A pair of sunglasses is that rare fashion accessory that’s both stylish and practical. As an iconic piece of eyewear, they allow you to express your individuality and personal style. But they also help protect your skin and eyes from UV radiation, helping you see better in the sun.
That said, no matter the frame shape and lens color, unless you’re wearing a pair that fits your face properly, you probably aren’t doing very much to elevate your fashion profile or protect yourself. Instead, you’re missing out on some of the biggest benefits of wearing sunglasses in the first place.
So, how should sunglasses fit your face? The shape of your face certainly plays a part in the matter, but there are other factors to consider as well, including knowing how to measure sunglasses. Before you start shopping, here’s what you need to know about choosing the perfect pair.
A Guide to Choosing Sunglasses That Fit
Like many others, you might not put much more thought into choosing a pair of sunglasses than grabbing the first style that appeals to you. Maybe you’ll try them on and have a look at yourself in the tiny mirror attached to the display rack. But for the most part, your decision-making probably comes down to aesthetics:
Do I like this style?
Does this style suit me?
While this may also be important, if your sunglasses don’t fit correctly, you risk more than the embarrassment of a fashion faux-pas.
So, how exactly should sunglasses fit your face?
In general, your sunglasses should fit snugly around your ears and across your nose. If they leave marks across your temples along the side of your face, they’re too tight and you need a wider pair. If they leave marks across your nose bridge, look for a pair with longer arms—this can alleviate strain between where the sunglasses hook behind your ears and where they sit at the front of your face.
Additionally, the upper frames should be lower than your eyebrows so that your eyes are centered in the lenses. The lower edges of your frames shouldn’t fall below the apples of your cheeks.
Beyond searching for the ideal fit, you’ll want to know why it’s integral to your overall comfort and protection. There are three big risks that come with wearing sunglasses that don’t fit:
They can cause discomfort – Ill-fitting sunglasses are uncomfortable to wear. If they’re too tight, they put pressure on sensitive parts of your face and head, like your nose bridge, temples, and ears. That pressure can lead to localized pain, headaches, and other issues.
They offer less protection – If your sunglasses aren’t the right fit, you’re doing yourself a disservice beyond discomfort. If you buy a pair that’s too small or the wrong shape for your face, you could be missing out on vital protection that well-fitting sunglasses offer.
They might not be as flattering – At the end of the day, you can’t totally extricate sunglasses from their fashion roots. For better or worse, the sunglasses you wear are going to affect how you look almost as much as how well they protect you. Sunglasses that are too big, too small, or the wrong style for your face can torpedo even the most stylish look.
Ready to get shopping for your new favorite shades? Now that you know the importance of well-fitting sunglasses, here are a few tips for finding the pair that’s right for you.
Consider the Shape of Your Face
Your face shape is one of the largest factors affecting how your sunglasses fit. Not all sunglasses styles are right for every face shape, so knowing yours is crucial if you hope to buy a pair of sunglasses that fit correctly.
Before you start trying on styles, start by looking in the mirror to get a better sense of face shape. This will help you choose styles that compliment your bone structure and fit properly. Most people have one of several common face shapes. Those include:
Round – A round face shape is more circular, especially along the jawline and around the chin. Square sunglasses like Wayfarers, cat-eye sunglasses, and other styles that add lines and angles to your face are often the best choice.
Square or rectangular – Characterized by minimal curves, and a wide, sharply angled jawline, a square face shape is best suited by sunglasses that don a few curves. Round styles and aviators are a couple of classic, well-suited choices.
Heart-shaped – If you have a heart face shape, you’ll want a pair of sunglasses that offers a similar shape. That means styles that have wide, pronounced tops and narrow bottoms.
Oval or oblong – An oval face shape is typically longer than it is wide, with a rounded chin and jawline. That makes it suitable for a wide range of styles of sunglasses, from clubmasters to oversized round or circular frames.
Triangle – If you have a large, wide jaw but small cheekbones and a narrow forehead, you have a triangle-shaped face. Opt for sunglasses that add width and volume around your eyes, like chunky D frames or large, round styles.
Diamond – The most prominent features of diamond-shaped faces are their sharp chins and wide cheekbones. This makes them amenable to both square and round-style sunglasses. From oversized circulars and aviators to rectangular and retro square styles, you have your pick.
Once you’ve selected a few styles that are flattering with your face structure, you can start assessing how well they fit to choose the best sunglasses for your face shape. Refer back to our fitting tips above to ensure they’re a match.
Consider UV Protection
The biggest benefit of wearing the right pair of sunglasses—aside from looking effortlessly cool—is the protection they offer from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. So, once you’ve found a pair that fits properly, you need to make sure they can also protect you from the sun.
On one hand, UV rays can be a welcome guest. They help your body convert cholesterol into vitamin D, a nutrient your body needs to maintain bone health and ward off infections, among other things. But on the other hand, overexposure to UV rays can do more harm than good, potentially resulting in:
- Skin cancers
- Accelerated signs of aging
That’s why you slather yourself in sunblock before heading out into the sun.
But your eyes and the skin around them need protection, too. The good news is, the right pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV-related concerns like:
- Macular degeneration
- Corneal sunburn
- A type of conjunctiva known as pterygium
They can also keep your eyelids safe from exposure that can lead to skin cancer.
When you’re trying on shades, be sure to pick a pair that:
Offers protective lenses – Most sunglasses will have a sticker or tag that tells you the amount of UV protection they offer. If your sunglasses don’t offer 100% UV protection or UV 400 protection, consider searching for another pair that does.
Provides light reduction – All sunglasses have a certain level of light reduction, indicated by four categories. You probably don’t need to go above category three for general daily use. Higher categories are usually meant for special activities and could actually impair your vision if conditions don’t necessitate them.
Reduces glare – Opt for a polarized vs non polarized pair when you know you’ll be in settings where relief from the sun and its reflection off surfaces is difficult to find, like at the beach, pool, or participating in winter activities like skiing.
Whether you're a fan of aviator sunglasses or love the look of a narrow frame, it's important that the frame protects your eyes from the sun.
The Bigger the Better
When you’re shopping for sunglasses, go big or go home. Sure, you might associate oversized shades with conspicuous avant-garde fashion or self-obsessed movie stars. But opting for big opticals is far more than an ostentatious fashion choice. In fact, bigger sunglasses tend to offer more protection from the sun.
The reason for this is simple: larger shades cover more of your face, meaning the UV protection offered by the lenses is more widespread. For that reason, you should avoid styles that skimp on coverage, like small circulars or narrow square styles. Instead, go for:
- Butterfly frames
- Large round or circular styles
Revant Optics: Seeing Clearly to A Better World
With so many factors to consider when it comes to finding a pair of sunglasses that fit you right, you’ll probably want to hang on to your favorite pair as long as you can. But since life is full of surprises, you never know when your sunglasses could become damaged.
Fortunately, Revant Optics is working hard to keep people in their favorite frames longer. Our replacement sunglass lenses come with all of the features that matter to you. From scratch-resistance and anti-reflective coatings to 100% UV protection and peace of mind while you’re having fun in the sun, our lenses are the premium choice when it comes to sunglasses. Plus, they’re compatible with all your favorite brands, so there’s always a solution for you.
Concierge style service, high-quality products, sustainable materials—that’s the Revant way. Whether your lenses are prescription or just for fun, we’re the place to turn when you need to replace them.
Shop our collection today.