Free & Easy Returns

Grab Your First Frame for $54 With Code: NEWPAIR

Big-Frame Glasses: Are They Right for You?

Big-frame glasses continue to be a popular choice. They can showcase your personality and take your style up a notch, and they’re very functional too. The question is, are big-frame glasses right for you?

Let’s clarify what big-frame glasses are and why you might choose this type of eyewear. We’ll also discuss how to select the right design and fit, so they take you through the day in comfort and style.

What Are Big-Frame or Oversized Glasses?

Two young women standing back-to-back wearing big-frame glasses.

Big-frame glasses have been made trendy again by a host of celebrities, but they’re actually kind of retro. In fact, they date all the way back to the 1960s, when they were first popularized by Jackie Kennedy. Of course, they’ve evolved a lot since then and they’re now available in a host of different shapes, styles, and colors.

Also known as extended-fit glasses, or sometimes thick-frame glasses, oversized glasses aren’t a frame size per se. They’re simply glasses that are oversized for your specific features.

They’re also not necessarily the same thing as wide glasses. Wide-frame glasses are mostly about the horizontal width, while the lenses of big-frame glasses are often fairly high as well.

You can get big frames for non-prescription or prescription glasses, reading glasses, or multifocals. They also work well for sunglasses and blue-light glasses.

Why Choose Big-Frame Glasses?

A pair of red big-frame glasses sitting on a white background with black spots.

Big-frame or thick-frame glasses have many things going for them, apart from the fact that they’re classic and functional.

If you have a big personality and like to stand out from the crowd, the visual impact of a bold pair of big-frame glasses can certainly help you do that. On the other hand, a more subtle pair can hide your features and expression — especially if they’re sunglasses — giving you a glamorous yet mysterious look. And yet another style may give off intellectual vibes.

From an aesthetic perspective, big-frame glasses really put your eyes front and center, making them look large and expressive — if they’re one of your best features, they deserve to be highlighted. Thick-frame glasses also help to balance out slightly larger facial features — for example, if you’re self-conscious about your nose — helping them to look smaller.

And from a purely practical perspective, big-frame glasses are sturdy and provide extra protection for your eyes on sunny days, especially if they’re also polarized. Those features can be very useful whether you’re driving, playing an outdoor sport, or lounging around by the pool. Not to mention that squinting into the sun isn’t a great look on anyone, plus you may end up with squint lines and/or a headache.

The Fit of Your Big-Frame Eyeglasses

The way your large-frame glasses fit is very important, even if they’re not bifocals. If you do have progressive lenses though, it’s especially critical as the lenses are designed to sit in a specific place on your face.

This isn’t about how your big-frame glasses look but about how they improve your vision and how they feel — and they should feel completely comfortable. Look out for these factors:

  • They should fit your bridge so they don’t pinch your nose or keep slipping down.

  • The lens width and end pieces (the parts that extend to the sides of the lenses) should be the right size, so the arms don’t squeeze the sides of your head.

  • The arms should be the correct length, so they don’t pull against your ears or extend too far beyond them.

  • They should feel good on your face, without touching your cheeks or any other part of your face, even when you smile.

  • They shouldn’t be too heavy, or they’ll really weigh you down after a while.

    If you’re not able to tick all these boxes, check if your thick-frame glasses have spring hinges; tweaking these can make a big difference. If you can’t make the necessary adjustments to the glasses you’re considering, you may need to choose another set of frames.

    What Eyeglass Frames Should I Pick for My Big Glasses?

    A black woman in front of a yellow background wearing glasses and and holding two pairs of eyeglass frames.

    With the huge range of big-frame glasses available these days, you may be wondering how to choose the right ones for you.

    In a nutshell, your thick-frame glasses should be in proportion to your face (if slightly oversized) and compliment your features, not overpower them. Getting this right depends on the frame shape and color.

    Frame Shape

    The frame shape you choose should contrast with your face shape to create balance.

    So if you have a round face, square, rectangular, aviator, or cat-eye glasses can work well. Whereas if your face is more angular, oval-shape or round glasses are likely to complement that best. If you have an oval face shape, you’re lucky — you can wear almost anything.

    When you’re looking for big-frame glasses, you can simply select the oversized version of one of these ideal frame shapes for you. To support the weight of the bigger lenses we recommend a full rim over a rimless or semi-rimless style, which tend to be more fragile. At Pair Eyewear, we also use cellulose acetate for glasses rims instead of metal frames, making them lightweight and durable.

    Frame Color

    When it comes to frame color, there are a few aspects you should consider:

    • Your natural coloring

    • The colors you tend to wear

    • Your personality

    • Whether you like your glasses to stand out or not

    Let’s look at some options.

    Tortoiseshell and Brown

    Tortoiseshell and other brown-colored, thick-frame glasses tend to blend in — especially if they’re matte — making them extremely versatile, much like pastels. They work well on fairer complexions and when you’re styling your outfit, they pair well with other colors like blues, greens, and neutrals. If you’re feeling a bit whimsical, try a colored tortoiseshell.

    Bright and Bold Colors

    On the other hand, brighter, bolder colors like red, blue, green, or even purple really stand out and make a statement. They add color to your face and can complement your eyes and skin, while focusing attention away from features like a bigger nose. To maximize the impact, choose a design with a pattern on it. Also, be aware of what you’re wearing with them. For example, if you’re sporting a brightly colored outfit too, it might be a bit much — or not, depending on your personality.


    Black frames are simple and classic, with a bit of a hipster twist. They can work especially well on a strong face and really highlight your eyes. They also help to balance out an outfit that’s otherwise bright and boldly colored. To lighten the starkness of pure black, try some stripes or a light sparkle.


    Clear frames can be extremely stylish and very versatile too. They go with anything and suit all kinds of skin tones and eye colors.


    And for something quite different, try glasses with a frame that’s a different color than the arms. For example, you could try black frames with tortoiseshell arms, or pink frames with darker pink arms. The color difference draws extra attention to your eyes.

    If you simply can’t decide which color thick-frame glasses you want or you’re looking to experiment with some multi-colored options, Pair Eyewear may be the answer. 

    At Pair Eyewear, you get to choose a clear or colored Base Frame, then add as many colorful Top Frames as your heart desires — whether that’s a best seller from our standard collection or an unusual choice from one of our limited-edition selections. Your Top Frame can match, complement, or contrast with the Base Frame, and we even have Sun Tops for those days out in the sun. All our Top Frames simply snap on and are held in place by a lightweight magnet. 

    Pair Eyewear is available for men and women and can be made with your prescription. Take advantage of our virtual try-on feature to see what style works best for you.

    Big-Frame Glasses Can Work for You

    Thick-frame glasses suit a wide range of personalities, activities, and stylish outfits. They’re also practical as they provide extra sun protection on a bright day if you choose them for sunglasses.

    While most people can wear big-frame glasses, it’s important to find the right fit and style for you — which depends on the frame shape and color you choose. If you’re someone who likes to change up your look depending on your mood or outfit for the day, Pair Eyewear could be just what you’re looking for. Glasses start at $60 including a prescription, and with a wide range of styles and colors, you’re sure to find options that are perfect for you.