HER STYLE: Shape Up For Summer

HER STYLE: Shape Up For Summer

I’ll be perfectly honest, I have somewhat reduced my personal collection of sunglasses over the past year or two as I owned far too many and just didn’t get round to wearing them all (it’s not that sunny to warrant 15 pairs!) I decided to condense my collection down to a select few that suit my wardrobe and style perfectly.

As you know I am a massive fan of accessories, I spend more on shoes, handbags, scarves and jewellery than I do on clothes and I see sunglasses also fitting into this ‘essential accessories’ category.

Regardless of where you live or the time of the year, sunglasses are a required part of every stylish women’s wardrobe. We have perennially bad weather here in Britain but it is all too easy to get caught out. If you’re anything like me, squinting (and ultimately getting a headache not to mention wrinkles!) I carry my sunglasses around with me all the time. There’s a pair in my bag and one in my car so I never get caught out or encourage the fine lines appearing!

However, sunglasses are notoriously difficult to get right. From the shape of your face to your hairstyle and even your hair colour, choosing the right frame can be a bit of a minefield. Couple this with the huge number of styles on offer, the whole experience can become particularly frustrating, confusing and unrewarding.

So, in preparation for the coming sunny weather (positive thinking and all that) and to help you lovely lot get your heads around what sunglasses you might want to wear, here is a short guide to buying the perfect pair of sunglasses:

Select a size

Sunglasses come in all shapes and sizes. Generally, finding a contrast between your face shape and the frame shape will look good. For example, if you have a round face, more angular frames will work well, and if your face is more square, a rounder softer frame shape will look good.

Here are a few popular styles:

  • Mirror Shades – Mirrored coating on surface. They usually come in an aviator or wraparound shape, my personal favourite are by Porsche and Tom Ford.
  • Aviators – Teardrop-shaped lens and thin metal frames. Good with any face shape, but best with an oval shape. Victoria Beckham does some beautiful ones.
  • Wayfarers – Popular in the 1950s and 1960s, worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You can’t go wrong with the infamous RayBan’s.
  • Teashades – Popularized by John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne. They’re not very effective at keeping light out of your eyes, but are coming back into the fashion spotlight.
  • Wraparounds – Usually associated with athletics and extreme sports.
  • Oversized –My personal favourite are by Celine and Chloe, oh so glam!
Use the shape of your face to help you pick your sunglasses shape

The following face shape matched to sunglasses style is recommended but not essential:

Oval face: The oval type can wear any style of glasses. But best to avoid frames that are either too thick or too thin or wider than your face width.

Square face: Because this face shape has very straight, pronounced jawline and edges, choose round glasses to balance out these features. Make sure the frames are not too thick. Try to choose wider sunglasses and avoid rectangular glasses with sharp corners.

Round face: A round face has plumper cheeks and chin. Choose more rectangular or square sunglasses that have an angle design to balance this out.

Long face: Choose larger lenses and the rectangular frame to modify a long face.

Make sure the sunglasses fit properly

Try them on and make sure they don’t pinch around your head. The weight should be evenly distributed between your ears and nose, and your eyelashes shouldn’t touch the frame or lenses. Glasses should be your stand on the bridge of the nose and ears. If your sunglasses don’t fit well you can go to an opticians to have them adjusted.

Sunglasses Top Tips

  • Aim to protect your eyes first and foremost. Excessive exposure to UV radiation can cause a variety of problems for your eyes such as cataracts, burns, and cancer.
  • Try before you buy. Don’t buy online without doing your research first. There are too many variables to consider and whether or not a style will suit you depends on a great deal more than just knowing your face shape. Go into a shop and test loads of different styles to find what works for you, even if you then go back online to buy your perfect pair for the best price (remember to note the model number).
  • Consider your hair colour/skin tone. Coloured frames and lenses can be a fantastic way to inject individuality but, as with clothing, certain colours can drain your complexion or clash with your hair colour. Experimenting is the only sure-fire way to ensure you make the right decision.
  • Consider your hair style/length. Hair covers much of our head, so it’s important to remember that it has the potential to completely change the shape of our face. Long hair can often soften features whilst short hair will leave them completely exposed.
  • Don’t take the above as gospel. Rules are meant to be broken, so don’t just stick to them if you feel you don’t want to. By all means try different colours, styles and shapes, the advice I have given is never anything more than a guide.
  • Remember the classics. Classic frames are considered as such for a reason. They work and have done for decades so don’t be afraid to try a certain style just because lots of other people are already wearing them. Be aware of brands producing updated/limited edition versions of their iconic styles; there are lots of very similar frames available that are only slightly different, but those small changes can make all the difference.
  • Invest. Sunglasses are worthy of investment so don’t be afraid to push the boat out. Better lenses, better build quality and a better overall look are certainly worth the extra cost and should last years. Cheap alternatives don’t look the same, don’t feel the same and won’t have the same protective qualities.
  • Sports glasses are for sport. Keep Oakleys for the slopes. Enough said.

Finding the perfect pair of sunglasses can seem like a daunting task, but it is definitely a challenge worth undertaking. Not only is it hugely important that we protect our precious eyes from the sun but they can also become a trademark of your personal style (and hide a multitude of sins!).

Take time over your search and try as many different styles as possible. Enjoy the process of finding them, you’ll know the right ones as soon as you put them on you’ll feel amazing. Once you’ve found them, wear them with pride, just not when it’s raining, not sunny, inside or at night (it’s not cool!).

If you need more help, you know where to find me,

Your Fairy Clothes Mother xx


Working as a Buyer and Image Consultant for high street fashion chains as well as high end designers, including Amanda Wakeley, Cleo now runs her own personal styling and shopping service, helping real men and women to take control of their wardrobe.
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