What to know about round glasses
Round glasses are found everywhere geographically — and across time too.
In fact, the style has existed since the 13th century and has not left us since, making round glasses a genuinely timeless accessory.
Rounded lenses were the only wearable type of corrective eyewear at the time of their invention (and for many years after).
Today’s round glasses, on the other hand, are available in a range of colors, materials and even slight variations on the notion of a perfect circle when it comes to frame shape.
You’ll also find that round glasses can be quite versatile. They suit many face shapes, are available with prescription or non-prescription lenses and can be paired with just about any outfit you’d like — you can even opt for round sunglasses with UV protection whenever you’re outdoors.
The hype about round glasses
Scientists, artists and philosophers have worn round glasses for hundreds of years. For this reason, the round frame style is often associated with tradition or intellectualism.
But, even though they may seem old-fashioned, round glasses do have a very modern vibe.
Round glasses are so trendy among computer science students, in fact, that round, wire-rimmed specs — the type favored by Steve Jobs — have become a symbol for coders.
Though fictional, the “Harry Potter” character may also be linked to a huge surge in popularity of the style, as countless people around the world have been emulating his look for more than 20 years, iconic round glasses and all.
Throughout history, famous, profound and influential personalities from all walks of life have worn round glasses (and continue to do so), ensuring the style is always in demand.
Round glasses in 2021
While they date from the 13th century and are frequently associated with older music stars like Elton John and John Lennon, round glasses are definitely on trend for young people — and for the here and now.
Plenty of current celebrities sport this style, including Kim Seok-jin of the ultra-popular South Korean boy band, BTS.
Here's why round glasses are relevant today:
Round glasses feel vintage...and vintage is cool. Round glasses can impart a vintage aesthetic, including a “hippie” vibe or a 1960s or 70s rock star look — and that’s part of what makes them so fabulous. Why not pair your vintage-looking round specs (or sunglasses) with the latest fashion for a look that’s unique to you?
Round glasses are versatile. Depending on the color and the frame you choose (not to mention how you style your glasses and where you choose to wear them), you can pretty much get any desired look you’d like, from casual to chic to serious, and so on.
Round glasses also remain relevant today because they are not specific to any age group, culture or activity — they can be an appropriate accessory (as long as they suit your face shape).
Round glasses and your face shape
To avoid buyer’s remorse, you’ll want to consider the factors involved in getting round prescription or non-prescription glasses. One of these factors is the shape of your face.
Common face shapes include:
Square — Square faces are about as wide as they are long, with a pronounced jawline. If this is you, consider round glasses, which can help soften the angles of your face.
Round — If your face is naturally round, it’s also about as wide as it is long, only with a more curved jaw. You’ll want to avoid round frames that closely mimic your face shape.
Oval — An oval face is slightly longer than it is wide; people with this face shape can wear any frame type they choose, including round glasses.
Diamond — A diamond-shaped face has angles, especially towards the chin and cheekbones. You can even out this look with a pair of perfectly round glasses, making your face appear less geometrical.
Heart — Heart-shaped faces feature a broader forehead and narrower chin. If this describes your face, you can wear most frames styles, though rounder frames, in particular, can help minimize the width of the top part of your face.
Ultimately, you want your glasses to flatter you. Determining the shape of your face is a good first step in giving you a sense of which styles do and don’t work for you.
SEE RELATED: The best glasses for your face shape and skin tone
Round sunglasses But what about protection?
Round sunglasses are also immensely popular.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a pair of round sunglasses — with or without prescription lenses — protecting your eyes from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays should always be top of mind.
Exposure to UV light over time can cause issues later in life, including cataracts and macular degeneration, so be sure to look for round sunglasses that include quality lenses with 100% UV protection.
Once you’re confident that your eyes are protected, you can play around with a range of tints or lens coatings such as polarization that help to reduce glare.
Round glasses: Top seven picks
If you love the look of round glasses (or sunglasses), and you’ve determined that this timeless style will suit your face shape, it’s time to get shopping. Here’s a list of seven top-rated options to consider.
1. St. Michel Round Golden Eyeglasses
Retro and minimalist, these gold-rimmed frames are an all-around perfect choice for round glasses. Not only are they lightweight and comfortable, but the streamlined design is on trend and can seriously up your style game.
Adjustable nose pads
Anti-scratch lens coating
Available in multiple colors
2. Daydream Round Eyeglasses
Available in three chic colors, including a special rose-gold version, these sophisticated round glasses offer all-day comfort thanks to their lightweight construction.
Anti-scratch lens coating
Suitable for any occasion
3. Costa Forest Reef 100
A thicker, bolder frame style lends these glasses a cool retro aesthetic, yet they’re still light and comfortable enough for all your daily adventures.
Suitable for all face shapes
Durable, with a two-year warranty
4. Randolph P3 - Skull Temple
With their sleek design and 100% UV protection, these round lightweight shades might be the sunglasses of your dreams. Choose a polarized version and you’ve got the perfect stylish glasses for driving or whenever you need a reduction in outdoor glare.
100% UVA/UVB protection
Polarized lens option available
Gradient tinted lenses
Adjustable nose pads
5. The Piccadilly
Who said round glasses could not also be geometric? These frames make the list due to their smart design and very distinct look. The Piccadilly uses aspheric lenses, which gives these glasses a slimmer profile.
Fully magnified lenses
6. The University Blue Light Reader
With the COVID-19 virus keeping many people at home, digital screen usage (computers, phones, tablets) has increased — and that means more exposure to harmful blue light, which can cause eye strain and other issues. Luckily, these chic round reading glasses block up to 32% of damaging blue light and offer glare reduction.
Blocks some blue light
7. Del Mar
Ideal for any outdoor fun, these gorgeous rounded sunglasses offer 100% UV protection, which prevents harmful rays of the sun from entering your eyes. Polarized lenses that reduce glare also give the Del Mar model a significant edge.
100% UV protection
Polarized glass lens
Seven lens colors for different types of lighting
SEE RELATED: How to buy glasses online in 6 easy steps
Page published in February 2021
Page updated in January 2022