As the transition from spring to summer rapidly approaches, you need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays-and look fashion-forward while doing it. "Sunglasses can make an incredibly strong statement about your style," says Rachel Matthews Burton, a Toronto-based celeb stylist.
Ideally, the perfect pair of sunglasses will complement your face shape, facial features and your personal style. We've put together the go-to-guide to finding the right sunglasses for you.
But first things first-if you're unsure about how to define your face shape, Matthews Burton has a fun way to find out. "Take an old lipstick, look in a mirror and draw the outline of your face," she suggests. "Whatever outline you see should give you the shape of your face." But, as she adds, " It's not only about the shape of the sunglasses, it's also about the scale-meaning the size of the lens, the size of the frame itself and the size of your features." Colour is another key factor. "Think about how you wear your makeup. If you're very fair, it's unlikely that you would plaster on heavy, dark makeup. The same principle applies to sunglasses."
Rectangular cat-eye sunglasses on a round shaped face. Image courtesy of ImaxTree.com.
IF YOU HAVE A ROUND FACE SHAPE ...
Wear: Sunglasses with a rectangular or square frame.
Avoid: Sunglasses with a round frame such as oversized sunglasses, tea shades and aviators.
Expert Tips: Women with round faces should wear sunglasses with a rectangular or square frame to contrast the roundness of her face. If you want to push that rule, Matthews Burton suggests opting for a pair of wayfarers because they have a flat top.
Aviator-like sunglasses on a square shaped face. Image courtesy of ImaxTree.com.
IF YOU HAVE A SQUARE FACE SHAPE ...
Wear: Sunglasses with a round frame like oversized sunglasses, cat-eye sunglasses, tea shades and aviators.
Avoid: Sunglasses with a rectangular or square frame.
Expert Tips: "If you have a very square face you want to offset it with a rounder frame to soften up the edges of your face" says Matthews Burton.
Read on for finding the best shades for oval, heart and oblong face shapes.
Above image courtesy of Leda and St. Jacques.
Oversized cat-eye sunglasses on an oval shaped face. Image courtesy of ImaxTree.com.
IF YOU HAVE AN OVAL FACE SHAPE ...
Wear: Almost any style of sunglasses. However, keep the proportions of your face and the size of your facial features in mind.
Expert Tips: Feel free to experiment. Try a pair of sunglasses with a rectangular or square frame to add some defined angles to your face.
Tea shades on a heart shaped face. Image courtesy of ImaxTree.com.
IF YOU HAVE A HEART FACE SHAPE ...
Wear: Like people with oval shaped faces, you can wear almost any style of sunglasses. However, keep the proportions of your face and the size of your facial features in mind. When choosing, start by trying a pair of cat-eye sunglasses.
Avoid: Sunglasses that are a little too oversized.
Expert Tips: "Almost any shape will work on a heart shaped face but you have to careful that the frame and the lens are not so big that it makes your face look top heavy," explains Matthews Burton.
Oversized sunglasses on an oblong shaped face. Image courtesy of ImaxTree.com.
If YOU HAVE AN OBLONG FACE SHAPE ...
Wear: Sunglasses with a round frame like oversized sunglasses.
Avoid: Sunglasses with a small, square frame.
Expert Tips: "Choose a pair of sunglasses with a lens that is wider than it is longer," Matthews Burton advises. "It truncates the face and cuts off some of the length by widening it. It will give balance to the face."
Read on for more of Rachel's expert sunglasses tips and how to coordinate them with your outfits.
Above image courtesy of Leda and St. Jacques.
Expert fashion tips for wearing ...
"I love the aviator on almost any face shape. The scale is excellent, meaning that they're never too big or too small," says Matthews Burton. "That's why they're such a popular style, because they have the unique distinction of being almost universally a good fit. They're kind of like the wrap dress for women." To rock a pair of aviators, Matthews Burton suggests wearing them with something feminine like a floral top or a dress to add an edge to your outfit.
If you want to channel Betty from Mad Men (or better yet Marilyn Monroe), start with a pair of retro-inspired cat-eye sunglasses. "They have a distinct association with an era. So unless that's your thing, unless you have that distinct type of style about you, I would offset it with something is modern and tailored. They can easily become very costumey."
The ever-popular oversized sunglasses might be one of the hardest styles to wear correctly because they can easily overpower your face. If you want to channel boho-chic trendsetters like Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe, Matthews Burton suggests that you pick oversized sunglasses that are well-proportioned to your face. "It's just one of those styles that not everyone can pull off. They have to be really well-proportioned to your face shape and facial features."
Tea shade sunglasses
John Lennon may have made them famous, but tea shades are by far the trickiest style of sunglasses to wear. Matthews Burton explains that, "they're not the most flattering of glasses because they're small and can make the eye look small which isn't the prettiest proportion for the face. If you have a square face you're probably better off with them. I would err on the side of slightly larger instead of slightly smaller."
Thanks in large part to the hipster movement; wayfarers have become the new classic. "The wayfarer had its moment in the ‘80s. It was Risky Business, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club. Today, if you wear a head-to-toe ‘80s-inspired outfit, it can look costumey. I think hipsters have figured it out beautifully. They're geeky chic and they're own unique incarnation now."
Since wayfarers are so popular and come in a variety of styles, they can easily be worn with any outfit. "It's a complementary piece," adds Matthews Burton, "which perhaps explains its popularity and mass appeal. It's a fairly easy to wear. I can't honestly say that there is one face shape in particular that it would look disastrous on. "
If you want to bring out your inner Elton John, don't be shy! "If you have the personality to wear [them] with confidence, go for it" says Matthews Burton. "It has to come down to your personality. It's about can you pull it off and if you feel comfortable. If you're not comfortable, it will show."