Men’s Eyeglass Frames—How to Choose the Right Frames for Your Face
Rectangles are very fashionable for men nowadays, and these shapes can be explored with many different materials. Today’s technology makes it possible for manufacturers to offer extremely thin, lightweight designs that are still strong enough to withstand accidents without bending or breaking, and the flexibility and strength of titanium is appealing to many men. Rimless styles are also extremely popular, and many rimless designs are made of titanium.
Most men enjoy contemporary styling in their eyewear, but the classics — such as aviator sunglasses — still hold up. Double bridge styles can still work for some men, and tortoise-shell coloring works well for men who desire a look that makes a statement. The best thing to do is to work with a stylist or optician who can help you make the appropriate selection for your prescription and the shape of your face.
Men’s Eyeglass Styles
Men’s eyeglasses come in five basic styles:
- Full Rim: Full rim frames completely encircle the lens. They come in several different shapes, including circle, oval, and rectangle.
- Rimless: Rimless glasses consist of only the lenses, temples, and nose bridge. The lenses attach directly to the temples, making them the lightest type of eyeglass frame. Because they do not have the rim to protect them, however, they are the least durable style of frame. Depending on the brand and manufacturer, they may be more expensive too.
- Semi-rimless: Semi-rimless frames cover half the lens, usually the upper half. They are slightly heavier than rimless frames and use a wire or screw to connect the lenses to the temple.
- Horn-rimmed: This style got its name from the fact that these glasses were traditionally made from horn or shell. They feature a saddle bridge instead of nose pads. They are often heavy and have rectangular rims and lenses with dark plastic frames.
- Brow Bar: The basic aviator design can be compared to this style. Brow bar frames are very similar to full-rim frames, only they feature a double bridge, or brow bar, above the nose bridge to connect the tops of the frames.
Choosing Frames for Your Face
The first thing you should do when choosing eyeglass frames is determine the shape of your face. One vision expert recommends pulling your hair back off your face while looking into a mirror and outlining your face with lipstick or a similar substance. The most common face shapes are oval, circular, rectangular, diamond, triangular, heart-shaped, and square. In general, your frames should contrast with the shape of your face. Here are some additional tips for choosing the right frames for your face:
- The top of the frame should be at or just below your eyebrow line
- Your eyes should be close to the center of the lens
- If you have a long nose or wide-set eyes, try a thick, darker-colored bridge that rests low on the nose.
- If your eyes rest closer together, look for a high, thin, light-colored bridge or a very thin frame.
- If your face is short or wide, try a highly placed temple
- If your hair falls around your face, try a thin, light frame
- Bold frames look best on people with minimal or sleek hair around the face
Other factors to take into consideration include your skin tone, hair color, makeup, clothing, and lifestyle. If possible, try to find an experienced optician who can help you choose the best eyeglass frames for you.
Here are some questions to ask your optician about eyeglass frames:
- Which style of frame do you think would look best on my face?
- Based on my lifestyle, which material would be best for my frames?
- Which colors can I choose from?
- Are you running any promotions?
- How durable are the frames I’m interested in?
- How easily can my frames be adjusted for comfort and fit?
Men’s Eyeglass Frame Materials
The most common materials used to make eyeglass frames for men’s styles are nylon, plastic, and metal. Newer titanium or polycarbonate frames are resistant to damage, making them appealing to men who work in hazardous environments or who love to participate in sports. Many people who like polycarbonate lenses prefer polycarbonate eyeglass frames too.
- Traditional plastic frames are made of a material called zyl, which can be bent into any shape when heated and cooled. Zyl comes in a variety of colors and is one of the most popular materials used to make eyeglass frames. For people who want the strength of metal but the weight of plastic, carbon powder can be added to the plastic, making carbon fiber. Carbon-fiber frames are durable and also come in a variety of colors. Cheaper plastics, such as cellulose proprionate, are known to break easily and can be difficult to adjust. You will often see reading glasses and sunglasses with frames made from these materials. With several types of plastics to choose from, the decision really boils down to the type of eyeglass frames that would benefit you most.
- Metal frames are often gold-colored, but they are rarely made from actual gold. Eyeglass manufacturers use a process called electroplating to make the metal look like gold. Aluminum is a popular material used to make men’s eyeglass frames. Aluminum is lightweight, but very strong. It is resistant to corrosion and comes in a variety of colors. Typically, designs for aluminum frames are limited, as this material cannot be soldered or welded very easily. Screws and rivets are used to connect the different sections of the frame.
- Titanium is very resistant to damage. Despite its durability and strength, it is one of the lightest metal frame materials available. Because of its desirable features and due to the difficulty of welding or molding it, titanium men’s eyeglass frames are usually more expensive than other types of metal frames. One unique feature of titanium-composite frames is their ability to return to their original shape if they are bent. This is why titanium is known as “memory metal.” Stainless steel is another type of metal used to make men’s eyeglass frames. Stainless steel usually consists of 67 percent iron and 18 percent chrome. It can withstand corrosion, but is known to be brittle.
- Beryllium is strong, lightweight, and resistant to damage. Because it is expensive, however, beryllium is often combined with other metals, such as copper, to make frames.
- Nylon frames are usually seen on sports and safety glasses. These frames are unbreakable when they are new, but as time passes they lose moisture and become brittle. Nylon frames should never be your choice if you are looking for long-term eyeglasses.
- Polyamide is a blend of nylons used to make eyeglasses. This material is durable, lightweight, flexible, scratch-resistant, and comes in a variety of colors. One problem with polyamide frames is their tendency to warp when exposed to heat.
What’s Trending in Men’s Eyeglass Frames
Here is what is trending in men’s eyeglass frames:
Style: Brow Bar
Average Retail Price: $175.00
Brand: Oakley Deringer
Style: Full Rim
Average Retail Price: $250.00
Materials: Plastic and Metal
Average Retail Price: $125.00
Brand: Tag Heuer
Average Retail Price: $350.00
Brand: L Amy W-Port
Style: Full Rim
Average Retail Price: $150
Did you know … According to a study conducted by Firmoo.com, most men do not consider comfort or fit before purchasing eyeglass frames.
- PR-USA.NET, Welcome to a Whole New Dimension in EyeWear, May 2011, http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=736152&Itemid=30
- J. Anshel, MD “Smart Medicine for Your Eyes” (SquareOne Publishers, 2011) 347-350
- J. Weizer, MD; J. Stein, MD, MS “Reader’s Digest Guide to Eye Care” (Quantum Publishing Ltd. 2009) 34