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A Guide for the New Glasses Wearer: How to Choose the Best Glasses for You 
 
by Kira Connally June 03, 2005

Which Frame is Best for You?

If you only need reading glasses or plan to remove your glasses frequently, choose a flexible metal style that will not stretch out of shape. Flexible metal is also best for those who work outdoors, athletes, or anyone who is likely to have their glasses knocked off their face.

If you like bright and bold colors, a plastic frame will offer the most color impact.

The look of a very long nose can be shortened with a plastic frame. Plastic frames are often more comfortable for those with a flatter nose bridge.

If you’d rather not look like you’re wearing glasses, choose a thin metal frame in a color that complements your skin tone. Soft colors like peach and rose blend with almost any skin tone, reducing the appearance of the glasses.

Heavy or thick prescriptions benefit from a lightweight lens and frame. If the sphere power on your prescription is more that +/-3.00 diopters, opt for thinner, lightweight lenses, such as polycarbonate or a hi-index material.

If you have very pale skin and don’t want your glasses to stand out, choose a light-colored metal like silver. If your skin tone is darker, a darker color like burgundy or black will blend better.

Proper Fit

The right pair of glasses should rest gently on your nose, and your eye should sit in the center of the lens. The nose pads should follow the plane of your nose, and not sit too far above or below your eye.

Large lenses are not necessary; lenses that cover your eyebrows offer no visual benefit. Lenses that rest on your cheeks when you smile are too big. It’s okay to be able to see over your lenses, but they should offer enough visual area for you to see without having to slide the glasses up or down. If you wear bifocals, you will not be able to wear a very narrow lens, but there’s no need for a very large one, either.

The temple arms should sit comfortably around the bone behind your ear without squeezing the side of your head. Temple ends should not pinch or be too tight. Nose pads should not leave deep impressions on your nose or be splayed too far apart. The glasses should not slide down your nose or rest so close to your eyes that your eyelashes hit the lenses.

The bend of the temple arm should begin directly behind your ear. One of the most common fitting mistakes is choosing a frame that bends too soon, which causes the back to rise and the lenses to drop onto your cheeks. Temples are available in many lengths, and can be special ordered or even cut to fit.

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