Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to Choose Frames That Flatter Your Face

I have always been deeply uncomfortable wearing glasses. I started needing to wear them when I was in the 6th grade or so - so around 12 years old. They made me feel self conscious and I didn't feel like I looked good in them. My first pair were rectangular, wire frame lenses and I thought they made me look like a total nerd. I refused to wear them, since I only needed them to see far away things. And I made do for a year or so by squinting, taking notes off of my friends' notes, or just sitting closer in class. But my vision got worse and then I got contact lenses and finally felt like myself again. My glasses then turned into something I only wore at home or maybe out for a quick errand. But I would feel complete and total embarrassment if someone I knew saw me in my glasses.

Every time I needed a prescription refresh, I would spend a long time trying on every single pair that was available - thinking that the right pair will feel and look right - almost like a light switch. I imagined this feeling like the opposite of when a nerdy girl in a movie takes her glasses off, and all of a sudden is beautiful. But that feeling never came for me, and after too long, I would just settle on a pair. It always felt like the glasses were just some thing that I wore on my face to help me see, and not a part of me.

I mentioned that I had stopped by Warby Parker last weekend to pick out some new prescription glasses. I think I spent about an hour and a half in the shop trying on every single style - which is a while, considering they only have so many styles there. They finally arrived in the mail the other day. And I think these glasses were the glasses that finally feel like me. It was totally unexpected, since while I was picking them out, I felt as though I had settled on these - called The Walker style. I put them on for the first time when I received them, and haven't taken them off. They feel like the pair of glasses that I was meant to wear.

I'm not sure why I feel this way - it's maybe in part to me growing more used to the idea that I'm stuck with wearing glasses for the foreseeable future. I've stopped caring about how I look in glasses. And maybe also in part that I've finally understood what kind of frames look good on me. These are only my fifth pair of glasses ever - so I'm still learning! So here's what I've learned works for my face.


1. Make sure your frames are wide enough for your face. If the width of the frames are too narrow, it looks like your face is wearing the glasses. Conversely, if they're too wide, then it looks like the glasses are wearing you.

2. There is some truth to the whole face shape/lens shape rule. Meaning, if you have a rounder face, you may look good in a frame that is more angular. If you've got a more angular face, then round frames may flatter your face better. My glasses have a flatter top to them and are more straight across than my other ones, and I think I like that. But if you have a lot of heart for a certain frame, don't let the rules keep you from choosing that!

3. A darker frame enhances my face. I have very light features - eyebrows, thinner eyelashes, etc. And a darker frame actually enhances my face by providing that contrast with my skin tone. I like that the warmth in the flecks of the tortoise shell also works well with my warm undertones too.

4. Glasses should be professionally adjusted by an optician - early and often. Plastic frames can be adjusted and should be done by a professional. I'm Asian, so I have a flatter nose bridge and find that my glasses always used to slide down my face. When I was younger, this was the main reason why I hated wearing my glasses. I had my glasses adjusted for the first time with my last pair, and it was life changing. Additionally - your glasses will stretch out after you wear them for a couple months and lose their shape. You should go back and get them properly fixed when they do.


As for the glasses themselves - I paid around $130 for them. Regularly, they're $95 for the frame and lenses, but my prescription is quite strong, so I opted for the thinner high index frames which are extra. They're very solid and cut out of a single sheet of acetate, so you won't see any of the lines you see from injection molded plastic frames. I really like that there is no branding on the visible part of the frames either. The words Warby Parker are on the inside arm of the glasses, and a small circle at the end of the inner arm with the letters WP.

What I really liked was how easy their online help was. I called their help line to change the address it was shipped to, and immediately was connected to a person. They offer a free home try-on program as well, which I did for sunglasses. You're able to pick 5 frames that they'll then ship to your house. You can try them on for a week before you need to ship them back - but it's completely free. And it's perfect for people like me, where I mull over my larger price purchases for a while.

Nowadays, I can't get away with not wearing glasses anymore. I've become so nearsighted that I can't see 6 inches in front of my face without my glasses. But I'm glad that I've finally come to terms with my glasses! I think these new ones are a keeper for a while. And I mean...



  1. I've always wanted glasses - but I have 20/20 vision and the doctor just will not prescribe any for me. I guess it's just like how people with curly hair always want straight hair, and vice versa. Maybe I'll just get a pair of frames and start wearing them - regardless of needing the glass.
    The White Corner Creative

    1. Haha, but having glasses sucks! You're so lucky to have 20/20 vision. But I can understand the appeal - definitely just get a pair of fames and rock it.

  2. Those are nice! I have a pair of prescription glasses but I don't really need them. I have a round chubby face so I just chose the biggest pair to minimize my face size haha.

  3. We have very similar glasses! Hahaha xx

  4. My vision started to deteriorate fairly early (probably around age 7 or 8) and I've become very accustomed to wearing glasses. I might not have the patience to pick out a pair that is most flattering to me. (I often just ask my mom what she likes on my face.)

    It seems like Warby Parker's prices are pretty good! I generally go to Costco for my vision needs (the insurance I have has a vision plan, but not a very good one, and Costco works out to costing about the same without insurance), but I think Warby Parker's prices seem similar, based on your report.

    1. Ah! I didn't use any vision insurance to cover the cost of these glasses actually, so the $130 is pre-insurance price. I used some flex spending dollars that I had leftover from my old job. I'm sure they'd be even cheaper with insurance though!