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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

How To Get Some Specs Appeal!

How To Choose Spectacles, Eyewear | The Image Tree
What Do Your Specs Say About You?

It has come to my attention of late that my hand is slowly moving further and further away from my face when I try to read something "me thinks a visit to the opticians is a foot to get new specs" Along with the squinty eyes and puzzled look, I have obviously come to realise that my once Hawk like eyesight is heading further down the road to mole town. No disrespect to moles or the visually impaired either!

This slightly excites me though, because I love shopping for an updated look and definitely embrace the be-spectacled face and added ‘intelligence’ brownie points that they often bestow on the wearer.

Though I have to be honest, the wrong pair can totally ruin your good looks too aka the Deirdre Barlow effect as I like to coin it (dear old Coronation Streets beloved character) god rest her soul. Totally down to the 'on set' wardrobe department that look!

Glasses despite being an absolute necessity for better sight, are great to frame your face and features too and can help to project the right impression of yourself….Be authentic as it were.


There’s no better way of stamping your individuality, slap bang in the middle of your face, than with a pair of specs. They can make you look creative, fashionable, studious, professional or indeed sexy!

They no longer whiff of old age and frump, because they’re so accessible and the choices are mind blowing…they can be so damn chic, no matter what age you are. Hell you can even buy frames without prescription lenses just for the sheer style stakes.

Although I’ve put together a general styling guideline for choosing specs based on face shape, features, colours etc. to help compliment your beautiful faces, since we’re talking personality…I'd like to add...

I’m a true believer that you should go with a style that reflects your personality, so if you have the gusto and the drama, then go ahead and break the rules. If you're a confident stylista then in this case you don’t need to read the rest, so you can go and have a cuppa,

However, if you want to learn a few of the basics to help you navigate your next visit to the opticians…then read on.


Face Shape

A great tip I once read to help determine your general face shape, is to look in the mirror armed with a lippy (not your favourite) and pin back your hair. Then trace the shape around your face's reflection with said lippy on said mirror. Genius!!

Being aware of your face shape can help with the narrowing down of certain styles and shapes.


  • Round Face

This is usually shorter in length than in width, with soft curves to the chin. To compliment this shape, look for angles in your frames to give more definition. ‘Round frames plus round face equals a whole lotta roundness, unless that’s your thang and avoid very angular frames too. Soft rectangular frames with top edge definition draw attention to the top half of your face giving more va va voom.

Tortoiseshell frames
  • Oval Face

Generally, your face is quite well proportioned and softly rounded. Lucky you, the styles the limit as pretty much most frames would suit, a social chameleon you can be! Make a statement.

  • Heart Face

Frames with lower bridges and/or lower set arms look good and so too do deeper frames that have bottom edge detail or weight. You can also try a narrower frame provided the top edge is simple.


  • Square Face

Equal in length and width, usually with a strong jaw. Here we can use some lengthening tricks to flatter your strikingness, so high set arms, shallow frames and coloured or patterned vertical sides are clever little tools. You can even look for oval or rounder frames to soften the effects if you wish. Up swept eye shapes look great too.

  • Diamond

Enter the aviator, a great style for this shape as it balances the forehead and chin. Avoid styles that widen at the cheekbone as this further emphasises the area. You can even try a cat’s eye ‘retro’ shape.

  • Rectangle

This face shape is usually longer than it is wider, so deeper frames can shorten the look of a long face giving better symmetry. If you’re already sporting a fringe then wider frames can look awesome. Fringe-less the try a frame with a coloured top edge, works in the same way.

Now look at your Features to complete the look and laser focus what you need.,

Go softer in frame shape if your eyebrows, eye shape, nose and lips and chin are predominantly rounded, curved and/or full.

Go sharper if you’re eyebrows, eye shape, nose, lips and chin are straight, thin, angled or pointed.

If you are a mixture of the two, then you can develop any softness or sharpness but allow your face shape to be the dominant factor.

  • Eyes

Small eyes – small frames, don’t want to drown those lovely peepers.

Close set eyes would be further flattered by a lighter coloured frame to give the illusion of width at the bridge of the nose.

  • Nose

If your nose is on the larger size then try a pair that has a lower bridge, (the bit that rests on the nose) to shorten the length.

If you want to add length to a little nose, then look for a higher bridge on a frame.

  • Wide or heavy jaw

Look for top edge width or detail and look for styles which are frameless at the bottom.

  • Mind your scale, if you’re quite petite or dainty try to keep your eyewear in keeping… so lightweight frames and delicate appeal is the way forward, conversely, if you’re larger/taller in scale stronger, heavier frames would be more complimentary and wouldn’t get lost on your face.

A bit about Colour

These days there are a deluge of colour choices available, so choosing the right one can be tricky if you’re unsure of your natural colour direction, so I would go on the basis of keeping them neutral based either with your hair or eye colour in mind.

This just allows for more wear ability so you don’t have to keep changing your specs to match your outfits. For interest though you can try a neutral or even a subtle pattern, but it really does come down to your personality. If you’re colourful in character than colour in your specs is totes justified.

Other pointers

  • Unless you want to look constantly in a state of surprise, make sure the top of the frame doesn’t sit above the eyebrows. If the frames are quite thin and don’t distort the brow then they are ok to hover around that area but heavier frames should sit below.

  • The frame bottoms shouldn’t be perching on your cheek else your skin will be irritated and your eyes will look like their floating around on the top of the glasses, not a good look.

Make up

Before you say it, I know, you don’t tend to bother with a lot of slap because you need your specs on to apply it and so it’s tricky doing your eyes, but if you get a good magnifying mirror there’s things you can try to compliment your glasses.

It’s important to not fight the frame! If you harmonise with the shape, colour and scale you’re more likely to enhance your features and help the glasses look even better.

If your frames are thick then sweep a little more liner on, conversely, if your frames are delicate keep the liner thinner and softer. It’s also interesting to go for a liner about two shades deeper than natural eye colour.

Round eyes look awesome with an added feline flick of eye liner and totally awesome teamed with retro shaped lovelies.

As you may notice, some specs create under eye shadows, but this can be rectified by pressing a little concealer under the eye

Curl your top lashes too so that they don’t hit your lenses and go for a waterproof or long lasting mascara to avoid smudges.

Strong frames need to be balanced so try a bold lip, flash of red or a plummy lovely whatever it is that rocks your boat.

Lastly keep your brows neat and shapely as the top of the frames do draw attention to them, so the untamed ‘Dennis Healy’ look is not advisable.

Frames aside, if you need any further advice on eye wear and would like to speak to a professional group of optometrists, then Stanley H Field come widely recommended over in Alfreton (if you're local to Derby that is). They are the bee’s knees as I found out when I was invited to style the masses at their big re-opening and ‘Specs Appeal’ Event.

They have loads of choice, from the classic to the trend led styles, all provided with a super friendly service.

Now go get some ‘SPECS APPEAL’!

Bye for now

Sara X

All pictures courtesy of Stanley H Field (Frames William Morris)

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