The Importance of Face Shapes

Face shapes for vintage glasses and vintage sunglasses

Choosing the right pair of vintage glasses or vintage sunglasses to suit your face shape can be difficult, especially if you haven't tried them on. Our guide gives you all the hints and tips to help you choose your perfect pair of vintage eyewear. 

The six key face shapes we are going to address are :

  • Oval 
  • Square
  • Round
  • Oblong
  • Heart 
  • Diamond

Oval Faces:

Have a tendency to be longer than they are wide. Their features are balanced and they have a rounded jaw line. Lucky for the oval faces out there, they suit most types of glasses, as long as the frames are no wider than the broadest part of the face. A bold/strong bridge can help to draw focus to the centre of the face, preventing it from looking drawn. Larger frames, vintage cat eye glasses and exciting and eccentric shapes work very well indeed. 

Oblong Faces:

Are longer than they are wide. They tend to have prominent cheekbones and a high forehead which exaggerates the length. All features are well balanced. Oblong faces are best suited to round or square frames as they accentuate the balanced features. You want to add width to the face and this can be achieved by having a colourful top rim or decorative sides.Particularly with oblong faces attention should be given to the distance between your eyes.If your eyes are wide set you want to draw attention to the centre of your face making your eyes appear closer together. This can be done by choosing a frame with a prominent bridge. If your eyes are close set decorative detail on the outer edge of the frame will give the illusion of greater width. 

Square Faces: 

A square face will comprise of a strong jaw line, broad forehead and straight prominent bones. The face will be relatively symmetrical with both the jaw and the forehead being the same width. The idea for those with square face shapes is to soften the face, round frames or oval shapes will help achieve this. Plastic frames should be relatively thin/fine to stop the face appearing bulky. 

Round Faces:

First of all let's get this clear, by no means does a round face mean a fat face. It's just equal in length and width with fuller cheeks and a softer curved jaw line.  What we want to achieve with a round face is some angularity so stay away from round glasses and go for something more square, angular and strong. Plastic frames in strong dark colours  such as blacks and tortoiseshells will draw attention to the natural lines of your face. Thinner metal frames with a prominent  bridge will distract people away from those fuller cheeks and help them focus on your eyes. 

Heart Faces:

Heart shaped faces are wider at the top of the face than the bottom and the cheeks contour down towards the chin. As the facial proportions are less balanced oval and square frames with curved edges suit best. This gives the narrower jaw a more proportioned look. Thin light metal frames or crystal plastic can draw focus towards the eyes and away from the prominent chin.


A diamond shaped face is at its broadest point across the cheekbones and narrows towards the forehead and the chin. To balance the proportions of the face it is important that the glasses are no wider than the cheekbones. Softer frames such as oval shaped will help balance the features of the face. If you want to add width to the brow line choose frames with colour and detail on top. Avoid rimless and cat eye styles as they draw emphasis on the cheek bones. 

Below is an original video from the 1940's, which talks about the "scientific beauty approach" to spectacles and face shapes.