Guide to buying glasses online

woman wearing glasses

The perfect pair of glasses is an accessory that rounds off every outfit, but choosing the right one for you can be pretty tricky. Luckily for you, Mumsnet has teamed up with Glasses Direct to help you find your perfect pair, plus they’re offering Mumsnetters two pairs for just £15

Things to consider when choosing your glasses

Whether you're purchasing your first pair or you've been a lifelong spectacle-wearer, here are some things you should bear in mind when picking your frames.

  • Face shape – this is probably the most important factor to consider when you're shopping for glasses because, even if your glasses are a great colour, if they don't suit your face shape they will look a bit off-kilter. If you're clueless about the shape of your face, try drawing around it in lipstick on a mirror (or erasable pen if that sounds like a waste of good lipstick).
  • Eye colour – this one is a no-brainer (of course I need glasses that suit my eyes, we hear you cry) but it is surprisingly tricky to get right.
  • Hair colour and style – like eye colour, your hair colour will determine which shades you should focus your glasses hunt on, and which ones you should avoid. However, it's also worth thinking about your hair style; for example, if you have a very soft cut then you could contrast this with a bold pair of glasses.
  • Skin tone – working out whether you have warm- or cool-toned skin is particularly helpful if you're tempted to get colourful frames.

Choosing glasses by face shape

Round

Round

A round face is about the same width across as it is high, the widest point is across your cheekbones, and there are no hard angles in your face. Rectangular frames are your best bet, as they will make your rounded face appear slimmer and longer. Choosing frames that are narrow and rectangular, with brow bars, will pull the eye upward, giving the illusion of a longer face and a more defined shape overall.

These frames by Accessorize (£99) would look great on a round face as the ombré effect will draw the eye upwards and lengthen the face – shop now.

  • Try: Rectangular frames. Frames with colour or decoration at the temples
  • Avoid: Small, round shapes and oversized frames
Shop glasses for round faces

Heart-shaped

Heart-shaped

Heart-shaped faces have a broad forehead – often with a widow's peak – and wide cheek bones that narrow down to a small chin. If you think your face is heart-shaped, you should look for a pair of glasses that will contrast with your face shape – not imitate it. You should be trying on frames that are wider at the bottom and very light in colour, or browsing the rimless glasses section (I know, we were sceptical too, but trust us) in order to find your perfect match.

These Finelight Halo rimless glasses (£119) are a little bit unusual – perfect if you want glasses that make a style statement – and they would complement a heart-shaped face perfectly. Shop now.

  • Try: Bottom-heavy frames that add width to your lower face and rimless frames that are light in colour
  • Avoid: Styles which are wider at the top; these will reflect your face shape rather than balance it
Shop glasses for heart-shaped faces

Oval

Oval

Oval faces are well-balanced, softly rounded and the cheekbones are high. If you're the proud owner of an oval head, congratulations! You can wear pretty much any style of glasses you like (sorry if that isn't particularly helpful). We have got some tips for making the most of your shapely head, though: wider frames will look best as narrow frames can make your eyes appear closer together.

These Scout Vincent frames (£69) would suit an oval face and are available in four gorgeous colourways – the only issue will be choosing your favourite. Shop now.

  • Try: Whatever you like, you lucky thing – be adventurous!
  • Avoid: Narrower styles
Shop glasses for oval faces

Oblong

Oblong

An oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. If you have a longer face, you should be trying out wide or aviator-shaped frames as they will make your face appear shorter and wider. Decorative or contrasting temples can add width to your face and a low bridge shortens the nose.

These Scout Maverick (Top Gun alert!) aviator-shaped frames (£69) are perfect for balancing a longer oblong face and the matte gold finish adds a touch of glam to your everyday look – shop now.

  • Try: Aviator frames and some square styles; frames with a low bridge
  • Avoid: Narrow, rectangular frame shapes and short frames that accentuate face length
Shop glasses for oblong faces

Triangular

Triangular

Triangular faces are characterized by a broad forehead and wide cheek bones that narrow to a small chin – similar to a heart-shaped face. To minimize the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom, very light colours and materials or rimless frame styles.

The bottom heavy shape and lovely pale lavender colour of these Lana frames (£20) make them ideal for people with triangular faces – shop now.

  • Try: Frames that are wider on the bottom or frames that are all one colour and made of a light material
  • Avoid: Frames that are wider at the top, styles with a bold upper and light lower rim
Shop glasses for triangular faces

Square

Square

A square face has a broad, deep forehead, wide jaw line and square chin so you should choose glasses that soften the strong lines and angles in your face. Oval frames that are narrow in width emphasise your eyes and also lengthen the face slightly.

These softly rounded tortoise-shell Piccadilly frames (£89) are a great option if you have a square face shape – shop now.

  • Try: Round and oval style frames with sides set at the top of the frame.
  • Avoid: Thin, angular and square styles; low-set temples or colour accents on the bottom of the frames that draw emphasis to the chin.
Shop glasses for square faces

Diamond

Diamond

Diamond-shaped faces are narrow at the eye line and jawline, and have broad cheekbones. This isn't a very common face shape, but it is pretty much made for rocking a cat-eye shape. Drawing attention to the eyes balances the face and showcases the cheekbones. Top-heavy frames with strong brow lines also look great on a diamond-shaped face.

Make the most of a diamond-shaped face with these flattering, retro Barbs frames (£89) and add a touch of vintage chic to any outfit – shop now.

  • Try: Top-heavy frames, such as semi-rimless frames or frames with detailing on the brow line and upswept styles like the cat-eye that emphasize your cheek bones
  • Avoid: Narrow frames make the eyes look closer together
Shop glasses for diamond-shaped faces

Buying glasses online with Glasses Direct

If you still can’t decide, or are unsure about whether your face is round or oval-shaped, why not try Glasses Direct free Home Trial service? They will send you your four favourite frames to try on in the comfort of your own home, so you can make a decision in your own time. Once you’ve made up your mind, you can simply order your chosen pair of prescription glasses online and return your trial pairs for free.

Or, if you just have to know what they look like right now you could try Glasses Direct's innovative “Virtual Try-on”:



Get two pairs of glasses from £15

Simply choose a pair of frames* and another free pair (up to the same value), then choose your lenses. Enter the code MUMSNET15 at the checkout in order to get £34 off your order and free delivery – click here to get started

*They must cost more than £49 and the offer does not include Boutique frames.

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