The best glasses for round face shapes
Round, square, oblong or diamond — the shape of your face determines which type of eyeglasses look best on you. Indeed, not all frames suit all faces as certain shapes can make a face seem significantly rounder, squarer or longer.
Therefore, being able to identify and better understand your face shape is a helpful skill when it comes to perfecting your personal look. If you have a round shape face and are wondering which glasses are best suited to you, we have the answers.
Choosing the right glasses for your face shape
The shape of your eyeglasses can greatly affect the way your face appears, for better or worse. The secret to finding the perfect pair of eyeglasses for your face shape is following the maxim of “opposites attract.” What this means is that you want to create contrast between your frames and your face, using your glasses to counterbalance your most defining contours.
In a nutshell, this means that with a round face you should stay away from circular glasses. You’ll want to lean toward angular frames to help make your face appear longer and thinner, and less rounded and wide.
This rule of contrasts also applies to other face shapes: For instance, with a square face, you’ll want to soften the facial angles with round or oval-shaped frames instead of accentuating your angular lines with square or rectangular frames.
Identifying your face shape
In order to determine what shape your face is, follow these simple steps:
Get 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 the width of your face across your cheekbones by placing the tape measure across the pointiest part, just below the outside 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 are the biggest.
Round face shape characteristics
With a round face shape, the width of your face at your cheekbones and length of your face are roughly the same. They are bigger than the forehead and jawline, which will be about the same.
The angle of the jaw is soft and much less defined than with a square face. The chin is rounder than with an oval face.
Generally speaking, a round face is blessed with soft, gently contoured features as well as fuller cheeks than most other face shapes. The result is often a more youthful appearance. Lucky you!
Round vs. oval face shape
Sometimes mistaken for each other, round and oval-shaped faces are similar but not the same. Just like a round face shape, an oval face shape has a slightly rounded jawline and wide cheekbones. But with an oval face the forehead is noticeably wider than the chin, and the chin is slightly pointed — much like the shape of an egg placed upside down.
With a round face there isn’t that visible difference between the forehead and chin. The chin is much more rounded, which makes the overall appearance of the face more circular.
What shape glasses are best for a round face?
You have plenty of options when trying to compliment a round face. With the right shape of eyeglasses, you can really accentuate the natural appeal of the soft angles of your rounded face as well as help to make it look thinner and more defined.
So if you have a round face what shape glasses should you wear? The most important thing to bear in mind is to select frames that work to add angles and length, rather than width or roundness. There are plenty of suitable styles to choose from. Below are broad categories of eyeglass frames that can work particularly well with round face shapes.
Square and rectangular frames
With a round-shaped face, square and rectangular frames are your best bet. Their shape can really add balance and angles to your softly rounded features. With their sharp angles and strong outline, these types of frames can work wonders in helping to break up the circular structure of a round face shape and making your face appear longer and slimmer.
Your options are endless. From chunky to rimless, from boldly colored acetate to subtle metal, square and rectangular frames come in all sorts of styles. Dare to be square!
Angular and geometric frames
Just like square and rectangular frames, angular and geometric frames add sharper, more distinct lines and angles to your face and thereby create balance. These uniquely designed eyeglasses come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find regular and irregular shapes as well as various polygonal shapes such as pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon and dodecagon.
Choosing geometric frames can give you a really distinctive look, but remember that your glasses should match your character and personal style. Choosing a shape that is too radical might clash with your personality and ruin your look.
Transparent frames became a major fashion hit a few years ago and their popularity hasn’t waned at all.
Whether clear or with a very faint tint, transparent frames are almost invisible from a distance. The absence of a visible frame creates a naturally softer effect on rounded features.
Transparent frames add an instant element of sophistication. They beautifully complement and highlight the soft features of a round face. They’re available in many different styles and sizes, giving you plenty of options when it comes to choosing your perfect pair.
The iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarer glasses were first launched all the way back in the 1950s — think James Dean — but their historic status certainly doesn’t make them a thing of the past.
Wayfarers have a large, angular shape which makes them seem ideally suited for men, but they have become just as popular with women. Thanks to a horizontal rectangular design, Wayfarers are an ideal choice for people with round faces. Not only do these frames add a touch of old Hollywood glam to your look, their distinctive angles contrast and balance your soft features perfectly.
Synonymous with the 1950s and ’60s, cat-eye glasses have a distinctive shape that sweeps up at the temples. They are flattering on almost every face regardless of the shape. But they are especially flattering on round faces because they add a contouring effect, simultaneously elongating the face and adding an upswept focus point that both lifts and slims the face.
As a person with a round face, you don’t want to go for overly rounded cat-eye frames. Instead, choose squarer cat-eye glasses such as a style with a thick brow-line and a thin metal bottom rim to really complement your features.
The ultimate timeless style, aviator glasses have been around for almost a century, crossing over from pilots and outdoor sports enthusiasts to mainstream fashion.
The aviator’s unmistakable design, with the thin metal frames and teardrop-shaped lenses, generally works well with most face shapes — but not necessarily a round face. However, a similar style known as the “navigator” that squares off the bottom of the teardrop might be an option for you.
Navigator frames work wonders on round faces as they help to add definition. And as with traditional aviators, they’re available from most eyewear brands.
Soft features provide a lovely canvas for big and bold frames. For this reason, oversized frames tend to work very well for round faces.
Big, thick frames that don’t get lost on your face can help to bring structure to a soft-featured round face. This is true regardless of the shape of the frame. Less is definitely not more in this situation. The bigger the frames and the bolder the choice of color, thickness or overall shape, the more dramatic the effect. So why not supersize your look?
Timeless and versatile, D-frame glasses tend to be as tall as they are wide. A flat top gives them a more squared shape which makes them ideal for people with round faces.
Called D-frames because that’s what they look like when they’re put on their side, they add width without drawing too much attention to the roundness of the face.
D-frame glasses are available in a myriad of shapes and sizes. But on a round face, oversized models or more traditional frames with a square lens and angular lines work best.
Frames to avoid with a round face shape
As we’ve established, round faces are defined by a more circular shape and softer features than most other face shapes. They, therefore, benefit from frames that help to draw attention away from the roundness of the face and instead bring structure and definition while also adding length to make the face look slimmer.
With a round face, you want to avoid especially round or small glasses as these will only accentuate the roundness of your face and exaggerate your features. What applies to glasses for round face shapes also is true for the best sunglass shape for round faces.
Round face shape — the bottom line
With a round face shape, you have almost unlimited choices available to you when it comes to suitable eyewear. So why not have some fun experimenting and trying out different styles? From square and geometric shapes to boldly colored or transparent frames, cat-eyes, Wayfarers and navigators, a whole world of choices is open to you.
Page updated March 2021