When selecting a frame, how do you ensure the frame fits properly? Do you use a technical guideline or rely on customer feedback? As the eyewear industry expands the boundaries of frame design, eyecare professionals need to adapt the characteristics of the frame fitting process to the changing climate of frame shapes and styles.
The technical steps to frame fitting is a guideline that will allow each user the ability to quickly identify a proper fit, while incorporating the needed fashion and function benefits a customer requires.
A technical fit will rely on five components:
1) Face shape;
2) Frame width;
3) Bridge style and size;
4) Temple length; and
Each of these components plays a vital role in helping choose the right frame for your customer.
The Five Components to a Technical Frame Fit:
1). Face Shape– Everyone has different face shapes, sizes, and features and this is why frame manufacturers produce many different types and styles of frames. The trick is to find a frame that uses the customer’s features to benefit their fashion needs and overall appearance. Choosing a frame based on face shape is a subjective process because what may be considered appropriate based on facial shape may not be the look or style the customer wants to wear. Below is a chart that will help identify which style of frame should be considered when looking at the shape of the customer’s face:
Oval face – Normal shape – Most shapes will be suitable
Oblong face – Long shape – Deep frame, preferably with a low temple
Round face – Wide shape – Relatively narrow frame, preferably with a high temple
Square face – Wide shape – Same criteria as a round face
Triangular face – Erect triangle shape – Width of frame should equal lower widest part of facial area
Diamond face – Inverted triangle shape – Lighter looking frame (metal or rimless)
2). Frame Width– A technical detail that matches the width of the frame to the customer’s face. The frame front should Biofit be wide enough to allow for a generally straight path from the end of the frame to the ear. Frames that are too wide or too narrow can cause the customer discomfort, and can affect the structure of the frame, not allowing the frame to stay in adjustment. A simple way to determine if a frame is too wide, too narrow, or just right, is the position of the eye in the frame.
To Wide: If a frame is too wide for a person’s face, the customer’s eye position will be near the bridge of the frame. When this occurs, the customer will appear cross-eyed and there will be a significant amount of lens material towards the temple side of the frame. While this type of fit could work in products that are designed to provide an oversized appearance (i.e. sunwear), it is not recommended for clear lens designs.
To Narrow: If a frame is too narrow for a person’s face, you will have two key indicators: the eye position will be towards the temple side of the lens, and the temples will be touching the side of the face well before the ear, producing a “squeezed” look on the face. When this occurs, it is best to identify the eye size of the frame and avoid other frames that are below that eye size.
Just Right: If the frame width is correct, the eye will be positioned in the center of the lens and will produce a direct path for the temple from the frame front to the ear. If the position of the eye is not exactly centered, you should have the eyes positioned slightly inward towards the bridge instead of outward towards the temple. In cases where a customer has a narrow pupillary distance (PD), look at the position of the eyes in the lens first and determine if an adjustment to the temples can reduce or relieve any squeezing appearance that may be present.
3). Bridge Size and Style– Once you have determined a good width for the customer’s face, you now need to be concerned with the bridge style and size. This section is critical because the bridge supports 90% of the frame and lens weight. So a good bridge fit will help produce an overall comfortable fit.