Home Reviews Movies How to Rock Iconic Glasses in the Modern Era – Film Daily

How to Rock Iconic Glasses in the Modern Era – Film Daily

How to Rock Iconic Glasses in the Modern Era – Film Daily

Trends come and go, especially when it comes to glasses and sunglasses. Just look at the so-called Bayonetta or office siren glasses. These slim rectangular frames, which haven’t been in vogue since the early ‘00s, are suddenly in again this 2024 now that they’ve been seen on “it” girls like supermodel Bella Hadid. However, this rule doesn’t hold true for all eyewear. Styles from decades past have proven timeless, outlasting trend cycles and giving you a way to embrace your unique sense of style and elevate your fashion game effortlessly. 

In this guide, we’ll unveil expert tips on how to carry off these statement pieces like a pro in today’s trendsetting world. From choosing the perfect frames for your face shape and drawing inspiration from celebrities to mastering the art of accessorizing, get ready to turn heads by rocking iconic eyewear in the modern era.

Evolution of Iconic Eyewear

Necessity to Fashion

Eyeglasses have a rich history, dating back centuries. Glasses were initially crafted for vision correction: the first instance of magnifying eyeglasses being used for reading dates back to the 13th century, and one of the very first people known to wear glasses for nearsightedness was Pope Leo X in the 1500s. From here, they just kept improving—Benjamin Franklin, for example, invented bifocal lenses that can correct both near and far vision. Meanwhile, sunglasses were initially designed by Inuits who needed to protect against the sun’s glare reflecting off snow. Eventually, they began to protect against the sun’s UV rays, too.

And over time—especially as we hit the 20th century—eyewear designs evolved, marking their transition into fashion accessories. This marked a significant shift in the perception of eyewear.

Decades of Evolution

Over the decades, iconic glasses and sunglasses have seen remarkable transformations. From the bold cat-eyes frames of the 1950s to the aviators that hit mainstream fashion in the 1980s, each era brought forth unique styles that defined fashion norms.

Glasses styles through the decades

  • 1920s-1930s: round frames 
  • 1940s: browline glasses
  • 1950s: cat-eyes
  • 1960s-1970s: colorful and oversized frames 
  • 1980s: aviators 
  • 1990s: retro

In recent years, retro frames from the 1990s have made a comeback, showcasing how old trends can be reinvented for modern tastes. The fusion of vintage designs with contemporary elements has created a diverse range of eyewear options for individuals seeking both style and functionality. Even two decades later, we continue cycling through these styles—emphasizing just how iconic they remain today.

Notable Iconic Eyewear Styles

Aviator Style

Aviator sunglasses, which were first created in the ‘40s for pilots, feature a distinctive teardrop shape and metal frame. Action star Tom Cruise helped these glasses skyrocket to legendary status once he wore them in the ‘80s film Top Gun. Today, they come in designs for both men and women. They’re also available in optical versions for vision correction. 

Wayfarer Style

The wayfarer style sunglasses, introduced by Ray-Ban in the 1950s, are characterized by their thick plastic frames and trapezoidal shape. Music icons like Madonna and Bob Dylan have embraced this timeless look.

Cat-Eye Style

Cat-eye glasses and sunglasses became a fashion statement in the 1950s with their upswept outer edges resembling a cat’s eye. They were arguably most famously worn by film star Audrey Hepburn in her iconic role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Other Golden Hollywood celebrities, like Marilyn Monroe, wore them too—and the cat-eyes are now a staple design for many luxury brands like Prada today. 

Round Style

The round-style glasses gained popularity in the 1960s. Also known as wire-rimmed teashade glasses, they’re known for their circular lenses and thin metal frames. Icons like The Beatles’ John Lennon made these frames synonymous with creativity and intellect.

Oversized Style

The ‘60s and ‘70s were all about bold, colorful—and, most importantly, oversized—eyewear frames. You’ve probably seen those large, rectangular glasses on everyone from government officials to actors on shows set in the ‘70s like Stranger Things. Today, celebrities such as Elton John and Lady Gaga continue to embrace this bold fashion statement with oversized lenses that cover a significant portion of the face.

Choosing the Right Iconic Eyewear

Face Shapes

When selecting iconic eyewear, it’s crucial to consider your face shape. For example, individuals with a round face shape can opt for angular wayfarers to add definition and contrast. Conversely, those with square faces may benefit from teashade glasses and sunglasses to soften their features. However, the teardrop lenses on aviators and similar styles can look good on a variety of face shapes. 

Personal Style

Your personal style plays a significant role in choosing the perfect pair of glasses or sunglasses. Whether you prefer a bold and statement-making look or a more subtle and classic style, some frames cater to every taste. Experimenting with different styles can help you find what truly resonates with your fashion sense.

Color and Material

The color and material of the frames are essential factors when selecting iconic eyewear. Consider colors that complement your outfits and skin tone—as a rule of thumb, warm saturated shades like brown and gold for deeper skin and cooler ones like blue and silver for lighter skin—while also reflecting your personality. Pay attention to the frame material; lightweight materials like titanium and acetate offer durability without compromising on comfort.

Iconic Eyewear and Personal Style

Enhancing Personal Image

Iconic glasses and sunglasses designs can play a crucial role in defining one’s style. They have the power to transform your look by adding a touch of sophistication or quirkiness depending on the chosen pair. By selecting the right iconic sunglasses, you can make a bold fashion statement that reflects your unique personality.

