How To Choose Glasses: A Guide To Finding The Best Glasses Based On Your Skin-Tone, Contrast & Face Shape

How To Choose Glasses: A Guide To Finding The Best Glasses Based On Your Skin-Tone, Contrast & Face Shape2018-09-05T11:49:56+00:00

Dark or pale skin, blonde or grey hair, diamond or triangular face shape; this guide will help you find the best glasses that suit you. Here, you can choose the right pair to wear for any occasion with our comprehensive walk-through.

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In our glasses series, we have made extensive lists and guides of all the different frames and best styles that you can choose from. However, not all of these may necessarily suit your style.

This guide will use the following concepts to help you find the right glasses for you:

  • Contrast
  • Colour
  • Face Shape

Throughout this page, you’ll be presented with a lot of information and prompted to head to a lot of other guides that go into greater detail. Although not all of these are necessary, they are very helpful and we insist that you at least identify your face shape with our guide before choosing your glasses.

What Is Contrast?

Blonde man in black glassesAs we discuss in the full contrast guide, contrast is a key element in dressing well. In short, it is the practice of using different colour values to make them stand out or complement one another.

For instance, you can use a light colour against a dark one to make the light colour pop. Alternatively, you can use two similarly-toned colours to make them blend together in harmony.

The level of your own contrast is determined by the following factors:

  • Skin Tone
  • Hair Colour
  • Eye Colour

The way these different colours work together decides whether you have a low, medium or high contrast. You can then use a pair of glasses to manipulate your contrast in any way you want.

Identifying Your Own Level Of Contrast

Before you continue reading, we suggest that you determine your own level of contrast first. You can use our our full contrast guide but a mirror will do for quick reference.

Take a look at your reflection and consider the colour difference between mainly your hair and skin whilst thinking also about your eyes. If one is dark and the other light, you’ll likely have high contrast. However, if both are light or dark, you have low contrast. Your eyes can act as a deciding factor against the two.

For instance, a pale man with black hair has a high contrast as well an African-American man with grey hair. Meanwhile, a bald man or blonde-haired white man will have low contrast.

If you want to learn more about colour and contrast when styling, you can refer to our full contrast guide.

How To Use Glasses To Control Your Contrast Level

Now that you’re more familiar with your level of contrast, let’s cover a few pointers in using glasses for any desired effect. These tips will be handy to keep in mind before we talk about specifics relating to various colours.

How you choose to use contrast is entirely up to you and your taste. A lot of people like to use contrast to make a bold statement whilst others prefer a more coherent and blended look. It really depends on the attention you want to draw or whether you want to make a statement.

Nevertheless, the graphic below makes an easy reference on how you can achieve either effect with glasses. Simply compare your complexion down the side with the frame colours along the top.

Face-Complexion-And-Frame-Color-Matrix

Remember that if you’re on the higher end of the scale, choosing to further amplify the contrast is a possibility but could come across as too strong. Similarly, decreasing contrast when it’s already low can make you appear bland or washed out. Don’t forget that your wardrobe will play a role in this too.

Bald man in dark and clear glasses

High contrast (left) and low contrast (right)

Finally, the frames themselves will play a role in the extent that the desired effect is amplified. As a general rule, thinner frames tend to be lower contrast than thicker ones. Conversely, thick frames can create very high contrast.

How To Choose Glasses According To Your Skin Tone

old black man grey hairSkin tone is the most important factor to consider when picking out glasses frames, just as it is when picking out clothing that rests near your face.

This is because frames that harmonise with your skin tone will make your face look vibrant and healthy.

However, frames that clash too much with your natural complexion can either look off or worse, make you seem sickly.

Furthermore, skin tone doesn’t always mean colour either. What it does imply are the undertones, which usually falls into one of the following groups:

As a general rule, wearing colours that complement rather than conflict with your skin tone is the best course of action. For instance, if you’re a warm tone, wear warm-coloured glasses and vice-versa.

If you still haven’t figured yours out, we recommend that you head to our full guide to skin tones for a better idea. Otherwise, click on yours above to jump straight to it. You will then see an option to choose according to your skin colour too.

Finally, note that the colours we suggest are what we consider to be ideal but not necessarily exclusive. Therefore, interpret them only as ranges and feel free to explore other options too!

Best Frame Colours For Warm Skin Tones

Faces-With-Warm-Tones-In-A-Row-Bordered

Warm-toned guys are fewer in number than cool-toned men. They have golden, peachy, or greenish casts to their complexion. Mirroring that in your choice of frame is a wise decision.

As the illustration above indicates, your skin tone is more-or-less independent of your skin colour. For more precise recommendations, choose the skin colour that suits you most:

Warm Pale Skin Tones

The following suggestions feature various contrasts as these vary depending on your hair and eye colours. However, as the illustration below shows, we would recommend the following:

  • Tortoiseshell
  • Red-Purple
  • Red
  • Brown

However, this list isn’t exhausted so feel free to explore other options!

