Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Choosing Frames for Heart-Shaped and Inverted Triangle Faces

For our grand finale on face shapes let’s tackle what is widely considered the most difficult to select glasses.  Depending on the expert you are asking, the heart shaped face and the inverted triangle may be considered the exact same shape or a variation of the same shape.  The important part is that the most flattering frame choice is the same for both.  Let’s break this down a little better--

Attributes of a Heart-Shaped / Inverted Triangle shape face are:
1. The forehead and cheeks are wider than the jawline.  Look for wide-set and well defined “apples” of the cheeks. 
2. The jawline is well defined with a petite and angular chin. 

Reese Witherspoon is a great celebrity example for the heart shaped face.  Focus on the dimensions of her cheeks compared to her chin and you will start to see the general shape.
A classic heart-shaped face
Now what differentiates this from an inverted triangle face? At optometry school I learned under "the Glasses Guru" one important point: it’s not just about your face shape, but the way you wear your hair can really impact the perceived shape of your face!  Bangs or parts create a whole different appearance, so you have to take that into consideration. A common classification is that a person with a heart shape face generally has a wide forehead or widow's peak visible, and a person with an inverted triangle face has the forehead obscured with their hair style.   Here is the tip my Glasses Guru used: "Do you have bangs?  Then you have an inverted triangle face."

Let’s use another celebrity example to illustrate his point.  Take Tyra Banks; she has a vertically long, oval face when pictured with her forehead exposed (left).  Add some bangs (right), and then bam she has just created an inverted triangle face. 
Tyra Banks: an oval face (left)? or inverted triangle (right)?

Picking glasses for this face shape can be more difficult, but just remember that you are trying to detract from the sharp angles created by your chin and/or bangs.  A great choice is the butterfly shaped frame, like the Nine West pictured below.  This style has added angles on the top half of the frame that act to balance the angles of a heart-shaped face's chin.  Other options that work well are rimless frames (and no one does rimless as well as Silhoutte!).  Rimless frames let your natural face shape shine through, so no new angles are added to emphasize the ones you possess naturally.  

Nine West 428 with a butterfly shape that is very flattering for a heart-shaped face
This Silhoutte frame is hard to see against the white background which is exactly what we want -- a rimless frame seamlessly blends to showcase your face!

One tip to avoid: it is very important that you don’t choose a pair of frames that is too wide for your face if you are heart-shaped.  You don’t want to add more width to your already wide cheek bones.  A trained eyecare provider or optician can make the correct measurements to determine what eyesize works best for the width of your face.

I hope this exploration of face shapes has been helpful, and now go out into the world and try on some glasses!

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