The best glasses for oblong face shapes
If you’ve ever shopped for glasses (or sunglasses), you know that different styles can significantly alter the way your face appears. That’s because not all frames suit all face shapes.
In fact, your face shape plays a major part in whether certain frames will look good on you or not.
Knowing things like your hair and skin types, as well as your face shape — whether it’s round, square, heart-shaped or something in between — will go a long way toward helping you find what works best for you.
Luckily, if you have a long (oblong-shaped) face, you’ve hit the eyewear jackpot because many frame styles will work well for you — including perennially popular aviators.
Oblong face shape
Oblong faces are defined by their length — they are about twice as long as they are wide, which is why they’re also known as “long” faces.
With oblong-shaped faces, the forehead, cheekbones and jawline are roughly the same width. When this straight cheek line combines with length, it creates a sort of vertical rectangle. Oblong shapes share similarities with ovals, but they are not the same.
Oblong vs. oval face shape
Often confused with oblong faces, oval-shaped faces are also longer than they are wide, with a softly curved jawline. But, in the case of oval faces, the forehead is always noticeably wider than the chin. One way of recognizing an oval face is to think of the shape of an egg placed upside down (with the wider end at the top).
Meanwhile, oblong-shaped faces may appear oval, but they are longer from top to bottom (vertical measurement) and have less width at the forehead (horizontal measurement). Unlike ovals, this means there is less contrast between the width of the forehead and chin.
Identifying your face shape
Do you suspect that your face is oblong? There’s one way to find out for sure. To determine the shape of your face, start with these simple steps:
Grab a flexible tape measure (the kind used by a tailor), a notebook and a pen.
Pull your hair away from your face and look directly into a mirror.
Measure your forehead across the widest part (this is usually around halfway between your eyebrows and your hairline) and write down the measurement.
Measure your cheekbones by placing the tape measure across the pointiest part, just below the outer corner of each eye.
Measure your jawline from the tip of your chin to the point below your ear and multiply this number by two to get your full jawline length.
Measure the length of your face by running the tape measure from the center of your hairline to the tip of your chin.
Compare these four measurements and take note of which is the biggest.
Was the length of your face the biggest measurement? If so, then your face is oblong.
SEE RELATED: Infographic: What is my face shape?
Best glasses for oblong faces
If you’ve determined that your face is oblong, you’re in luck. People with oblong-shaped faces are really quite fortunate when it comes to picking out eyewear, whether it’s eyeglasses or sunglasses.
Thanks to its natural balance between forehead, cheeks and chin, an oblong face looks good with just about any eyeglass frame, from cat-eye to square or oval frames, as well as aviator glasses. This means you’ll have plenty of choice when it comes to finding the right eyeglass shape for you.
Why not have some fun and experiment with a range of styles? Below are some ideas to get you started.
Bold, thick and colorful frames
With an oblong-shaped face, bold and striking eyeglass frames can help to break up the length of your face and make it seem more balanced.
In this instance, more is more. Look for a big contrast — the more vivid the color and the thicker the frames, the more dramatic the effect. The goal is to draw attention away from the shape of your face and highlight your eyes, while adding the illusion of width.
That said, bear in mind that your glasses should match your character and personal style. If your eyeglasses are too colorful, loud and daring, they might clash with (or overpower) your personality and kill your vibe.
Square glasses have an undeniable appeal. This classic frame style features pointed angles and a strong outline that help to accentuate and highlight your face’s upper features — the perfect fit for a longer face. Indeed, the sharp corners of square eyeglass frames balance the elongation of an oblong face while also complementing its narrow features.
Your options are endless: From chunky to rimless square frames, colorful plastic or elegant metal, square frames are available in any style for any occasion.
With an oblong face, you want to choose frames that are slightly broader than your cheekbones, as this helps to make your face appear less narrow by adding width.
While cat-eye glasses are synonymous with the 1960s, they’re definitely not a thing of the past. This retro shape has made a real comeback in recent years, adding vintage glam to many a fashionista’s everyday look.
And with their wide and playful frame, cat-eye glasses look great on oblong faces, adding width and accentuating the upper part of the face with their upswept brow-line. There are countless takes on this iconic frame style, from chunky red or black to a delicate wire frame or even a trendy clear finish.
There are no two ways about it: Aviator glasses are the epitome of cool. Originally designed in the 1930s to protect pilots’ eyes against the elements, such as glare from the sun, their classic frames have crossed over from cockpit to catwalk.
And if that’s not reason enough to get yourself a pair, the even better news is that their iconic design — the thin metal frames and teardrop-shaped lenses — pairs perfectly with a long face.
What’s more is that while the original aviator frame is attributed to Ray-Ban, these days almost all eyewear brands have incorporated aviator glasses and sunglasses into their collections. Available styles are unlimited, varying in shape, color and materials, from classic to futuristic and everything in between.
READ MORE: The best glasses for long faces
Frames to avoid if you have an oblong face
Because oblong faces are longer than other face shapes, they benefit from glasses that break up the length of the face by focusing attention on the eyes and forehead, thereby adding some width.
That means you’ll want to avoid especially narrow frames, or frames without a lot of depth, as these can elongate the shape of your face even more.
Celebrities with oblong faces
Many consider an oblong face the most regal of all face shapes. With an elongated forehead, high cheekbones and a strong jawline, this elegant face shape is recognizable in many celebrities.
From Hollywood actresses like Liv Tyler, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker to Carrie Underwood, Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian, these fabulous A-list women have mastered the art of accentuating their long contours with the perfect hair and makeup styling.
Meanwhile, famous oblong face shape men include actors like Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Affleck and Adam Sandler, as well as musicians such as Adam Levine and Ricky Martin, all of whom know how to sport the perfect haircut and facial hair to take advantage of their elongated features.
Finding the right fit for you
With an oblong face shape, you have almost unlimited options when it comes to choosing eyewear. So why not have some fun and try out different styles to find the perfect fit for your facial features?
Just keep in mind that, while there is a great variety of glasses available for oblong faces, you should avoid selecting frames that further elongate your face (such as small round frames) as well as oversized ones that can throw off your evenly placed facial features.
Be sure to visit an eye doctor to get your most recent prescription, then you can go ahead and order the best pair of frames for you.
Page published in March 2021
Page updated in October 2021