Pairing timeless tortoiseshell glasses—made from a material known for its sophistication—with a classic outfit like a little black dress or suit and tie can exude elegance, while opting for aviator sunnies can give off a cool and edgy vibe. These accessories are not just about vision correction; they serve as extensions of one’s identity, enhancing overall appearance and confidence.

Complementing Different Fashion Styles

The possibilities are endless. For those with a love for vintage aesthetics, choosing retro frames like John Lennon’s teashades can transport their look back in time, adding a nostalgic flair to their ensemble. On the other hand, individuals drawn to modern architecture-inspired looks can opt for sleek and minimalist designs like modern, geometric takes on the aviators—and such designs can perfectly complement their contemporary style.

Celebrities Rocking Iconic Eyewear

Influential Choices

Celebrities who make iconic eyewear a staple in their fashion repertoire can influence trends globally, inspiring fans to embrace these unique styles. One only needs to look at legendary ‘90s rapper Biggie Smalls—or the Notorious B.I.G. A fan of Versace’s designer range of eyewear, he featured one of the luxury brand’s sunglasses in his music video One More Chance. Eventually, the model was renamed in his honor, and the Medusa Biggie sunglasses with their narrow lenses, wide temples, and metallic accents are still among Versace’s bestsellers today. 

Collaboration Trendsetters

Celebrities also play a significant role in shaping eyewear trends by partnering with brands themselves to create signature collections with diverse frames and designs. The most recent example of this is Sofia Vergara’s collaboration with American eyewear leader Foster Grant. The resulting limited-edition collection, inspired by Vergara’s latest Netflix show Griselda, pays homage to retro ‘70s sunglasses with oversized, square frames that come in shield and cat-eye versions. Meant to exhibit the drama and glamor of the show set in this decade, this collection is setting trends by appealing to ongoing demand for nostalgic eyewear designs. 

Signature Looks

Finally, celebrities rock iconic eyewear by not just wearing them while they work—they don classic glasses and sunglasses off-duty, too. Tom Cruise hasn’t just worn Ray-Bans on the set of Top Gun and its sequel but also during red-carpet events and casual outings. You’ll also often see stars like Jay-Z, Johnny Depp, Tina Fey, and Millie Bobby Brown wearing glasses while going about their day-to-day lives—demonstrating how iconic eyewear can elevate an outfit and become a defining element of personal style.

Eyewear Trends in the Fashion Industry

Current Trends

The eyewear industry is witnessing a surge in popularity as fashion accessories—as emphasized by the 2024 trend for Bayonetta glasses alone suggests. Designers are incorporating innovative styles to cater to diverse tastes. From retro-inspired frames to futuristic designs, the options are endless.

Runway Influence

Runway shows play a pivotal role in shaping eyewear trends. When top models strut down the catwalk sporting bold frames or unique shapes, it sets the tone for what’s deemed fashionable—just like how the slim eyewear, oversized sunglasses, and twisted frames featured dictated trends for 2023. Celebrities often emulate these styles, further propelling them into the mainstream.

Upcoming Trends

In the coming seasons, expect to see an array of exciting developments in frame shapes, colors, and materials. Oversized frames continue to dominate, offering a touch of glamour and sophistication—but now coming in more futuristic designs to suit modern tastes. Vibrant hues like neon shades are making a comeback, adding a playful twist to traditional designs.

Iconic Glasses in Pop Culture

Movies & TV

Iconic eyewear in pop culture has played a significant role in defining characters and leaving lasting impressions. Case in point, Harry Potter’s round glasses symbolize his intelligence and bravery, becoming synonymous with the character—in fact, if you answered our quiz correctly, you’ll know that actor Daniel Radcliffe wore a whopping 160 pairs of glasses while filming. Similarly, the sleek sunglasses worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun became a fashion statement worldwide—saving the aviator’s parent brand, Ray-Ban, from poor financial outcomes. 

Character Symbols

These iconic glasses often transcend their functionality to become symbols of specific traits or personalities. For instance, aviators embody an adventurous personality, cat-eyes exude confidence, and streamlined sunglasses wraparound frames may imply you’re the athletic type. 

Impact on Styles

Pop culture has undeniably influenced the popularity of specific eyewear styles. Biggie Smalls popularizing Versace sunglasses after featuring them in a single music video is a testament to that fact. And, as mentioned above, celebrities simply wearing iconic eyewear can influence trends—just like how sales for a pair of Finlay & Co. sunnies quickly skyrocketed after Meghan Markle wore them, which experts believe is part of a phenomenon they call “the Meghan effect.”

Staying Updated with Eyewear Trends


To stay updated on the latest eyewear trends, follow fashion magazines like Vogue and Elle for insightful articles. Websites such as GlassesUSA provide a wide range of options to explore.

Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers play a significant role in promoting eyewear trends by showcasing different styles and brands. Following influencers like Karen Wazen and Bretman Rock can offer inspiration for incorporating trendy glasses and sunglasses into your look.

Incorporating Trends

When updating your eyewear style, consider trying out bold frames or unique shapes that complement your face shape. Experimenting with retro styles like cat-eye glasses or aviator frames can add a fashionable touch to your overall appearance.

Conclusion: Embrace Your Unique Style with Flair

Iconic eyewear is more than just a functional accessory; they’re a reflection of your personal style and personality. By understanding your face shape, exploring different frame styles, embracing your unique fashion sense, and drawing inspiration from celebrities, you can rock iconic eyewear with confidence and flair in the modern era.


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