+ Tips and Tricks

Belle's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pair of Sunglasses: Part I

Every Spring, I treat myself to a new pair of sunglasses.  They’re an inexpensive way to add a touch of style to even the most casual outfit, and they are a necessity if you want to protect your eyes.  But too often, women choose trendy sunglasses that aren’t flattering for their face shape. 

Determining your face shape is actually quite simple.  Pull your hair into a ponytail and stand in front of your bathroom mirror.  Using a bar of soap (or a lipstick), trace the outline of your face shape onto the mirror.  Now step back and examine the outline.  Your face shape should fall into one of six categories: oval, round, diamond, square, oblong, and triangle shape.

Oval Shape

If you have an oval shaped face like Jessica Alba, then you are blessed.  Oval shaped ladies can wear almost any type of sunglasses.  So if you want to experiment with a pair of bold shields or a Jackie Onassis-inspired frame, be my guest.  I’ll be over here, being jealous because…

Round Face

I have a round face like Ms. Diaz.  And when you have a round face, buying sunglasses is an exercise in damage control as you try to find a frame that makes your face appear longer and thinner.  This requires that you try on somewhere between 1,000 and 1,000,000 pairs of sunglasses.  

Round faces need rectangular frames with soft, angular corners.  Through trial and error, I have discovered that you don’t want to choose frames with narrow lenses.  A slightly larger lens will be just a little bit more chic, and add a touch of glamour to your look.

Diamond Face

A diamond shape face like Rihanna’s has strong, high cheekbones and a narrow chin.  To balance these sharp features, you should try oval shape sunglasses that are not wider than the width of your cheekbones.  Diamond faces also look great in rimless styles or square styles with rounded corners.

Square Face 

With a strong jawline and wide cheekbones, Sandra Bullock has all the markers of the square face shape.  These strong features can handle the curviest and most dramatic style of all: the cat eye.  If you’re not brave enough to handle this vintage style, you can also try round and oval sunglasses.

Oblong Face

The opposite of a round face, a person with an oblong face, like Kate Beckinsale’s, needs to widen and shorten the face.  Oblong faces look great in round frames (like these aviators) and square shaped rims, but they also look excellent in embellished shades.

Triangle Shape

Square faces are characterized by their wide forehead and narrow jaw line like Nicole Kidman’s.  Selecting the perfect shades for this face shape means softening the strong chin by softening the eye area.  Try a pair of frames with a straight top line, or a pair of cat eye frames that angle outward.  

Finding the perfect pair of sunglasses is a bit like a treasure hunt, but if you know where to begin it makes the search easier.  Come back later today for some tips on what styles are hot for summer and some more tips on finding the best style for you.


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  1. Jess says:

    What do you think of these for a round face?


    April 12, 2010/Reply
  2. Belle says:

    You’d have to try them on, but they could work. The corners are angular enough.

    April 12, 2010/Reply
  3. Jess says:

    I actually own them in tortoiseshell and black – I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t a walking faux pas. ­čÖé

    April 13, 2010/Reply