A Walk Down Memory Lane: 1970s Eyeglass Frame Styles

woman standing in sunflower field

Photo by Designecologist

As we peruse through fashion history, it’s clear that the 1970s were a decade of daring experimentation and bold self-expression. The eyewear trends of this era were no exception. From oversized frames to unique shapes, the eyeglass styles of the ’70s were all about making a statement. Let’s take a closer look at some of the iconic 1970s eyeglass frame styles and how they’ve influenced contemporary eyewear trends.

The Oversized Frames

When one thinks of 1970s eyewear, it’s hard not to imagine oversized frames. A perfect match for the decade’s free-spirited ethos, these frames were equal parts glamorous and practical, providing more significant coverage for the eye from the sun. They came in a variety of shapes, from rectangle and square to the more adventurous octagonal and hexagonal.

Woman wearing oversized glasses

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The Aviator Style

If one style could epitomize the ‘cool’ factor in the 70s, it would be the aviator glasses. Originally designed for pilots in the 1930s, these glasses took off in the ’70s as an everyday accessory, merging fashion and function. The classic aviator sunglasses were known for their large, often tinted lenses and thin metal frames.

Key Features

  • Large Lenses: Aviator frames are characterized by their large lenses, which provide excellent eye protection and a wider field of vision.
  • Metal Frames: The thin and lightweight metal frames of aviator glasses gave them a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic.
  • Double Bridge: A distinctive feature of aviator glasses is the double bridge design, adding stability and a unique style element.

Man wearing aviator glasses

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The Cat Eye Glasses

Introduced in the ’50s and gaining popularity into the ’60s, the cat eye glasses maintained their stylish reputation in the 1970s. These frames were celebrated for their feminine flair, featuring an upswept shape that mimicked the almond eyes of a cat.

Key Features

  • Distinctive Shape: The cat eye frames had a unique shape, with the outer edges of the frames extending upwards and outwards, resembling the eyes of a cat.
  • Decorations: These frames often featured embellishments such as rhinestones, patterns or unique color combinations, adding to their overall appeal.

As we enjoy the resurgence of these styles in today’s fashion landscape, we can’t help but appreciate the influence of the 1970s on our current eyewear trends. Get your dose of vintage-inspired eyewear with Zenni Optical’s collection of 70s glasses, where timeless designs meet modern quality, ensuring you stay stylish and protected.

Avatar of Alyssa Buchanan

Alyssa Buchanan

Dr. Alyssa Buchanan is an optometrist based in Lubbock, Texas. She received her doctorate from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and has practiced in various settings including Fort Cavazos where she provided eye care for deploying soldiers. Dr. Buchanan has since received her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and continues to strive to provide top-notch eyecare and make a meaningful impact in the eyecare industry.