Last spring, at the annual Met Costume Institute gala in New York City, Justin Timberlake showed up on the red carpet with two standout accessories—his girlfriend, Jessica Biel, and a pair of striking black readers that were as geeky as they were chic.
The pop crooner isn't the first guy to profit from the dark-rimmed spectacles, which, when perched on the right nose, can add bookish good looks like no other item. They're what 007 would use if he had to quickly transform into a professor of French philosophy. But it takes more than a fake degree to make them work.
Study your face. If you have a big nose, a brooding forehead, thick hair, or any other feature that could be described as "rugged," you're in safe territory. Just be sure to stick with square frames—round or rectangular are much more difficult to pull off. If, on the other hand, you have a double chin, a fragile nose, or only a suggestion of cheekbones, go directly home to those tortoiseshell rims you have in your desk drawer. And remember, if someone notices your frames before noticing you, that's tantamount to a sartorial black eye.