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Choosing the best sunglasses for small faces

Woman wearing sunglasses on the beach

Understanding face size

Not sure if you have a small face? Consider the following:


All you need is a mirror and a ruler to measure your face:

  • Stand in front of a mirror and hold a ruler lengthwise across your face.

  • Line up the ruler with your temples, which are on the sides of your face behind your eyes and between your forehead and ears.

  • Measure the distance between your two temples.

Your face is considered small if the width is 4.5 to 5.1 inches.


Here are some common features of small faces:

  • Your cheekbones are wider than your forehead. People with small faces often have high cheekbones.

  • Your face is longer than it is wide. Your high, wide cheekbones are balanced by a rounded and more angular jawline and chin.

  • Your forehead is a little wider than your chin, so your face shape resembles an upside-down egg. This is also called an oval face shape.

Different face shapes can affect what frames look best. 

READ MORE: How to pick the best sunglasses for your face shape

Key factors to consider when choosing sunglasses

When you’re looking for your perfect shades, knowing about fit, frame size and frame shape can help you decide. 


Facial fit is essential when choosing sunglasses for a small face. One easy way to find sunglasses for your face size is to use the frame measurements on a pair you already have that fits you well. The frame measurements are three numbers that are usually marked on the inside of one of the temple arms (the part of the frame that goes behind your ears) of your sunglasses:

These measurements are:

  • Lens width – This is also called the eye size. It’s the first number and is the width of the widest part of one lens. Most lens widths measure 44 to 62 mm.

  • Bridge width – This is the second number and measures the width of the bridge at the top of the frame that sits on your nose. On most frames, the bridge size is 14 to 24 mm.

  • Temple length – This is the third number. The temple arms are measured from the hinge to the tip and commonly range from 120 to 150 mm.

Most of the time, the lens width and bridge width numbers are separated with a small square.

Frame size

Sunglasses with these frame measurements will generally work for people with small faces:

  • Lens width between 47 and 52 millimeters.

  • Bridge width between 15 and 22 millimeters. Choose the wider bridge for round frames.

  • Temple length between 130 and 145 millimeters.

Frame shape 

These are the frame shapes that should complement most small faces:

  • Square – Smaller square frames won’t overpower a small face. But they will highlight the cheekbones.

  • Oval – Oval frames are a great alternative for wearers who like a round shape but are looking for something softer that flatters their face.

  • Rectangular – Rectangular frames are a good choice, similar to square sunglasses. The shape adds depth to smaller faces.

  • Cat-eye – This frame also highlights the cheekbones, and the iconic shape is always in style.

Shapes to avoid

Avoid the following frame shapes and sizes:

  • Tall – These frames can cover too much of your face and make it look even smaller.

  • Oversized – Like tall frames, wearing large sunglasses can overpower your face.

  • Aviators – This shape isn’t an absolute no. Look for smaller aviators that complement your face size and shape.

  • Thick frames – As with oversized frames, thick frames can cover up too much of your face.

  • Round – Round sunglasses are often too big for a small face. If you like round frames, opt for a smaller size.

Women’s sunglasses for small faces

Take a look at some of the best sunglasses for women with small faces.

You can’t go wrong with vintage cat-eye sunglasses.

Oval frames are a great choice.

Aviator sunglasses are classic.

SEE RELATED: Best women’s sunglasses for your face shape

Men’s sunglasses for small faces 

Here are some of the best frames for men with small faces. 

Rectangular frames are especially flattering for small faces.

Choose square shades for protection and style.

SEE RELATED: Men’s sunglasses: Which are best for your face shape?

Top-rated brands

If you’re ready to buy a new pair of shades, consider these top sunglasses brands

  • Ray-Ban is the way to go if you want a pair of aviators. You can choose from a number of frame and lens colors.

  • Maui Jim has a wide variety of sunglasses with rectangular frames. They also offer rimless rectangular shades.

  • Do you want prescription sunglasses? Try Transitions lenses. These lenses darken when you’re outside or exposed to UV light and go back to clear when you’re inside. You can get Transitions lenses in several colors, and they fit in any frame.

  • Check out Persol for sunglasses with a square or rectangular frame. Persol shades are popular around the world thanks to the brand’s timeless styles. 

Now that you have some guidelines for finding the best sunglasses for small faces, you can shop with confidence and find your perfect pair.

READ MORE: Best glasses for small faces

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