A Sunglasses Style Guide: How to Find the Perfect Pair of Shades for Your Face
December 03, 2018
You know it the instant you slip them on your face: The right sunglasses immediately upgrade your look and add a little extra swagger to your step. Indeed, the perfect pair of sunnies blends seamlessly with both your lifestyle and your fashion sense. But finding that just-right pair isn’t as simple as an online click or plucking them randomly off the shelf.
In other words, you need to do a little bit of homework to choose the best pair of sunglasses to complement your face shape and its unique natural angles and contours. Your personality and unique sense of style play a role, too, whether you like to rock an edgy look or prefer something a bit more classic. But figuring out which of the six face shapes—heart, round, square, long/rectangular, oval, or diamond—is a great way to help you pick out that perfect pair. It’s all about balance, and as a general rule-of-thumb you want your sunglasses to contrast with your face shape. Here’s what else you need to know to get you started.
The classic heart-shaped face is an enviable one, sported by celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Halle Berry. Take your own look to A-list level with a pair of shades that highlight your rock-star asset—like the classic, teardrop-shaped Mile Highs, a nod to the iconic aviator glasses originally made for military pilots. Mai Tais, Paso Robles, Mount Evans, and Seventy Nines are also good bets. Bring your own personal style to this classic look with brightly tinted lenses that add a fun pop of color, or pick a sassy frame to stand out in the crowd.
Who doesn’t love a little cat-eye flair? And you’re in luck if you have a heart-shaped face that goes exceptionally well with Deja Views. Though you might opt for a hint of subtle sophistication with Mary Janes.
As a child, were your cheeks always endearingly irresistible to a good-natured (though annoying) pinch from the grandparents? Do you still get carded, even though you’re well past the legal drinking age? If that’s the case, you’ve probably got a round face. While round faces have plenty of advantages (like looking younger), they also tend to look fuller and can benefit from accessories that help lengthen them a bit. Cue rectangular-framed sunglasses, which make your face appear longer thanks to the contrast between the frame’s width and length.
Play up your cheekbones with a pair of highly symmetrical, strong-browed shades like Fast Lanes, Torrey Pines or Fort Knocks sunglasses. With generous, rectangular lenses, these shades will have you rocking your look to stylish new levels, whether you’re cruising the coast on your SUP or playing grillmaster at a backyard BBQ. The classic aviator style of the Mile Highs or the more square-shaped Mount Evans aviators are also both winners.
Both complementing round faces with rounded edges, and offering a distinct contrast with rectangular lenses, Pacific Palisades strike the right equilibrium while delivering a chill seaside vibe. You might try slipping on some vintage cool vibes with Deja Views or Paso Robles.
Blessed with the square jaw of a cartoon superhero? Show off those ruggedly classic features while channeling cultural icons like John Lennon, Janis Joplin, and even founding father Benjamin Franklin with a pair of rounded frames. Shades with softer edges, like the Mai Tais, Paso Robles, Mile Highs, Mount Evans, or the Premiums, provide a beautiful contrast to rectangular jaws and effortlessly add a quirky shot of style to any outfit, whether it’s a swimsuit or a snowsuit. Sunglasses with a subtle cat-eye silhouette, such as the Seventy Nines, are also typically a good fit for square-shaped faces.
With timeless iconic style, Deja Views are some of the most versatile shades around, equally at home on square-shaped faces, able to shift from elegant gatherings to casual outings with ease. Offering a similar retro sensibility that meshes well with square-shaped faces, Mary Janes are also an excellent choice.
Oblong face shapes are typically longer than they are wider, with a relatively narrow width. In addition, your forehead and jawline are similar widths and you may have a pointed chin. For this type of face shape, you’ll want to offset that length a bit with boxy, well-structured frames like Fast Lanes, Torrey Pines, Premiums, or Fort Knocks sunglasses. The aviator-style Mile Highs or Mount Evans are both solid choices, as well.
If your face is oval, consider yourself lucky—most sunglasses will look great on you! You can lend some structure to your oval-shaped face with a pair of shades that offer timeless style, like Knockaround’s Classics, Premiums, or Seventy Nines styles. Featuring sculpted frames and subtly rounded corners, these adventurous shades are up for everything, from a boozy weekend brunch to sunny hikes in the Sierras. Fast Lanes or Torrey Pines are solid choices, too, as is the classic wayfarer style with Fort Knocks. And the versatile aviator style Mile Highs or Mount Evans work for just about any face shape while adding an element of cool.
If you’ve never paired oversized sunglasses with an oval-shaped face, you should be pleasantly surprised by how good you look in Deja Views. And your oval-shaped face will surely appreciate some structure that the soft, rectangular contours of Pacific Palisades bring.
Is your face all symmetry and sharp angles? A masterpiece of ruggedly chiseled perfection? If your mug is shaped like a diamond, you’ll need sunglasses that can keep up with your generously defined cheekbones with wide-framed shades, like the Fort Knocks. These rough-and-tumble shades boast a classic cut, with eye-catching accent bars to add a bit of personality. The sturdy sunglasses are ready for anything, from Sunday Funday brunch to weekend road trips down the coast. Other styles that are a nice complement to your diamond-shaped face: Torrey Pines, Fast Lanes, Mile Highs, and more.
Exuding a statement-making presentation that can rival that of diamonds, Deja Views also mirror the sharp features of a diamond-shaped face with their cat-eye edges. And when you want to add a laid-back touch to offset the stern angles of diamond faces, Pacific Palisades offer just the right beachside balance.
How to Figure Out Your Face Shape
Aren’t quite sure which face shape you have? In these cases, a few easy measurements will make sunglasses shopping easier. While standing in front of the nearest mirror, measure the following four widths using a tape measure, and write down the numbers you come up with.
Cheekbone to Cheekbone: Locate the top of your cheekbones just below each eye and measure the distance between them.
Jaw Line: Find the ends of your jawbone below each ear and measure between them by running the tape measure along the bottom of your face.
Face Length: Measure from the center of your hairline to the bottom of your chin. (Make sure not to press down on your nose!)
Forehead Width: Find the halfway point between the center of your hairline and your eyebrows, then measure along this plane from the left hairline to the right hairline.
With your measurements, consider the following to help you narrow down which category your face falls into:
What’s the widest part of your face—your forehead, cheekbones, or jawline? A wider forehead often falls under the oval category, while wide cheekbones usually indicate a round face.
Look at the shape of your jawline—is it more round, square, or pointy? Rounder jaws usually mean rounder faces, while stronger jaw lines indicate a square-shaped face. And if your jaw tends to be pointy, you’ve probably got a heart-shaped face.
Consider the length of your face. If it’s as long as it is wide, you’ve probably got a round face. If it’s longer than it is wide, you’re probably oval- or rectangular-shaped.
If you just want a classic style that works for any face, consider the Premiums, which offer a contemporary upgrade on our signature Classics, with a slightly wider, more accommodating fit than their predecessors. And, like all Knockaround shades, these durable frames are fitted with high-quality lenses in a ton of different colors. Premiums look perfect on just about anyone, anytime, no matter the shape of your face or where you’re planning on wearing them.
And, if you're still not sure which shades are right for you, take our short quiz to find out!
Written by Malee Baker Oot and William McCleary for Knockaround