Guide to choosing frames online

We are here to give you some useful tips, before you commit yourself to buying spectacle frames online.

It can easily be a positive experience – but you need to follow some basic rules:

The very first thing you should consider is the size of frame. It’s a bit like buying clothes online. First you find the style you like and then you check if the item is available in your size.

If you already own a pair of glasses that fits you well, it’s much easier to find out what frame size you wear. But if you don’t own a pair of glasses yet, don’t worry – try your friend’s glasses for size.

If their frame is comfortable on your nose, it’s a good sign and starting point.

Next steps:

Measure your own frameor your friend’s frame. Some measurements can be found printed on the frame, others you have to figure out yourself. You need 6 measurements in total.

For the purpose of this guide we’ll call them: A B C D E F. Now, you need a ruler (measurements are in millimetres), A4 paper and a pen. Let us start!

A – The Horizontal Width of the Lens

B – The Vertical Depth of the Lens

C – Distance Between the Lenses

D – Total Width of the Frame

E – The Total Depth of the Frame

F- The Length of the ‘Temple’/Side/Arm

A – The Horizontal Width of the Lens

This ranges between 40 and 60mm. It is usually printed on the inside of the side or arm (please note that this is sometimes called a temple too). If you can’t find any numbers there, look behind the nose bridge of the frame.

The horizontal width of the lens is the first of 3 numbers you can find printed on the temple – or it might be the first of 2 numbers printed behind the nose bridge.

Sometimes the print there wears off – this is when you need to measure the width of the lens yourself.

To do this, take a ruler and measure across the widest part of the lens:

B – The Vertical Depth of the Lens

This measure you definitely need to take yourself. Choose the longest vertical of the lens and using your ruler read – and best write down – this measurement.

C- Distance Between the Lenses

This measurement is usually printed on the inside of the temple or behind the bridge. It is the second number there. The number ranges between 14 and 24mm.

If you are taking your own measurement, then you need to measure the narrowest part between the lenses.

D – Total Width of the Frame

This means the horizontal width across the front of the frame, including both lenses – the previous Measurement A times 2, adding the distance between the lenses (Measurement C) plus the thickness of the frame.

Some frames are made of a very thick acetate (people call it plastic too) – this adds up to the total width of the frame.

Most frames have a slightly curved front. The curve of your frame is probably very small but it is very important not to flatten the front for this measurement.

This is where you need to use A4 paper. Place the frame on a paper the way it is shown on the photo below.

Mark the width of the frame on the paper with a pen and then using your ruler, measure the distance between those 2 marks.

E – The Total Depth of the Frame

This vertical measurement from top to bottom includes the thickness of the frame plus previous Measurement B. You will need to measure this yourself too.

F- The Length of the ‘Temple’/Side/Arm

This ranges between 120 and 150mm. It is the third number usually printed on the inside of the temple (arm or side).

It can be tricky to measure, as your frame was probably adjusted in the past, and the end tip of the temple/side/arm now curves behind your ear.

Just take an approximate measurement, as this part of the frame is adjustable.

Even if you choose a frame with a longer temple, it can be adjusted by an optician to fit you nicely behind your ear.

Now when you’ve got all your measurements, head to your chosen website selling frames and start browsing.

Be Flexible with Measurements

You get to decide which measurement is the most important to you.

Ask yourself:

  • Can you increase/decrease the total width of the frame (D) and still look good?

Put on your glasses and look in the mirror. You can probably add/deduct 2-4mm without spoiling the look.

  • Can you choose a frame with wider/narrower distance between the lenses (C)?
  • Can you increase/decrease the width of the lenses?

If you are planning a change of style – you may fancy round glasses instead of rectangular or square ones – or you might not have a choice.

But make sure your total width of the frame (D) is as close as possible to the one you measured using our advisor earlier.

Keyhole Bridge versus Saddle Bridge – your choice

You need to remember there is no better or worse bridge type.

Both of them may have proved to be comfortable to wear.

It is for you to decide which to buy.

A keyhole bridge is shaped like an old-fashioned keyhole and rests on the sides of the upper part of your nose.

This type of bridge is best suited for those with small/narrow noses.

 A saddle bridge is shaped like a saddle and spreads the weight of the frame across the sides and the top of the nose. This type of bridge works well for heavy glasses and for those with sensitive noses.

Those with broad nose bridge should consider saddle bridge too.

Face Shapes & Frames

People are forever searching for that secret formula – how to choose the right frames for their face shape.

Much has been written on the subject. Here we give you the essentials:

If your face is:

  • Round – choose square or rectangular frames. Those styles will make your face appear slimmer and longer
  • Oval – you are lucky as you can choose any style of frame
  • Square – choose round or oval frames as those styles will soften the angularity of your face and add a thinner appearance to it
  • Diamond – opt for top heavy frames, such as semi-rimless or cat eye frames. Those styles will accentuate your cheekbones and delicate features
  • Heart – choose bottom heavy frame lines, round or square with curved edges. Those styles could draw attention away from a broad, high forehead
  • Oblong – choose aviator or square frames.

Please do remember that there is nothing  at all wrong in choosing the exact opposite to what is written above. By doing this you will make the features of your face more pronounced, perhaps then showing the real side of your character.

You get to make that choice.

Some Final Advice

As soon as your frame arrives, put it on and look in that mirror.

You need to make sure that:

  • Your eyebrows are not inside the glasses; they can follow the line of the frame – but they should not be covered by it
  • When you smile, your cheeks should not push the frame upwards
  • The frame sits snugly on your nose

If you are happy with all those things then great!

We hope you get lots of compliments on your new look.

If you are not entirely happy, send it back and ask for an exchange.

The frame may still need a few tweaks to get the absolute perfect fit.

This is true whether you buy frames online or in a store.

If the sides of your new frame are slightly too long, then the best solution is to visit your local optician to get the necessary adjustments made.

They will be happy to help.


If you plan to put prescription lenses into a sunglasses frame, save money by finding exactly the same frame in our eyeglasses section ?

Buying frames online is exciting – but you do need to choose your frame intelligently.

We hope you’ll have a great story to tell your friends about the fantastic glasses brand you found online ?

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