How To Shop For Sunglasses Online Successfully Because It Isn't As Easy As It Sounds — PHOTOS

In most ways, online shopping has made our lives a lot easier. You can buy anything from a new set of dishware to a wedding gown without ever having to put on pants and leave the house, which is pretty amazing. But the biggest problem with buying something via a computer screen or mobile device is that you can't try before you buy. With most things, it's OK — you know you're a size six dress or a size nine shoe, so you should be ok guesstimating a purchase — but with sunglasses it is really hard to make a purchase without knowing what the shades are going to look like on your face. So how do you shop for sunglasses online?

You may have some sense of what you want, or a vague idea that aviators look better on you than cat eyes (as is the case for me, personally), but it can be difficult to tell what will be flattering when you're looking at it on a computer screen. There are some companies that will let you shop by face shape, but that can be very confusing if you don't know what face shape you have or are looking to try something new that Internet style guides have deemed "unfit" for someone with your unique features.

Don't worry, though: You can still buy sunglasses without having to put on pants or leave your living room. Try these few simple hacks for buying sunglasses online, and treat yourself to a new pair because..... it's summer. (You don't need a better excuse than that, I promise!)

1. Determine Your Face Shape

We're all constantly seeing articles about "which glasses look best on your face shape" as a means of convincing us whether we should buy aviators, cat eyes or oversized squares. While in my personal opinion generalizations like that should be ignored, it may come in handy when shopping online considering you won't be able to try on. Determining your face shape requires measuring the distance from your hairline to your chin, and across your cheeks, forehead and jawline. Compare these measurements to one another to figure out if you're square, round, oval or triangle, and use the chart above to decide which shape frames work best for you.

2. Use Virtual Try On

Prada PR 01OS Sunglasses, $182, FramesDirect.com

In my opinion, this is the most brilliant piece of technology of the 21st century (sorry, Facebook). Some companies, like Ray Ban and Frames Direct, allow you to upload selfies to their websites and try out different pairs of glasses on your face to get an idea of how they'll look in real life.

3. Utilize "Home Try On"

Michael Kors Viviana I, $139, SunglassHut.com

If trying on glasses virtually isn't really your thing, the "Home Try On" method offered by Sunglass Hut and Warby Parker lets you to test out glasses #IRL. The companies allow you to pick multiple pairs of glasses from their website to try (Sunglass Hut allows four, Warby Parker allows five) and they'll ship them wherever you want. You have five days to decide which, if any, you'd like to keep, and then all you have to do is send back the ones you don't want — you'll only be charged for what you keep.

4. Tighten Them After You Purchase

patrick scanlon on YouTube

In the same way our faces our shaped different, our faces are sized differently, too. When you order a pair of glasses online and haven't tried them on in real life, they may be too big or too small when you receive. If that's the case, take them to a local glasses repair shop or Sunglass Hut and ask them to tighten or loosen the frames for you (most places will do it free of charge). If you're brave enough to try it, you can also size your glasses at home — check out the video above for step by step directions.

5. Be Aware Of The Return Policy

Banks Sea Smoke Tortoise, $95, WarbyParker.com

As with anything you buy online, make sure you are able to return the product after you buy it in case it arrives and you decide you hate it. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a pair of literal rose colored glasses you know you'll never wear, and $150 poorer because of them. Though worse comes to worse, there's always EBay!

Images: Neiman Marcus; Courtesy of Brands