Graphic by Caitlin Sampsel

Selecting the perfect pair of glasses is a decision not everyone sees “eye to eye.”

Heather Gibson, manager and licensed optician for Pearle Vision in Polaris Mall, said the main factors in choosing a great frame are face shape and skin tone.

“People with a round face should go for a square frame to contrast the circular look. Those with a more square face should get a round frame to make them look less blocky, and people with a long face shape should get a cat-eye frame because it gives a more uplifting look and takes focus off the length,” Gibson said.

Skin tone and hair color should help people decide what frame color to choose, she said.

“People with lighter skin typically go with a lighter color or a brown, while those with a darker complexion choose black and other dark colors,” Gibson said.

The determining factor in selecting glasses for some students is the price.

“I like to get a pair that goes with my skin tone and stuff, but glasses are so expensive, especially with the separate costs for frames and lenses. So I go for cute and cheap,” said Emerald Sparks, a sophomore in accounting.

Other students think getting glasses is an investment that is worth the price.

“I wear Versace frames because the name brands look the best, even though they cost the most,” said Herbert Smith, a senior in corporate training and development. “Your glasses are the first thing that people see and are worth the money when they look nice.”

Another tough decision when picking a pair of glasses is choosing between a wire frame and a plastic frame, Gibson said.

“That is the first choice that we ask customers to make because they give two totally different looks. A wire frame tends to be a safer choice, while a plastic frame can give a bolder and more stylish look,” Gibson said.

Smith said he wore regular wire glasses since elementary school and chose plastic to look more professional and cutting-edge.

Sparks also had wire frames when she was younger and said a new frame is necessary for college students.

“I didn’t want to be wearing the same wire pair that I wore all my life,” Sparks said. “I wanted to update my glasses and look more mature, so that’s why I chose a plastic frame.”

Gibson said college students generally go for plastic frames because they are more durable and fun, and they are a step up from traditional wire frames.

“The choice really depends on a person’s lifestyle and job,” Gibson said. “Some people just want two different looks so they get two different pairs of glasses.”

Prescription can also determine the type of glasses someone chooses.

“A high prescription can mean a thicker lens, and the thickness could show on the sides of the frames,” Gibson said.

She said since plastic frames are thicker, they can help hide thicker lenses.

Personal style ultimately plays the biggest role in selecting a pair of glasses, Smith said.

“I like to dress nicely, so I chose a stylish, black rectangular frame to complement my style,” Smith said. “I know a lot of people that have Dolce & Gabbana frames, and I like to get styles that are different from everybody else.”

Gibson said there is qualified staff at eye care facilities to assist individuals in selecting a frame, but most people bring a friend or family member to help.

Sparks said she does not use assistance and always decides on her own.

“I normally get someone to help me at first before I make the choice myself,” Smith said. “I still get compliments on my glasses, and I’ve had them for over three years because I went with a versatile pair that I could see myself in years down the road.”

Heather Hope can be reached at