Knowing your glasses size is especially important when you buy glasses online. If you havenâ€™t had a chance to try on the frames in a store, you want to make sure the glasses will fit for comfort and looks.
When I try on glasses in the store, I always look at the measurement information that is printed on the inside of one of the temples or on the bridge. You donâ€™t have to try on too many glasses before you begin to know your size.
The size information is a set of three numbers that are measurements in millimeters. For example, I recently bought frames that are size 54-19-140. The first number (54) is the horizontal width of one lens. The second number (19) is the distance between lenses, and the third number (140) is the length of one of the temples. I am a larger person and this is the bigger size in this style. The smaller frame is 52-17-140.
The first thing I consider when choosing the right size is to make sure the glasses are at least as wide as my face. Otherwise, the glasses will look and feel too small. The width of glasses includes the horizontal width of one lens times two (one for each lens) PLUS the distance between the lenses PLUS the distance the temples stick out which can be a few millimeters. It is helpful if you know the width of your face, otherwise, after you try on a few pairs, youâ€™ll know the minimum horizontal lens width you need.
I donâ€™t use the value for the distance between lenses as a guide for fitting over my nose. The number can be misleading especially if the shape of the lenses bring them close together at the bridge. I use the number to get a sense of the overall width of the frames.
Sometimes, there isnâ€™t a lot of choice in the length of the temples. A number like 140 is common. However, for myself, I have found that a temple that is longer than 140 is more comfortable and provides greater stability. A temple that is too short may not have enough length for proper final fitting and adjustment. Also, a temple that is the proper length looks better by going straight back across your head and not angled up. The temple length number can be misleading. A frame that wraps may have a temple length that appears to be short, but you need to take the wrap into consideration which pushes the temples back over your ears.
When you know the size that fits you best, you can confidently by glasses online and take advantage of great savings on the best brands. See our Sunglasses Guide and our Rx Prescription Guide for more information about choosing glasses that fit well.
At OpticsPlanet, we have a flexible Return Policy and many of our customers order several pairs of glasses at a time with the idea to keep what they like and return the others for a full refund. This is a good way to try glasses you buy online.
We have a lot of experience helping customers with special size needs such as smaller or larger frames. I will talk about our recommendations for those situations in a future blog. In the mean time, people with smaller faces should consider child size frames such as the Ray-Ban Junior. The junior Raybans are way cool smaller versions of the classics. For larger faces, see the Ray Ban Highstreet, the S-flex models by Serengeti and the Bolle Spiral.