Choosing glasses and frames to match your style and personality
Because people generally recognize you by your face, the eyeglasses you choose become part of your identity.
Whether you want to appear sophisticated, fun-loving, youthful, conservative or style-conscious, the right eyewear can help you shape how you are perceived.
And if you choose to wear only one pair of eyeglasses for everything you do, that says something about you, too!
What do your eyeglasses say about you?
Eyeglasses can help people see the real you, or they can help create the image you want. The key is to find the right eyeglasses frames to match your personality and lifestyle.
The first step, according to eyewear styling experts, is to consider the different aspects of your life.
For different looks to suit the occasion, most people can benefit from more than one pair of eyeglasses, just as they need more than one pair of shoes.
Are you a fast-paced businessperson, an active outdoor enthusiast, a busy mom, a retired senior or a student? Are you a creative person, such as an artist or writer?
Or, like most people, do you have a lifestyle that encompasses a number of different activities, interests and personality traits?
To narrow down your choices, consider what eyewear experts suggest in terms of styling, color, material and size for various lifestyles.
Eyeglasses for serious business
To help instill trust and confidence among a wide variety of your business clients and colleagues, it's usually best to stay with conservative frame shapes and colors. Consider these choices to enhance your professional image:
Classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles and almonds.
Traditional colors of gold, silver, brown, gray and black.
Avoid bright colors or unusual shapes.
Titanium and stainless steel frames also good choices, as are rimless designs.
Silver, gunmetal, golden tones, brown and black are recommended for business wear because these are easy, conservative tones to wear and match with business suits. Classic tortoise patterns also work well with business attire for both men and women.
Eyeglasses that show your creativity and fashion savvy
One way to show your creative, fashionista side is with modern shapes, such as geometric designs in thicker and larger plastic frames. Many modern metal frames also can be creative in appearance.
Glasses for the modern senior
Just because you are nearing retirement age doesn't mean you have to wear stodgy, old-fashioned glasses. And men: Get rid of those giant metal frames that dominate your face.
To keep looking young and fashionable, consider choosing frames that have shapes that are uplifting for the face, such as upswept rectangles for men and soft cat-eye shapes for women.
Also, choose frames that add color to your face, especially plastic frames with a bright, shiny finish.
Eyeglasses for students
Whether you're studying engineering or art, business or literature, college is a time to develop your own identity — and show off your style.
Consider frames with eye-catching colors and shapes, larger sizes and interesting details such as color laminations. Don't be afraid to express yourself.
Glasses for the busy mom or dad
For busy parents on-the-go with little time to worry about the latest trends in eyewear, glasses that are a modern version of a classic shape are a good choice.
Ovals, upswept rectangles and soft cat-eye shapes are very functional and still look great.
Depending on your personal style, you could choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewelry-like metal accents or recognizable designer logos.
Eyeglasses for the weekend lifestyle
Most adults live dual lives — their "normal" 9-to-5 weekday life and a more active lifestyle on the weekends.
Just as dress shoes are the wrong attire for the gym, your regular 9-to-5 eyeglasses may be the wrong choice for sports and active wear.
For the best comfort, performance and safety for an active lifestyle after work, choose at least one pair of sport sunglasses, sport eyeglasses or even just a more casual, sports-suggestive eyeglass frame.
Styling can range from frames with a wraparound shape or those with brighter colors or modern combinations of metal and plastic materials.
An important factor in sports eyewear is the lens:
Various lens tints work to enhance your vision in different lighting conditions.
One size does NOT fit all
We all like convenience. But to complement your multi-dimensional lifestyle, you need more than one pair of eyeglasses.
Just as you have different styles of clothes in your wardrobe for different purposes and occasions, you also should have different styles of eyeglasses, too.
A few notes about eyeglass lenses
Finally, here are a few important notes about eyeglass lenses:
Always choose anti-reflective coating for your lenses. This clear coating eliminates annoying reflections, improves night vision and enables people to see your eyes more clearly.
Photochromic lenses that automatically darken in sunlight are a great choice if you spend time outdoors and don't want to always carry a pair of sunglasses with you.
If you're over age 40, why advertise your age with bifocals or trifocals? Line-free progressive lenses provide clear vision at all distances and give older adults a more youthful appearance.
You have many choices in eyewear, and it can get confusing. Ask your eye doctor for advice to find frames and lenses that will help you look and see your best.
Page published in March 2019
Page updated in September 2020