Eyewear Trends Then And Now – And Why Frames Are The New “Shoes”

Sorry, shoes! If there’s one accessory that can truly change your look and redefine your personality, it’s eyewear. Outside the big screens, it’s hard to see a single celebrity on the street without their sunnies. Eyewear trends’ impact on lifestyle, fashion, film, and the entire pop culture can’t be denied. As long as the sun and movie stars continue to shine, they’re here to stay – and evolve.


From the classics to today’s trendsetting designs, here’s a blast from the past showing how far eyewear has changed through the years:

The Round Frames

In the 1200s, eyeglasses were produced solely for corrective and protective purposes. No one had considered them to be fashion items, which is why their designs came in utilitarian styles, similar to John Lennon’s coin shaped glasses. The design’s simplicity slowly won over the fashion industry and is still on trend today. If you plan on going for the irresistible rock n’ roll vibe, this is it. 

The Aviators

The aviators design was originally made to protect the US aviation from the blinding rays of the sun. In fact, it’s U.S. General Douglas MacArthur who first popularized the eyewear trend along with his famous line, “I shall return”. Much like the quote, the aviator style never left. Thanks to its design that’s flattering on almost every face shape, it continues to be a fashion staple. 

The Cat Eye

Harlequin glasses were designed in the 1930s but were later known as cat-eye glasses in the 1950s. Icons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were often seen with its iconic upswept frame and cat-like silhouette. To call its popularity a boom is an understatement. This eyewear trend was able to sustain its reputation, with celebrities like Bella Hadid and Rihanna sporting its sassy profile today. 

The Browline Glasses

The demand for browline glasses was huge in the 1950s, accounting for half of the eyeglasses sold during the decade. To satisfy the market, an upgraded version was released by Ray-Ban, now known as the Clubmaster sunglasses. The Clubmaster is famous for its top heavy frame and browline accent. It easily won the hearts of many, including a new breed of wearers today. 


The Wayfarers 

Wayfarers were introduced in the 1950s, quickly establishing Ray-Ban as one of the most distinguished brands in the eyewear industry. While the Wayfarer took its rightful place in men’s fashion, that didn’t stop women from rocking this eyewear trend. Its thick, trapezoidal frame and pointy edges can be recognized from miles away and looks cool on everyone. 

The Oversized

Owned by the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, this trend peaked in the 2000s. Every girl on the street was seen wearing oversized shades since they emitted an aura of allure and drove people away if you weren’t keen to have any type of social interaction. Its bigger version, the bug-eye sunglasses, were popularized by Paris Hilton. It was also a favorite among celebrities, perhaps because of its ability to shield from onlookers and camera flashes. 

Colored Lenses

Coming from the buzz of the bug-eye sunglasses, the 2010’s settled down and embraced their vintage roots. This eyewear trend was resurrected with a few, minor alterations. To add a touch of this era, colored specs have slimmer frames and smaller lenses to imitate the philosophy of fun minimalism. Since this style is so compact, the younger generation loves to add these as a splash of color in their everyday outfits. 

Shield Sunglasses

Shield or visor sunglasses are often described as sporty and futuristic. This eyewear trend is specifically for the bold and glamorous. They’re the hottest piece of eyewear right now because of it’s chic, streetwear aesthetic. A-list stars like Kim Kardashian are always spotted with these sunglasses because they’re an easy recipe for one to stand out. 


Eyewear trends are proof our specs have come a long way from just correcting vision and protecting our eyes from sunlight. If many of us are obsessed with what goes on our feet, what more with what goes on our eyes? Vision Express has loads to offer in terms of eyewear. They bring international eyewear brands, like Ray-Ban, here in the Philippines. At Vision Express, you’re sure to find the eyewear trend that fits you like a glove. 


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