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The Difference Between Men’s and Women’s  Frames

If you travel to most high-volume, middle-of-the-range opticians, you will notice that there is an entire wall for men’s glasses, an entire wall for women’s glasses, and possibly a wall for children too. Many people wonder what the real difference is between men’s and women’s frames. The surprising answer is not very much. Both are made to similar quality, and except for a few exceptions that we are going to look at below, they can be worn by both men and women with little to no trouble at all. It makes sense, after all, for most frames to be unisex. When you can double your audience, you double the chances of your frames being sold!

Frame Size

The biggest difference between most men’s and women’s frames is size. Generally speaking, a man’s face is larger than a woman’s, the eyes are farther apart, the ears are farther apart, the nose is larger which means a longer bridge and there is simply more material that goes into men’s frames than women’s.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t find unisex frames that fit both an 18-stone rugby player and his 8-stone wife; they just won’t look the same on both people. What many high street stores manage to do is sell the same unisex frame in two different sizes.

Frame Shape

Shape can sometimes be a barrier when it comes to finding frames that fit both men and women. If a man has an especially large face, he’s going to need frames that cover most of the eye. If a smaller woman were to try that same set of frames on, the lenses would cover half her face. Of course, that doesn’t mean she couldn’t order that very same frames if that is the look she is going for, but it would be far from traditional.

Recent fashion has been for smaller and smaller frames, regardless of the size of the eyes and the face, so shape is becoming less of a barrier than it has been in the past. The only real question here would be of fashion: which shape do you think makes you look better or which shape is currently in fashion? It could be that a decidedly masculine shape is in vogue, which means that it may not be what most women are looking for.

Frame Colour

Just like with shape, colour is only a barrier if you live by established gender roles. Even in the age of metro-sexuality, some men still won’t be caught dead in powder blue, pink or any other colour that is considered feminine.

Restrictions, culturally-speaking, seem to be less of an issue when you go the other way. Women regularly buy black, dark blue or deep red frames without anyone thinking anything is amiss.

The biggest problem for men who want a pastel-coloured frame would be finding a shape and size that would fit a man’s face: so the problem isn’t really colour, but shape. You would have to find a frame to fit the entire face, from pupil distance to bridge distance and everything else. You’ll notice that many of the unisex frames that most high-street stores supply are silver, black or some other neutral color that is very much middle-of-the-road.

If you want a coloured frame that may be a bit out of the ordinary, or a shape or size that isn’t neutral, then you need to design your own frame styles. Come and talk to our specialist team at eyeSpace, where we can help you design the perfect bespoke frames!


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