Should Eyeglass Frames Be Subtle or Not?

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Eyewear presents a fashionable and functional way to play with different looks and styles without having to shop for new clothes. There are eyeglass frames that add a subtle element of style and frames that make a bold style statement. Whether you choose one over the other depends on what look you're after.

Frames with Understated Style

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If you have a minimalist fashion style, the most simple and subtle style of frames you can get is a pair of rimless eyeglasses. With no frame, this style of eyewear is practically invisible and the perfect choice if you want all attention to go elsewhere, such as your eyes, your outfit and your overall look. Rimless eyewear gives you a very sophisticated and professional image. A pair with bold colored side arms amplifies the chic style of this barely-there frame. Semi-rimless frames have a delicate accent just across the top of the frame, with no visible frame covering the bottom half of the lens. If you like the look of a bold eye-brow but don't have them, a thin, dark semi-rimless eyeglass frame creates a similar appearance. A square cat's eye style or black tortoise shell give a subtle retro-style without drawing too much attention away from the rest of your outfit.

Look at Me Eyeglasses

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If you want your glasses to be the first thing that people notice, make a fashion statement with some chunky frames. Statement frames range between round, rectangular and square, and statement eyewear is an ideal punctuation to personal style. The thicker the frames, the bolder the shape and the brighter the colors, the more noticeable your glasses get. If you want your look to stand out, go with a straight line frame in bright, jewel toned color schemes such as hot pink, bright purple, turquoise, vibrant red or tangerine orange. A frame with a dramatic pattern is another opportunity to go-big in fashion with your glasses. For an exceptionally chic style, try a round shaped, blond tortoiseshell frame.

Eyeglasses that Add Classic Style

Perhaps you want eyeglass frames that don't steal the show from your entire outfit, but don't totally disappear on your face either. The cat eye is a not-so-subtle, but not quite a statement piece either, style of eyeglass frames that are perfect for adding just a touch of class to your look. This style of eyewear has been reinterpreted over the decades and is now showing up in streamlined shapes and patterns. A slight cateye frame rimmed with gold at the temples brings a polished elegance to anything you could possibly pull out of your closet, even a plain T-shirt with jeans and canvas shoes. Glasses with keyhole cut bridges -- called keyhole detailing -- are another fun way to keep a subtle frame, so as not to draw too much attention, but still add a bit of stylish detailing with their retro appeal.

Frame Your Face

Whether you go with a subtle style frame or a bold statement frame, be sure to wear the shape that best suits the shape of your face -- hence the term "framing your face." The general rule of thumb is go with a shape this is counter to the shape of your face. So, a square jawline looks best in frames with a roundness to them and more emphasis on the top of the frame than the bottom, such as the semi-rimless frame. Round faces look best in rectangular or square frames. A heart-shaped face looks lovely in a rimless style frame because it doesn't add to the already wider-on-top symmetry. An oval face is the most classically symmetrical, but narrow glasses will accentuate the cheekbones best.