The Most Stylish Types of Glasses Frames for Every Face Shape

This post may contain affiliate links. (What's this?)

Speaking as someone who’s had astigmatism my entire life, I understand all too well how important it is to find the best glasses frame shape and style. 

A pair of well-chosen, stylish frames can lend you a smart – and dare I say it, even sexy – look that elevates the rest of your personal style.

But choosing the wrong frames can work against you even more: 

Even the most modern fashion styles won’t look quite as on-point if your glasses are the wrong shape, style or size for your face. 

Illustration of Gold glasses frames
The right frames can elevate your entire look, while the wrong ones can have a noticeably detrimental effect

To help you find the best frames for your face type, in this post we’ll break down all the different types of glasses, and explain how to know which frame styles are right for you.  

We’ll start by explaining the five basic frame types, so you can get a broad sense of what types of frames are available. 

Next, we’ll look at the 11 key types of frame shapes, which will help you start to understand which eyeglass styles will work best with your sense of style and taste. 

Finally, we’ll help you figure out which types of frames work best with the shape of your face, so you can choose the right pair for you. 

Men's Casual Boots to Wear with Jeans

The Ultimate Guide to Eyeglass Frame Types

How to Find the Best Frames For Your Face Shape & Style
Men's Casual Boots to Wear with Jeans

First Up:

The 5 Types of Glasses Frames Construction ↓

space

Full-Rimmed Frames

Full Rimmed Glasses Frames
[image: Warby Parker]

Full-rimmed eyeglass frames (also sometimes called full frames) are glasses that fully enclose the lens, meaning that the frame material appears on both the top and the bottom of the lenses. 

Full-rim eyeglasses are a popular choice because they offer a great balance between bold style and firm protection: 

The material really stands out on your face – especially if you choose a color that compliments your skin tone – while the full enclosure keeps the lens safely ensconced and protected.


Rimless Glasses Frames

Rimless Glasses Frames
[image: Zenni Optical]

In contrast to full-rim glasses, on rimless eyeglasses the frame material doesn’t cover the lenses at all. 

Instead, the lenses kind of float in between the temple arms and the nose bridge, giving them a more minimalist look. 

Rimmed glasses tend to be a lot more common, which means that even though rimless glasses have a more minimalist look, they actually tend to stand out a little more because they’re fairly rare. 


Semi-Rimless Frames

Semi Rimless Glasses Frames
[image: Warby Parker]

As you can probably guess from the name, semi-rimless glasses split the difference between full rimmed and rimless glasses, resulting in altogether different look. 

On a semi-rimless pair, the top of the lens is covered by the same material used for the nose bridge and arms (usually acetate, which is the most popular material for glasses frames). 

But the bottom of the lens is either uncovered, or held in with a thinner and lighter-weight material (often a metal like titanium alloy). 


Low Bridge Frames

Low Bridge Glasses Frames
On low bridge frames, the nose bridge sits lower on the lens, as you can see here
[image: Warby Parker]

If you find that your glasses tend to slip off your nose quite easily, these are the perfect choice. 

Low-bridge frames could be rimmed, semi-rimmed or rimless, but they’re designed specifically for people with lower nose bridges (the upper, bonier part of your nose). 

People with low nose bridges tend to have trouble finding the perfect pair of glasses, because most plastic frames tend to slide down their nose and slip out of place. 

But low bridge frames are sized with them in mind, which makes it easier to find the right fit. 


Wire Frames

Wired Glasses Frames
[image: Diff Eyewear]

Another lightweight style, this is a great option for those who prefer a minimal look.

While full-rimmed and semi-rimmed glasses usually come with thicker frames, wire framed glasses use thin metal frames that hold the lens sturdily in place, but aren’t nearly as loud. 


Next Up:

The 11 Key Types of Glasses Frame Shapes ↓

Now that you know the five main ways that glasses can be built, let’s take a look at the various styles of eyeglasses to see how they can be shaped. 

Rectangle Frames

Rectangular glasses
[image: Warby Parker]

Work Best With: 
Oval Face Shape
Round Face Shape
Heart-Shaped Face Shape

Rectangle glasses are one of the most popular and enduring styles because they work well with lots of different face shapes. 

