I’m sure if you’ve ever shopped for glasses, you’ve heard the usual recommendations of, “if you have a square face, choose round frames” or “if you have a round face choose square frames”. The idea behind these suggestions is that you’ll “balance out” your squareness or roundness
(or whatever) with frames of an opposing shape. When it comes to image archetypes, we recommend the opposite for two main reasons:
A) Because there’s nothing wrong with a round or square (or heart/oval/rectangle/etc) shaped face. We all have unique features and that’s what keeps life interesting. If we all had perfectly symmetrical, oval faces, that would be a bit boring. You don’t need to be “balanced” or “corrected”, because you’re already lovely just as you are.
B) Because these “optical illusions” don’t actually work. People can see us in the real world. They aren’t fooled. In fact, if you do have a round face and you put an angular, square shape next to it, you’ll just be emphasizing the roundness.
So instead, what you should do is match the shapes of the features in the face. Usually the shape of the jawline and eyes.
While there are generalities for which eyeglass frames will work for each archetype, this is a topic that’s a bit more individual since you may see a variety of shapes within each archetype. Below, I’ll list some examples, but know that these shapes could be applied to many different types.
A Romantic might have very rounded features; big, round eyes, full lips, and a softly rounded jawline, so she would do well with a rounded cat eye. If she has large eyes, we would want the height of the frame to be tall enough so it’s not crowding her eyes. We want to be able to look through the frames and see her eyes. (This would be true for anyone with larger eyes).
A Natural may have a softly angular, square jawline, and wide-set features. She would want a frame to repeat those lines, and something with substance (such as a plastic frame over a metal one) to match to the strength of her bone structure. Since Naturals do so well with texture, a frame with variegated colors like a tortoiseshell could be a lovely option.
A Dramatic will often have very sharp, angular features and can handle an equally sharp frame. Sharp bones often have a narrowness to them as well which do better with a thinner frame, as a thicker one could look overwhelming. She would want to look for sleek and unique details which will feel at home on her.
A Classic could have a very moderate and balanced face. She would want to avoid extremes in size and shape, and can often do a metal frame better than some of the other types. In general, Yin Classics will do well with oval shapes, while Yang Classics will opt for rectangular frames.
A Gamine could have any number of unexpected shapes in the face, but what all Gamines share is an energy of youthfulness, and should look for frames that have an element of the unexpected, such as a fun color or unique shape. A Gamine with round shapes in the face could mirror that with a round frame to capture some of her playful sweetness.
These are just a few examples to illustrate this concept, and of course the archetypes aren’t limited to just these shapes. For example, a Yang Romantic might have some roundness and angularity and would borrow suggestions from both the romantic and dramatic examples. She may choose a rounded cat-eye, but need a thinner frame so she doesn’t overwhelm the delicacy of her bone structure.
Just remember, the goal is to match what you are, not change who you are. It’s the underlying principle to both color analysis & image analysis, and gives us the freedom to be ourselves. 💙