Women's eyeglasses: Pick from these trendy frame styles
Go ahead, make a spectacle of yourself. Even without a prescription, fashion’s fearless believe in women’s eyeglasses as jewelry for the face.
Here is a quick rundown of the hot, trendy, popular looks (shapes and sizes run the gamut) in women's eyeglasses:
Geek chic gets an A this semester.
Work it: Soften an angular or narrow face with rounded aviators or clear red frames.
See: Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga make these glasses sing.
Hard pass: Be smart and go small, go bright or go home. Even stylista Jackie Kennedy Onassis looked bug-eyed in oversized circles.
Bold shapes don’t box you in.
Why now? Sharp angles are high style these days – and not only on Chanel, Gucci, Dior and Stella McCartney runways.
Work it: It’s hip to be square, triangular, hexagonal or octangular. And such eyeglass frames for women add edge to round faces.
See: Drama queen Cate Blanchett has been spotted in cerulean squ-ovals and Beyoncé in chunky black rectangular eyeglasses for women.
Hard pass: Keep in mind that the wider the frame, the wider the face.
Like purses, specs have scaled down.
Why now? Miniatures may be impractical, but like baby shoes, they’re cute — especially with acute angles.
Work it: Don’t be obtuse. Skip boring Benjamin Franklin bifocals. Instead go dark with ‘90s "The Matrix" mini women’s petite eyeglass frames, as did designers Versace, Valentino and Christian Siriano.
See: Rihanna and celebrity spawn Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Kaia Gerber made this trend pop.
Hard pass: Don’t shrink your clothes out of sight to match. Too little is too much.
OTT (over-the-top) specs are in your face – again. And that’s the whole point.
Why now? They’re mid-century modern and majorly chic as long as you circular-file super-sized round versions. The sole exception: Michael Kors’ well-rounded, horn-rimmed aviators.
Work it: Lighten up with wire rims or translucent acetate.
See: Sarah Hyland and Elle Fanning and, back in the day, Jackie O and "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" Audrey Hepburn.
Hard pass: Don’t become a circus act by adding big tops and big baubles.
Flirtatious and feminine, this style of women’s eyeglasses has been the cat’s meow since the ‘50s.
Why now? The sex kitten classics worn by Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor serve as pain-free facelifts by shifting focus upward from weak chins.
Work it: Be a doll in thick white frames like the OG Barbie or be bright-eyed, like Rihanna or Cardi B, who both see red.
See: Emily Ratajkowski, Jessica Simpson and the runways of Max Mara and Coach.
Hard pass: Metal or black frames with clear lenses. They – and beehives – set you back half a century. As in Princess Margaret.
Protect yourself from prying eyes? Hardly.
Why now? They’re sporty, they’re spectacular and they sizzled at Balenciaga, Givenchy, Fendi and Fenty.
Work it: Be big about it – or why bother?
See: RiRi and even Amelia Earhart.
Hard pass: Don’t get lost in head-to-toe huge. A touch is timely. A ton is tacky.
You’re in the clear – no danger of being branded an egghead.
Why now? They’re fun. They’re fresh. And they’re catwalk catnip at Fendi and Dries van Noten.
Work it: Be transparent – with a tint in Miami Nice pastels of aqua, seafoam, pale pink and peach.
See: Jamie King, Zoey Deutch and red carpet regular Fanning.
Hard pass: With this trend, throw shade at dark shades unless they’re two-tone, with invisible bottoms, a la Emmy Rossum.
Score with gold ore.
Why now? ‘70s inspired gold metalists are winners at Tod’s, Céline and Tory Burch, who made a spectator-sport out of double-bridge aviators.
Work it: Hike the hipness with ombré lenses or pink metal frames.
See: Blanchett and Fanning.
Hard pass: Don’t crash with dated, dull stainless-steel trim. And skip brownish or pinkish lenses – unless you really long to look old and tired. (Thought not.)
Back to nature
Gen-Z and Millennials demand biodegradable, recycled or otherwise earth-friendly wares.
Why now? The future of fashion — and the world — depends on it.
See: anyone who eschews plastic straws to protect the ocean.
Pass on: conspicuous consumption and living in the present at the expense of the hereafter.
Go for baroque ‘n’ roll.
Why now? Hello! Surely you drooled over Balenciaga’s carved frames, Elie Saab’s multi-rimmed and ombré shields or Dolce & Gabbana’s crystal-fringed cat-eyes.
Credit the Italians — Gucci, D&G, Fendi — for dazzling with covetable carved and scrolled metal works of art.
Hard pass: Subtleties — such as sprinklings of rhinestones on the temples — are yawners.
And don’t compete with your enviable eyewear by donning blingtastic attire. Let’s focus on what matters!
Fashion meets form: Choose frames for your face shape
Now that you've sampled the latest women's eyeglasses fashion trends and maybe selected a seductive style — or three — let's look at how to make sure you’ll be in love for life. The secret to such longevity is a frame that fits your face.
Some specs look better on different face shapes. Nothing wrong with that. Just study your face in a mirror or selfie.
Opposites attract — so angles best suit round faces and vice versa. Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but diamond faces — not so much. They’re almost as rare as J.Lo’s and Katy Perry’s engagement bling. And the right frame is almost as hard to find as those stunners.
Go with detailing, distinctive brow lines or bold cat-eyes. Rimless eyeglasses and oval frames also are good matches.
Torn between two pairs? Bring an honest pal or loved one to give pointers — or use a virtual try-on tool to shop online.
Should you find an eyeglass specialist who nails your look, put them on speed dial alongside your hair stylist. They’re just as important. The endgame is a look that's you — a stylish marriage of fashion and function.
READY TO SHOP FOR GLASSES? Find a local optometrist and schedule an appointment.
Page published in February 2019
Page updated in September 2021