Special to The Oregonian: Sara Dahlquist
I tell my personal style-seeking clients they must start from the top of their head and work to the tips of their toes. This means you should consider aspects like the cut and color of your hair, to the shape of your shoes and literally everything in between. So, the eyewear you select makes a huge impression on your personal style or lack there of.
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then your eyewear is the frame that surrounds that very important window. Choosing the right frame that compliments and enhances is important.
Selecting eyewear can be intimidating with the hundreds of different shapes, colors and styles.
But really you just have to consider three things: shape, color and style.
Know your face shape and know what frames will flatter you. Understand your coloring and select the right color for your skin tone, eye color and hair color. And of course, choose a frame with style! Whether you are classic, modern or vintage, your eyewear needs to compliment what you wear.
The shape of your face plays a huge role in what frame you select. Your eyewear needs to compliment your face shape while balancing the curves and contours.
Round: If you find that you have a round face, your face is as long as it is wide and your chin is not wide and boxy nor does it come to a point. For this face shape you want to balance the round with angles. Such angles can be found in styles such as square, cat eye or wayfarer.
What you want to avoid are style that are round or rimless which lack the contrast and angles needed to create balance.
Square: If you have a wide forehead, strong cheekbones, square jawline and a wider chin, your face shape is square. Opposite of the round face, you’ll want to soften the angular shape of your face, jawline and chin with frames that are more rounded like oval, round or the wayfarer.
A square face is a strong one, so you’ll want to avoid any frame that exaggerates this. Avoid any square or boxy frames.
Heart: The heart shaped face has a little of it all, a wider forehead, strong cheekbones and a long and possibly pointy chin. It’s important when selecting a frame for this face shape to pick a frame that counters the narrowness in the lower half of the face. This can be accomplished by selecting frames that are as wide on the top as the bottom such as square, rectangular and wayfarer.
Avoid a frame that has any detail at the temple and those that taper in; this will only exploit the wideness of those beautiful cheekbones and the narrow angle pointing towards your chin.
Oval: The oval shaped face is considered to be the most balanced with the cheekbones being high and the chin just slightly more narrow than the forehead, individuals with this shape should consider themselves lucky since most any frame shape will flatter.
The one thing to consider is the size of frame. Selecting something too large or small can disrupt that coveted symmetry of the oval face.
You may notice that the wayfarer frame style was mentioned across the board. This style is so universal because it has it all, angles, round, softness and balance from the top to the bottom. It’s the one style of frame that works for everyone. Just take into consideration the size of frame. If you have a small face, you’re going to want a smaller frame, for example.
Select a frame color that will enhance your eyes, compliment your skin coloring and coordinate with the colors in your wardrobe.
If you feel like you have a good sense of color and wear colors that flatter you, go to your closet and see what color is dominant. Be it green, red, purple or any other color, that is the color of frame you should select.
If you aren’t confident of your coloring then consider: Coloring falls into two main categories: warm and cool.
If you’re a warm tone, your skin tone has more yellow and frame colors such as copper, gold, blonde, coral, red, brown and tortoise shell are going to look best on you.
If you’re a cool tone, you have pink or blue undertones to your skin. Cool colors such as green, violet, blue, silver and black will flatter you best.
I haven’t forgotten the olive skin tones, it’s just difficult to set specific guidelines since olive skin tones have both yellow and blue undertones. It will depend on which tone is more dominant in your skin. If you can tell then follow the instructions for yellow or blue undertones but if it isn’t clear I’d suggest the trial and error test.
When it comes to style, stay true to who you are but have fun with your eyewear. It’s a very important accessory and an opportunity to express your personal style. There are many different eyewear boutiques other than your doctor’s office that offer stylish and original frames. You can even find local designers such as Fetch Eyewear. Fetch creates stylish and affordable frames, giving 100 percent of their profits to The Pixie Project, a well known local nonprofit that helps to find homes for dogs and cats as well as improving animal welfare. Finding a pair of frames that flatters you and gives back to your community, that’s a win win.