Prowling for a new pair of glasses? If you’re looking for an en vogue style that won’t fall out of favor by next year, consider cat-eye frames. The cat-eye style was introduced in the 1950s—a novelty for fashionistas and starlets of the era, who then turned eyeglasses into an accessory rather than a necessity. They were originally called ‘harlequin glasses,’ they didn’t earn their feline-inspired moniker until later. Versions of this retro style are still immensely popular today. Sure, they’re chic—but do cat-eye glasses match your face shape? The good news is that cat-eye frames are a versatile choice that can complement the features of each face shape, with a few considerations. Check out the details on how to pick cat-eye frames for each face shape—oval, square, round, heart, and diamond.
The natural balance of an oval-shaped face allows you to use your glasses to make a statement, or keep it simple—and cat-eye frames are a perfect style for this face shape. When looking for cat-eye glasses for an oval face, consider frames that are slightly wider than the widest part of your face. Otherwise, go wild. For the boldest among us, these Marc Jacobs cat-eye frames present a retro-modern mashup. Not quite ready for something that daring? Try this more subtle (but totally stunning) style from Vera Wang.
Narrow frames elongate the face and the upturned wings of cat-eye glasses create balance for a square face. Try a winged style that has rounded edges to soften your features, and avoid square or rectangular frames. A frame with a thin bottom edge—think wire or rimless—is a fantastic choice. Go bold with these Emilio Pucci cat-eye frames, or try this more delicate wire-rimmed style from DKNY.
Play up the features of a round face with angular cat-eye frames to sharpen the jawline. Avoid rimless and round cat-eye frames for a round face shape. Rectangular frames are a favorite style for round faces, so go for a cat-eye style like these from Lamb Roxas. Vera Bradley cat-eye eyeglasses offer a bit of laid-back glam for a round face.
Cat-eye frames that are wider than your forehead work best for a heart-shaped face—and detailed, upturned tips really pop. Cat-eye frames in light colors or a classic tortoiseshell are perfect. These Ted Baker glasses in blush or tortoise are a chic pick, and the embellished outer edges of this pair from Vogue minimizes the width of your forehead for a balanced appearance.
Cat-eye glasses can work for a diamond-shaped face if you choose an angular style with pronounced wings to balance the jawline. A rimless or semi-rimless style works great for a diamond face—try this cat-eye frame from Miu Miu for a daring look. Avoid the issue of too-narrow frames with this browline-esque cat-eye style from Versace.
If you have a small face, you can still wear cat-eye glasses. Follow the recommendations for your face shape, then choose frames within the appropriate eye and frame measurements for your face size.
Modern cat-eye glasses continue to pop up in fashion mags, on the runway, and on our favorites in Hollywood. If you like cat-eye glasses, but you’re worried they won’t suit your face shape, wear them anyway—just look for a frame that plays nicely with your features. After all, the 1950s proved that fashion rules were made to be broken. If you’re still not sure about prescription glasses in a winged shape, a pair of cat-eye sunglasses is always a good idea.