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Specs Appeal: 7 Major Glasses & Eyewear Trends For 2024

Optical frames do more than keep our lives in focus - they can also be a stylish statement accessory. These are the eyewear trends that we’re keeping our peepers peeled for this year.

Words by: Ryan Thompson

Given that we’re now all glued to digital screens for the vast majority of our lives (and it’s only going to get worse with AR/VR headsets), it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that up to 75% of the global population are estimated to use some form of corrective optical product, with 64% choosing good old spectacles.

That’s about 2.56 billion people trying to make sense of the planet with two lenses welded together with acetate or metal, resting on the bridge of their noses. This writer is one of them.

As grateful as I am for the ophthalmic wizardry that has come on leaps and bounds over the last century, I’m also equally as indebted to the eyewear brands that continue to evolve frame styles. Because let’s face it, our glasses are far more than just corrective tools – they are another skin to the onion that makes up our complex personalities.

We use them to tell the world who we are, and how we want to be perceived. So if you do need to wear optical lenses, don’t take your choice of frames lightly.

Maybe you’re a one-and-done spectacle owner, or perhaps you’ve got a frame shape for your every conceivable mood. Either way, we’ve distilled the key glasses trends for 2024 to ensure you project the best image of yourself to the world (and the image that is bounced back is at the very least in focus).

This year, we’ve witnessed a fusion of classic styles with innovative twists, offering a plethora of options to suit every taste and face shape.

These are the key eyewear trends to keep on your radar.

Retro Revival: Round Frames

Out with the old and in with the, well, old, because the 2024 collections were awash with retro frame shapes. Now you could argue that the vast majority of frame shapes are ‘retro’, in the sense that a good number of the styles we wear today were designed before the middle of the 20th century. But one particular shape to stand out in 2024 is the round frame.

Inspired by the timeless charm of the 60s and 70s, round frames are experiencing something of a renaissance. The likes of Johnny Depp, Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Gosling are all proponents of diminutive circular frames, proving that size isn’t the only variable when determining the cool factor.

Vintage-inspired round glasses exude an air of intellectual coolness, made all the more contemporary when opting for metal frames and tinted lenses, or acetate frames in bold tortoiseshell hues or matte black.

Round-frame eyeglasses suit most face shapes but particularly complement square or angular jawlines, softening the features for a more balanced look.

Key Brands: Warby Parker, Garrett Leight, Dior, Moscot, Cubitts, Linda Farrow, Gentle Monster, Kirk Originals

Sleek Minimalism: Thin Metal Frames

Clean lines and minimalist design take center stage with thin metal eyeglasses, making them an excellent choice for people who want to present an understated, intelligent and considered look.

Evoking a sense of classic elegance, these specs are typically crafted from lightweight materials such as titanium or stainless steel, offering durability without compromising on style.

Opt for sleek silver or gunmetal shades to maintain a minimalist aesthetic, or make a statement with unconventional hues like champagne gold or deep navy.

Thin metal frames are typically a great match for those with oval or heart-shaped faces, accentuating their natural features.

Key Brands: Matsuda, Mykita, Gucci Eyewear, Cartier, Eyevan, Gentlemonster, Wires, Garrett Leight

Bold Statement: Geometric Frames

Anyone who wants to make a strong statement with their eyewear should make a beeline for bold geometric frames. Strong oversized lines and accentuated design details are what give this category of frames real creative bang for your buck, blurring the lines between fashion and art.

Geometric frames come in a variety of shapes such as hexagons, octagons and exaggerated rectangles, allowing you to showcase your unique personality. Explore unconventional frame materials like acetate mixed with metal accents or translucent frames for a contemporary twist.

On the face-shape front, this trend suits individuals with round or oval faces, adding angularity to balance the face dimensions, but if anything, confidence and attitude are the biggest requirements.

Key Brands: Jacques Marie Mage, Linda Farrow, Mykita, Theo, Johann Wolff, Kirk Originals, Oliver Goldsmith, Saint Laurent

See Through You: Transparent Frames

Transparent frames, crafted from lightweight acetate, create a captivating see-through effect, allowing your facial features to shine through.

Perfect for those with darker complexions, these eyeglasses offer a refreshing and contemporary twist on traditional eyewear. You’ll find a huge selection of frame shapes in transparent guise, so you won’t be short of options.

Also, some come with contrast opaque arms to further accentuate the transparency of the main part of the frame. They’re a great option to wear with a modern minimalist wardrobe consisting of blacks, greys, navy and other muted tones.

Key Brands: Oliver Peoples, Prada, Gucci, Oakley, Starck, Oliver Goldsmith, Johann Wolff

70s Maximalism: Oversized Frames

Welcome back to the 70s. If you happened to watch any of Daisy Jones & the Six (2023) then you’ll know exactly the kind of larger-than-life frames we’re talking about.

Think bold oversized shapes combined with striking details such as warm vintage colors and partial Havana patterns. They’re the perfect way to show off a confident and stylish attitude.

Look for oversized aviator frames in both metal and acetate options – you can get twice the bang for your buck if you opt for transitions lenses, which are intelligent photochromic lenses that adapt to changing light conditions, ensuring your opticals double up as your summer shades.

Key Brands: Gucci, Persol, Tom Ford, Cutler & Gross, Kirk Originals, Versace

See the Rainbow: Hyper Colour Frames

Saturated color frames were once the preserve of nutty eccentrics, enigmatic artists, and the odd European architect type, but in recent seasons eyewear makers have been deploying the bold end of the palette with kaleidoscopic abandon.

Monochrome styles in vibrant hues are the easy way on board this optical trend, but increasingly, multicolored frames are coming into focus. And why not? They instantly draw attention to one’s face and add a sliver of vibrant color to a look, which can be matched or contrasted with other accessories.

If you’re not quite ready for ‘sunburst orange’ all over your brow, start with earthy tones such as olive green, burnt orange and navy.

Key Brands: Theo Eyewear, Cutler & Gross, Jacques Marie Mage, Gucci, Dior

Shiny Happy Pupils: Gold and Silver Accents

The aforementioned 70s trend has also been the catalyst for a rapid proliferation of new optical frames with gold and silver accents.

As well as opting for gold-plated or silver frames, you can now find plenty of brands who are incorporating the shiny metals into their acetate models too, which offers a distinctly luxury aesthetic.

Look out for interesting gold hinge details or bridge embellishments. These kinds of accents can be really effective set against tortoiseshell frames to give off old-money vibes. A bit of glamour never hurt anyone.

Key brands: Dita Eyewear, Balenciaga, Jacques Marie Mage, Cartier, Mykita, Tom Ford, Warby Parker