If there’s one nerd stereotype I can get behind, it’s the need for glasses! Finding the most flattering pair of glasses for you can seem like a daunting task sometimes. There are a variety of resources on how to select the frames that best compliment your features, depending on whether you have a round, heart, or another shape of face. With all the information that is out there, it can be quite overwhelming! For me personally, when choosing glasses, I like to look at some of my favorite spectacle-wearing characters for inspiration.
How to Choose Your Glasses
Mary Katherine Gallagher
Superstar has always been one of my favorite underdog comedies. In fact, I chose a quote from the movie for my senior yearbook quote. In a lot of ways, I related to Mary due to how awkward I was, and before Mom finally made the appointment to get contacts I had been wearing glasses since the fourth grade. It’s somewhat comforting to know that you have something in common with someone you admire.
There is a lot of conflicting information about choosing glasses. Some guides will insist that you need to know your face shape in order to choose eyewear. In reality, nobody has a face that truly lines up with these guides.
Some glasses manufacturers will tell you that one style of glasses can suit everyone and will fit everyone. In fact, mass-produced glasses are made to fit the ‘average’ person, when in reality most people do not fit the ‘average’. This is why you have new glasses adjusted when you collect them so they fit you correctly.
Instead of worrying about working out what your face shape is, you should ask yourself some other questions. When choosing your frames, a smart trick is to choose a frame that is the opposite of your facial features. A more angular face will suit rounder frames, while a round face will look good in more angular shapes. Balance your features with the frames.
Is the top or bottom half of your face wider? As with the shapes, balance with contrast. If your face is narrower at the top, choose a top-heavy frame, and vice versa.
Think about your personal style and the look that appeals to you. Most guides to help you choose the best glasses are written for those who prefer glasses that aren’t very noticeable. Not everybody wants discreet glasses, and would rather their glasses made a statement. For a subtle look, follow the contrast rules, for a bold look, break them! For instance, Molly Shannon has an angular face, and yet her angular cat-eye style frames suit her perfectly.
The next thing to consider is the color of the frames. Think about what shades will best complement your skin tone and the color of your hair. What colors do you wear a lot, and what will go with them? In Mary’s case, the color of the frames complements the school uniform she wears daily.
A character whose glasses are so iconic that even without a face, many still recognize who they belong to. I’ve had a few instances in which I wished I could perform Oculus Reparo. Glasses can be a great accessory, but for many, they are also an essential medical device. If your vision is going to be corrected by your specs, then you may be restricted by your prescription on what shapes and materials you can choose.
If you have a pretty standard prescription, then you will have a big selection of possible styles to choose from. Bifocal lenses, which have two different prescriptions in each lens, will need enough room on the lens for the two prescriptions. This might mean smaller frames won’t work. If your prescription is progressive, you will need a frame that is tall enough for all three focal points, distance, intermediate, and near.
Thicker lenses will be needed for a strong prescription, and these will need a thicker frame to support them. Prescription lenses that have a high positive are thicker in the middle, which can make you look bug-eyed. If you want to counteract this, choose a smaller lens. High negative prescriptions have lenses that are thinner in the middle, which can make the edges show around the frames. Choose a short frame to stop this.
Wow, that was super nerdy!
Superman has been portrayed by several actors over the years, but no matter what, one thing remains consistent: The glasses. His glasses are so iconic that somehow they skew everyone’s perception to hide his true identity.
Your glasses should rest on your ears and nose with equal weight and should hold the temples firmly but lightly if they’re going to be comfortable. The frames should match the width of your face from ear-to-ear, and there should be no gap between the bridge of the glasses and the top of your nose.
For your glasses to stay in place, the frame needs something to hold onto. This is why you should look for glasses that are the same width as your face. Nose fit is also very important for a comfortable pair of specs that are secure. If you get the fit wrong, your glasses will slide down your nose, leave indentations, and push your eyelashes against your lenses.
When you try on a pair of glasses, drop your head forward and shake it from side to side. If the glasses stay put and don’t slide down, then they aren’t too big. If they do slide, they don’t fit properly. This is a great trick for in-store when you don’t usually get long to try on glasses before making a decision.
Try on lots of different pairs. As you try the glasses on, notice how much pressure they put on your temples, where your glasses sit above and behind the ear. If you’ve tested them with the head shake and they passed, they could still be too tight which will soon become very uncomfortable to wear.
If you like the style of larger frames or a nose with a low bridge, then your glasses might touch your cheeks. This might not strike you as an irritating problem when you’re trying them on, but if your glasses end up resting too heavily then this will soon become annoying. Well-fitting glasses shouldn’t steam up too often, smudge your makeup, or lift when you smile.
Though I’ve listed just a few of my favorite bespectacled characters, here are some honorable mentions.
There are so many great icons out there who wear glasses. It can be comforting to have representation in nerd culture. Hopefully, this guide makes the task of choosing your glasses seem a little less overwhelming. Which bespectacled characters are your favorite? Also, are you required to wear glasses, or do you wear them simply for an aesthetic choice? Let us know in the comments.