KNOW YOUR FRAME SHAPES
CERTAIN STYLES OF GLASSES ARE FAMOUS THANKS TO THOSE WHO’VE WORN THEM. BUT WHILE YOU MIGHT RECOGNISE THESE SPECS, COULD YOU ACTUALLY NAME THEM…? THIS GLOSSARY OF FRAME SHAPES COMPILED BY EYESEEMAG COVERS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.
Round, oval, rectangular, cat-eye… when it comes to glasses, there are plenty of options to choose from. For the most flattering effect, it’s best to base your decision on the shape of your face – see our article on how to choose the right frames for more on that (golden-rules-for-choosing-glasses). But now, we’re going to look at frame shapes. What are the different designs called? What are the stories behind them? Our glossary will bring them into focus.
Marketed as “Anti-Glare” from 1936, they became Aviators one year later. What is now one of Ray-Ban’s most successful designs was originally meant for pilots in the US Air Force (as of 1933). These glasses had to filter out as much sunlight as possible, so that pilots’ eyes were protected from dazzling bright light when performing their manoeuvres. Aviators are some of the best-known frames in the world and were the natural choice for the rebellious young pilot played by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
The difference between Cat-eye and Butterfly is quite subtle. As their names suggest, one takes the shape of a cat’s eye and the other, the wings of a butterfly. Some people use the two names interchangeably to describe the same design, but you can spot the difference just by looking at them. The outer edges of cat-eye frames are tapered and quite rounded. They were Marilyn Monroe’s favourites, as well as being worn by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Frames like these were very fashionable in the 50s and the secretaries and librarians who wore them gave rise to the stereotype often associated with these glasses.
Think of round glasses and you may well be reminded of John Lennon and his legendary spectacles. This frame shape suits practically all face shapes. Round glasses were the only ones offered by the very first opticians and have been popular ever since. Glasses of this shape benefit from being perfectly adapted to the shape of the eye.
Like all glasses, rectangular styles come in different sizes, colours and materials. Renowned for her sense of style and class, Jackie Kennedy Onassis can be seen wearing a rectangular style here, which incidentally served as inspiration for Ray-Ban. The brand went on to launch its own frames inspired by the famous first lady, simply named the Jackie Ohh.
5. CLUBMASTER :
Owing to the upper section of the frames, which look like eyebrows, the Clubmaster was also known as the Browline. Before these glasses became (another) one of Ray-Ban’s greatest hits, it was a certain Jack Rohrbach who produced the design for a company called Shuron Ltd back in 1947. You could change the bridge, the arms and the famous “eyebrows”, making the frames fully customisable. It was only in the 80s that Ray-Ban was inspired to create its own version in the form of the Clubmaster. This particular style has become synonymous with the famous political activist Malcolm X, even if the glasses he wore weren’t actually Ray-Bans.