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18 Eyewear Trends for 2021

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Two toned eye glasses on black and white background

2021 might be off to a rocky start, but there’s no reason not to keep your fashion headstrong. Not only that, but the lens and frame materials of your glasses are always a great canvas for innovations in the functional materials and coatings available. Sunglasses come with choices too.

There are already a lot of established materials to choose from, so you definitely don’t have to reinvent the wheel this year. But it’s worth knowing what might be a little more up-and-coming. And you can always combine what works already with something new! We put our heads together so you can walk away from your next eye exam with an avante garde pair of glasses.

Cat-Eye Frames

These frames have a 50s and 60s look, thick rimmed, and heavy-on-the-brow. They can support detailing on the temples due to their generous proportions, and they convey a bold style no matter the colour, shade, or details. This look has been around for a few years and they’re still a popular choice.

Thick Plastic Rounded-Edge Rectangular Frames

Some call these “hipster glasses,” but this style looks good on many faces and compliments many styles. It seems unfair to say they’re limited to one subculture! They’ve been popular for about a decade, and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere. Black has been the traditional colour for this style, so if you’re comfortable with them, 2021 is still a good year to buy them.

Thin Metal Rounded-Edge Rectangular Frames

These frames look similar to “hipster glasses,” but they’re more muted because they’re thinner and metallic. Still, metallic sheens can pop more and might even end up bolder looking than their popular thick plastic cousins. They seem poised for wearers who want something fashionable and timeless.

1970s-style Obtuse-Angle Frames

These shapes have a definitive look, and they’ve made quite a comeback recently with no signs of slowing down. If you’re unsure what they look like, check out Elton John’s Greatest Hits album cover

 This style has great eye coverage, and beautiful wide-angle proportions around the temples and the bridge. This style can benefit from solid colours, patterns, and two-tone especially!

Aviator Frames

Aviator frames have long been popular as a sunglass style, but not always as an eyeglass style. Still, for 2021, they’re looking exceptionally relevant. Usually coming in thin metallic frames, the heavy support on the bridge and temples can draw a lot of attention to your brow and they scream seriousness and authority.

Box-shaped Top-Half Semi-Rimless Frames

A great example of this style is Ray Ban’s Clubmaster style, and like cat-eye glasses they attract a lot of attention to your brow line. But they frames are exceptionally subtle on the undersides, so your cheekbones can really show. They typically feature right angles at the hinges of the temples for a classy, bold look.

Thin Oversized Metal Frames

Round and oval shapes draw attention to your whole face without taking up too much of the spotlight. This style depends on nose pads, so if you find padless frames slipping off the bridge of your nose, this style can offer the best comfort as well as the best relevance.

Two-Toned Frames

When combined with smooth plastic rims, and translucence or transparency, two-toned frames offer a fresh new look. The top half distinguish from the bottom and grant a best-of-both worlds approach to two different aesthetics. They’ll probably be all over in 2021.

D-Shaped Frames

Although probably best for only for sunglasses this style says a lot. These shapes form a thick, straight line on the top, with elegant curves on the bottom. These frames make a great part of a tennis outfit, or other casually athletic look.

Transparent Frames

Transparent or translucent frames add a subtle and futuristic look to your style, and appear ready to take over for 2021. When forming the bottom part with gradient lenses and two-toned styles, they’re especially alluring.

Patterns on Plastic

From animal-print to paisley, you might see a lot more trendsetters opting for patterns on plastic frames. Some of these patterns could do very well as part of a two-toned frame design.

Geometric Sharp Angles

Picture the above metal frames, like aviators, round styles, and oblique and obtuse 70s style glasses. Now take those curves, sharpen them into lines with defined angles, and you’ve got a hot trend for  2021. Aviators in particular take on a novel look when you sharpen the angles.

Chunky Frames

The thick look of hipster glasses stands to benefit from blowing out the proportions even further. Rectangular frames so thick they’re chunky is a style on the rise, making a confident statement about visionary style. They can make your eyes the centerpiece of your face easily, and they seem ready to do that for a lot of wearers in the near future.

Minimalistically Jewelled & Detailed Temples

While thickness, transparency, and colour seem to be dominating the frames styles, jewels or flashy metal detailing on the temples of the glasses still pose great appeal—as long as it’s minimal. That means you might want to select a style with shiny detailing, being careful not to incorporate too much of it if you’re looking for relevance.

Pastel-Coloured Lenses

Colourful lenses and fashionable glasses arranged on a display canvas

Pastel coloured lenses take a colour and give it some subtlety, as pale and washed-out pigments stand less chance of interfering with your vision. They look poised for popularity for 2021 because they’re such a definitive look.

Gradient-Coloured Lenses

A variant on coloured glasses’ lenses are those with a subtle gradient. The effect can be quite striking, as they go from clear on the bottom to coloured on the top. Combined with a transparent or two-toned frames, they look even more otherworldly.

Blue Light Filtration

Eye doctors are currently debating the dangers of blue light, also known as high-energy visible light. Because people are interacting more on average with screened devices like TVs, smartphones, tablets, etc., people are exposed to more blue light than past generations.

There could be a danger to decades long exposure to excess blue light, but the fine print on that conclusion is that most of these studies weren’t conducted on live patients in clinical trials. It could be better erring on the safe side. Because of that, blue light filtration will probably be a bit bigger this year!

Lean on Our Opticians

It also goes without saying that style can get amplified in certain areas. If you’d like to know what brands and styles are selling more, and which of those might match your face-shape—we can definitely help. Fashion is always moving forward, so feel free to start up a conversation after an eye exam.

Written by Myles Bokinac

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