History of Women’s Glasses

There are trendy eyeglasses this 2020. Cat-eye glasses, round eyeglasses, geek/hipster eyeglasses, vintage eyeglasses, over-sized eyeglasses, browline eyeglasses, tortoiseshell eyeglasses, and clear frames are popular options for women.

When searching for a symbol of femininity, don’t look further than cat-eye glasses. Used by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, cat-eye glasses should be on top of your list. They work best with diamond-shaped faces, making you look younger.

Round acetate glasses are a perfect choice for style-sensitive women. Ladies with square features should pick round glasses to soften their looks. The geek/hipster glasses, on the other hand, can make you look like a cute nerd.

But, before these trends were introduced into the eyewear fashion, women’s glasses were full of history you cannot afford to miss. What were the eyewear designs before? What were the trends doing the ancient people use? In this article, you will know them all. Read on for more information.

The Ancient Times

Before glasses were worn to correct eyesight problems, ancient Greek used glass magnification. In 1306, Giordano da Pisa, a Dominican friar, mentioned how eyeglasses had been utilized for many decades. The women’s glasses, however, perched on the nose and lacked temples. But things had changed until the 18th century. The pince-nez style already had the necessary sidearms.

Early glass frames were made of wood, horn, bone, metal, shell, leather, and other materials. The lenses, on the other hand, were crude. But they were valuable to scholars, artisans, and older people.

Eyeglasses were typically worn while reading, doing needlework, and writing.

Years after, the manufacturing of eyeglasses became popular in entire Europe. While the demand increased, the prices got lower. Before, they were sold in set magnifications and not personalized. Today, there are sold at a variety of drugstores and relevant shops out there.

Glasses History in 18th and 19th Century

During ancient times, eyeglasses lacked temples. In the early 18th century, eyeglasses with sidearms and temples started to make noise. Edward Scarlett Sr., a London optician, was the first person to market glasses with this excellent feature in the 1720s. Although the lens shape was round and small, the design became more wearable years later. The frames were metal and didn’t have nose pads. Although the temples were straight and could not be adjusted, they could be hinged.

Lorgnettes were also popular at this time. These were eyeglasses attached to a stick or handle. From there, they have turned into opera glasses. After a few decades, lorgnettes became a common tool for reading and viewing among women and men.

Wider variety of eyeglass styles came into fashion in the 19th century. The most popular material for frames was metal. Lens shapes, however, were oval or round. In 1840, octagonal and rectangular frames were the trendy design. in 1843, elastic-steel wire glasses were first developed in the U.S.

In the 19th century, lorgnettes remained as a go-to alternative for upper-class ladies. In the same year, monocles were also carried by women.

When the Victorian era came to an end, middle-class women turned to small and wire-frame eyeglasses. Pinch-nez styles were worn with a chain and long ribbon.

More about vintage accessories.

The Twentieth Century

The pince-nez remained a trend in the twentieth century until the spectacles gained acceptance from a wide range of audiences. Unlike the pince-nez, spectacles were large and round with heavy frames of tortoiseshell or imitation horn used by most university students. In 1910, spectacles had become a number one option for both men and women because they could give an air of seriousness, wisdom, and sincerity.

In the middle 1920s, the popularity of horn-rims started to fade. This was the time when women’s close-fitting hats were conspicuous and uncomfortable. Smaller rimless frames of white gold were the leading style. In 1930, women’s eyeglasses were made as large as possible. In 1939, Altina Sanders developed the harlequin frame with upswept sides and solid dark rims. Introduced in New York, the frame was solely designed to improve women’s appearance, enhance their eyesight, and boost their confidence too.

In the 1940s, women’s eyeglasses were available in different colored plastic frames to balance one’s complexion and daily outfit. Eyewear fashion experts recommended women to wear the right wardrobe. For evening occasions, use some jeweled frames. For sportswear and beach escapade, try some special frames.

When World War II finally ended, the harlequin shape came with different variations and became the top style for women. That’s not all! They were available in new textures, laminates of glitter, and finished-opalescent pastels. They were embellished with rhinestones and metal studs. They underwent intensive gilding and carving as well.

A conservative style was another excellent alternative during the time. Each design was equipped with clear plastic, solid eyebrow bars, light metal lower rims, and other special materials. Pair them with off-the-face hats, short coiffures, and button earrings. The thick black horn-rims and heavier metal frames were a trend among men until the 1960s.

Other Modern Glass Innovations

With the affordability of accurate prescriptions and cutting-edge lens technology, glasses became fashionable and stylish. Frames were available in different materials, colors, and shapes that matched the wearer’s face shape, outfit, and eye color.

In the 20th century, we saw the rise of sunglasses, although China introduced them during the 12th century. While modern sunglasses are developed for sun protection, the Chinese utilized them to obscure the eyes of judges in court.

Manufacturers also experimented with colored lenses. However, they were not used for sun protection. It was only in the 1900s when they developed glasses for light sensitivity and other sight medical conditions.

With the demand from people of all ages, it’s easy to find women’s glasses today. There are products with plastic lenses. Unlike the other options, they are lighter and thinner. When looking for the best design, seek assistance from a qualified professional to have a worthwhile and long-lasting investment.

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