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Looking Good! Shopping for Eyewear

CLOAC102Your face is perfect, your hair is gorgeous, your clothes suit you perfectly, your walk is convincing you’re ready to go! You put on your glasses for a last quick check, and presto! Conan the Librarian! What happened?

It’s the glasses, isn’t it? How do you go about buying a nice, feminine pair of glasses that looks and fits well with a minimum of expense, bother and embarrassment?

First, don’t skimp on the optical quality. If you’re at all serious about crossdressing, you’ll want a pair that you can wear routinely without eyestrain. Your regular prescription will work, obviously, but if it’s out of date, get it rechecked.

When it comes time to choose frames, there is simply no substitute for personal shopping. There are many excellent, reputable, knowledgeable optical dispensers who welcome the crossdressing community. At some point, you’re going to have to try them on for measurement and fit, so why not make an evening of it? Pick a quiet time or phone for a private appointment and take at least your femme hair or wig. Take a supportive friend if your confidence needs a boost or if you want a second opinion!

A good fitter will help you select frames that complement the shape of your face. If you’re browsing on your own, here are some tips on what to look for.

Colour, detail and finish all contribute to the overall look of a frame. Gaudy, brightly coloured frames draw attention perhaps unwanted to your face. Heavy or bright gold frames can wash out a light face and compete with blonde hair. Thin, dark frames can emphasize shape without drawing attention to themselves. Detail engraving, filigree or cutout work can lighten and feminize an otherwise ordinary frame.

Your overall facial shape should guide your choice of frame shape, followed by your taste in styles, colour and detail. Compare the illustrations below to the shape of your face, and check the suggestions given.

Oval Face

ovalface_sBecause of its mostly balanced proportions, the oval face is considered to be the ideal shape. The chin in slightly narrower than the forehead, and the cheekbones are high Frames should keep the oval’s natural balance. Select frames that are as wide or wider than the broadest part of the face.

  • Avoid low, swooping temples, which unbalance the face.
  • Keep frames in proportion to the face.
  • Emphasize your best feature by repeating it.
  • Follow your browline, don’t let eyewear create a new expression.

Shapes to try: yglass5 yglass1

Heart-shaped Face

heartface_sVery wide forehead and high cheekbones. Face narrows gradually to the chin. Frames should add width below the eyeline to offset the narrow chin.

  • Try frames that are wider at the bottom.
  • Other choices include aviator, butterfly, or low-triangle styles; frames with rounded tops and squared bottoms will also work.
  • Low temples will add balance.
  • Very light colours and rimless styles are also effective.

Shapes to try: yglass4 yglass14

Round Face

roundface_sA round face is just that – full, with few angles, and width and length in the same proportions. Frames should make the face appear longer and thinner.

  • Slightly angular, narrow frames will lengthen the round face.
  • Avoid excessively rounded styles, which will exaggerate facial roundness.
  • High or mid-height temples help to create a longer profile.
  • A clear bridge widens the eyes and coloured temples add width.
  • The frames should be wider than they are deep.

Shapes to try: yglass9 yglass2

Square Face

squareface_sA square face is characterized by a strong jaw line, a broad forehead, and a wide chin and cheekbones. Frames should make the face look longer.

  • Gently curved narrow styles will minimize squareness and lengthen the face.
  • The frames should be wider than the widest part of the face.
  • Frames should be more horizontal than vertical.
  • Select frames with weight on top.
  • Try oval shapes with temples in the centre
  • Colour or skiving (ornamental engraving) on the frames’ outer corners will lengthen the face; so will decorative temples hinged above eye level.

Shapes to try: yglass10 yglass7

Triangular Face

triangleface_sThe triangular face has a narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and chin areas. Frames should add width to the forehead while softening and narrowing the appearance of jaw, chin, and cheeks.

  • Frames should accent the eye area and be wide enough to balance the jaw line.
  • Frame tops should be slightly heavy, with skiving; bottoms should angle inward.
  • Avoid low-temple styles.
  • Try square, straight-top aviators, or metal frames with rimless bottoms.
  • Use exciting dominant colours to balance jawline.

Shapes to try: yglass6 yglass12

Diamond Face

diamondface_sDiamond-shaped faces are narrow at the eyeline and jaw line, with a small forehead and chin. Cheekbones are frequently high and dramatic. The diamond is the rarest face shape. Frames should widen the forehead and jaw and minimize the temples and cheekbones

  • Choose frames that are heavy on top, but avoid lowered temples.
  • Frame sides can be straight or rounded. Rimless frames are a good choice.
  • Square frames or frames with a straight top and curved bottom will also work.
  • Do not let the frame shape hide the great cheekbones.

Shapes to try: yglass11 yglass3

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