How to Choose Glasses That Make You Look Younger

Picking the right frame style can make a big difference

Choosing glasses that make you look younger may seem like less of a priority than, say, comfort or budget. Maybe so. But since you may be wearing your glasses a lot, if not all day, it's important that you feel your best in the ones you end up with—and that includes being satisfied with what you see in the mirror when you put them on.

If you feel like your eyewear makes you look older than you'd like, consider the shape, color, size, and style of eyeglasses the next time you go shopping. A few simple choices can make a significant difference in how your glasses make you look.

Here are a few tips for choosing glasses that make you look younger.

A woman eating a fruit salad and using tablet
Hero Images / Hero Images

How to Choose Glasses That Complement Your Age

Eyewear should be stylish and should both complement your age and give you a more youthful appearance. If you are older, you probably are looking for eyewear fashions geared to helping you age gracefully. Consider the following guidelines as you shop for frames that make you look younger.

Shape

The best glasses for making you look younger are those that are uplifting to the face. The shape of your frames can help you achieve a natural facelift.

Softer and more rounded corners are more desirable than sharp edges. Rounded corners help to soften the facial features and naturally lift the features of the face. 

For older women, cat-eye shapes have softer edges and provide a slight uplifting appearance. For older men, upswept rectangular shapes with rounded corners are very flattering.

A well-fitting pair of glasses should not touch your cheeks.

Color

Warm-colored glasses make you look younger. Cool and flashy tones are best left to the younger generations. 

Warmer tones look great on both older men and women. Look for frames in browns, berry tones, and jewel tones. These are very flattering for older women. Men should look for blues, browns, grays, burgundies, and greens. 

Keep your eye out for shiny materials to give your eyes a natural sparkle, but take care to avoid dull colors, plain silver, and basic black. Choosing glasses in these colors can make you look older. It's time to allow your best features to stand out, not blend in with the crowd.

Size

When looking for frames, make sure you don't choose frames that are too small vertically. As we age, we develop presbyopia, the loss of near or close focusing power. This causes many of us to need different prescriptions for near and distance vision. As a result, you may need a multifocal eyeglass lens. Your optician will be able to help you with lens choices.

It is difficult to fit a larger reading area in very tiny frames, so consider going bigger.

While very small frame shapes are fine for distance glasses or dedicated reading glasses, they don't leave much room for line flat-top bifocals or no-line progressive lenses. Also, as the newer digitally processed custom-designed progressive lenses work better than ever in small frames, a larger vertical dimension usually is much better for comfortable reading vision.

Style

Choosing the right glasses style can help make you look younger. Don't be afraid to experiment with colors and different shapes. Look for deeper shapes with a retro look. These are great for those who are truly young at heart and want just a little more style in their eyewear.

Lens Types

Many older people tend to reach for over-the-counter reading glasses, or "granny glasses." These are the glasses you sometimes see on the end of people's noses while they are gazing over the tops of them. These types of glasses make you look older.

Make time for a comprehensive eye exam and find out what your true visual needs are. Your eye doctor may recommend a lens that can be worn more like regular glasses instead of peeking over the top of reading glasses.

No-line invisible progressive lenses are a great option for a youthful appearance. Also remember that just because you could be a candidate for a progressive lens, you don't have to wear them all the time. You will have access to not only good, clear distance vision, but also arm's-length vision and near vision without putting your glasses on and taking them off all day.

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD
Troy L. Bedinghaus, OD, board-certified optometric physician, owns Lakewood Family Eye Care in Florida. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association.