By Guest Writer
on 6.10.09

know-what-sunglasses-fit-your-face

By Gear Patrol Reader Zach Warner

One of my favorite discoveries on Gear Patrol was when I scrolled to the bottom of the site and saw the little hidden statement that said “Resolution #1: Don’t Be A Douchebag.” That might’ve been the day that I decided to make this site one of my daily visits, and I’m really not one to gush. Just ask.

When it comes to douchebaggery, there are few flagrant fouls (nod to Bill Laimbeer) worse than wearing your sunglasses indoors. Unless you’re one of the three guys in the picture right after the jump, then you have absolutely no reason or justification to do so, save for if you’re mentally incapable of understanding any form of social etiquette. I trust that you aren’t and that you are reading this now to better understand what form of sunglasses fit your face; a worthy goal for day 10 of the 30 Days of Upgrades Initiative.

oceans-13-sunglasses

If there were a caption for the above image, it would say something like this, “These guys are allowed to wear sunglasses indoors for two reasons: 1. They’re in a Stephen Soderberg movie and 2. They’re Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt. You are not.” I’ll wait a couple of seconds while that sinks in.

When it comes to wearing sunglasses indoors, men seem to be either too lazy to at least flick them onto the top their head, put them in a shirt or coat pocket (always lens side out), or worse, they leave them on because they think it looks cool. If you’re of the “looks cool” variety, then I urge you to take a step back in your own life and reconsider your standing in the order of mankind. Borrowing from a recent movie, “Wearing sunglasses indoors in the style of the 1980’s is much like the Sopranos. It’s over.”

Now that I’ve made an emphatic argument for the non-proliferation of wearing sunglasses indoors, lets proceed by discussing how to properly purchase a pair of sunglasses for your mug.

How To Buy A Pair of Sunglasses

face-shapesThis upgrade isn’t about which sunglasses to buy. You could certainly argue the finer points of aviators or any style of your choosing. As a person of this industry, I’m a firm believer that the sunglasses you purchase should be less about a statement themselves and more about an accessory that helps you, as a person, make a statement. Furthermore, they should function. The Romans used to wear polished gems and the Chinese used to block out sun by smoking pieces of glass. You should look to purchases sunglasses equipped with lenses that block UV rays, and, depending on your application (typically sports), are polarized.

For those of you that don’t know, polarization can be summarily described as follows; light sources typically go in all directions, but when they hit a reflective surface like water, glass, or snow they “polarize” which means they go in a single direction. In this case, on a horizontal plane towards your face. Polarized lenses are typically vertically oriented. They reduce the brightness of these reflective light waves without any deterioration of what you’re seeing. Essentially, polarized sunglasses reduce glare and you should buy them accordingly. Don’t be fooled by cheap, $10 sunglasses that claim they are polarized. They aren’t. As a side note, if you’ve watched any of the 3D movies lately (Up, My Bloody Valentine, Monsters Vs. Aliens), then you’ve worn a pair of circular polarizing glasses. I digress.

When it comes to properly fitting sunglasses, you first need to know what kind of face you have. Sadly, a lot of men don’t take this into account and simply rely on one store attendant’s opinion or on a quick glance in the small mirrors. Take 10 seconds and figure out what shape face you have.

If you’re a man of the planet Earth variety, then your face likely falls into one of four categories: square, round, oval, or heart-shaped. Here’s how to break down what type of sunglasses you should buy depending on your face type:

  • Square Face | Sunglasses Fit: Oval, Round – Men with square faces typically have strong jawlines, a wide forehead, and wide cheekbones. Your face is angular, so avoid angular sunglasses and stick to more round or oval frames. They’ll help define your facial structure and offset your already angular face.
  • Round Face | Sunglasses Fit: Wider Angular or Rectangular Frames – Because round faces are soft, they should be offset by frames that minimize the curves. This is done by choosing sunglasses that are more rectangular to help make your brows appear higher and your face longer. Also, darker frames will make your face look heavier. Heavier + Round Face = Good.
  • Oval Face | Sunglasses Fit: Any Frame, Rectangular – Having an oval face provides you with a lot of flexibility when it comes to sunglasses. To help reduce emphasis on the length of your face, try to find a rectangular frame that helps make your face look wider. If your head is horizontally oval shaped, like Stewie from Family Guy, then you’re best off not wearing sunglasses.
  • Heart-shaped or Triangular Face | Sunglasses Fit: Cat-Eyes, Straight Top Line, Geometric Shape: Men who have heart-shaped faces typically have narrow jaws and larger upper faces and foreheads. To counterbalance this, a pair of cat-eye sunglasses or rimless-bottom frames work by widening the lower portion of your face and balancing your jawline.

    As a general rule, it’s good to avoid sunglasses that are shaped similar to your face and any you chose should be proportional in size. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking like you’re either a Hollywood star avoiding the paparazzi (which you’re not, no matter what you think) or an evil villian of the non-Soderberg variety. We wouldn’t want that now, would we.

    Zach Warner is in his late twenties and admits to having worked at a Sunglass Hut during his formative high school years. He currently resides in Dallas, where there is no shortage of sun and admits to being addicted to men’s fashion accessories (tie clips, pocket squares, etc).

Let’s continue the conversation. Do you agree with Zach’s douchebag alert when it comes to wearing sunglasses indoors or know of any tips? Share ‘em.

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