A few years ago, Dan Hakimi, a regular contributor to r/MaleFashionAdvice (MFA), was trying to figure out what pair of sunglasses best fit the shape of his head. His problem — he had no fucking clue how to figure out the size of his noggin. “All the face shape guides I’ve seen appear to have been written by people who don’t know what shapes are and don’t know what faces look like,” he wrote in frustration. “How in the hell do I pick a pair of sunglasses?”
I can relate. Any time I’m shopping for new sunglasses myself, I’m always told that round ones are better suited for my square face than narrow rectangular options. But why should I believe that? Or maybe more importantly, how do I fact-check it myself?
Numerous online guides make it seem as though determining your face shape isn’t particularly difficult. The basis behind them is a pseudo-Pythagorean theorem that requires measuring your forehead, your cheekbones, your jawline and the length of your face. With those measurements, they claim that you should have everything you need to render a judgment. For example, if your cheekbones and face length have a similar measurement that’s larger than your forehead and jawline, you’ve got yourself a round head.
Again, though, Hakimi found such guides pretty useless. To that end, he tried measuring the width and length of his face per their instructions, but he mostly discovered that his head isn’t exactly two-dimensional. As such, he believes these guides are as helpful as someone telling you, “You’re totally an inverted diamond with a magic twist!”
For a better answer, he put a call out on the MFA, posting a picture of himself in hopes that someone there would be able to tell him what shape his face resembles.
Naturally, there were some asshole responses — e.g., one guy told him that he has a “vaguely faced-shape” — but others chimed in with more useful information. “A few people thought round frames would work on me. A few said I could wear anything I wanted. And a few said I should wear Clubmasters or this or that,” Hakimi says. “I tried them all on, and I found that round frames seemed right for me.”
The moral of the story, Hakimi says, is that despite all those guides that promise to help you find your face shape — which, in fairness, he says may work as a starting point — you can’t really know what style of sunglasses work for you until you try them on — every last one of them. “Nobody’s face is ‘heart-shaped,’” he concludes. “I tried on a hundred sunglasses before I picked the one with the right colors, proportions and details. The only right answer is the one that looks best in the mirror.”