An authentic pair of Victorian era glasses is the perfect way to complete your steampunk costume. Choosing an antique pair of eyeglass frames gives your costume a special touch and lets you take advantage of frame styles that are not available today. Vintage glasses are also often higher quality and longer lasting (most are already more than 100 years old, after all) than costume glasses. These are some of our favorite 1800s eyewear styles for steampunk costumes.
19th Century Frame Styles for Steampunk
Those who wore spectacles in the 1800s had several different options for eyeglass styles, making it possible to find out the right pair of eyeglasses to fit your persona. Many glasses in the 1800s were made of gold or steel for a silver appearance and the wire rim look fits nicely with the steampunk look.
Specific frame styles to consider include:
- Civil War Era Glasses – These wire rimmed spectacles have the option for either straight temples or sliding temples. They have significantly smaller lenses than modern eyewear, which gives them a more vintage look. Straight shooter spectacles from this time period had tinted lenses surrounding a small untinted circle in the middle to help the wearer better aim when shooting, which would be interesting for a steampunk cosplay.
- Hexagon Wire Rimmed Glasses – Although a little late for the Victorian era, the unique look of glasses with hexagon-shaped lenses make them an exciting choice and the wire rims work for a steampunk costume.
- Windsor Frames – Windsor glasses have wire rims and circular lenses and riding bow temples. Vintage round glasses in gold or silver are a functional accessory.
- Pince Nez – The spectacles clip onto the end of the nose and do not have temples. They are small frames that have a vintage look and are a fun conversation-starting accessory that go well with any intellectual steampunk persona.
- Vintage Goggles – Antique goggles from companies like Willson are the essential steampunk item. These goggles use protective metal rims and cable temples to help keep them secure. Although more rare than other vintage eyewear styles, these goggles remain one of the top choices for an authentic steampunk costume.
At Eyeglasses Warehouse, we sell a wide range of antique eyeglasses from the 19th century and early 20th century. These make a unique accessory or switch them out with your prescription lenses for wearable antique glasses. Browse our selection of antique glasses today and check back often for more unique steampunk eyewear.