If you have a particularly long face or narrow forehead, rectangular glasses can add some horizontal depth and provide balance. 

And if you have a rounder, more heart-shaped or more oval-shaped face, their an ideal choice because they add a little bit of angularity, which provides an attractive contrast. 

But for people with triangular faces or a really square jaw, these might not be the best option, since your face shape already has straight lines. 


Oval Frames

Oval glasses frames
[image: Zenni Optical]

Work Best With: 
Square Face Shape
Diamond Face Shape
Heart-Shaped Face Shape

As their name implies, these glasses have an oval shape, but they’re not perfect circles. 

Like rectangle frames, their width is greater than their height, making them an excellent choice for people with long faces who want to add a little width. 

With glasses you usually want to choose a frame shape that contrasts your face shape, so oval frames work great for people with an angular more squared-off face, but not as well for people with rounder facial features. 


Round Frames

Round glasses frames
[image: Diff Eyewear]

Work Best With: 
Square Face Shape
Diamond Face Shape
Heart-Shaped Face Shape

Round glasses have an even more circular shape than oval frames, though they’re not necessarily a perfect circle. 

Like oval glasses, they’re perfect for people with angular faces because the circular shape can help soften their features. 

Round glasses often come in stainless steel frames or other thin metals, like monel frames. 

But you can also find thick frames with circular lenses, which tend to have a softer, more whimsical vibe. 


Square Frames 

Square glasses frames
[image: Warby Parker]

Work Best With: 
Oval Face Shape
Round Face Shape 

As their name implies, square glasses are similar to rectangular frames, but their proportions are more equal. 

Where as rectangular glasses are about twice as wide as they are tall, square frames are relatively equal on all four sides. 

As with circular glasses, square glasses are not always a perfect square, but come much closer to that shape than others. 

If you need prescription glasses, a pair of full frame square glasses is a great choice for anyone with rounder features and a less angular face. 

But they’re also a great choice for sunglasses, which is why a number of the most classic sunglass styles come with square (or square-ish) frames. 


Large Frames

Large glasses frames
[image: Diff Eyewear]

Work Best With: 
Square Face Shape
Diamond Face Shape
Heart-Shaped Face Shape
Oval Face Shape
Round Face Shape

If you’re looking for new glasses that make a serious statement, these might just be the right frames for you. 

Technically any glasses can be “large glasses” if the size is big enough, so this label could apply to a number of different frames. 

But the phrase “large glasses” tends to refer most commonly to the trapezoidal shape made famous in the 1950s and ’60s, which has been a popular choice for fashion-forward trendsetters ever since. 

Large frames come in a wide range of colors and work well with just about every face shape, making them one of the most versatile styles. 

In fact, people with perfect vision who wear glasses purely for aesthetic purposes often tend to pick this style.

But they’re also some of the best eyeglasses for people with legitimate vision problems, because the bigger lens offers the largest field of vision 


Horn Frames

Horn glasses
[image: eyebuydirect}

Work Best With: 
Oval Face Shape
Rectangular Face Shape

Horn glasses, also called horn-rimmed glasses, get their name not from their shape but from the material they used to be made of: 

Back in the day, they were made from the actual horns of animals, which gave them some unique characteristics, but also a lot of harmful and unnecessary ethical baggage. 

Fortunately, today glasses manufacturers have smartened up, and started making equally sharp-looking glasses out of hypoallergenic materials like cellulose acetate, which is much less harmful to animals. 

While the material has received a much-needed upgrade, today horn glasses tend to have the same classic shape, which looks great on people with oval or rectangular faces. 


Browline Frames

Brow line Glasses
[image: Zenni Optical]

Work Best With: 
Oval Face Shape
Square Face Shape
Diamond Face Shape
Pear Face Shape

Another vintage style that rose to popularity in the middle of the 20th century, browline glasses are one of the best ways to add a timeless bit of classic style to your look. 

These are most often semi-rimmed glasses that have acetate running across the top of the lens (along the browline, hence the name), but just a thin wire along the bottom of the lens, if anything at all. 

These are the perfect frames if you’re looking for a style that will lend your look an air of sophistication, intellect and academia. 


