The good folks at Olympic Eyewear go to great lengths to design a variety of sunglasses that work well for every customer. Here is one of their secrets: they know that face size and shape both differ from one customer to the next. They make sure they have a pair of sunglasses that work on every face.
You have undoubtedly heard the most common advice. For example, do not wear oversized sunglasses if you have a smaller face. Glasses that are too large will overwhelm and smother your face. Likewise, there is plenty of advice out there for round, oval, and square faces.
The one thing no one seems to talk about is how to actually measure. It is good to know that teardrop lenses nicely complement a face with a round chin, but there’s more to it than that. If you want the perfect size and shape to complement your face, you actually have to measure face size.
Start with Face Shape
Before you can measure anything, you have to know the shape of your own face – as the eyewear industry sees it. There are four basic shapes: round, oval, heart, and square. Shape is determined by the relationships between the forehead, eyes, cheeks, and chin.
If you are struggling to figure out your face shape, no worries. You can download a smartphone app that will take a picture of your face and then analyze it for shape. You can also go to any local outlet that sells high-end eyewear and look for a chart. They are pretty common.
Measure Your Face
With face shape determined, you are now ready to measure. The question is, what are you measuring? In a word, the distance between your temples. Take a ruler and hold it up to your forehead while standing in front of the mirror. Align the leading edge with one temple and then measure cross to the other.
This is the standard method of sizing faces. However, eyewear designers account for a number of other measurements that are then determined in relation to temple size. Those measurements are: lens height and width, bridge size, frame width, and temple size. For the record, temple size is not the measurement you just took. It is a measurement that determines the length of the arms.
A good pair of sunglasses will have three of the four measurements printed inside one of the arms. They generally correlate. The most important number for you is temple size. It is usually the largest of the three numbers.
Tying It All Together
Now we have to tie face shape and size together. Once you know the shape of your face, you can determine what lens shapes will work best for you. We do not have the space to print all of that here, but it is not a problem. There are dozens of websites you can consult to learn about which lens shapes go with which faces.
After determining the shape you are after, start looking at the temple size measurement. The general rule is this: the larger your measurement from temple to temple, the larger the temple size you’re after. A measurement of between 4″ and 5″ is best served by temple size of up to 50 mm. Things go up from there.
Measuring your own face, from temple-to-temple, and then using that measurement as a gauge to find the right temple size ensures that the sunglasses you eventually buy are not too big or too small. Measuring will make it a lot easier if you find a pair that fits perfectly and looks good at the same time.