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Spectacle frames for Teenagers : Five shopping tips

laughing girl wearing eyeglasses

Shopping for spectacle frames with your teen can be a lot of fun but choosing frames can be overwhelming, too.

These five tips will make the process of finding great-looking glasses for teenagers much easier.

1. Choose frames that complement your face shape, features and colouring.

Choosing spectacles that complement your appearance begins with taking a close look at the shape of your face.

If your face is angular or square, round and oval frames look best. The opposite also is true: if your face is round or oval, you'll usually look best in square and angular frames to balance your facial features.

Also, if the top of your face is wider than the bottom (heart-shaped), select a frame with a dramatic (wider, heavier, etc.) bottom edge for balance. Conversely, if your face is wider on the bottom, choose a frame with a more prominent brow line.

The frame's bridge can influence the appearance of your eyes and nose. A thin or clear bridge gives the illusion of width to close-set eyes, while a coloured one will make wide-set eyes appear closer together. Also, a low bridge will make your nose appear shorter.

The colour of your spectacle frames should complement your colouring, including skin tone (warm or cool), skin colour (ranging from fair to dark) and hair colour. A "warm" skin tone has a golden yellow tint; a "cool" skin tone has either blue or pink as its base colour.

Frame colours that are a good match with warm skin tones include brown, most metals, and splashy colours. Colours that complement cool tones include grey, silver and muted colours.

The colour of your skin and the colour of your hair influence the best frame choices as well. If you have light colouring (ivory skin and blonde hair, for example), consider more subtle frame colours.

For medium colouring (olive skin and brown hair, for example), light-coloured metals and brown frames tend to look the best. If you have dark colouring (chocolate skin and black hair, for example) most metallic frames will look good.

What if your colouring is kind of mixed, like fair skin and medium-brown hair? Try frames that match each colouring to see which suits you better.

Still not sure? Bring a friend along to help you decide.

2. Pick frames that are not too big, not too small.

If you choose a frame that is too large, your lenses can make your face appear distorted. If your frame is too small, you limit your peripheral vision.

Generally, the frames shouldn't be wider than the widest part of your face, with the exception of frames for oval faces, which can be a little wider.

When you put on a pair of glasses, your pupils should appear at (or very near) the centre of the lenses.

The frames should feel secure on your face, but not so tight that they pinch your nose or leave red marks on your nose, the sides of your head, or behind your ears.

On the other hand, the frames should not be so loose that they slide down your nose.

The top of the frames should not be above your eyebrow line, and the bottom shouldn't touch your cheeks. They should be feel secure and comfortable behind your ears.

3. Choose spectacle frames that match your lifestyle.

You know what your style is: dressy, jeans and T-shirts, bohemian, whatever. Choose spectacle frames that will complement your favourite appearance.

4. Don't let your lenses distract.

Reflections in your lenses can distract from the appearance of your glasses, interfere with your vision, and make it difficult for others to see your eyes. Whatever frames you choose, make sure your spectacle lenses include anti-reflection coating for the best vision, comfort and appearance.

5. Weigh the value of frame materials and other features.

Generally, spectacle frame materials can be classified as plastic, metal or a combination of both.

Metal frames

Metal frames — particularly those made of stainless steel or titanium — last longer than most plastic frames. So you might want to consider metal frames if you think you'll want to keep your glasses for a long time and just get new lenses as needed.

As most metal frames have adjustable nose pads, they work well for people whose noses are too small or large for plastic frames.

If you are allergic to certain metals (nickel, for example), make sure you are aware of the exact composition of metal frames and choose one that's hypoallergenic.

Also, take into account the kind of jewelry you like to wear. If you wear a lot of gold, you might not want silver-coloured frames, and vice versa.

Plastic frames

Plastic frames usually need less maintenance than metal ones, but certain types of plastic contract and expand with temperature changes and may require frequent adjustments.

Spring hinges

Do you tend to accidentally break things a lot? If so, you might want to look to consider flexible hinges, which are more durable than regular hinges. For example, you can bend the temples of the frame out more with spring hinges than you can with regular hinges.

So, that's it: five simple steps to fantastic frames for teens. Now, schedule an eye test with an optometrist near you to update your spectacle prescription...and start shopping!

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