girl picking eyeglasses frames

Just because you’re a “woman of a certain age” and you wear glasses, you’re not doomed to bifocals, glasses hung from chains around your neck, or the pastel frames you bought back in the 80s. If you pick the right eyeglass frames, you could actually trim years off your look. On the other hand, picking the wrong ones or keeping the dated glasses, will add years to your look and make you look frumpy.

For mature women, old-fashioned glasses will give you that dowdy “little old lady” look, but youthful frames will make you seem ageless. Here are some tips for picking eyeglass frames if you’re a woman over age 50.

Black Frames Are Always Flattering

When it comes to looking sleek and stylish, black is the clear winner. Black eyeglasses can make your whole outfit look fashion forward. Black frames are universally flattering and compliment your facial features in a subtle way. You may choose frames that are over-sized with a touch of cat-eye for a look that’s classy and sophisticated.

Thick, black frames also called “nerd glasses”, have become increasingly popular over the past few years. With these frames, keep jewelry and other accessories to a minimum.

Tortoiseshell Frames

Because they usually have blonde, gold or brown flecks in them, tortoiseshell frames are flattering on almost everyone. The exception is women with gray hair.

Red Frames Are Youthful, Blue Frames Aren’t

As an older woman, stick to warm tones when it comes to your designer eyeglass frames. Red frames are youthful, as are browns and burgundies, but blue, gray and steel frames are cooler colours that can age you.

When You Don’t Want People to Notice You’re Wearing Glasses

You may want to choose clear frames if you don’t want to bring attention to the fact that you’re wearing glasses. Frameless glasses blend into the face beautifully and a thin frame works well, too. Also, this type of frame will go with almost any outfit. Choose frames that are booth funky and functional.

3 Things to Consider When Purchasing Eyeglasses

When buying eyeglasses, consider these three things:

  • Your face shape
  • Your hair colour
  • Your personality

For instance, oversize frames work beautifully because they fit a long face shape. Square frames balance out a long face and black frames look great on everyone and will let your personality shine through.

Your Coloring Matters

Always choose frames that look good with your colouring. Think about the colour of your favourite piece of clothing to help you choose a frame colour that will flatter you. As well, you don’t want glasses that are too big or too small for your face. Oversized frames are great as long as they don’t go up higher than your brow. Glasses should always hit the brow line or lower.

How to Shop for Eyeglasses

Always bring a friend with you when you go eyeglass shopping and be sure to try on as many pairs of glasses as possible. Get advice from the salesperson but in the end, trust your own intuition. You can usually tell right away when you look in the mirror whether the glasses make you look good…or not.

Why One Pair of Frames Is Never Enough

If you wear eyeglasses every day, consider them your best fashion accessory. In the same way you wouldn’t wear the same scarf every day, you may choose to have a different pair of glasses for different occasions.

Three pairs of glasses would be ideal: one pair for work, one for evening wear and one for weekends. You may also want to make sure that one of the three pairs of glasses are subtle enough to go with any outfit.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t wear your glasses on a chain. It may be convenient, but it ages you
  • Don’t over accessorize. Your glasses are a major accessory, so don’t overwhelm a look with scarves, a hat and chunky jewelry. An unchecked amount of jewelry or necklaces can make your outfit look cluttered.
  • Do balance out with accessories. A large necklace can actually balance out your oversized, statement-framed glasses
  • Do break the rules sometimes. Blue frames are aging for most, but teal frames can look stunning on a redhead
  • Do wear lipstick when you wear glasses as the colour balances out the top and bottom of the face
  • Do take off the glasses for photos. When you know a camera is pointed in your direction, ditch the glasses and show off your eyes.


It’s normal to feel like you have to make style choices that are “age-appropriate” as you mature, but that’s not always true. Fashion should be fun, and the joy of fashion comes from updating and remixing your look, including your eyeglasses. Finding the perfect pair is easier than you may think and choosing a pair of fun and youthful frames will take years off your age.