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General Frame Selection Guidelines

Though frame styles frequently change, these general guidelines for selecting eyewear always apply:

  • Eye position

    Regardless of the shape of the frame, your eyes should be centered within the lens openings of the frame.

  • Width

    The frame should be wide enough so there is just slight clearance between the frame temples and the sides of your head.

  • Brow

    The top of the frame eyewire should follow (but not cross) your brow line, and should not be noticeably higher or lower than the brow lines. If you have thick eyebrows, consider a thicker, darker frame for balance.

  • Proportion

    The size and weight of your eyeglasses should be in proportion to your body size and weight. if you have a slim or petite build, choose thinner, more delicate frames for a balanced look.

  • Bridge

    Pay particular attention to the fit of the bridge and maximum weight distribution on acetate frames or frames with no nose pads. Also, avoid wide bridges on low or shallow noses.

  • Eye size

    The outer edge of the frame should be even with the widest points on the head (usually just above are ears). The eye size is also contingent upon the Rx and so it is not necessarily correct to put a large frame on a large person.

  • Eyewires

    Long shapes, though sometimes stylish, can be poor lens holders. This is especially true with plus lenses because the higher base curves cause the eyewire to lift off the lens and pop it out. Eyewire barrels that protrude can also be a problem with heavier lenses, which require more tension and usually leave a gap in the eyewire.

  • Lenses

Thinner, lighter, reflection-free lenses are always the best choice. Choose high index plastic lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating for the most flattering appearance. If you have a bifocal prescription, choose Progressive lenses to avoid old-fashioned bifocal lines.
  • Endpiece

    Since most of the adjustments on a frame are done with this area, care must be taken to ensure that any adjustment necessary for client comfort can be made in the future, including:

    • pantoscopic and retroscopic tilt
    • temple spread or inward movement and the ability to rotate
    • for proper temple fold
If the lenses are very thick on the temporal edge, the end-piece will need to be long enough to allow the temples to close without touching the lenses.
  • Hinge

    The hinge should be appropriate for the weight of the eyewear. A spring hinge may not be able to apply enough pressure to the mastoid area to prevent the eyewear from slipping

  • Temples

    Solid block end pieces are very limiting in their adjustment but are also among the strongest. This goes to show that with a good initial fit, adjustment limitations are not always a bad thing. When selecting temples, make sure they can be curved inward slightly just after the widest point of the head. Temples that are too short will cause problems. Make sure there is enough space between the temple and the back of the ear.