Choose the most stylish vintage-style glasses for your face with this advice from the ’50s

Vintage glasses styles from the fifties-Retro eyewear

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.


Vintage-style glasses: Girl with modern design eyeglasses envied by those who have perfect vision (1953)

by Libbie Cline, Charleston Gazette (South Carolina) August 2, 1953

Dorothy Parker is wrong! Men DO make passes at girls who wear glasses.

The girl with four eyes is no longer shunned. She is considered attractive. In fact, she is so attractive that the style-conscious women with 20-20 vision envy her. In certain areas, women with perfect vision buy gay frames and put window glass in them.

Glasses for your face - Tips from the 1950s (3)

It is imagined that the little woman, with her taste for beauty, first demanded new spectacle styles. Men, in their usual slow manner about new fads, just recently adopted unusual frames. Today, the gentlemen buy frames with dancing girls to cover up the hinges.

The newest frames have a two-tone combination. The top is plastic and the bottom is metal. These are taking the place of the all-plastic standbys.

According to two of Charleston’s top opticians, the newest color should be worn by people with pink tones in their complexion. Another optician added that midnight blue was a good color for fall. “Both the slate and midnight blue will be used with crystal or metal in the lower half of the frame,” he explained.

Back in the days when women were ashamed to wear glasses, they chose colors to blend with their skin tones — or they chose rimless glasses. Anything to call less attention to their eye affliction.

Now the story has changed, and they want harmonizing colors, something that goes well with their coloring and will be noticed. The rimless glasses are a style of the past.

Glasses for your face - Tips from the 1950s (2)

For women who wear glasses: New colors & patterns

Just what is glasses news for blondes, brunettes and redheads? What are the best colors? For platinum blondes and very light blondes, the black frames are the most stunning, according to the opticians.

Brunettes need dubonnet colored frames. Dubonnet is a fancy name for deep red. There are blues and greens for those with auburn hair. Brown also harmonizes with light coloring.

The plaid novelty glasses are for children. The blue plaid is manufactured for children with a reddish tint in their complexions and the red plaid for brunettes and brownettes.

About the shape of the new glasses, this year they follow the eyebrow line. The pixie frames are out.

Grace Kelly in glasses Apr 26, 1954
Actress/princess Grace Kelly in vintage glasses – 1954

Glasses are being designed with all sorts of emblems and stones this fall. One type of metal frames, called “tura,” is hand-engraved. This style rim is practically indestructible and won’t scratch easily.

If you can believe it, all of the glasses come with or without diamonds — to suit your fancy and pocketbook. Flowers and arrows cover up ugly hinges.

If your favorite specs are horn-rimmed ones, the designers have decided they aren’t feminine. You look owlish in them.

So, for fall, pick out a pair of bejeweled, crystal metal and plastic frames with the dancing girls to cover up the hinges, and you will be in step with the eye-styles.

Vintage glasses for women (1953)
Cat-eye glasses by Victory Optical, 1953

Women who wear glasses: No more horn-rimmed specs for her

The well-dressed woman will scrap the old horn-rimmed glasses this fall and purchase brand new ones in the latest styles. Miss Mabel Dalrymple, of The Gazette Promotion Department, models five new style frames.

1. Evening wear demands rimless glasses with delicate gold legs (extreme left). Although the rimless specs are considered passe, they will be used for formal occasions.

2. Joe or Jill College will enjoy wearing the glasses with the modified horns on the bridge (second from left). These frames are dark brown plastic.

3. Miss Dalrymple (center) wears the very newest note in the frames’ fashions — the two-tone combination. The top half is tan and the bottom half is crystal. These are for shopping and general all-round use.

10 stunning vintage evening dresses worthy of the red carpet: Eye-catching form-fitting bodycon styles from the 1950s & 1960s

4. Plain brown plastic frames (second from right) are a favorite with the career girl. Note that the top of the frames follows the contour of the eyebrow.

5. New this season is the part metal, part plastic frames (extreme right). The durability of these frames is making them a fast favorite for the fall season. Women will be especially interested in them from a beauty standpoint as they don’t slip and slide down the nose but stay in place perfectly. The metal frames are almost indestructible.

No more horn-rimmed specs for her - the new fashionable eyeglasses

How to balance your facial features with glasses (1956)

By Marian Rahl, Hutchinson News-Herald (Hutchinson, Kansas) July 7, 1956

Eyeglasses have become a fashion accessory and any girl who wears them knows how their colors can be coordinated to her wardrobe and to the hour or occasion. Newest frames promote a wide-eyed look, and they can be selected with decorative touches that direct attention away from sole facial irregularity.

Choose your frames in a dark color for daytime wear, select a pastel for afternoon or late day and gold or silver for evening. You can have lightweight metal frames in a wide range of colors and decorated to enhance your features.

How to Marry a Millionaire movie Marilyn Monroe with glasses and David Wayne - 1953
Marilyn Monroe (with glasses) and David Wayne – How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953

Tailored frames without ornamentation serve for casual daytime wear or a bit of contrasting metal sweeps across the top to follow a graceful brow line.

When you desire a bit of glitter, you can have rhinestones or pearls or multicolored jewels. (Of course, if you desire diamonds, cultured pearls or precious stones they may be ordered too!)

When you are fitted for eyeglasses and given a scientific facial analysis, you’ll discover some of the ways in which facial irregularities are overcome or minimized.

Vintage glasses styles from the fifties

For example, is your nose too long, with a narrow bridge? Then a frame with ornamentation at the center can flatter. When the bridge of the nose is very narrow, decoration at the ends of the frame will help.

Nose tilted slightly to one side? It will appear straighter with ornamentation at one side of your frame only, and this should be at the side opposite from the nose slant. You achieve better balance this way.

Not all attention is focused on the nose and eye area when creating a frame for good facial balance. Your mouth should be considered also.

A real vintage guide to '50s eye makeup, with tips from the pros

Glasses for your face - Tips from the 1950s (1)

Is yours small and thin? Then draw attention upward with delicate ornamentation at ends of the frame.

For a large thick mouth, raise attention again with brilliant ornamentation at the top of the frame. When the mouth tilts down at one corner, a decorative touch at the same side of your glasses frame helps give the illusion of a straighter mouth.

You can achieve not only a smart appearance with your glasses these days. but you can let them help you to more beauty as well.

Vintage-style eyeglasses with satin-finished metal frames ornamented with lilies of the valley 1956

As glamorous as anything in your evening wardrobe are these exquisite. They have a graceful sweep at either end of the browline that blends to the side hair for a very flattering and festive look. Wear them for theater, dining and dancing or whatever the dress-up occasion after dark.

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest. Thanks for visiting and for supporting a small business! 🤩 


You might also like...

The fun never ends:

Comments on this story

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.