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Timeless Round Vintage Glasses Over the Decades

Round framed glasses have a distinct and iconic look. From fictional favourites to real life legends, round frames seem to be a distinct statement piece. The style is referred to as ‘Windsor Glasses’ which are characterised by their circular eye rims and thin metal frame. Their rich lineage leaves them to be a timeless classic in the history of glasses.

Vintage Glasses Over the Decades

Glasses, just like every fashion trend, have changed over the decades, and will continue to evolve with the times. Here is a brief summary of the changes that took place during some of fashion's most iconic decades:

  • 1950s - In this post war era, celebrity icons such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe were emerging, as were Horn Rimmed & Cat Eye Glasses. Horn Rimmed Glasses resemble that of animal horn material, hence their name and Cat Eye glasses gained popularity as womens glasses with their narrow and pointed shape.
  • 1960s - There were changes during the 60s. As people moved away from the sleek cat-eye design of the 50s, bolder, more statement pieces were being worn. Browline glasses became more popular, with bolder frames on top that mimic a person’s eyebrows. They did, however, start to lose their popularity as people wanted more personalised options.

Round and Oval Frames became extremely popular during the 60s, thanks to music icons such as John Lennon. The thin frame and rounded rims are still iconic in our society today. 

  • 1970s - Things change more dramatically in the 1970s, featuring more fashionable, oversized and dramatic designs. Celebrities such as Elton John are a great example of this, with his flamboyant eyewear choices.
Butterfly glasses - as seen on Olivia Newton John at the time, were a beautiful symmetrical accessory made to look like a butterfly.
Square Glasses - Large square glasses came into fashion during the 70s too, with big, chunky plastic frames that were perfect for round faces.
Double Bridge Glasses - These had better resistance in their frames, and found a way to remain fashionable. Their teardrop shaped lenses made them a lot wider than other glasses, however the style continued to be popular well into the 80s too.        
  • 1980s - Aviators and Wayfarers came into fashion during the 80s. With Aviators gaining popularity from TV shows like Baywatch.

Ray-Ban Wayfarers also came into popularity around this time, with their classic, bold statement aesthetic.

  • Sunglasses are still everchanging. With oval frames and tortoise shell patterns becoming the trend in the 1990s and transparent sunglasses gaining traction in the 2000s, who knows what's next for sunglasses!

Rounded Frames in Pop Culture

There are a few household names that sealed their look with a pair of round framed glasses that they are now remembered for. These esteemed individuals include:

John Lennon

John Lennon was a British singer songwriter and peace activist during the 1960s. He achieved worldwide fame as a lead-vocalist and guitarist for the band The Beatles. The Beatles were an extremely influential band, attracting the hippie movement and uniting people all over the country. John Lennon’s influence on both music and politics at the time are both remembered for their distinct cultural significance and his peace activism.

Lennon’s glasses were also a distinct part of his impact on society. He was incredibly nearsighted and needed prescription glasses, however, he started to use them as an exemplary statement piece. Lennon iconized his eyewear as a momentous fashion statement, rather than a sight aid, leading his thin circular frames to become synonymous with hippie fashion.

Round framed glasses in the music world don't end with John Lennon. There are multiple other iconic musicians who use this simple accessory as their fashion statement. Ozzy Osbourne, also known as the ‘Prince of Darkness’ adorns his dark demeanour with a pair of black tinted, round-framed glasses. Elton John, also, used round frames to complete his looks during the 70s and 80s. 

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer, politician and peace activist, working for freedom and equality across India and Africa during the early 1900s. He is remembered for his non-violent movements and a belief that everyone should have equal rights regardless of their race.

Gandhi’s round-rimmed Windsor style glasses were also an iconic statement piece. They became a regular feature during the National Movement and civil protests in India.

Much like John Lennon, he is remembered for his cultural significance in peaceful movements, accompanied by their famous eyewear.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was a co-founder and CEO of Apple. He led the company in developing some of their most renowned products including the iPhone, iPod & iPad. His innovative products have changed the way that people and businesses operate. In 1985 however, Jobs was fired from Apple.

Not only this, but Steve Job’s round framed glasses were also a culturally significant accessory. With few people being held as Job’s heroes, the one he held dearest to him was Mahatma Gandhi. He claimed to respect that Gandhi showed us the ‘destructive side of our human nature’ and considered Gandhi a great source of wisdom. Following his firing from the board at Apple, Jobs bought himself a pair of oval frames as an homage to his hero. Over time, they became a statement feature to his look. 

Harry Potter

Harry Potter may be a fictional character; however, both the book and film franchise have been iconic in childhoods and history for years. The Harry Potter novels are a household piece of literature, and often a comfort movie for many families. J.K.Rowling stated that her choice for Harry to wear glasses was inspired by the lack of glasses-wearing heroes in her childhood.

Making Harry’s glasses rounded in shape was a ‘looking through the glass’ metaphor crafted by Rowling in her writing. The significance of the glasses is a play on the idea that we are experiencing this fantasy world through our main characters' eyes.

The Personality of Round Frames

Similar to the peace sign, during the 60s, round glasses were a symbol of home, resistance to war and other societal issues. 

With so many creative and inspirational icons shaping the world while wearing round glasses, their cultural significance is still relevant and prominent. They align with the persona of an out-of-the-box thinker or someone forging their own path in life. 

Round & Oval Frames for You

Understanding the best kind of glasses for your face shape can totally transform your look. Typically, round and oval frames work best with sharper features. Because the shape of these glasses is soft and rounded, they complement more angular, square facial features.

Heart shaped faces are very well suited to oval frames. If you are someone with a pointed jawline or angular cheekbones, a pair of high-quality oval glasses could sit beautifully on you. They would be a good choice if you are looking for something that doesn't over-emphasise your cheekbones too much. Additionally, you could try a rimless look if you’re looking for something more subtle.

For rounded, circular glasses, a rectangular, oblong or oval face shape is better suited. For those with more prominent facial features and angular faces, round rimmed glasses contrast this, softening your harsher features.

Ed & Sarna Collections

Here at Ed & Sarna, we take pride in selecting and curating our collection of round framed glasses. We are sure to have something for everyone, with our range of stock in high-end fashion brands such as Gucci, Ray Ban and Burberry. From vintage frames to prescription sunglasses, we have an extensive range to accommodate all our customers.

We recognise that you may also want your glasses to be individual to you, which is why we offer alternative colours and prescription lenses to be fitted on any pair of our glasses. You can count on us to help you find either a simple, timeless look or something unique to you.

For any enquiries about our services or our products, get in touch with us today and one of our team members will be happy to help you find what you are looking for.

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