Pale Warm With Tortoiseshell Red-Purple Red And Brown Frames

Warm Medium Skin Tones

We’ve included a range of colours that will allow you to choose the contrast you prefer. Generally, the following colours are the best choice but it’s non-exhaustive, which you can see in the illustration below:

  • Tortoiseshell
  • Brown
  • Green
  • Gold

Medium Warm With Tortoiseshell Green Gold And Brown Frames

Warm Dark Skin Tones

The following colours we suggest incorporate different levels of contrast. The list and illustration below show our recommendations but remember that it’s just a general guide so you can explore other options too!

  • Tortoiseshell
  • Brown
  • Green
  • Gold

Dark Warm With Tortoiseshell Green Gold And Brown Frames

Best Frame Colours For Neutral Skin Tones

Being a blend of both cool and warm, neutral skin tones are lucky in that they can mix and match as they see fit. You can use the guides above and below as a helpful reference, however you’re not at all limited in what you choose.

Alternatively, you can opt to choose your glasses according to your hair colour or even your eye pigmentation instead!

Best Frame Colours For Cool Skin Tones

Faces-With-Cool-Tones-In-A-Row-Bordered

Cool-toned men have reddish, pinkish, or bluish casts to their skin. Most rosy-cheeked people are cool-toned. They are more common than warm-toned guys, so chances are more likely than not that you fall into this category.

As the illustration above suggests, your skin tone doesn’t really reflect your skin colour. By choosing the skin colour that fits your description most, you can read our precise recommendations:

Cool Pale Skin Tones

Our suggestions include a range of various contrasts to help you make a decision based on hair colour. However, as you can see in the graphic below, we would recommend the following:

  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Black
  • Grey Or Silver

Pale Cool With Black Blue Purple And Silver Frames

Cool Medium Skin Tones

We’ve included a range of hues that will suit different levels of contrast. You can either use the graphic below as a visual aid or refer to the list below of recommended colours:

  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Blue-Red
  • Grey Or Silver

Medium Cool With Blue Blue-Red Purple And Silver Frames

Cool Dark Skin Tones

As with our other suggests, we’ve made sure to include different colours that account for various levels of contrast. The suggestions listed below can also be seen in the illustration just beneath it:

  • Purple
  • Black
  • Off-Shit
  • Clear

Dark Cool With Black Clear Off-White And Purple Frames

Choosing Glasses To Complement Your Hair Colour

A Strong Man Running Hands Through Hair July 2017In addition to skin tone, hair colour can be used to determine which colour frames will best compliment your visage. Generally speaking, it’s a good practice to try and complement the colour or colours of your frames with your hair.

We’ve outlined the following hair colours and explored a few suggestions for each:

You can click to one of the above in order to jump straight to it. Note that our suggestions are just a few ideal recommendations. However, interpret them as ranges and feel free to explore other options too.

Best Glasses For Black Hair

Here are a few suggestions that we’ve selected for black hair independent of skin tone or contrast. Generally, we find that the following saturated hues work best:

  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Black

Black Hair With Blue And Purple Glasses

Best Glasses For Blonde Hair

We’d recommend one of the following independently of skin tone and contrast:

  • Tortoiseshell
  • Green
  • Gold

However, the list is not exhaustive of course!

Blond Hair With Gold Green And Tortoiseshell Glasses

Best Glasses For Brown Hair

Without taking into account other factors such as skin tone or contrast, here are a few suggestions that we recommend:

  • Dark tortoiseshell
  • Blue

Brown Hair With Tortoiseshell And Blue Glasses

Best Glasses For Grey Hair

If you have grey hair, we would recommend one of the following colours. Generally, we feel that vibrant colours are great in terms of contrast but we have suggested a few others too:

  • Blue
  • Red
  • Black
  • Grey
  • White

Grey Hair With Black Grey Blue And White Glasses

Best Glasses For Red Hair

Here are a few suggestions that we’ve selected for red hair without including contrast or skin tone:

  • Tortoiseshell
  • Green

Red Hair With Green And Tortoiseshell Frames

How To Use Glasses To Bring Out Your Eye Colour

Man In Aviator EyeglassesAlthough it takes less prominence than skin tone or hair colour when selecting frames, it’s an alternative route to achieve a different effect.

Generally, opting for frames that complement your eyes as you would do with hair is a great direction to aim for. However, note that you’ll rarely be able to simultaneously complement both hair and eyes.

Nevertheless, if you can because both your hair and eyes are brown, for example, take into consideration contrast and whether this is the effect you’re looking for.

This section will cover the following eye colours:

Simply select your eye colour in order to jump straight to it! Remember that again, these are only ideal recommendations. Eye colour tends to be a tertiary consideration when looking for the right glasses. However, you may want to visually emphasise yours rather than your hair or skin tone.

Best Glasses For Blue Eyes

Blue-eyed guys do well with many different coloured frames, but blue and grey tend to be the best. The blue brings out the blue in your eyes, and grey is often an undertone to blue eyes, which serves as a great complement.

Blue Eyes With Blue And Grey Glasses

Best Glasses For Brown Eyes

Men with brown eyes look best with Earth tones near them: browns, greens, and similar colours such as tortoiseshell.

