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  • Frames

    Everyone has different needs when choosing eyeglass frames. Proper fit and a style that suits you are probably your two main objectives. Your face size and shape, hair and eye color, and other factors should affect your decision. To make the best selection, you should have a good understanding of what constitutes "proper fit." This will affect how your glasses look, whether or not they are comfortable, and how well you see with them.

    Proper Fit

    Proper temple width, bridge iz and position of pupils are essential to good fitting frames.
    • Temple to temple - The first variable in fitting frames is width. The distance between your temples should determine the width of the frames.
    • Temple to ear - The temples should be long enough to fit comfortably around your ears, but short enough to effectively hold your glasses on your face with your lenses positioned properly.
    • Bridge - The next factor is the bridge, the part that joins the lenses and crosses your nose. The width of the bridge and whether it is low or high on the frame varies. These should match your needs according to the length and width of your nose.
    • Pupil position - The most important factor for your glasses to work is the position of the pupils in the lenses. In single vision lenses, the pupils should be close to the center of the lenses to take full advantage of the refractive correction. For multi-focal lenses, there should be enough room just below the pupil for unhampered focusing on close visual work.
    • Fit with function - If your frames fit properly, they will not pinch or move around on your face when you smile, raise your eyebrows, or make any facial expressions. They should not rest on your cheeks, touch your temples, or make contact with your brows. If any of your normal expressions or movements shifts your glasses or causes discomfort, they may not be appropriate for you. However, adjustments to the ear pieces, nose pieces, or other parts of the frame may improve the fit.

    The Right Style
    The color, shape and proportions of your eyes, eyebrows, hair, hairline, nose and cheeks are all physical features that should be taken into account when you choose your frames. Eyeglasses come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they make a statement about you. Choosing the right style can be tricky, but there are a few general rules that you might find helpful.

    Face Shape
    The shape of your frames should work well with the shape of your face. There are five main face shapes: oval, round, rectangular, square and triangular. Determine the shape of your face. Once you do, it will be easier to see the effects of various frames on your overall look.

    Proper temple width, bridge iz and position of pupils are essential to good fitting frames.
    • Oval - If you have an oval face, you have the widest range of frames to choose from. Large, small, conservative or trendy, all kinds will suit you, as long as they fit properly.
    • Round - Frames can either accentuate or downplay this shape. Oval or round eyeglasses will make your face look rounder and softer. Frames with crisp, straight lines will give you a more structured, angular look.
    • Rectangular - Smaller frames with a horizontal line tend to emphasize the length of a rectangular face. Bigger, longer frames will make your face appear shorter.
    • Square - Circular and oval glasses will contrast the squareness; straight lines, rectangular or triangular frames will emphasize it.
    • Triangular - Glasses with pointed angles will bring out the shape of your face. If it's a straighter, longer look you want, try on some rectangular frames.

    The size and position of the bridge of your frames should be adjusted according to the length, width, and depth of your nose. If your nose is short, narrow or high, the bridge should be placed high. Long, wide or low noses need wide and low bridges. These positions can help create the most complementary look for your glasses and face.

    Hairstyle is another variable of shape that should be considered when choosing your frame. If you have bangs, avoid glasses that are too large. Frames that are too dark or heavy in combination with bangs can cause your face to disappear. Short hair will showcase your glasses better than any other style. Short styles create a clean-cut look. You can emphasize a refined, classic image or contrast it. Hairstyles with high volume that expose your face and make your head look bigger need to be counterbalanced with larger frames to maintain the proportion.

    If you change your hairstyle often, you may want to consider more than one pair of glasses to go with them. Your hairstyle and your glasses work together to shape your face.

    The position of your glasses relative to your eyebrows is the final factor in determining the shape of your frames. Glasses should not hide the eyebrows. Make sure the top of your frames falls just below your eyebrows. Frames that are curved on top should follow your brow line as closely as possible without crossing it for a harmonious look.

    Hair, Eye and Frame Color
    Brown hair goes well with metal or darker frames. Transparent or light-colored frames are best for blonds. All colors except yellow and white work well on redheads. The color of your eyebrows should also be a determinant in your frame selection. However, if your hair and eyebrow colors are different, your hair color is a more important consideration.

    Your eye color can be complemented by or coordinated with your frames. Dark brown eyes are the most versatile. Almost any color will work well but dark brown frames are probably the least flattering. Rosy, orange, tawny, and dark purple tones look best with blue eyes. Roses, purples, warm greens and gold highlighted frames look good with light brown or hazel eyes. Green eyes look best with khaki, chocolate, purple and burgundy colors.

    Thickness of Frames and Lenses
    Lastly, when choosing a frame, you should consider how well it would work with your customized lens.

    Over the years, a great deal of progress has been made in reducing the thickness and magnifying appearance of lenses. Nonetheless, if placed in the wrong frames, strong prescription lenses may produce some unnecessary effects.

    If you are farsighted, convex lenses may make your eyes look magnified to others. Larger frames can bring your eyes back into proportion with the rest of your face. If you are nearsighted, the opposite is true. Your lenses may make your eyes look smaller than they are. Large frames will increase this effect, whereas compact frames will reduce it.

    With any type of lens, frames with thicker profiles can mask the thickness of the lens.

    "Polycarbonate," L'Opto85, Mar 1997, pp 23-25
    Benjamin, WJ, ed. Borish's clinical refraction. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders, 1998, pp. 868-76
    Fowler,C. "Why Not Make Your Own Varifocal Lens?" Optician, 1998, vol. 216, no. 569, pp. 18-20
    Malaval, C, ed. "Seeing the World Past," Essilor, Paris: Creapress, 1997, pp. 42-29 & 70-89
    "Markets," SPC, 1999, vol. 99, pp. 3-6 & 31-32
    "Markets," SPC, 1999, vol. 102, pp. 3-6
    Mercier, J-L, Miege, C, LeSaux G, Chauveau J-L. "The Design Loop for Progressive Lenses," Points de Vue, Apr, 1996. pp. 22-27

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