How Should Sunglasses Fit?

Crystal Schwanke
girl in sunglasses

Are you asking yourself, "How should sunglasses fit?" as you're scouring the racks at Target or Sunglass Hut?

So How Should Sunglasses Fit?

The best shape of sunglasses will depend on your style preferences and the shape of your face. However, there are some guidelines that extend to most sunglasses decisions.

Snug But Not Tight

No one likes to deal with sunglasses slipping off of their face. Choose a pair that is snug but not tight. If it feels as if you'd have indentions on the sides of your face if you wore the sunglasses for a few hours, they're too tight. If they pinch your nose but don't have adjustable nose pads, they're too tight. If the spring hinges are being tested and you can tell that they're extended rather than in a neutral position when you've got them on, again, they're too tight.

No Wider Than Your Face

If you're wearing oversized lenses and want to channel Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, you can get away with ignoring this guideline. Still, for the most comfortable fit and a chic look, you shouldn't go too far outside the width of your face. In general, the sunglasses should be no wider than the widest part of your face.

Lenses as Deep as Necessary

If you have a small face, you may not want the deepest lenses available. Do cover your eye area efficiently, but unless you're wearing bifocals and require a greater lens height in order to fit your whole prescription, try to keep the sunglasses proportional. Short faces will look overpowered by deep aviator styles, for example. There are styles designed for small faces.

Cover the Territory

Generally, the bigger the lenses, the better. While everyone doesn't want to sport the oversized sunglasses look, if you're trying to choose between two pairs of shades and one covers more of the area around the eye or wraps more closely to the face without squeezing, that pair is generally the better choice. You'll get more UV protection with larger lenses and those that wrap around the face rather than going out to the sides on either side and then back to the ears at an angle.

Keep Your Lashes Off the Lenses

One quick way to make yourself want to take off your sunglasses is to feel your lashes dragging against the back of the lenses every time you blink. Make sure that your sunglasses don't sit so closely to your eyes that you can feel the tips of your lashes touching them. For people who wear mascara, there could be an extra issue of flakes and smudges on the lenses that make it difficult to see. (Plus who wants to put on mascara only to have it transfer off as soon as they step outside?)

The Weight of the Matter

Your frames will come into contact with your face in two places, the bridge of your nose and your ears. When you try on your sunglasses, make sure that there isn't too much pressure on either of these areas. Ideally, the weight will be evenly distributed, making it easy to forget that you're wearing anything at all. One other thing to think about that is related more to skin contact than actual weight is where the frames of sunglasses with very large lenses come into contact with the cheeks. Over time, the rubbing of the plastic or metal against the cheeks can become uncomfortable. Try to choose sunglasses that don't rest heavily on the cheeks-or at all, if possible.

Making Adjustments

While some people prefer the look and feel of plastic frames, remember that metal frames or those with wire cores (which sometimes have the look of plastic) are easier to manipulate into a comfortable fit. They bend more easily and are less likely to snap when pressure is placed on them. They also hold the shape you give them more easily than plastic sunglasses frames do. If you find that the sunglasses are slipping on the bridge of your nose and you have nose pads on them, visit your optical shop to see if they can be replaced with a new type.

Make Your Choice

So how should sunglasses fit? In a way that offers balance to your features, a comfortable fit, and optimal UV protection. You'll be much happier with the shades you purchase if you take the time to make sure they fit properly before making a final purchase decision.

How Should Sunglasses Fit?