Eyeglasses come in various shapes, sizes, and styles, but the most popular frame shapes have earned distinctive histories and names. In fact, you’ve probably heard of the most common glasses shapes, such as round frames, cat-eye glasses, aviators, browline, and more.
But how do you know if your eyeglass shapes are browlines or cat-eyes? Are all square frames essentially rectangle frames by default? And where do geometric frame shapes fit into all of this?
The key aesthetic features of certain eyeglass shapes can be so subtle that you miss them. So, to help you tell the difference between the different shapes of glasses, we’ve created the following guide to explain what you need to know:
Round glasses have been popular since the ‘60s and ‘70s and are sometimes referred to as tea shades. They are simplistic but have long been revered as a fashion staple by many pop culture icons over the years.
Round eyeglass shapes are chic and timeless, which gives them a classic appeal. These ever-functional glasses date back to the 13th century, when eyeglasses were first invented. At this time, the frames were made from heavy materials such as leather or iron, but it took until about the 20th century for round glasses to become all the rage.
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Oval shape glasses fall somewhere between circular lenses and a more narrow shape, thus capturing the best of both worlds. These frames offer soft lines and help to create contrast for people who have angular faces.
You will find oval eyeglasses shapes that are rounded, sleek, and available in many different materials and designs. One eco-friendly choice that many people prefer is acetate, as it’s a skin-friendly type of plastic that can be made into any color or hue. Yet, rimless and wire-rimmed versions of oval-shaped glasses are also available.
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Are you looking for a pair of retro eyeglass frames that help evoke a more intellectual look? Have you considered a classic square frame shape? This glasses shape comes in a variety of colors and styles, making it versatile and popular.
Square glasses are more angular than rectangular-shaped glasses and are roughly the same width and height. Their boxy appearance helps add edges to round, soft faces. Thus, making them a great option for people with oval or round faces, as it provides a wonderful contrast to their facial shape.
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Rectangle frame shapes are largely regarded as a staple within the eyeglass world because they are universally flattering, so anyone can wear this eyeglass shape. These lenses are just a little wider than they are tall and feature straight angles and lines, helping them create a sophisticated and simple look.
Rectangle glasses shapes are best for people with oval, heart-shaped, or round faces as they really help give this facial shape more angles and help it appear thinner. For this reason, nearly everyone can pull off this shape of glasses.
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Prior to the 1930s, most eyeglass shapes were oval, round, or rectangular. However, since then, particularly since WWII, P3 frames have become one of the world’s most popular eyeglass shapes.
When you consider the phrase “P3,” the “P” refers to Pantoscopic, which means that the frame has a tilt or angle at the bottom that leans toward the eye. This inward tilt is beneficial to provide more accurate or precise vision corrections. Hence, the wearer is able to read with no difficulty seeing. The “3” refers to the tiny 3mm difference between the width and height of the lenses in the frame, as found in the original P3 design.
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Rimless glasses are also referred to as glasses with no frame or frameless eyeglasses. This glasses shape has a nose bridge that connects the lenses, and then the temples attach directly to the lenses as well.
Rimless glasses are perfect for those who want more focus placed on their face for a more subtle look. You’ll find that rimless glasses are lightweight, high-quality, and durable.
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Did you know that Aviator shaped glasses were one of the first widely popular sunglass styles? At one time, aviators were associated with military pilots, but over time, they became commercially available.
Most people find that aviator-shaped glasses fit nearly every face shape, making them an excellent choice for anyone who wants to make a bold statement with eyeglass frames.
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Cat Eye Glasses
Though generally deemed a glasses shape for women, cat eye glasses bring breathtaking style and showstopping flair. These glasses are worn by those who want to carry a confident and playful aura, making them a must-have for any fashion lover.
The cat-eye eyeglasses shape has been prevalent since the 1950s and ‘60s. Though the design is similar to the browline, it’s distinguished by the beveled edge around the outer border where the forearms or temples meet the frame. This eyeglass shape is very popular today and is available in just about every color and pattern that you can think of!
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Not your most typical shape but compelling nonetheless, octagon glasses have their unique fans who won’t go with any other shape or style!