Fashion notes: Shop for shades that suit your face
It's not every day that I fall head over heels for a pair of sunglasses. I've never been one to splurge on them, and I usually get my fix from the high street. But while shooting some Fendi pieces flown in from Milan for our Luxury magazine fashion editorial the other day, I came across a pair that made me want to wear them for the entirety of our full-day desert shoot. I didn't, because they were far too fabulous for my bedraggled jeans, tee and sandy-hair ensemble, and much more suited to our model, who was robed in a bright yellow bird-of-paradise-printed Fendi dress.
The next day, at the mall, I couldn't resist popping into the store to try them on for the umpteenth time. By this point, I was seriously considering dishing out the cash for my Dh2,300 find. I turned to my friend to ask what she thought of the pair, which were rimless on the top, had an angular cat-eye shape, and teardrop diamanté motifs on both corners of the frame. "Should I do it?" I asked. At first, she gave a vigorous nod. But then, after a second, she shook her head. "It's too much. And they kind of make you look like a bird," she said, cautiously. I took another look in the mirror, and saw her point. Perhaps they too literally resembled a bird of paradise; they just weren't suited to my face.
Avoid wasting money and emotions when sunglasses shopping by researching how to wear eyewear that suits your face. Your face will be categorised as either heart or triangle, square or rectangle, diamond, round or oval-shaped.
Rivoli's EyeZone team gave me a crash course on face shape styling. If you have wide cheekbones, a broad forehead and soft jaw line, your face is a heart or triangle shape, and rimless, cat-eye and butterfly sunglass styles will best flatter your face. The cat-eye renditions from Erdem are very cool, and available at Boutique 1 stores in the UAE. While butterfly sunglasses are rather madame for my liking, high-fashion houses such as Dior and Chanel both have classic options.
Wide cheekbones, angular jaw lines and square foreheads form square and rectangular faces, and oval, round and aviator sunglasses look great on them. For aviators, look to Ray-Bans (for both genders) and Victoria Beckham eyewear. Miu Miu and The Row do great round designs that are both season-less and versatile. But please, if you’re seeking circular frames, don’t give in to the overly hyped Chloé round sunnies. They’re too huge for most faces, and you have to admit, they’re so 2015.
If you have a broad forehead, wide cheekbones and a narrow chin, your face is diamond-shaped, and you should look for sunglasses that are oval or square. Spektre and Luxottica (the latter also make men’s glasses) make some classic rectangular shapes.
If your face is soft, gentle and circular, with no angles, it’s classified as round. Sunglasses that have sharp angular frames, such as rectangles or other geometric shapes, look good on round face shapes. Look at brands such as Le Specs and Prism for inspiration.
Faces that have balanced proportions, high cheekbones and narrow chins are generally oval-shaped, and most frame styles suit them, as long as they’re not overwhelmingly large.
Some final notes: if you’re looking for on-trend elements to guide your shopping trip, keep an eye out for tortoiseshell effects and two-tone colour combinations. And make sure to check out the latest designs by Karen Walker – they’re almost as exciting as the Fendi glasses.