Guide to 2017 Eyeglasses Trends

An adage that says that the eyes are windows to the soul, but our eyes are windows to the world around us. Many of us wear eyeglasses primarily for vision correction, but we also want to look stylish and on trend as we wear them. Gone are the days that wearing eyeglasses meant that you were some unfashionable nerd or geek. Every pair of eyeglasses makes some kind of sartorial statement. There are a variety of eyeglasses frames out there can fit your face beautifully and show off your unique style. Here are the most popular of glasses in 2017—and maybe you’ll find a pair that tickles your fancy.

First Things First: The Fit

No matter what shape of your face, fashionable frames will command attention. If you are getting your first pair of eyeglasses, you shouldn’t start off with large, dramatic frames first. Instead, start with some slimmer frames first. If you’re buying your first pair online, make sure you try the frames on first. There are online retailers like Warby Parker that can send you frames to try on before you purchase them.

Cat-eye Eyeglasses

The cat-eye is a classic look that women and some men’s glasses. These glasses, also known as Harlequin eye glasses, were created by Altina Schinasi—an artist, heiress, and socialite. On the outer edges of the frames, there is an upsweep at the top of the rim that meets up with the temples, up from the frame bridge. This chic style was created in the 1950’s. At first, these frames only held optical lenses. Celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe were known to wear cat-eye glasses.

Then Audrey Hepburn’s starring role in the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, showed cat-eye glasses as sunglasses, boosting the popularity of these feline frames. Holly Golightly wore tortoise-shell sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith, the Manhattan. Cat-eye glasses associated with other fictional characters like Frenchie from Grease.

Today, compared to the smaller, more oval lenses, cat-eye glasses have larger, rounder lenses and flattered many face shapes. Modern styling is subtle and less exaggerated and comes in a variety of colors, for both eye glasses and sunglasses. Women should also know that cat eye glasses will draw your face upwards and will make you look younger.

Clear Eyeglasses 

Are you more fashion forward or cutting edge with your fashion? Then clear eye glasses may be a defining accessory for you. Think Andy Warhol: transparent glasses worn more by artsy scenesters. As the materials of frames became more modern and durable--specifically plastic, translucent frames started to make an appearance a few decades ago.

It’s hard to go wrong with clear frames—they exude a unique sense of cool that will help you stand out from the crowd. Clear frames come in many sizes and shapes, but usually, have square and rectangular shapes which best flatter round and oval faces. Due to their transparent nature, these frames tend to lighten and brighten the face, highlighting the features of one’s face. Clear frames also add a beautiful contrast to those with darker skin tones.

Tortoiseshell Eyeglasses

Tortoiseshell glasses, also known as horn-rimmed glasses, have seen their peaks and valleys in popularity over the last hundred years. They made their pop culture introduction when comedian Harold Lloyd wore them in the 1917 comedy, Over the Fence. He wore these more rounded glasses so that the character he played could look ordinary. He didn’t even have lenses in the glasses since he didn’t need them. After the movie’s debut, there was an unexpected uptick in these frames, but then a dip occurred when sturdier metal-framed glasses entered the market.

Then in the 1940s and 1950s, the browline glasses made their entrance. Actors like James Dean helped with this resurgence in popularity. These glasses were originally crafted from animal horns or from tortoise shells but were now constructed from plastic. This was also the time that Ray-Ban brought the ever-classic Wayfarer frame in 1952. In the 1970s, when the oversize metal frames like the Ray-Ban Aviators became more popular, tortoise shells retreated, but then shot back into fashion in the 1980s via yuppies and New Wave musicians who enjoyed wearing Wayfarers.

Now in the new millennium, tortoiseshell specs are typically worn by more counterculture and alternative fashionistas, but anyone can wear these frames and look smart, not nerdy. They come in a variety of shapes than the initial rounded or angular versions. You’ll find that these frames are thicker and heavier than their older counterparts. Ranging from a lighter honey color to a darker wood brown, you can find a tortoise shell that works well with your skin tone and hair color.


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