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Choosing Glasses Frames

How to choose a frame that fits

You may already be a spectacle wearer. If so, try to select a new frame as close as possible to your existing frame size. A millimeter either way will not make a great deal of difference, especially on an adjustable pad bridge.

Frame measurements will be indicated at various locations on your frame. The first place to look is on the sides. If you are lucky all three measurements will be together.

Example: 48 x 18 x 135 or 48 ? 18 135

The first number, 48, is the lens diameter (or eye size) in millimeters.

The second number is 18; this refers to the bridge width.

The final three figure number, 135, is the side length. The larger the numbers the bigger the frame.

Side length is the overall length of the side measured from the centre of the dowel screw that secures the side to the front to the end tip, with the drop end or hockey end straightened out. When measuring a frame side it is not necessary to straighten the side to obtain the correct measurement. Simply place the ruler on top of the side and ‘walk' it around the outer radius of the bend to the tip. Side lengths as a rule tend to increase in 5mm increments.

Other places to look are the inside of the bridge (especially on metal frames) or the inside of the right nose pad on plastics frames. The side length can sometimes be stamped on the inside of the plastic end tips.

Other important measurements are the depth of the lens, from upper to lower rim and the overall width of the front of the frame.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE Frame front width, known as FRONTAL WIDTH is the horizontal distance between the centres of the two dowel screws that secure the sides. This is the Overall Width measurement that we give for our frames.

If you are unsure about sizing please feel free to contact us for advice, we can talk you through measuring your existing frame if the details have rubbed off!

Bifocals & Lens Depth ~ If you are considering bifocals please be aware of lens depth. If the frame is very small and shallow, bifocals will not be very practical as neither the distance or reading portion of the lens will be large enough.

Compare your own frames measurements to those listed on our web site for a good fitting frame.

Other important notes regarding measurement
Side length is always measured as total length (as if the side were straightened) from the centre of the dowel screw that secures the side.

If you do not have a pair of glasses to go by, then you can easily take your own rough measurements. If you are unsure about sizing then a metal frame with adjustable nose pads is a good choice as it is easily adjusted.

If you're new to wearing spectacles you can always try on a few pairs in your local opticians to get some idea about size and style.

How do I choose a frame that suits me?

Many people who are already wearing glasses know which shapes suit them and which don't. Certain face shapes suit certain lens shapes, however there is always exceptions to the rule. My best advice it to go 'window' shopping and try on as many shapes and styles as possible to get a feel for what is right for you. If you are a current spectacle wearer you may wish to play it safe and choose a pair of glasses similar to the one's you have at the moment. If you are new to wearing glasses or trying to find a new look, the following guide may be useful when selecting frame shapes. Looking for a change? Why not go for a rimless or semi-rimless frame with the same lens shape as your current glasses. As a general guide:-


The oval face is to be the ideal shape because of its balanced proportions. The chin is slightly narrowerthan the forehead, and high cheekbones are typically characteristic. Goal Frames should maintain the natural balance of the oval face. Tips Select frames that are as wide or wider than the broadest part of the face Avoid low, swooping temples, which will unbalance the face. People who have a classic oval face usually have small features. The goal is to keep the face in balance. Make sure the frame doesn't overwhelm the features. Keep frames in proportion to the face.


A round face is just that - full cheeks and round chin, with the width and length in the sameproportions and little to no angles. Goal Choose frames that make the face appear longer and thinner. Tips Slightly angular or elongated frames will narrow a round face as long as they are not too shallow. Avoid small round or square styles, which will exaggerate facial roundness. Check frame clearance, especially when smiling, to ensure it does not rest on the cheeks. A clear bridge widens the eyes, and colored temples add width The frames should have good temple width and the lens shape should be wider than the depth. Metal frames with adjustable nosepads will keep lenses from resting on the fuller cheeks.


A square face is characterized by a strong jaw line, a broad forehead, and a wide chin and cheekbones.
The width and length are normally proportional to one another.

Frames should make face look longer.

Slightly curved narrow styles will down play a square face and help lengthen it.
The frames should be wider than the widest part of the face.
Choose frames with lens shapes that have more width than depth.
Select frames with weight on top. Frames should sit high on the face to help lengthen it.
Try oval shapes with temples in the center.
Try to avoid a lens shape that is flat on the bottom, as this will mirror the face shape. Instead, look for a frame that has some curve or uplift to draw attention away from the jawline.


The diamond face is the least common shape. They are narrow at the eye line and jawline, with a smallforehead and chin. The cheekbones are often high and dramatic. Goal Choose frames that widen the forehead and jaw and minimize the temples. Tips Choose frames that are heavy on top, but avoid lowered temples as they will emphasise the diamond shape. Rimless or supra frames can be a good choice. Square frames or frames with a straight top and curved bottom will also work.


The oblong face is longer than it is wide, and has high, straight cheek line, deep forehead and a strong or chiseled jaw. The nose on this face may be longer and quite large. Because this face shape is longer than it is wide, the oblong face needs a frame that has more depth than width. This will create an illusion that makes the face appear shorter. Goal Choose frames that reduce the length of the face, making the face appear shorter and wider. Tips Choose deep frames. To shorten the face, try round, deep, full frames, or frames with strong horizontal lines. Decorative or contrasting temple rims can add width to the face, as can low temples. To make the face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have a deep lens shapes that add width to the face, or a low bridge to shorten the nose. Choose a frame shape that is more rounded or curved in order to add width to the face to neutralize this angular face shape.


The triangular face has a narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and jaw areas. Goal Frames should add width to the forehead while softening and narrowing the appearance of the jaw, chin, and cheeks. Tips Choose frames that emphasise the eye-line that are wide enough to balance the jaw. Frames with slightly bolder or heavy tops should work well. As will supra, semi-rimless designs. Frames with bold, wide temple edges will help fill in and balance the upper third of this face shape at the eye line. Avoid low-temple styles. Try square, straight-top frames, semi-rimless (no rim on the bottom half), or any eyewear with emphasis on the top half of the frame. Try frames that are heavily accented with color and detailing on the top half, or try cat-eye shapes.


This face shape has a very wide forehead; high cheekbones narrow mouth and chin. Goal Minimize the width of the top of the face. Frames should add width below the eye line to offset the narrow chin. Tips Try frames that are wider at the bottom. Low temples will add balance. Frames with thin rims and vertical lines will help balance the lower part of the face. Frames with rounded tops and squared bottoms will also work. Very light colors and rimless styles are also effective. The base up triangle-shaped face is a very difficult face shape to select frames for. Virtually any pair of frames will add emphasis to the face just where you won't need it. Rimless frames are an excellent choice. To highlight the eyes and bring out the cheekbones, try frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines, or try rimless frames or oval and cat-eye shapes.