These days, gray hair is a choice, and eyeglasses are a fashion accessory. If you’ve decided to stay gray and wear glasses instead of contacts, you have a world of choices. Let your facial shape, skin tone and hair color guide you to frames that help you look your best, boost your image and let your personal style shine through.

Start With Shape

Whatever your hair color, start with determining facial shape. Pull your hair back before you take a look at your face. Contrast and proportion are the guides here — if your face is round, round glasses will make it look rounder, so choose a boxier shape. If you have a petite face, don’t overwhelm it with huge specs. Glasses with curved or rimless bottoms can soften angles or a too-strong jawline, and cat-eye angles can emphasize great cheekbones.


Determine whether your coloring is warm or cool. Take a look at your veins. If they’re blue, you have cool undertones. If they’re green, you have warm skin undertones. In general, colors with similar undertones to your skin tone will be more flattering — bright orange, dark brown or ivory for warm complexions and bright pink, burgundy, black or pure white for cool complexions. Some people like to choose frames to complement eye color. Think contrast, such as burgundy, orange or red to make blue eyes look bluer, and pink or purple to make green eyes greener.

Gray Hair

Gray hair can vary from blond-gray to salt-and-pepper to pure silver. Image consultants say gray isn’t the best color to wear with gray hair, whether for clothing or accessories, such as eyeglass frames. It can make you look washed out. Gold wire frames, on the other hand, might clash. Bold and bright colors make a great choice, taking your coloring into consideration. Shades of red or blue, or basic black, make a confident statement. If your hair is salt-and-pepper, choose your color according to the shade that’s most prominent.

Other Considerations

Personal style has a lot to do with your choice. All things considered, the best frames are the ones that make you feel good about your appearance. If you’re looking for a scientific approach to image, however, a study cited in the Jury Project found that glasses stereotype people as more intelligent but less attractive. When subjects wore rimless glasses, however, they were still rated as more intelligent, but also as attractive and trustworthy. So maybe Sarah Palin is on to something with her trademark no-rims. Whatever style you choose, pay particular attention to eye makeup. Curl your lashes, groom your brows — and if you do wear no-rims, use shadow to highlight your eyes.