Most of us are familiar with the most popular eyewear styles: round, Aviators, Wayfarers, and cat-eye sunglasses. And there are great options in less common styles, such as heart, visor, rimless, hexagonal and other geometric shapes. There is an endless array of eyewear designs out there and this guide will look at some of the less orthodox styles in more detail, and hopefully inspire you to try something new for your next sunglasses purchase!
How to Determine your Face Shape
When we talk about different sunglasses suiting people, we often talk about round, square, rectangular faces, etc. Obviously, no one’s face is a perfect oval or as sharply angled as a square, but these shapes help us roughly categorize different kinds of faces and talk about the styles of sunglasses that suit them. If your face shape isn’t immediately obvious, you can draw around your reflection’s outline in a mirror with a crayon, being careful to trace the jawline and hairline. The resulting wobbly shape on the mirror might look a little more like a square than a circle, or a little more oblong than oval. It’s not an exact science, but understanding which face-shape group you belong to can help you avoid very unflattering styles and identify eyewear styles that accentuate your features in all the right ways!
When asked to consider heart-shaped sunglasses it’s easy to imagine garish pink sunglasses for children. But when heart-shaped sunglasses are in the hands of an expert designer, they are a thing of beauty! The best designer for heart-shaped sunglasses at the minute is perhaps Saint Laurent; its understated French aesthetic brings a measure of refinement and elegance to the heart design. Choosing a big designer like Saint Laurent doesn’t need to be a huge expense either, as long as you shop online.
Online shops have large Saint Laurent sunglasses collections with significantly lower prices than high-street stores. Heart-shaped sunglasses are top-heavy as the top of the heart is much thicker than the bottom.
This effect is very similar to the classic Aviator style and it tends to suit most face shapes, but it is especially flattering on people with diamond- and heart-shaped faces as the top-heavy form draws people’s eyes up to the top half of your face and away from your tapered jawline.
Hexagonal sunglasses have noticed a surge in popularly in recent years that has coincided with the rise of geometric sunglasses in general — but more on them in the next section… Hexagonal sunglasses fall into two rough groups: round(ish) and angular. Round(ish) hexagonal rims — like the subtle Ray-ban design above — have soft angles that make the overall shape compliment the wearer’s face much like round sunglasses might.
This means that round(ish) hexagonal sunglasses tend to suit people with more angular faces, such as square or rectangles, as the round shape softens your face’s harder angles and edges. Angular hexagonal sunglasses — like the Fendi design (left) — have a more pronounced hexagonal shape and they tend to suit pretty much any face shape as the overall outline of the rims is incredibly balanced.
Miscellaneous Geometric Sunglasses
Moving beyond hexagons, the rest of the miscellaneous geometric sunglasses are very hard to summarise as there is just so much variation out there. Sunglasses are often called ‘geometric’ if there are very clear geometric shapes in use or there are many angles and edges to the rims that take it beyond the usual round, oval, or square designs.
The only overall rule for geometric sunglasses when it comes to face-shape compatibility is that sharper angles add definition to a face, so they tend to suit round, oblong, and oval faces better than square or rectangular faces. It’s also a good idea to think about your best features, considering which you’d like to accentuate and which you’d like to detract attention from. The Fendi geometric sunglasses above, for example, have a cat-eye effect that will accentuate any feminine features and draw the eye upwards. A good tip is to visit an eyewear store and try on a selection of geometric styles, making note of the designs that suit you best. Then you can shop for them online and find the same models for significantly less!
Visor sunglasses often have a strong 80s aesthetic as this was when this style really took off. This means that it can be hard for the visor style to shake the 80s look, but some designers have managed to do this. Tom Ford, Guess, and Ray-Ban design houses have all produced some impressive modern visor sunglasses in recent years.
Tom Ford’s designs still have a vaguely retro aesthetic to them, but this applies to most of his eyewear and his aesthetic does not feel 1980s at all. Visor sunglasses have lenses that go right across the bridge between your eyes, but they often have different shapes, such as square, oblong, Aviator, etc. The main thing to consider when buying visor sunglasses is that the visor line along the top of the lenses draws the eyes upwards and away from your chin — similar to heart-shaped and Aviator styles — so they’re especially flattering on people with pointy chins!
The last style we’re looking at is rimless. Rimless sunglasses aren’t so much a style as a variation of many different styles as most different types of sunglasses will also have rimless variations. Rimless sunglasses are all about subtlety as they lack the defining thick outlines present on most sunglasses. Rimless sunglasses often have an understated elegance to them that compliments people with finer features. If you’re looking for gutsy sunglasses with lots of attitude, rimless styles simply aren’t for you, as they will always be less obvious than their rimmed counterparts. When choosing a rimless pair of sunglasses, you can be a little more relaxed as the different shapes won’t clash as much with any specific features as they would if they were rimmed sunglasses. This means that some sunglasses shapes that might have been unsuitable for you before will now look perfectly fine. That said, all of the usual rules still apply, so round shapes tend to look best on angular faces, and square shapes tend to look best on round and oblong faces. Beware that the finer finish on rimless sunglasses can contrast and accentuate larger features, such as a bigger nose or jawline.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide on alternative sunglasses and even learned something new. Are you ready to try one of these less obvious sunglasses styles? There’s so much to choose from, so get out there and find the perfect alternative sunglasses for you!
Author Bio: Kai Bond is a fashion writer who is always on the hunt to discover new and exciting trends. If you can wear it, Kai wants to write about it! When not covering the fashion world, you can find Kai traveling around the globe or searching for good food.
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