retro square and oversized frames.

Hair Colour and Skin Colour

Now you know what face shape you have the next step is to think about choosing the right colour to complement your hair and skin. Once you’ve completed this step, you know you have the perfect pair of sunglasses! The colour of your chosen pair should emphasise and flatter your hair and skin which means you need to know what the undertones of your skin and hair are. There are warm and cool undertones. Warm means your hair or skin has more yellow in it whereas cool undertones means your skin has more blue or pink in it. If you match your glasses well to your undertones you will find they bring out your skin colour rather than dull it.

  • For light hair, look for darker shade sunglasses such as dark greys and navy blues.
  • Medium colour hair such as light brown or caramel will work with purples and white.
  • Red hair and pale skin is fabulous with green, neutrals, black and white.
  • Black hair goes with almost everything except pastel shades.
  • Warm skin tones will work with blues and blacks.
  • Light skins are best matched with dark colours except black. Choose dark brown and neutral shades such as chocolate. Gold works beautifully.
  • Medium skins are warm so need medium shades. Look for oranges, gold tones but equally, blue or green glass will work beautifully.
  • Those of you with dark skins can use many different colours such as neutrals, golds, oranges and reds. Equally, white is very striking against a dark skin but black frames and tinted glass also look incredible against your skin type.

Now you know what your face shape is and your colouring, it’s time to go sunglasses shopping!  Don’t forget to try on different frames. Don’t just opt for the frames mentioned above, you might find that some pairs still suit you because not all face shapes are exactly the same, for example, you might have a small rectangular face shape or a large triangular face shape. That’s why it’s important to try before you buy. There are so many fantastic different styles for men and for women so do visit a Maui Jim sunglasses store and have a look at all the styles, colours and shapes available so you find the perfect pair to suit your face shape, complexion and hair colour.