How to Shop for the Perfect Pair of Sunglasses

Expert advice on shopping for sunglasses to suit your style and face shape.

Zanzan Eyewear's Spring 2014 campaign.

Zanzan Eyewear’s Spring 2014 campaign.

Picking the perfect pair of sunglasses can definitely be a challenge, even for the most style savvy of us, so to get some advice on what to look for when you shop, we enlisted the help of Namita Karir, Managing Optician for Karir Eyewear in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, (and a Frequent Flyer).

As an optician Karir is fitting clients all day, so she definitely knows what to look for when selecting a pair of flattering eyewear. From considering your face shape, to letting go of the rules, here are her top tips.

Find Your Face Shape

Not sure what your face shape is? Here is a quick reference guide and sunglasses that you should look for.

Oval: If you have an oval face shape then your face is longer than it is wide. Oval shapes can wear just about any shape since you have balance. “I always recommend a wider cat-eye to pick up those lovely cheekbones,” suggests Karir.
Celebrity Doppelgangers
: Jessica Alba, Kate Middleton, Beyonce

Round: Your face tends to have softer angles and is about as wide as it is long. Find balance by picking sunglasses that are more angular, says Karir.
Celebrity Doppelgangers: Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams, Kirsten Dunst

Square: Those with a square face shape will have a wider forehead and an equally wide jawline. Look for frames that have soft angles or are curved.
Celebrity Doppelgangers: Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow

Heart: You’ll fall into this category if you have a wider forehead with a chin that tapers in. Aviators are the best pick for heart shaped faces, admits Karir. “The point is to draw attention downwards and away from the forehead.”
Celebrity Doppelgangers: Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson

Oblong: A face that is thinner than is wide would be considered an oblong face shape. Over-sized and wrap-around styles are great options, as they help to create width, says Karir.
Celebrity Doppelgangers: Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler, Gisele Bundchen

Try Polarized

Gone are the days of polarized shades designed only for sports enthusiasts. Today more and more designers are realizing the benefit of having polarized shades, but are doing so with fashion in mind. Chanel, for example, has recently decided to bring polarized to their collection, says Karir. Other high-end designers who offer polarized sunglasses include Gucci, Prada, Burberry and Tom Ford. Why polarized? Besides helping with your golf game, they’re a great travel companion, helping reduce glare, so you can better see everything from the road while driving to the sparkling ocean waters.

Go Pro

Where you buy your shades is just as important as what you’re buying. Shelling out a few hundred dollars for a designer pair online or in a non-specialized store is an option, but when you purchase with an optical store you’ll get added bonuses without the cost, including any fitting that needs to be done, a professional cleaning and any future repairs. Plus their staff can help you out with selecting a pair that suits your style and budget.

Feel Good in Them

The goal shouldn’t just be to just look good in your sunglasses, but you should feel good wearing them too. “There are rules but fashion isn’t always about the rules,” admits Karir. For example those with round faces should avoid soft or circular shapes to help balance your shape, but if a pair works on you and you love it go for it. “Don’t stress about the rules as long as the fit is right and you feel great in them!”

Have Fun

There’s no rule saying designer sunglasses are the only way to go. Spending $20 or less on a pair is great especially if you are one to lose things easily, travelling to a destination where you don’t want to bring expensive things or would rather get a new pair (or a couple!) every season. Everyone should have at least one pair of cheapie glasses that are “of the moment” and you don’t have to worry about.

More from Travel & Style
5 Reasons to Have a Destination Wedding
Look Refreshed while Travelling
9 Tropical Floral Pieces