Brown Eyes With Gold Green And Tortoiseshell

Best Glasses For Green Eyes

Whilst you could theoretically choose green frames, that may be a bit too coherent with the relatively rare green eye. Instead, opt for brown or golden earthy colours to really bring them out.

Green Eyes With Brown And Gold Frames

Best Glasses For Hazel Eyes

As hazel has a hint of grey in its coloration, grey frames are a particularly smart choice. Alternatively, green is a great choice to make your eyes pop.

Hazel Eyes With Green And Grey Glasses

Choosing Glasses Based On Your Own Style & Persona

Whilst we’ve mostly covered how glasses will match your physical attributes, there are also personal considerations too. We recommend choosing frames and colours that are compatible with your own tastes.

Furthermore, your wardrobe plays an important role and it’s far easier to choose glasses according to your attire rather than the other way around. As much as glasses can be expensive, we don’t want to imagine the price of having to adapt an entire wardrobe to a single pair a glasses!

We’ll often talk about the concept of personae. This is a simplified albeit handy tool for determining what would suit different kinds of people as well as the character they wish to project.

For instance, we’ve outlined the following personae or styles, which you can read more about:

Simply scroll down to learn about them all or click on the one that you relate to the most just by name!

A Fashionable Man In Suit & Straightening Tie July 2015Best Glasses For Classic Men

Subdued and understated, classic men tend to aim for the balanced subtle elegance of conventional styling. They aren’t necessarily conservative but suitable for any environment including the workplace.

Their attention to detail is immaculate and tend to suit black, grey or even tortoiseshell colours the most.

Even if they like classic frames, they tend to prefer cooler, modern ones instead.

A Football Soccer Player Striking Ball July 2017Best Glasses For Athletic Men

A penchant for fashionable streetwear and fond of sports, you’re an energetic individual who likes wearing jeans and a tee. However, you aren’t afraid of a suit as long as its paired with a pair of Pumas or Stan Smiths.

Bright colours tend to be the way to go but you’re also fond of modern metallic frames such as semi-rimless or wraparound glasses.

A Rugged Bearded Hipster With Axe July 2017Best Glasses For Rugged Men

Americana workwear, a scruffy beard and a love of the outdoors, rugged men are tough with a soft interior. You can chop wood and throw an axe when you’re not guzzling the latest craft beers.

Earthy tones such as dark brown or green tend to be your first pick for glasses. However, you’re also fond of wayfarer or browline frames if you could choose.

Vintage man smoking pipeBest Glasses For Vintage Enthuasiasts

Fond of the styles from bygone eras, you’re known at the local thrift store and love to carry a pocket watch. A man out of time with a romantic, nostalgic view, you’re still open to new trends if they’re rooted in old traditions.

Gold metal frames are your preferred choice but you also love black plastic or even tortoiseshell frames. When it comes to the frames themselves, you’re often torn between rounds or browline glasses.

eccentric man in round glasses framesBest Glasses For Eccentric Men

Adventurous, outspoken and daring, you’re not afraid if people stop and stare. Your wardrobe is bold with many accessories to choose from.

You’re not afraid of trying new things that are brash and bright. Therefore, any frame style will do but usually in bright colours as well as clear or white.

Choosing Your Glasses According To Your Face Shape

The final yet most important factor in choosing your glasses is ensuring that they complement your face shape. This is achieved by balancing out certain features that you may have or indeed lack.

Given that we all have differently shaped faces, there are glasses that will either complement or throw off your attributes. Therefore, different designs will certainly suit some people more than others.

We have identified 7 different face shapes, which we cater to in many of our styling guides from beards to hairstyles. Likewise, every frame design that we cover in detail gets the same treatment with our comments on how well it will suit these face shapes.

Therefore, there’s a lot of information to take in that we can’t cover in a single place.

Firstly, you’ll need to identify your face shape if you don’t already know it. Our easy guide linked in the previous sentence takes only minutes and you’ll be able to read about your face shape in detail.

However, if you do already know your face shape, you can use the following menu to read more about it:

In the guides above, you’ll find a section on glasses. This will then lead you to all the frames that we recommend as well as a few styling tips to keep in mind.

Tying It All Together

Man in blue tinted sunglassesNow that you’ve read about all the factors for choosing the best glasses, you’ll likely have a lot to think about. We realise that this is a lot of information and there are a few decisions that you’ll need to make for yourself.

Firstly, you won’t be able to cater to every single consideration that we’ve listed in this article. For instance, eye and hair colour are rarely the same natural colour and choosing something for them may contradict your skin tone.

Therefore, you’ll have to pick and choose what you want to complement or not. We would list out the following order of priorities when choosing glasses:

  1. Face Shape
  2. Skin Tone
  3. Hair Colour
  4. Eye Colour

Note that we haven’t included persona or contrast as these are personal choices independent of the colours that suit you best.

Now What?

If you’re ready to read more, we recommend that you now look at the following guides:

Glasses Choosing Guide
Reviewed by Roger G, on .
"Really detailed guide. Lots of information here to help find the perfect glasses to wear!"
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

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