by Jamie Bartlett January 19, 2021 4 min read

Oh, hi there big beak.

Looking for flattering glasses?

Let’s be real.

The look of your frame is just as important as the fit. It’s a ying yang thing.

To find the right balance, your choice of glasses should give you comfort and confidence. Choose correctly, they’ll compliment your features without making you look like an exotic avian.

But what’s the best glasses for a big nose?

And how do you find the right frame?

 

Glasses for big nose, 8 step guide

Example of spectacle frame dimensions labelled on inside of temple

 

1: Frame size

Let’s get this nailed down.

Just like shoes or clothes, spectacles and sunglasses also use standard sizing.

But how do you know their size?

On most glasses, their dimensions will be labelled on the inner surface of the frame, usually on the temples. For example: 50 [] 18 145 (all in mm.)

  • 50 = lens width
  • 18 = bridge width
  • 145 = temple length

These sizes inform your comfort and your look, which I’ve explored in the following sections.

 

Dual comparison of women wearing glasses with different lens widths 

Dual comparison of man wearing glasses with different frame widths

 

2: Lens width

58 [] 18 145

Wide frames will help make all your facial features look smaller, including your nose.

But too wide, and an oversized frame will be too large overall, keep sliding down or have temples which are just way too long for you. This results in frame-fiddling or constantly pushing them back up.

This gets annoying and makes your frame dirty from all the pawing.

Ideally, aim for a frame which will stay properly seated but has lens widths which are enough to contrast with your nose to make it seem smaller.

Obviously, avoid frames which are too narrow. They’ll make your head seem wider and your nose even bigger.

 



"Your nose is the starting-point for the way your frames fit you. How they perch informs the alignment of your lenses with your eyes which is especially important if you use varifocal or bifocal lenses."

Lucy, co-founder, Banton Frameworks

 

 

Comparing glasses bridge widths for big noses

 

3: Bridge width

50 [] 18 145

These digits denote the bridge width of a frame.

This is the most crucial dimension in the context of your nose.

If you’re particularly wide or narrow in your bridge, it’s worth keeping in mind the bridge size that fits you the best.

Adult bridge widths can vary between 16 to 24mm depending on your age, gender and ethnicity. Manufacturers like us tend to make adult frames with a bridge around 20mm or so.

But here’s the twist.

You can have a narrow nose, but still need a wide bridge. And vice vera.

Because your frame rests on both the upper maxilla and nasal bones on either side of your nose, these facial features determine your best bridge size.

Keep an eye on this when you’re eying up new glasses.

 

Comparison of glasses bridge shapes on drawing of nose

 

4: Bridge shape

Bridge shape can give a ‘slimming’ effect to your nose.

There are two main types.

Keyhole bridges (below) are the old-fashioned classic style, which funnily enough, resemble a keyhole. This design creates a little gap around the uppermost section which gives the impression of space thus making your nose seem smaller.

Saddle bridges (below) are a more contemporary style which tend to ‘hug’ around your nose with little to no gap at the top. This close contact gives the impression of a tighter fit and therefore makes your nose look larger.

Depending how a frame rests, this gap can help the look of your nose.

 

Comparison of saddle and keyhole glasses nose bridge shapes

 

5: Frame shape

Glasses that make your nose look smaller tend to be large, thick and circular.

This isn’t concrete, but round shaped glasses can have an aesthetically flattering effect if you have a large nose. Due to their shape, they help blend your nose, rather than contrasting with it.

This is why angular frames with straight edges can draw attention to, rather than harmonise with your nose.

 

Example of nose pad height on tortoise spectacle frame

 

6: Pad height

Your frame’s nose pads help how your frame rests.

These little contact points are where your frame makes contact with your face. Depending on the style of your frame, some pads are adjustable and some are fixed.

Full rim acetate glasses (above) usually have fixed pads which are sculpted into the frame as a single piece.

Occasionally, full rims may use add-on metal arm nose pads which can be adjusted. These are most common on rimless or supra (half rim) style frames.

If you have a large nose, pads too narrow can pinch your nose and make the frame sit high on your brow. In this instance, elect for a frame with a wider bridge or have its pads adjusted, exchanged or removed by a skilled optician or frame maker.

For especially narrow/long noses, enlarged add-on pads can be added to prevent the frame from resting on your cheeks.

Ideally, you’d avoid this by choosing the correct bridge width.

 

Three different types of nose pads for spectacles

 

Five types of spectacle nose pad arms

 



"For the Asian optical market, frames are often made with extra large nose pads positioned higher up the frame front. This is to compensate for the wearer's genetically high cheekbones and flat nose bridge."

Jamie, co-founder, Banton Frameworks

 

 

7: Colour

This might seem obvious…

But a strongly contrasting frame colour is a great trick to draw attention away from your nose and emphasise your eyes.

Especially if you have a pale complexion, a starkly coloured frame such as black will take centre stage and bring your eyes (and confidence) to the fore.

Another method to help reduce the appearance of your nose is to opt for a frame which has differently coloured temples to the frame front.

For example, a black frame front with tortoiseshell sides will create contrast and will visually ‘pull’ attention towards your eyes and to the sides of your glasses frame.

 

Bearded man wearing turquoise spectacles
Actor Chris Evans wearing thick square gradient spectacle frame
Brunette woman wearing oversized glasses frame
Young woman wearing large amber eyeglasses in coffee shop

 

8: Frame thickness

Dominant glasses can be your greatest asset.

Bold chunky frames are inherently confident and can help to ‘quiet’ the prominence of your large nose. Their thick rims will picture frame your eyes as the main attraction.

Plus, solid acetate frames are simply more robust.

Bold full-rim glasses project your personality in a way that rimless frames simply can’t. Slender or rimless frames like these tend to blend in, rather than stand out.

So if you want your frames to do the talking, get behind glasses which are thick and bold.

They’ll be your secret power.

 

Anne Robinson wearing very thick round tortoise glasses
African man with wide nose wearing thick black glasses
Black and white photo of woman wearing large black eyeglasses looking over her shoulder
Three quarter view of blonde man wearing thick rimmed spectacles

 

Hopefully this article will help you find a flattering frame that’ll fit you and help your nose look smaller.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Jamie Bartlett
Jamie Bartlett

Co-founder of Banton Frameworks.



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