There are a few key staples that should always be in your accessories inventory: a classic, high-quality scarf, a go-to wristwatch, and the perfect pair of shades. Like all of the best men’s accessories, sunglasses combine form and function, giving every outfit an instant upgrade while providing important protection from harmful UV rays. Legend has it that the modern sunglasses were first created on Hollywood film sets as actors needed eye protection during their long hours filming in the sun. But what exactly makes for the perfect set of sunglasses? It’s not about the brand, material, or even the color. The most important aspect when choosing your sunglasses is the shape of the frames and how well they flatter your individual face shape. Even though we all may want to channel our inner Maverick and don a classic set of aviators, sometimes they may not be the most flattering. We’ve created a quick cheat sheet to help you discover the best shades for every face.
If your face is longer than it is wide and you have rounded cheekbones and softer jawlines, then your best bet will be squared-off and rectangular shades that add the illusion of width to your face. Any shades that drop down like a teardrop are best to avoid, as they will make your face look even longer. Rectangular shapes, however, have a much more angular shape that allows them to add structure and definition to rounder jawlines.
Like the oblong shape, an inverted triangle’s face shape is longer than wide. However, this face shape is defined by a sharper jawline, which is usually the most narrow portion of the face. For reference, think Ryan Gosling. Rounded lenses work well with this shape, as well as semi-rimless frames that accentuate the upper face. If this is your face shape than lucky you. You get to rock the classic Top Gun teardrop aviators to perfection.
If you have a round face shape, you’re in excellent company with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Zac Efron. For those with a rounder face, opt for shapes that create the illusion of length and angles. Skip any round frames and avoid extra-wide frames that add unnecessary width. Instead, look for shades that balance your natural curves with thin, straight lines and a natural curve at the end. For us, the most flattering for this shape is a square-shaped aviator with rounded edges.
Those blessed with sharp angles, such as pronounced cheekbones and a well-defined jawline, should opt for classic Carreras, round, or rectangular shapes. Avoid any frames that are too squared off, as these can create harsh lines that fight with, rather than compliment your natural shape.
You have a square face shape if your head’s width and length are nearly the same and you have a square jaw. For inspiration, picture Henry Cavill, Rob Lowe, and Maverick himself (Tom Cruise). This is a great shape that pairs nicely with tons of frames. The only thing to keep in mind is to avoid frames that are too boxy. You can still opt for square or rectangular shades, just ensure that they have rounded edges to soften the overall look. Lighter colors and rounded shapes also are great counterparts to your natural angles.