Fight the Frump: Update Your Eyeglasses

Fight the Frump is back today, and it’s all about eyeglasses. (If you don’t wear eyeglasses, these tips apply to sunglasses as well.)

Eyeglasses are one of the easiest ways to date yourself (I try never to wear eyeglasses in family pictures for that reason) so if you’re trying to update your look or fight the frump, it’s probably time to reassess your eyeglasses.

Fight the Frump: Update Your Eyeglasses | How to find eyeglasses that flatter your face, and tips for wearing eyeglasses for mature women.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I always feel the need to preface these types of posts by reminding you to take your personal style into consideration as well as your body type (or in this case, face shape) when taking someone’s fashion advice. At the end of the day, you should wear what looks good on you, rather than kowtowing to the current trends.

That said, I think it’s good to be aware of the trends, and in the matter of eyeglasses specifically, update your look every few years. You can be current without being trendy, if that makes sense.

Right now eyeglasses are trending towards larger plastic frames, square or round shapes, and larger lenses. 

Here are some of the latest trends in eyewear that you may want to consider.

Eyewear Trends to Try

  1. Blush or light neutrals — I really love this trend, but it works best on women with lighter hair colors.
  2. Round frames — You have to be careful with these as they don’t work on all face shapes, but some rounded styles are more subtle than others.
  3. Flat Matte frames — I’m really liking theses styles for a change, and they can work for anyone as long as they’re the right color and shape for you.
  4. Dark mannish frames — These have been trending for a few years and don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Again, depending on their size and shape, almost anyone can wear these.
  5. Cat Eye — A cat eye is a fun throwback style, and it’s flattering on women over 40 in particular because they tilt up on the ends, which helps lift the face. At our age, we want the eye to be drawn upward!

Tips for shopping for eyeglasses:

  1. Take a trusted friend (or spouse) with you — someone who will be honest about what looks good on you (and doesn’t) and ideally someone who has a good sense of style.
  2. Elicit the opinion of the person(s) in the optical shop. They’re usually up on current trends and trained to help you select a style that works best for your coloring and face shape.
  3. Try on lots of frames. You really can’t tell how they look on YOU until you try them.
  4. Keep in mind your skin and hair coloring.
  5. Consider your facial size and shape.
  6. Look for glasses that match your personality & individual style. Eyeglasses are a fashion accessory and should suit your personality. If you’re funky and fun, you want more dramatic eyewear. If you’re conservative and traditional, look for styles that are current but classic.

How to find flattering eyeglasses

Here are some specific tips on how to find glasses that flatter your face and coloring. Ultimately, though, I recommend going into the store and trying on a bunch. There are so many factors, and every face is unique. I know some people have luck shopping online, but I’ve always had the best experience in-store.

  1. Round or oval frames flatter a long or square face shape and helps to soften those features.
  2. Rectangular frames flatter a round face shape and add sharpness and defined lines.
  3. Avoid thick frames if you have a short face because they can make your face look smaller.
  4. Narrower, smaller frames look best on a small face because they aren’t as overwhelming.
  5. Conversely, bigger lenses balance out larger and longer faces. If you want to participate in the oversize trend, make sure they don’t ride up higher than your brow.
  6. Light colored frames flatter women with lighter hair and skin tones.
  7. Bold or bright colored frames are more youthful than blue, gray and steel frames.
  8. Black mannish frames are trending and look good on almost anyone.
  9. Tortoise shell frames are more conservative and flattering on almost all hair colors.

A couple of years ago, I updated my glasses with this Tiffany pair in Ocean Turquoise, and they’re still current. I love how the turquoise color is a little bit unexpected but the tortoise style is conservative and works with my classic style.

My face is oval and rather long, so I definitely prefer myself in larger eyeglasses. That said, my face is narrow so they can’t be too wide. It’s always a bit of a balancing act to find the perfect pair.

Dos and Don’ts for Eyewear over 40

  1. DO have several different pairs of eyeglasses. If you wear glasses all the time, it is suggested to have three pairs: One for work, one for weekends and one for evenings out. Eyeglasses are a fun way to change up your look, and cost permitting, it makes sense to have a few pairs to swap out depending on your mood or what you’re wearing. You can see from Brenda’s IG feed how she has a few different styles she rotates between.
  2. DON’T be afraid of change. If you’ve worn the same style of glasses for the past 10 years, it may be hard to see yourself in any other shape or size, but this is a time to take a step or three out of your comfort zone and try something new.
  3. DO be sure your glasses fit your face. See tips above.
  4. DON’T wear wear your glasses on a chain. It is aging and frumpy. That said, if you feel you MUST use a chain, find one that is funky and fun and suits your style. Maybe change it out occasionally for fun. Make it look like another accessory, not just a necessary evil.
  5. DON’T wear half glasses. They’re old fashioned and will date your look. If you wear readers, get a full-framed style. Kate Spade has a nice selection of the non-prescriptions ones.
  6. DO try a fun color if it suits your personality. Red or turquoise plastic frames are fun, or right now white or clear plastic frames are a fun trend to try. Check out Susan’s profile picture on her IG feed — I love those white frames on her with her gray hair.
  7. DO wear lip color when you wear glasses. The color balances out the bottom of the face with the top of the face.

Whew! That’s a lot. Sorry this post was so text heavy. I would love to show pictures as examples, but it’s tricky using other people’s photos so I decided it’s better just to link over the ones I like.

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For more frump-fighting tips, see all of my Fight The Frump posts.

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