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How do I pick eyeglass frames that suit my face?

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The question

What should I look for when picking new eyeglass frames?

The answer

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Shopping for eyeglasses is a less painful experience than shopping for swimwear, but in some ways you must pay as close attention to your prospective new frames as you would to a bikini.

Amin Mamdani of Josephson Opticians in Toronto recently told me that proper proportion reigns supreme over trends. He recommends skipping heavy black or tortoise shell frames in favour of mauve, olive or champagne – subtle colour variations that are distinctive without being distracting. (Remember Sally Jessy Raphael red?) He encourages larger frames and prefers curvier butterfly or cat-eye shapes over rectangular glasses, which inevitably appear less feminine.

Listen to the salespeople, who will examine your face shape objectively. Once you have found a style, close your eyes so you can feel the frames on your face. If they feel fine, that's not good enough. Says Mamdani: "They should feel great."

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail Follow her on Twitter @amyverner.

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