Aviator Frames

Aviator Glasses frames
[image: Zenni Optical]

Work Best With: 
Oval Face Shape
Square Face Shape
Round Face Shape
Pear Face Shape
Heart Face Shape

Aviator glasses are more commonly associated with sun-blocking shades, but they can make a great choice for prescription glasses with single vision lenses. 

The tear-drop shape is among the most versatile and works with just about any face shape. 

But if you need a new pair of glasses, you should think about else you’d be pairing with your aviators before pulling the trigger. 

On some people, aviators can look uber-hip and fashion-forward. 

But on others, they can give off a serious suburban dad vibe (think pre-cancer Walter White from Breaking Bad, when he still had the terrible haircut and even worse taste in clothes). 


Cat-Eye Frames

Cat eye glasses frames
[image: Warby Parker]

Work Best With: 
Square Face Shape
Diamond Face Shape

Quite possibly the most feminine style of glasses, cat-eye frames are another throwback style that evokes the flair of the 1960s. 

These are the right eyeglass frames for anyone who wants to channel the elegance  and style of silver screen legends like Audrey Hepburn, or more modern icons like Jennifer Aniston. 


Oversized Frames

Oversized Glasses Frames
[image: Warby Parker]

Work Best With: 
Oval Face Shape
Square Face Shape
Round Face Shape
Pear Face Shape
Heart Face Shape

Yes, “oversized” frames are in a different category than the large frames listed above. 

(And yes, it can get confusing, which is why explainer posts like this exist.)

As the name implies, this style is defined less by the shape of the lens than by the overall scale and size of the frames. 

These are big, bold, statement frames worn almost exclusively by fashion-forward people who want their glasses to make a serious statement. 

(Somewhat ironically, they’re also a popular choice for elderly people who really don’t care at all about aesthetics, but prefer them because the large size makes them a good candidate for multifocal lenses.) 

They can be paired with just about every face shape, but in terms of color they tend to work best in dark frames. 

The sheer size of the glasses makes enough of a statement, so the color doesn’t need to be too bright. 


Geometric Frames

Red geometric glasses frames
[image: eyebuydirect]

Work Best With: 
Literally all face shapes

Much like oversized glasses, this is more of an umbrella term that refers to a wide range of styles than a specific, particular design. 

Geometric glasses refers to any glasses that come in a shape not referenced above. 

While the vast majority of glasses are rectangular, square, oval or round, geometric glasses are more likely to resemble hexagons, octagons and other less-common shapes. 

Like oversized frames, they’re a bold and fashion-forward choice, just make sure you choose your pair carefully: 

One reason they’re not as popular is because the unique shape can make it a little harder to find a great fit. 


And Finally:

Choosing the Best Glasses for Your Face Shape ↓ 

Illustration of various face shapes

If you’ve read this far (thanks for hanging in there, by the way), you now know about the five main ways that glasses are constructed, and the 11 key designs that fall within those five categories. 

But as we’ve mentioned multiple times now, choosing the right glasses isn’t just about picking the shape or style that you happen to like best. 

It’s about choosing the shape and style that happens to work best with your particular face shape. 

Unfortunately, taking that next step can be a surprisingly challenging task, for two reasons. 

The Challenges in Choosing the Best Eyeglasses for Your Face Shape

Illustration of face shape and glasses styles
Zenni Optical offers a great guide that will help you find the right frames for your face shape

First, it’s often difficult to be objective about your own appearance. 

Many of us would like to think we have a square jaw that could cut glass, when we actually have a round face that looks more like a basketball. 

Second, even if you can properly identify your face shape, it’s not immediately obvious which glasses styles will be the most complimentary. 

But we did a little digging and found a couple guides that can help you solve both problems. 

Warby Parker has an in-depth breakdown of face shapes that can help you identify which category you fall into. 

And Zenni Optical, another online glasses brand, has a great visual guide to face shapes and glasses styles that will help you find the best fit for your face. 


More Resources ↓
A Few of Our Favorite Places to Buy Stylish, Affordable Frames:
More Optical Advice from Irreverent Gent:

About

Dave is a men's style blogger whose insightful (and of course, irreverent) advice on how to look good and live well is read by more than two million people each year.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found at home playing with his wife and son, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.