Today’s eyeglasses wearer is lucky, since the rise of direct-to-consumer brands like Warby Parker and Caddis have democratized quality frames, and we’ve got cool Gen X’ers like Gwyneth Paltrow making aviator frames sexy again. Plus, with more variety and more accessible price points than ever before, there’s an opportunity to have a whole wardrobe of eyeglasses, even if you have 20-20 vision (thanks, blue light readers). We asked some leading eyewear industry forecasters to tell us what styles we want to be wearing to look cool now…plus one look we’re happy to see only in history’s rear-view mirror.
The 6 Rules of Looking Cool in Glasses in 2023 (Plus One Style That's Better Left in the Past)
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Meet the Experts
- Kim Nemser is Chief Product and Supply Chain Officer and SVP of Warby Parker and has a career in merchandising that includes time at Tod’s and J. Crew. Warby Parker is an industry leader since its founding in 2010 when it disrupted the eyewear industry with its direct-to-consumer, try-on business model. (Note: Nemser wears Warby’s Hayes frame.)
- Susan Yeung is a designer at J+S Vision, a brand founded in 2015 dedicated to making quality eyewear accessible to and affordable for everyone. The two founders, engineers by trade, analyze technical data and product development to create computer glasses and sunglasses balancing cost, performance and style.
- Lysa Cooper is a stylist and costume designer who for many years has been a go-to image consultant, working with top talent including Rihanna and photographer Ellen von Unwerth.
1. Try rectangular and square shapes
“This summer, bold rectangular shapes and bright colors will continue to be on-trend,” says Nemser, “in line with the vibrant and carefree nature of the season.”
2. Mixed materials are cool
We're seeing mixed materials, such as acetate and metal on the same frame, trending right now. From glasses with subtle metal accents to acetate-wrapped lenses held on with metal arms, there's a wide range to choose from. Thick gold and silver are popular, as well as a more subtle wire frame.
3. Wear eyeglass chains, but make it fashion
Eyeglasses and sunglasses are hanging around streetstyle stars’ necks thanks to an update on the old-fashioned glasses chain. Done in new materials like ornamented metals, jeweled strings and acetate chains, these are our favorite new accessories and can replace statement jewelry FTW.
4. Go for bold colors
When we asked stylist-to-the-stars Lysa Cooper the secret to looking cool in glasses, she said “go as crazy as possible.” (Case in point: these heart-shaped glasses that the NYC native designed, based on a popular ‘80s urban style.)
5. Match color to your skin undertone
Want to figure out where to start with color in eyewear? “Test out colors based on your skin tone and undertones,” says Warby Parker’s Nemser. “Black, gray or blue frames are often recommended if you have cool undertones, whereas tan, pink or red may be suggested for a warm undertone.”
6. Vibe on the 70s redux
“The 70's bold and unapologetic style is set to make a comeback; think aviators with gradient lens and a pair of flared jeans and you're good to go this summer,” says J + S Vision’s Susan Yeung.
7. DON’T: Revive the ‘80s bottom-arm eyewear style
Sophia Loren is arguably one of entertainment’s top all-time beauties, but even she looks odd, in retrospect, in the fashionable frames she’s wearing in this 1984 pic. So, while ‘80s styles may been in vogue a few years ago, we’re ready to put them to rest this time around.
Why You Should Trust Us
Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space. Suitcases to sex toys, she's got an opinion on what's best. Dana is based in Los Angeles; her work has also appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue and The New York Times. Check her out on Instagram and LinkedIn.
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