I have a love/hate relationship with sunglasses. My eyes are incredibly sensitive to the sun (my Dad is the same way, so I blame genetics), so I always need to wear sunglasses when even the tiniest hint of sun is out. You won’t catch me driving without them — in fact, it’s probably dangerous for me to forget them! I’m constantly squinting when I’m in a conference room with large windows or dining outdoors, so sunglasses are a must. Needless to say, sunglasses make my life a lot more enjoyable.
On the flip side, 99% of sunglasses don’t fit or flatter my face. I have a small face and a big nose — two features that don’t mesh well with standard-sized sunglasses. Because of my asymmetrical face and the bump on my nose, most sunglasses don’t sit evenly or sit too far up on my face, hiding my eyebrows. Most trendy sunglass styles (oversized frames, namely) make me look like a bug or an alien. You have no idea how badly I wanted to BE Nicole Richie during her Simple Life days with the oversized sunglasses, but alas they just didn’t work for me.
Over the years, through lots of trial and error (ok, and a few hundred dollars probably), I’ve learned which shapes, styles and brands of sunglasses look good and don’t overwhelm my face. Here are 3 styles of sunglasses for small faces, why they work, and specific brands and styles that have worked for me.
Wayfarer Sunglasses for Small Faces
The first styles of sunglasses for small faces is the wayfarer. I tried plenty of Ray-Ban knock-offs over the years (Target has some great options), but they all were still just a little too wide or bulky on my face. I finally caved in and bought a pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers that were made specifically for those of us with small faces (they’re the Ray-Ban ‘New Small Wayfarer’ 52mm Sunglasses).
The key here is to look at the dimensions of the sunglasses — many product descriptions will give a measurement, like the 52mm ones above. For me, I try to look for versions that measure between 50mm and 54mm. These aren’t too wide or tall, yet still cover my eyes to shield the sun. These are my holy-grail, all-time favorite, go-to pair of sunglasses. They’ve lasted me for years through NYC commuting, many falls from my purse, and close encounters with toddlers.
Ray-Ban offers the wayfarer style sunglasses in various colors (a tortoise brown flatters me best), in both polarized and non-polarized versions, and even is rolling out new styles (like a boxier version).
Aviator Sunglasses for Small Faces
The second type of sunglasses for small faces are aviators. Again, not every type of aviator will look good if you have a small face — you need to find the right style. Aviators work well since the nose pads are adjustable, so you can decide where you want them to fall/sit on your face. Because the edges of aviators are circular (and not cat-eyed, for example), they won’t emphasis your face’s lack of width.
Ray-Ban makes some great ones for small faces (like these Ray-Ban ‘Original- Small Aviator’ 55mm sunglasses), or you can always try to find a pair in the junior’s department of any store. Junior’s products (made for teenagers and young women) are typically a little smaller and will therefore fit your face better. When shopping online, look for words like “small”, “women’s”, “petite”, and “junior’s” in the title or description when looking for aviator sunglasses.
Circular Sunglasses for Small Faces
Women with small faces, you can wear funky sunglasses! Circular shapes and bright patterns work well on you (avoid styles like oversized or cat-eyed). Look for a pair of traditional, round sunglasses that have small lenses and don’t go too far above your brow or too low below your cheekbones. The ones in the photo above are from Target and are no longer sold, unfortunately (although they have lots of similar styles in their “Round” category).
Other Sunglass Styles for Small Faces
Other fun shapes/styles that look good on small faces are the Ray-Ban ‘Clubmaster’ 51mm sunglasses (these are a retro take on the wayfarer) and Kate Spade sunglasses. These are some of the best sunglasses for small faces that I have found in my search since they cater to women with petite faces while still offering trendy styles.
I’ve found that a few stores and brands make lines of sunglasses specifically for those of us with small faces. Check out these links below to find the perfect pair of sunglasses.