The Perfect Fit: The Upper Rim design

The Perfect Fit: The Upper Rim design
left: curved upper rim in Hazel, right: straight upper rim in Lux 


Your frames should beautifully and architecturally frame the structure of your face.

Black Eyewear designer Robert Roope is a master of ‘the fit’ – having worked for more than 50 years in the business of optics – and he shares with us his tips on finding the perfect frame for your unique face shape starting from one of the fit early markers: the upper rim design.

What’s the role of the upper rim in eyewear design?

You could say that the top rim of a spectacle acts a bit like a curtain rail. It holds the curtains (lenses) in place in order to allow the light to come in or be kept out. What’s different, however, is that the fitting line is usually never straight, it’s curved and varies in sizes and design.

Why is it so important to pay close attention to the brow line when choosing a frame?

When looking for the right frame a lot depends on how the top rim of the glasses aligns with the wearer’s brow line, I consider this an early marker to find a style that is pleasing to the eye.

What are the main upper rim styles?

Most upper rims are upward curved, follow the natural shape of the eye socket and align with the curve of the brow.

Usually, the upper rims are trimmed to create a variety of shapes including high arched curves popularised by the feminine cat-eye look.

Square frames with straight upper rim evolved to challenge the round NHS frames in the 1950s.

What one has to look for in order to identify if a brow line fits properly?

Fitting properly means fitting comfortably and holding the prescription lenses in place to allow the clearest vision possible.
If the alignment of the wearer’s brow line and the upper rims of the frame is balanced this will help to create an overall pleasing appearance. This is an early marker to look for in a good fitting spectacle.

What about straight upper rims? And what face features are they best for?

Frames with a straight upper rim clash with the naturally curved brow line of most wearers.
This clash creates a strong angular and chisel look, projecting a more forceful and edgy personality.
In terms of design, the straight upper rim is often positioned above the brow line which overrides facial curves to introduces drama to the overall look.

Best Black Eyewear frames with a straight upper rim?


Upswept brow line is not for me, but a straight one doesn’t fit me, is there a compromise?

There are a lot of options to choose from in our round and panto range like ChicoWoodyArtDorsey or Mezz.

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