Sunglasses for Every Face Shape
If You Have a Small Head
Your fit issue: Most styles shift from left to right, slide down, or just overwhelm you.
Look for: Small-scale frames, so you’ll get a snug fit behind your ears. Also, skip the oversize designs and stick to cat-eyes, Wayfarer styles, or frames made for petite sizes (like the Ray-Bans here), which are better proportioned for your delicate features. If you have a narrow bridge, you’ll also want adjustable nose pads, so the glasses won’t slide down.
If You Have a Wide Bridge
Your fit issue: Sunglasses may sit awkwardly high on your nose, or you feel pressure on your bridge.
Look for: More space between the lenses, or adjustable nose pads. To make your nose look shorter, pick frames that dip in the center (like the pair shown here) or that have an opening in the bridge, says Sophie Guerard-Raubiet, a vice president at eyeglass maker Alain Mikli.
Victor by Victor Alfaro sunglasses.
If You Have a Large Head
Your fit issue: The arms can dig into your temples and bow outward.
Look for: Wide frames that accommodate your face, so the arms sit at perfect 90-degree angles, not stretched out. Or try spring hinges that allow the arms to flex and adapt to any head size (the pair shown here has them). Balance facial width with lenses that are tall from top to bottom. “Avoid details at the temples, which broaden the head,” says Kristie Whitford, a spokesperson for the Vision Council, an optical-industry association.
Alain Mikli sunglasses.
If You Have Apple Cheeks
Your fit issue: Glasses tend to rest on the fullest part of your cheeks, not the bridge of your nose, so they move up and down when you smile.
Look for: Lenses that are short from top to bottom, because they won’t bump against your cheeks, says Laura Hill, a licensed optician at LensCrafters in Mason, Ohio. Rectangular shapes (like these frames) or upswept, cats-eye frames downplay the roundness of the face.
Foster Grant sunglasses.
2 Sunglasses Problems Solved
“What Are All Those Fancy-Sounding Features? (And Do I Really Need Any of Them?)”
Anti-reflective coating: Applied to the backs of the lenses to help prevent distracting reflections when the sun is behind you. A nice extra if you spend most of your day outside.
Hydrophobic coating: Waterproof, dirtproof, and dustproof, to keep lenses clean and clear in wet or messy conditions. Think boating, camping, hiking.
Polycarbonate lenses: Scratch- and shatter-resistant. A smart idea if you’re active (say, you bike) or play a sport where you could get hit (like softball).
Polarized lenses: Reduce glare and provide high-contrast vision with the maximum UV protection available. Well suited for just about any outdoor activity, as well as driving.
Photochromic lenses: The tint adjusts from clear to dark, depending on changing light conditions. Good for those with prescription lenses who hate switching from eyeglasses to shades.
Titanium frames: Made of metal that is extremely strong yet thin and lightweight. Hypoallergenic and nickel-free, they’re the ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.
“My Current Pair Has Gotten a Bit Wonky”
Stretched-out arms? Shades that slide off when you bend? Lopsided frames? You could use a custom fitting from an optician. All LensCrafters stores offer this service free of charge, even if you didn’t buy your sunglasses there. (Go to lenscrafters.com for locations.)
And One More Sunglasses Problem
“My Lenses Always Get Scratched”
Sadly, there’s not much you can do for lenses once they are damaged. But these protective measures will keep your next pair pristine.
- Use clean cotton or a microfiber cloth to wipe your lenses. That means forget about tissues (which contain wood particles) or the T-shirt you’re wearing (it has traces of body oils, dust, and heaven knows what else).
- At the beach, first rinse your sunglasses with fresh water to remove abrasive grains of sand, then buff with a cloth. To get rid of greasy sunscreen residue, wash them with a drop of dish soap and water.
- Always store your frames in a case, like the cotton canvas ones shown here from Thomas Paul ($22 each, 2modern.com).