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How Eyeglass Frames Through the Decades Have Evolved?

How Eyeglass Frames Through the Decades Have Evolved

Eyeglasses are not exactly a new invention, with their roots tracing back to the 13th century. Since then, lens and frame crafters have experimented and improved upon the original, bringing eyewear to the forms we’re familiar with today. Eyeglass frames were leveraged as fashion focal points for decades, and it is no different today.

If you have little to no idea about eyewear trends, here’s a rundown of some of the most popular eyewear frames over the decades.

Round Frames

Collection Of Round Frames

Round frames originated in the 1920s and remain popular today. Celebrities wore and endorsed this particular frame style over the decades, ensuring it never went out of style. Originally, round frames were nothing fancy, with the classic colors being black and tortoiseshell. However, since the 60s, round frames ventured into many color variants that remain popular.

The difference between round frame styles over the decades is mainly size. In the 1940s, it was trendy and common to wear small-framed round eyeglasses set close to the face. However, this preference changed in the 60s and 70s when larger and theatrical round frames rose in popularity. After seeing a dip in the 80s and 90s, oversized round frames made a comeback in the last decade.

Round half-frames are rarely discussed in fashion circles, but if you can pull them off, they offer a unique style that sets you apart from the crowd.


Collection of Wayfarer Frame Glasses

Released by Ray-Ban in the 1950s, this frame style was popularized by celebrities like James Dean. This classic look continues to impress even today. Whether you’re going out to a party or for a long drive, the Wayfarer fits in perfectly with every occasion. These nifty shades come in different sizes and colors like white, orange, blue, and turquoise, aside from the classic black-green and brown tortoise shades. You can even request custom designs if desired.


Pair of Oversized Frame Glasses

If the 1980s were a slogan, it would be “too much, too fast.” The frame styles of this decade also matched this slogan. Large and straightforward eyeglasses became popular, and vintage designs such as cat-eyed frames from the 50s started making a comeback.

In the same decade, geometric shapes, tea shades, and rectangular aviators also made a comeback, with new styles evolving since then. Colorful frames were highly popularized in the 80s and 90s and remain so today, allowing more comprehensive styling options for both men and women.

The popularity of oversized frames also led to the rise of probably the most recognized and popular eyewear frames globally, the Aviators. Initially designed by Bausch & Lomb and currently produced by Ray-Ban, Aviators became a must-have in any fashionable wardrobe. Despite being initially made for men, Aviators also became highly popular among women.

The only downside to Aviators is the limited color options compared to other types of eyewear frames, but the good news is you can customize them if you want.


Ever since the early 2000s, there has been no predominant go-to style like the previous decades. In recent years, the emphasis shifted to individual interpretation and reinvention of classic frame styles, such as the transparent round frames that are popular.

That’s not to say that the innovation in eyewear trends stopped entirely. At the turn of the millennium, futuristic and colorful frames became the norm among the younger generation, inspired by classic sci-fi TV shows and movies from the 80s and 90s. Most of these designs are very sleek and often made for sports and outdoor activities.

Materials also changed in the eyewear industry over the years. While classic eyeglasses are traditionally made with metal and glass, modern wearers and manufacturers prefer lighter materials such as plastic or other composite mixtures.

Your Face, Your Style

Pick the Glasses Frame that Suit Your Face and Style

With summer knocking around the corner, now is the best time to shake things up and change your style a bit. Suppose you decided you want to try out some new shades or a new eyeglass frame—it’s essential to do a bit of research before making the purchase. That way, you can avoid making common mistakes that many people make and find the perfect eyewear to complete your style.

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