Selecting a good eyeglass frame can make a big difference in your appearance. A good frame can camouflage flaws and make a long, narrow face seem shorter and wider. It's all about optical illusions, fooling the eye of the observer by breaking up the length of the face and drawing attention outward.
Is Your Face Narrow?
An ideally proportioned face has a ratio of three times length to two times width. To determine the shape of your face, look in the mirror while your hair is wet or pulled back from your face. Cover up the top third of your face with your hand. Look at the remaining portion of your face. Is it longer than it is wide? If so, your face is narrow.
A frame that breaks up the length of the face can make a long face appear shorter. Just as a wide belt can appear to break up a long torso, a tall frame (measuring from the top to the bottom of the frame) can appear to break up a long face. A wide frame (measuring from earpiece to earpiece) can also make a long face appear wider, as it will draw attention outward to the edges of the face.
Earpieces may be set at the very top of the frame or lower down. Earpieces that are lower on the frame are better for long faces because the distance from the bottom of the face to the earpiece will be less. This creates the illusion that the face is shorter. Frames that are thick on the outside edge also create an illusion of greater facial width. Decorative designs on the outer edges of the frame draw attention outward.
Many of the same considerations that go into shopping for regular glasses for a narrow face also apply to shopping for sunglasses. The difference is that with sunglasses, you can wear something more dramatic. Oversized frames help break up a narrow face. While regular glasses set in huge frames may overpower your face, super-sized sunglasses create a glamorous look. Get in touch with your inner 1950's movie star and go for it.
Ruby Martes has been writing professionally since 1985, specializing in pop culture, quitting smoking and odd bits of trivia. Martes has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Arts in English/creative writing from San Francisco State and a Juris Doctor from University of California, Hastings, where she was a law journal editor.