4 Classic Eyewear Styles and How To Wear Them

Amy Spiezio
November 17, 2016

A white Oxford shirt, perfectly fitted khakis, and that just-right tote bag – they’re wardrobe staples. You’ll wear them dressed up and dressed down for years and years. And doesn’t it make sense that your eyeglasses are classics, too? After all, you wear them every day and they are a driver of your personal look.




When shopping for new glasses, consider the cool factor of wearing a style that has graced the faces of people who define what makes cool. The aviator was designed as a functional style for pilots and military personnel, but Hollywood quickly snapped up the chic look that made Marlon Brando so tough in “The Wild One” and Tom Cruise so high energy in “Top Gun.”

These tear-drop sunglasses have been tinkered with over the years with different finishes in metal and plastic, but the gold metal take on the style is still the dominant go-to look for everyone from high schoolers to grandparents. Today’s options have fun-colored lenses like a blue-tinted mirror or amber shooter’s looks.

The traditional shape for this style may not suit those with more defined or outstanding cheeks…not to worry: there are scaled down and squared off shaped to suit all faces, so consider adding this one to your year-round eyewear collection.

A new development in the timeline of aviators is with a clear lens for a standard prescription style. This look adds an unexpected edge of envelope-pushing style for celebs such as Jennifer Anniston, adding a touch of trendy to a timeless look.




In terms of non-sun prescription glasses, geek is always going to be chic. The tortoise P3 shape helped create Atticus Finch’s look for Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and modern red carpet heroes Robert Downey, Jr., and Johnny Depp are frequently caught on camera and off with this not-quite perfectly round style.

Typically tortoiseshell, these quintessentially preppy glasses get an artsy edge when worn in a crystal style a la Andy Warhol or in metal as preferred by John Lennon, and today by Kendall Jenner.

These looks work great when you match the weight and color of the frame with your coloring and face shape. Tan and slender with an oval face? Consider a nice, chunky black frame. If you’re a bit more pale and rounder in the face, try a tortoise finish with a thinner frame that doesn’t hit your cheek quite so far down and with a lens that is not perfectly round. A surprise pop of color in these styles can be a fun take on a classic that can totally become a signature look. Does anyone remember Sally Jesse Raphael, you know the lady with the red glasses?




Men do make passes a girls who wear glasses. Marilyn Monroe shouldn’t have been afraid of specs appeal in her “How To Marry a Millionaire” turn. While she stealthily hid her fabulous cats-eye frames, this ultra-flattering look has come to represent the sexy librarian/brainy beauty over the years.

Traditional cats-eye styles often have a dramatically angled, retro look that may be accentuated by bejeweled or otherwise accented corners and temples. This uplifting shape also has quite a few different takes for a cute look that works for work and beyond. Actress Tina Fey has been known to get her funny on with a delicate upsweep in the corners of her signature eyewear while Dita Von Teese takes her look to the vamp level with larger, rounder shapes.

Cat-eye glasses are a great place to play with color. The flattering shape lets you take a leap with the latest hip hues while still looking coolly classic.




For those who want to join a chic eyewear club, consider a clubmaster shape with its distinctive metal nose bridge and plastic brow line with metal around the lenses. Malcom X and Morrisey wore these glasses, and the most modern interpretation of the style, with softer colors and different lens shapes for angular or rounder looks have been embraced by everyone from Demi Lovato to Robert Pattinson.

These glasses are offered in sun and prescription looks, both with geek chic-y charm to last a lifetime.