Let’s rewind to an era when hair went vertical, shoulder pads went horizontal, and neon fingerless gloves seemed like a perfectly reasonable accessory. Yes, we’re talking about the 1980s. 

As fashion trends go, the ’80s are rad again. But what did glasses in the ’80s look like? And which ones are still cool to wear today?

Never fear. We’ve selected some of the best, most iconic ’80s eyeglasses from across the decade to incorporate into your contemporary—or full-on vintage—look.

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The Best ’80s Glasses Frames

Authentic vintage glasses may seem enticing, but they’re dated by definition, so you’re stuck dealing with features that were standard decades ago.  Newer ’80s-style glasses generally let you pick from more modern options, including colors, materials, lens enhancements like anti-reflective coatings, and lens types like progressive lenses

But we’re here to talk about choosing the best ’80s glasses frames. Not to sound like a broken record, but we can’t say this enough: The “best” glasses for you, old-school or otherwise, are the ones you like best. So, take these ’80s glasses style suggestions as a starting point to finding the eyeglass frames that resonate with you.

An illustrated GIF featuring popular 80s eyeglass styles

Cat-Eye Glasses

Cat-eye glasses are a much-loved and flattering design with outer corners that sweep upward toward the temples. Though they’re a timeless style, cat-eye glasses experienced a particular resurgence of popularity in the ’80s. They’re a touch more flamboyant than your average round or square frames, so it makes sense that they’d blend seamlessly into a decade known for its far-out fashion trends.

Today, try cat-eye glasses whenever you want a look that’s glamorous, fashion-forward—and just a little rebellious.

Fatima Glasses in Smoky Pearl Tortoise


Smoky Pearl Tortoise

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Daisy glasses in Confetti Tortoise


Confetti Tortoise

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Maren Glasses in Mulberry Tortoise Fade with Polished Gold


Mulberry Tortoise Fade with Polished Gold

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Aviator Glasses

No collection of glasses from the ’80s would be complete without aviator glasses. The eternally cool aviator style was first adapted in the 1930s from eyewear worn by military pilots. Since then, they were never really off the radar. But aviator glasses and sunglasses got a boost in the ’80s, thanks to one “thrilling” pop musician—among others—who wore them in music videos, and box-office stars who sported them on screen.

Modern aviator glasses are pretty much indistinguishable from aviator glasses from the ’80s. They’ve got wide, teardrop-shaped lenses and, usually, thin metal frames, often with a top bar running from lens to lens at the browline. 

Brimmer Glasses in Jet Black with Polished Gold


Jet Black with Polished Gold

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Abe glasses in Polished Gold


Polished Gold

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Aram Glasses in Brushed Ink


Brushed Ink

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Oversized Glasses

Oversized round or square glasses were a staple of ’80s glasses fashion. Truth is, oversized glasses were popular in the ’70s, too. But the big suits, chunky chain jewelry, and voluminous hair of the ’80s lent themselves to similarly big eyewear. 

Today, ’80s oversized glasses are a righteous redux that anyone can embrace. Modern versions usually (but not always) feature prominent frames as well, often made of acetate. One fun way to embrace this trend is to get ’80s oversized glasses frames in a contemporary colorway.

Just make sure they’re still the right size for you—that is, they fit properly and flatter your face shape.

Rosie glasses in Mulberry Tortoise Fade


Mulberry Tortoise Fade

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Vela glasses in Jet Black with Polished Gold


Jet Black with Polished Gold

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Lorena glasses in Black Currant Tortoise


Black Currant Tortoise

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Round Glasses

The ’80s were nothing if not a decade of style contradictions—think super-short hairstyles vs. humongous “big” hair, or form-fitting tube dresses vs. drop-waist baggy frocks.

In true ’80s contradictory form, as much as oversized glasses were a thing, little round glasses, often with wireframes, were also popular in the ’80s. Some of these circular glasses were very small—not much larger than a silver dollar. 

While teeny 1980s glasses definitely make a statement, wearing round glasses that fit your face may resonate with you more. Try on a variety of round glasses. If you like the look of one, that’s the right pair.

Simon glasses in Polished Gold


Polished Gold

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Kimball glasses in marzipan tortoise


Marzipan Tortoise

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Isla Glasses in Aventurine Tortoise


Aventurine Tortoise

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Thick-Framed Glasses

Settle down with a bag of popcorn and binge a few teen comedies from the ’80s. As you crack up at the low-tech visuals and absurd plotlines, we bet the screen is full of people wearing glasses with thick, black frames. 

Now available in colors ranging from tortoise to classic matte black, these chunky glasses are a staple style of ’80s glasses frames, offering bookish appeal.

Drew Glasses in Jet Black


Jet Black

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Kemi Glasses in Sunbeam Tortoise Fade


Sunbeam Tortoise Fade

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Sonia glasses in Oak Barrel


Oak Barrel

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Browline Glasses

Browline glasses are rimless or thin-rimmed at the bottom of the lenses but have a thicker rim at the top. The look somewhat mimics eyebrows. Since ’80s eyebrows could be rather prominent, it’s no surprise that glasses with bold browlines were popular ’80s glasses. 

The look of browline glasses is serious, perfect if you prefer a look that’s fashionable, yet subdued.

Armando Glasses in Polished Silver


Polished Silver

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Canning Glasses in Polished Gold


Polished Gold

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Ames glasses in Jet Black Matte with Polished Silver


Jet Black Matte with Polished Silver

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Our Best Advice for Choosing ’80s Glasses: Have Fun

We hope this look back at the four-score decade has you looking forward to wearing some of these ’80s glasses styles. We do suggest that you get new frames in a vintage style rather than using vintage frames that were actually made in the ’80s. This way, you’ll have the look you want with the durability and features you need.

Whether you’re getting prescription glasses, sunglasses, or both, embrace the process of picking the perfect style and have fun trying them all on! You may surprise yourself with what you ultimately decide. And if you can’t pick just one pair? Bundle your two favorites and save 15%.

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