Sunglasses for Small Faces

sunglasses for small faces

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.


wayfarers for small face

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).


aviators for small face

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.


sunglasses for small heads

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.


  1. I feel ya girl. It’s so hard to find sunglasses for a small head, the last pair I bought were from the kids section. My husband found them for me. ha. Thank you so much for sharing cause ya know, finding good sunglasses is a big deal for me.

  2. Love you in the all of these! I am a sucker for aviators and I think they look good on all faces! Those wayfarers are super cute on you!

  3. hey! found you through venus trapped in mars!! this is such a GREAT post because i too have a fight with sunglasses on a daily basis! i recently got the ray-ban small aviators, or “petite” fit, they are still slightly big, but way more decent than the originals!!

  4. I’m so jealous! I have a round face, so more than half the sunglasses out there look weird on me! I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I think the small ones would work perfectly!

  5. I haven’t tried the Ray Ban small line but I love my Ray Ban kids sunglasses…they fit me perfectly and were a fraction of the price 🙂

  6. All of these sunglasses look so great on you! I need to get a new pair of aviators! I broke mine 🙁

  7. Awesome post and thanks for the tips! I have a smaller face as well and can sometimes wear kid’s sunglasses haha. Good to know there are places that make frames especially for small faces!

  8. I love sunglasses too and seem to have a growing collection! I love how all of these shapes look on you, the aviators are my favorite, the gold frames really compliment your complexion! I’m all over cat-eye sunglasses lately because I love their vintage feel!

  9. I love the wayfarer options! I’d love to get a real pair of ray bans, but I’m just sooo clumsy! Plus I wear my glasses a lot. You’re look super cute!

    1. Thanks! I never bought nice sunglasses until recently for the same reason (I’m clumsy), but I swore to be extra careful with these ones!

  10. I don’t know I have a small face but I know I do have a hard time finding great sunglasses that fit. The new wayfarer fits and looks the best on me. I’ve tried so many different ones and even own a pair of Karen Walker shades but have finally come to accepting they DO NOT look good on me lol. Great choices!

  11. Thank you for this. I, too, have a terrible time finding stylish sunglasses that don’t make me look like a child wearing my mom’s. I find it hard to believe that all the Hollywood types have much larger heads than me. There have got to be options!

  12. Your link to “Zappos Narrow Face Sunglasses” helped me FINALLY find winning sunglasses. You are a game-saver… THANK-YOU!

  13. Thank you for this! I have been trying to find sunglasses that don’t engulf my face for ages and so far they were all huge! This post really helped 🙂

  14. Ive been looking for some sunglaasses as well, Im going to buy my first pair, I tried my cousin`s ray bans aviators 55mm and they fit me PERFECT however I want to buy another brand of aviators (I love them) and found American Optical General aviators, however they come in 2 sizes 52mm and 58mm since I cannot find them locally, I want to buy them online (I dont live in EEUU) but I dont know if the 52mm will be too small for me 🙁 can somebody help me? do you think they will be okey? thank you 🙁

    1. I suggest ordering from Nordstrom because they have free returns! So if you get them and you don’t like the size, you can return them for free. 52mm is the smallest size sunglasses for adults usually go down to, so they should be small enough.

  15. Thank you so so much excellent choices for a small face and it just takes time to try on and sort through the styles that suit!! You saved me so much time!

  16. Wow… There are various shapes and sizes of sunglasses included in this blog. I like reading this blog. Keep sharing.

  17. We always struggled to find sunglasses that fit a small or narrow face type so we started our own company with a range to solve this problem! The Cambray model is a Wayfarer style that’s perfect if you usually struggle to find frames that fit. The Helby is a Clubmaster model that fits well too 🙂

  18. Nice to find this article! I am looking to buy sunnies and this will help me alot so thank you! Have you bought any new ones or have any new favorites since this posting? This post was written 2 years ago 🙂

  19. Hey, I bought a pair of standard Wayfarers and they slipped off my ears. Do the small version of the wayfarers only become smaller in the lens size, or does the actual frame size change as well?

  20. Hi! Thanks for the article! Very helpful. I’m trying to find a circular sunglasses, the Ray-Ban ones, but I can’t find those in the website. Could you send me the link to the Ray-Ban website? I’m looking in the Clubmaster section and the Round section. Thank you!

  21. Thanks for including pics of yourself in the different glasses. Very helpful and all look good on you! I love the look of the 52mm Ray Ban New Wayfarer too, but the 18mm bridge and 145mm temple length make them still too big. I find that a 16mm bridge keeps the glasses up on my nose and I look for 135mm temple so they wrap behind my ears and don’t slide off when I tip my face forward. Everyone is different, but thought I would share in case it helps others. I agree that Kate Spade has some smaller frames – Annor is a good one and is available polarized. Maui Jim Punchbowl has a smaller fit too and the style blends square and round and isn’t overwhelming on smaller faces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.