What Are the Different Styles of Glasses?
Eyewear has a long and rich history, from ancient reading stones all the way through to millenial shutter shades, and there have been a ton of styles emerge and vanish in the interim. We put together a list of the classics to help you know what to look for.
Pictured: Elland Black
Characterised by its thick full-rim typically in all black acetate, the wayfarer is an iconic frame with a square shape lens that’s slightly wider than it is tall. Given the frame’s straight lines, they are well suited to rounder face shapes, as they give them more structure and depth.
Semi-Rimless / Supra
Pictured: Chilton Black
Semi-rimless glasses are so called because the frame or ‘rims’ don’t completely surround the lenses. Any frame that leaves part of the lens rim exposed can be considered semi-rimless. This sparing design can lend itself well to rounder face shapes and often means semi-rimless glasses are lighter and more comfortable.
Pictured: Guildford Tortoiseshell
Double-bridge glasses are any glasses with not one, but two of those connecting arcs that go over the nose and brow. They’re largely a stylistic choice but they do add structure and robust rigidity to a pair of glasses. The style is hugely popular in fashion-conscious circles, and hint that you’re in the know.
Pictured: Halifax Blue
The cat eye frame is as sassy as glasses come, so called because of the flared upper edges and narrowing towards the centre. A throwback to traditional Americana that never quite went out of fashion, the shape was perhaps the first aesthetic eyewear available, elevating corrective eyewear beyond utility and into propelling it into fashion.
Pictured: Malvern Gold
Between cargo shorts, consumer-level army vehicles, and pea-coats, the military has contributed quite a lot to contemporary fashion. The aviator has its roots there too, having originally been developed for pilots. The design is characterised by the stern flat double-bridge and the large tear-drop lens, which attempts to cover the entire field of view of the eye to provide the least obstruction to vision.
Pictured: Woodley Grey
Oval frames retain the circular curves of round frames but with wider stylised proportions, squashing the profile slightly. The same loose rules apply though – triangle, long, and square faces all suit them best. If concentric round frames seem a bit too eccentric, oval frames are a reserved and tasteful alternative.
Pictured: Jarrow Bronze
Rectangle glasses are any pair of glasses you could consider to be more squared at the edges than round, but the specifics stop there. The wayfarer falls under a rectangle, as do more trapezoid shapes and even certain subtle hexagonal shapes. It’s really the angular nature of the frame the term captures. Rectangle frames are best suited for rounder faces.
Pictured: Amble Purple
As with the rectangle, round frames are a high level description for all circular glasses, or glasses with an edge that appears to curve more than abruptly turn corners, meaning the term applies to a wide array of styles. One thing they all have in common is that they soften more angular features, so rounder glasses are better suited to those with a more chiselled bone structure.
Now you know which frames are which, find out which suit your face here.