The secret to buying sunglasses that suit you

An expert opinion on how to buy the right sunglasses to suit your face shape.

April 23, 2015

As any man who lives in the sunny surroundings of the Gulf should know, when it comes to sunglasses, there are certain rules that absolutely should be followed, to avoid falling foul of the minefield that is sunglasses etiquette.

Never wear sunglasses inside, at night or perched on top of the head and never, under any circumstances, have them attached to a chord hanging around the neck. Of course these are all pretty simple rules and the majority of men are fully aware of the dos and do nots of sunglasses-wearing.

However, where things get a little more complicated is with the shape of the frames: pick the wrong ones to suit your face and no matter how well you wear them, you'll still end up looking the clown. Getting it right isn't easy, so we got an expert opinion from Martine Larroque of Maui Jim, one of the world's top premium polarized sunglasses makers. Here are her tips for picking out the perfect frames to suit your face:

Oval face
If your face is oval-shaped, you probably don't have any problems with finding sunglasses to suit you, because generally most styles will be comfortable and look good on you. If I had to pick one frame shape to suit you best it would be square-shaped frames with gently rounded edges. This way the frames will almost match your face. One thing to avoid is arms that hang too low, as this will elongate the face and work against your perfect proportions! 

Round face
Here's where things start to get a little more tricky. If you have round facial features, you should definitely look for frames that would make your face appear longer and make your cheeks look slimmer. With this in mind, minimise the curves and choose angular styles with a double brow or higher temples to pull the eye upwards and give you a lean-looking face. Also go for frames that are slightly wider than your face to slim the cheeks. 

Square face
Much like how round-faced people should accentuate features with angular frames, if your face is square shaped, you should look to soften those strong features slightly with rounded or aviator-style frames. If soft curvy styles aren't your thing, rectangular-shaped frames with softer edges will also work, but make sure to keep it simple so as not to overpower your natural features. 

Diamond and triangular face
If your face is diamond- or triangle-shaped, with a defined chin and wide cheekbones, the best option is to go for oval, rimless glasses or, for a bit of extra impact, frames with a slight cat-eye. The most important thing is to soften the bottom half of your face and draw attention to the eye area, so bold colours and styles are a must. 

Lens colour
While it might seem like overkill, to get the most out of your glasses, it sometimes pays to have two or even three different pairs, as different-coloured lenses often suit different conditions Neutral grey lenses offer the highest level of light reduction for bright, sunny days; bronze lenses are more versatile and tend to improve vision in variable light conditions; and rose-coloured lenses are particularly good for fast-moving sports as they provide maximum contrast and crisp vision. Tip for buying sunglasses. Final word
When shopping for sunglasses, the most important thing to remember is that good sunglasses are about getting the best eye protection. First decide when and how you wear your sunglasses; then choose a lens material, lens colour, frame material and frame style that suits your face shape and is appropriate for your needs. Mahalo, Martine.