Choosing Eyeglass Frames - Some Rules To Live By
Have you ever avoided buying new glasses because intuition said there was something more
you needed to know? Hopefully the following basic tips will help you choose your best look
with comfort and style. Whether this is your first or twenty-first time choosing a frame, consider
the type of prescription lens being used, face shape / frame weight balance, frame size, and
Prescription lenses will not be discussed here more than just to let you know that the shape,
size and characteristics of the ophthalmic lens, also known as the prescription, can determine
the frame choice entirely. With lens prescriptions over 3.50 D, frame size should decrease as
lens power increases.
Balancing The Face Shape and Frame Weight
The key to choosing a frame that looks great is to achieve balance. Wearing a frame can
create the illusion of a wider and longer, or a shorter and thinner face shape. Think of the frame
as weight. By weight I mean that which is dark, thick, large, bold, or prominent as heavy and
that which is light in colour, thin, and small in size, to be light. In general, a bold frame will
cause the face to appear smaller. A light frame will cause boldness in the face.
Any frame where the bottom eye wire is lighter than the top eye wire will balance a triangular
shaped face, and thin out a round or square shaped face. A frame with a darker bottom eye
wire will balance an inverted triangular shaped face.
When the frame is heavy it will appear to shorten the face and make the cheek look thicker
below the bottom eye wire. To balance a long or thin face shape use a darker frame. The
expression of the wearer is lost behind a frame that is to bold or sits to high covering up the
expression in the eye brow.
The eye or “A” measurement, the bridge measurement, the “B” measurement, and temple
length all make up the dimensions of the frame in millimetres. The “A” measurement is the
horizontal length of one eye opening.The bridge measurement is the space between the two
“A” measurements. The “B” measurement represents the vertical dimension of the eye
opening. The temple length describes the length of the arm. The frame size is scribed on the
inside of the frame, usually on the temple or bridge as follows 52-17/135 always in the same
order of “A”- Bridge/Temple. If the current frame fits, success can be achieved by repeating the
same size. If the current frame you are in needs to be readjusted often, slides down, or is
causing discomfort this could suggest a poor fit; therefore, a different size could be in order.
The Bridge and Eye Size
The collective frame front should not be longer than the longest part of the face, or too short
that the face now looks bigger and the frame feels tight. The bridge should fit such that there is
no more than 1mm gape created between the nose and the eye wire when the frame is pushed
with a finger on the end piece in towards the wearers temple. A metal frame is forgiving if the
bridge does not fit well because the nose pads can be adjusted and changed to improve the
fit. A plastic frame however, is not adjustable, when considering the bridge fit.
Black, brown, and shades of these colours are common and safe because they are easily
matched with clothing. Use colours that go with your skin tone and think about the colours in
your wardrobe. The frame should not match exactly but do combine alike tones. Imagine
yourself wearing the frame for long periods of time and be aware of the experience of looking
through the lens opening. Is the colour and frame style framing your vision? What is this
experience like for you?
Wearing the right frame feels light and natural. The eye is centred a little higher than the half
way point in the eye opening. Vision is clear. Life is not interrupted by the need to push up or
put the frame back into place over and over again. When picking out your frame remember
how your lens is going to look and act within the frame. Understand your face shape and use
the frame to accentuate some facial features and minimize others. Create the fit you desire by
knowing your size. Think about your past frames. Avoid frame attributes that have been
experienced in the past. My wish for you is every good thing your eyeglasses can bring.
Licensed Optician and Founder
OptimEyes Mobile Optician Ltd