A Guide to Buying Men’s Glasses for a Loved One

Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by amy

Gifting isn’t always the simplest task, but if you want a pair of men’s glasses as a gift, you’re in luck. When we think about a special surprise for the holiday season or a special occasion, men’s glasses and, more generally, glasses are not the first go-to item. But the fact that they’re not considered a go-to item means they present a unique opportunity as a gift.

So, great! You’re off to buy those men’s glasses after such affirmation. But let’s slow down because it doesn’t mean you should buy any pair of men’s glasses (especially from the convenience store). We need to consider a couple of things before we tackle the actual process of buying the frames.

Face Shape
There’s a variety of men’s glasses—meaning there’s a lot (like tons) of different types of men’s glasses. You might want to consider the face shape in purchasing a pair of men’s glasses. Yes. Face shape. It may sound weird, but the fact is that certain glasses look better on certain face shapes. It’s a legitimate factor to consider; we need to understand that glasses aren’t simply to help us see better but also a way to draw people’s attention and accentuate facial features. And depending on where you are in the purchasing process, considering face shape can also help narrow down your choice selection.

  • Oval If you’re buying men’s glasses for someone with an oval face shape, choosing a style will be the easiest, as people with oval-shaped faces can usually wear any style of men’s glasses. That means wide, bold, or rectangular frames look pretty good. The only thing you might have to worry about is the style of frames the person you’re getting them for prefers.
  • Round faces are good with contrasting geometric frames. You’ll want to wear men’s glasses with strong angles to sharpen soft features. So if you’re considering thick but angular, it’ll work. Another way to approach round faces is thin frames—thin and narrow men’s glasses will help to add length to a round face which will better maintain facial proportions. Notice that we didn’t suggest round men’s glasses, and obviously, for a good reason: it makes a face seem rounder than it is. Of course, it’s only a suggestion not to go with round men’s glasses here, but some people like Elijah Wood disregard it and do it anyway, so we’ll leave it up to your better judgment.
  • Heart People with heart-shaped faces tend to have high cheekbones and a well-defined narrow chin. You generally want to accentuate these features or draw attention away from them for heart-shaped faces. Bottom-heavy frames or men’s glasses with low-set temples will work nicely, and the idea is that since the bottom of the face is narrower, we naturally want to add some width to the chin. Round frames or square glasses with curved edges will also help to draw attention away from the forehead and create a more balanced look.
  • Square As square-shaped faces already have some hard edges, we would ideally try to soften the angular features on the face. Just as you might want to offset a round-shaped face with angular men’s glasses, you’ll want to do the same for square-shaped faces with round and oval-shaped frames.

Of course, the most important thing is what kind of men’s glasses to get. Considering “style” is a comprehensive term, finding the right kind of glasses is a bit of a challenge. But determine what kind of men’s glasses look great on the person you’re buying the frames for. Perhaps you can consider the typical day-to-day outfits he wears. Does he love minimalist style? Does he like flashy things?

The most basic step we can suggest is taking a look online. The internet is a great resource for looking into men’s glasses. You can do a broad search or try to find a specific type of glasses. Either way, they’re all there for you to browse and consider. Any way you look, there are some timeless men’s glasses to consider.

Style: Horn-Rimmed Glasses
Horn-rimmed glasses are a style of men’s glasses that these days might otherwise be commonly referred to as “nerd glasses.” Any thick-framed glasses are most likely a variety of horn-rimmed glasses styles.

Dating back to the 1920s, horn-rimmed glasses are re-emerging as one of the more popular varieties of men’s glasses. As mentioned, they’re typically a pair of semi-round, thick, and prominent glasses meant to attract attention to the face and the eyes. The frame style gets its name because they were made from horn and tortoiseshell in the early days of their creation. Needless to say, these genuine materials are no longer used for their production, but they still present a beautiful and likable style. Easy to match, horn-rimmed glasses are a style of men’s glasses that will work with any occasion, from day-to-day casual wear to formal events like weddings.

Often times if you look closely enough, you can see horn-rimmed glasses on film. One of the best examples we’ve seen is in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Matt Damon’s glasses throughout the film are a perfect example of horn-rimmed glasses—prominent, stylish, and an air of sophistication. The film Malcolm X presents a different strain of horn-rimmed glasses: the browline glasses. They’re not the typical horn-rimmed glasses, but they are still categorized as such. Regardless, horn-rimmed glasses are great for a sophisticated yet stylish look.

Of the different types of glasses, men’s glasses made from acetate will be the most affordable, and most horn-rimmed glasses will use acetate. Even if some men’s glasses are not specifically labeled as “horn-rimmed glasses,” most styles will resemble similar ones. Another note to consider is if the person you are buying the glasses for has a high prescription, these men’s glasses are probably the best choice as they will hide the thicker lenses more easily.

Style: Metal Rimmed Glasses
Generally speaking, there are a lot of modern men’s glasses styles that use materials like acetate or carbon. But that doesn’t mean metal-rimmed glasses have gone out of style—they still command a presence in eyewear.

For classic metal-rimmed glasses, you might consider Windsor-style glasses which were the kind of frames that Daniel Radcliffe wore in Harry Potter. Plenty of prominent men have worn these glasses and demonstrated the beauty of metal-rimmed frames as a style of men’s glasses. Think John Lennon: a skilled musician adept in his craft who showed sophisticated brilliance but in an artful manner. Others include Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt, and Groucho Marx. The point is that metal-rimmed glasses are a viable option if you’re considering getting a thin pair of men’s glasses with an air of sophistication.

The glasses mentioned above are probably the most minimalist style of metal-rimmed glasses. But as with horn-rimmed glasses, there are plenty of varieties and strains of metal-rimmed glasses. Some varieties can include tortoiseshell metal-rimmed frames—essentially a thick tortoiseshell frame on the front-facing part of the glasses with a metallic bridge and temple arms. Sometimes the tortoiseshell component can be on the end of the temple arms, the part that rests on your ears.

Style: Rimless Glasses
Rimless glasses are not exactly a “classic” per se, but perhaps what we could call the modern style of men’s glasses. Suppose you think that the person you’re buying glasses for would have but an inkling of concern for style, then rimless glasses are probably the way to go. They tend to be light and thin with a minimal presence on the face, and as the name suggests, the glasses have no rims as with plastic or metal frames. They have the lenses and the temple arms attached to the side of the lenses. Very minimalistic and very utilitarian. Yet they have their own charm to them. Even though they’re not especially meant to exude style or fashion, they still exhibit a subtle sense of powerful elegance.

We see this with the former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, who wore rimless glasses. The iconic image of Steve Jobs holding his chin as he gives a mesmerizing look into the camera illustrates that despite its minimal presence, the glasses express a silent prowess.

The next logical step is to think about lenses. If you know the prescription of the person you’re buying them for, you can have the lenses fitted. If you’re unsure, you’re out of luck with this guide. Aside from that, remember that this is just a guide and that you don’t have to conform strictly to this guide to purchase a pair of men’s glasses. If you’re still unsure or uncertain, there are plenty of resources; you can always visit a store or look for tips from an online men’s glasses vendor!