How to Choose Your Best Glasses

Choosing the Best Frames for You
After 18 years of wearing glasses off and on, I finally found a pair that gets compliments. Real compliments. Frequently. From strangers and acquaintances. Getting compliments was never really my goal, but if I'm gonna wear glasses, they may as well look good enough to make someone say so, right?

Below are tips for choosing your personal best frames. The photos below are my husband and his latest home try-on from Warby Parker. (Affiliate links used in this post; see full note below.) We love them, but I'll also share a little on choosing where to buy your glasses in #1 below.

This is a continuation of my last post Glasses Basics + Benefits, and will continue into a final post How to Style + Wear Glasses for All Occasions.

Tips for Choosing Frames + Warby Parker's Home Try-On (gilbert, kensett, nash, ames)

10 Tips for Choosing Your Best Frames

The short of choosing glasses is: Buy whatever feels and looks good. Easy enough, right? It's not always that straight forward when you're flooded with a sea of options. Following are some tips I've found helpful when choosing glasses, whether in a store or at home.

1. Choose your optics store carefully.

Finding a good frame starts with choosing a good store. Some things to consider when choosing where to buy your glasses:
  • Insurance--Do they accept it, or will you bill yourself? With Warby Parker, we pay for the glasses up front, then send the receipts to our insurance for reimbursement.
  • Customer Service--How is their return policy, and do they have a warranty? Warby Parker allows returns (which we've never needed), and they have a one-year lens replacement warranty that I only recently had to use because of a grabby baby.
  • Style Selection--Do you like what they have to offer, and is there enough variety? We've been to different stores that seem to specialize in certain brands. We love the selection we've found at Warby Parker, but another place might have options more your style.
  • Ability to try-on--Do they have a store-front, and what about home try-on? This is especially for ordering glasses online. We love Warby Parker's home try-on because it's completely free; we don't even pay for shipping. And it's much more lax trying on glasses at home in our everyday element with no pushy salesperson giving their 2-cents.
  • Price--What is the full price for frames and lenses and hidden costs like lens upgrades and shipping, and is it reasonable? This is huge for us. We've been suckered into severely overpriced glasses in the past. Some places try to trick you on purpose with confusing quotes on frames and multiple lens options. We love that Warby Parker's pricing is one straight-forward price that includes the frames, lenses, and shipping. Plus, no styling fees like some boutique online options.

2. Wear what you normally wear.

Don't be overly dressed up or casual if that's not your norm, otherwise you'll end up looking for glasses with the wrong look. This is true if you have a go-to color scheme, too. If there's a color you wear often, wear it to try on glasses so you're sure to not choose frames that clash. If you normally wear more neutral colors, glasses in a fun color or pattern might be a good pick.

3. Look your daily best.

If you need a haircut or root touch-up, do it before trying on glasses. Wear an average day's makeup rather than going without. Tweeze your eyebrows, cover up pimples, fix your hair. Do whatever you need to not get hung up on little annoyances with your appearance that aren't related to the glasses. When you look in the mirror you should be able to focus on the frames, not the dark circles around your eyes or hair that's not laying right. On the flip side, even if with your daily best the frames accentuate an undesired feature like large ears or a high forehead, then choose something else.

4. Reach out of your comfort zone.

Try on the glasses you never thought you'd wear. Try shapes that seem odd, choose sizes that might seem too big or too small, grab a pair of the clear and thick-rimmed and wire-rimmed. This is especially true if you haven't found a style you love, but it can be good for all of us. We too often rule things out before giving it a chance. We'll never know for sure unless we try. You might find you love the quirky frames you initially swore off.

5. Reach for your proven and preferred styles.

By all means, if you know what type of glasses look great on you, get them. Even if you resort to your proven and preferred styles, you can still mix up the color or shape or size. Over time, this trial and error process of trying out lots of frames will give you an idea of the shapes, colors, and sizes that look best with your skin tone, hair color, etc. Just don't rule anything out until you actually see it on your face.

6. Take pictures at an angle and head-on.

I've found it doesn't matter if I'm trying on clothes or glasses, taking a picture gives me better perspective than looking in the mirror. It helps me see how they look in other angles and it helps me remove myself from them a little to really see what they look like rather than picking apart the person in the mirror.

7. Get trusted opinions.

If no one is with you, taking pictures can be really helpful in getting opinions. Here's the deal, we don't care what the sales person at the eyeglass store thinks. We need to ask a trusted friend, a family member, spouse. Whoever you normally go to when you're feeling self-conscious or whoever you're trying to impress (i.e., husband), is a good place to go for feedback. Send pictures or show them in person. If you're brave or if you care, you could post them online for input, too. A more public vote is sometimes helpful; especially if you need extra confidence to get the bolder frames.

8. Consider how the glasses feel.

Looks aren't everything. After all, you're not going to spend much time looking at them, but you are going to spend a lot of time with them on your face. Do they feel too heavy, narrow, wide, or otherwise uncomfortable? Remember, they can be slightly adjusted for fit, but their overall weight and width won't change. Your confidence in wearing them matters, too.

9. Choose the frames with wow-factor.

At least once in your life choose the glasses with a little wow-factor to them. That might mean getting the thicker-rim, the fun colors or patterns, the bold shape, the sparkles or pizazz on the side. If it helps get a pair of both: a simple, plain pair and a bolder pair for fun. I'm a pretty basic person so I spent years buying basic frames. They did the job, but I discovered glasses are a fun way to spruce up an outfit. My current frames are Lyle in Hanelei Tortoise -- the green and yellow colors add life to my go-to neutral wardrobe. I'm told frequently when checking out at stores, from acquaintances, and even by a random little girl at church that they look good. That's less about how great I look in them and more about how good they look in general. And for a girl that has enough to feel insecure about, it's nice to have a go-to compliment producer.

10. Remember prescription sunglasses.

You can get sunglasses with prescription lenses, too, and I recommend it. I keep one case (a hard case or a protective sleeve depending on where I'm going and what I'm doing) on hand for switching between regular glasses and sunglasses. Sunglasses can be a little bigger and bolder since they're most often worn in more casual settings outdoors. Getting full coverage around your eyes is important so you don't get glaring sun sneaking in around the edges.

It's possible to find glasses you like wearing and that get you compliments. Hopefully these tips will help you find that perfect pair.


also see:
new? start here...
glasses basics + benefits
how to style + wear glasses
all glasses + warby parker posts

*Note: Warby Parker affiliate links used in this post. Purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. I know you'll love them too, and thanks for your support!