Over the years, glasses frame trends have changed dramatically, evolving from practical sight enhancing tools to notable fashion statements. With the passing of time, eyeglasses and the frames that encase them seem to keep changing in hopes of accommodating the ever-changing fashion trends. From the age-old nose-pincher designs to thick glasses and cat-eye styles, frame designs have come a long way.v
Just as hair accessories and shoe styles have been adapted and altered over the years to meet the current fashions’ preferences, the history of frame styles is fascinating. To give you a more extensive view of just how drastically eyeglasses styles have changed over the decades, here are the most prominent frame styles through history.
The Early 1900s
In the early 1900s, glasses were hardly as practical as they are today. With trends like lorgnette spectacles, which held up to the wearer’s face with a handle, were all the rage. The bizarre spectacle design was worn mainly by the women of the time as they did not cover the face and showcased something of a delicate appeal. The only alternative style available in the 1900s was the nose-pincher spectacles, which held to the face entirely by pinching the wearer’s nose. While lorgnette designs were considered more of a fashionable accessory, nose-pincher eyeglasses were the more practical vision tool of the day’s two prominent trends. Unfortunately, the general limitations of the early 1900s are likely responsible for the incredibly limited eyeglasses styles.
By the time the 1920s rolled around, frames and lenses had become ideally practical. However, designs were still significantly limited. Round thin frames crafted from a variety of materials that included gold and silver were reigning design trends. The glasses sat extremely close to the wearer’s face and the growing feminist movement of the time somehow impacted the designs of glasses. As a result, these round frames were worn by both men and women as the single most popular frame trend.
The Mid 1900s
The mid-1900s brought about much change to the trends of glasses with the emergence of the browline frames. In the early 1940s, a demand for more variance in frame styles became more prominent, and more designs entered the market. By the time the 1950s rolled around, the iconic cat-eyed frames had made waves as one of the first glasses trends that indeed took over. Materials used to create glasses also changed dramatically as plastics and metals were used simultaneously in variations of browline and cat-eye frames.
The Late 1900s
During the late 1900s, the ‘flower children‘ and the mods defined eyeglasses trends’ parameters. While the mods showcased large oversized geometric designs, circular-rimmed glasses became the choice of the day for flower children. It could be agreed that John Lennon, Janis Joplin, and other artists lead the way for flower power and hippie culture fashion trends.
However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that lens wearers decided to finally trade extravagence for practicality, realizing that vision restriction was something of a nagging problem in most frame trend designs. During the late 1900s, frame styles shifted from being bold and colorful to being practical, lightweight, and suitable for everyday use. Even though previous trends did not entirely fall away, the 1980s and 1990s were the decades that genuinely revolutionized eyeglasses trends for the better.
The 21st Century
In today’s world, lens wearers can choose from a massively wide variety of styles, designs, and materials when choosing frames for prescription lenses. We cannot factor in details such as facial structure, prescription type, and others when selecting frames that will give you the most. Gone are the days where bizarre handheld spectacles were the only vision tool on the market. Styles now range from practical to fashionable and everything in between. There is currently no reigning fashion trend in frame styles as iconic classic trends such as cat-eye and wingtip frames are still popular. The 21st Century is every lens wearer’s dream as you won’t need to compromise any factor of appearance or your vision when choosing frames.
Even though there are no prominent styles of the day, the wide variety available on the market today is continually growing as the trends are ever-changing. However, the early 2000s did bring about an increase in thin frame designs and simple rectangle styles. There’s truly no doubt that we can expect exciting things from the world of frame designs in the future as bifocals and tinted frames are also now available thanks to tech advancements in the industry.