Men's eyeglasses trends: Hot, popular frame styles
Stylish glasses for men are the rage – even for those without prescriptions. (Shhh — we won’t tell.)
And there’s nothing shady about swapping lenses to refresh a pair you already own.
Here's a quick look at what's buzzy and trendy in men's eyeglasses styles:
This classic glasses style, launched in 1936 to protect pilots’ peepers, took off when Marlon Brando’s biker donned them in 1951’s "The Wild One," then soared as a perennial via Tom Cruise’s flyboy in 1986’s "Top Gun."
Have you checked out the trailer for the "Top Gun: Maverick" sequel due to hit theaters in 2020? You no doubt noticed the aviators are front and center again.
Update: Gold metal or skinny navy acetate modernize frames, as do yellow, ombré or reflective lenses.
See: J. Lo-era A-Rod, as he tries to hide in plain sight.
Perfect for: shredded jeans and scuffed leather moto-jackets.
Pass on: Brando’s rolled sleeves.
This ’70s revival resurfaced on Ryan Gosling IRL (In Real Life) and as a sleazy P.I. in 2016’s "The Nice Guys." Design inspiration? Probably über cool actor Steve McQueen.
Update: Black acetate rims and pale yellow lenses have proven to be Mission: Possible on Prince William and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who adopted the stylish men’s glasses Cruise wore in last year’s "M:I Fallout."
Perfect for: round faces, like "The Aviator" star and aviator glasses fan Leonardo DiCaprio’s.
Pass on: Gosling’s not-so-nice retro attire of leisure suits, short-sleeve shirts and a porn-stache in his flick.
You can’t go wrong with this late-‘50s to ‘60s retro classic worn by Cary Grant in scary "North by Northwest."
Update: black lenses with black acetate frames on Daniel Craig’s Bond in 2015’s "Spectre."
See: Clark Kent on screen and Ryan Reynolds and Brad Pitt on red carpets.
Perfect for: hiding in plain sight.
Pass on: naming your kid after a Hitchcock thriller.
SEE RELATED: A helpful guide to men’s glasses
Ski goggles and chemistry lab shields
Think space aliens hitting the slopes.
See: this ‘70s rebirth on designer glasses for men’s runways of Rick Owens, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and many more.
Perfect for: anywhere other than sports or science labs. (Irony is more hip.)
Pass on: accessorizing with a white lab coat.
Squares and rectangles
These flat-top stylish glasses for men prove it’s hip to be square.
Update: vivid colors.
See: Gucci and Dries van Noten’s runways.
Perfect for: round or narrow faces.
Pass on: basic brown. Boooring.
Once “readers” for mid-life crises, these edgy, elongated and oddly-shaped futuristic frames label you as arty.
Update: anything unexpected.
See: brazenly bespectacled Jeff Goldblum.
Perfect for: nightclubs, poetry readings, Broadway and art galleries.
Pass on: hogging these. Expect to fight your significant other for joint custody.
These men's eyeglasses styles were popular in the ‘60s, ‘80s, oughts - take your pick. But trust us: They’re baaack.
See: late designer Karl Lagerfeld, whose lenses matched his supersized black frames.
Perfect for: padded shoulder blazers (also baaack).
Pass on: a ponytail as Lagerfeld’s legacy.
A round we go, with this square-jaw softener, once the geek-chic domain of eggheads, philosophers, artists and architects.
Update: Strike gold, the ore of choice for 2019 and beyond, or score with a vivid acetate frame.
See: Stanley Tucci and predecessors Beatle John Lennon, architect Philip Johnson and painter David Hockney, all men’s round eyeglasses lovers.
Perfect for: law offices and artist hangouts.
Pass on: so-over silver and stainless-steel rims.
What make these basics new again are bold hues.
Update: blown-up prints and riffs, such as camouflage.
See: Brooklyn Beckham at Cannes Film Festival.
Perfect for: getting attention.
Pass on: classic tortoise shell.
Thick frames proclaim wearers as mad creatives and add heft to reed-thin bodies.
See: ‘80s grunge guru Kurt Cobain.
Perfect for: movie sets, SXSW, Coachella and design studios.
Pass on: heavy metal. Been there, done that.
Gen-Z drives sustainable fashion, including men’s frames of biodegradable acetate or recycled and found materials.
See: anybody under 35 or who longs to be guilt-free.
Pass on: faux wood acetate. (If you do fake it, keep it quiet!)
How to pick your glasses: Style and facial fit
So which men's eyeglasses style will look best on you? The mirror or a virtual try-on tool may hold the answer. Your face shape may dictate which frames suit you best — but let your intuition guide you as well.
Also keep in mind comfort, fit and durability of your eyeglasses.
If you're torn between men's eyeglasses styles, even after looking in a mirror, ask your mate or a fashionable friend to weigh in on your choices.
In the end, though, choose the glasses — classy, snazzy, bold or hip — that make you smile.
READY TO SHOP FOR EYEGLASSES? Find an optical store near you.
Page published in February 2019
Page updated in February 2021