Cat-eye frames are a fashion staple that has been turning heads for decades. With their iconic shape and vintage appeal, these glasses and sunglasses add glamour to nearly any outfit. Below, we'll dive into the history of the cat-eye frame and how women and men can incorporate this unique style into their wardrobes.
American filmmaker and designer Altina Schinasi developed cat-eye frames in the 1920s. She was inspired by Venetian harlequin masks and wanted to create a shape that would flatter women and help them feel attractive.
At first, major manufacturers rejected "harlequin glasses" (as these frames were originally called). But shortly after, a high-end optical shop on Madison Avenue found success in selling Schinasi’s designs to renowned actresses like Katharine Cornell. The frames gained in popularity, leading her to establish her own company for their distribution.
In the 1950s, this new cat-eye look for glasses became mainstream. Hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly were often seen wearing upturned frames on and off the screen. This sparked a trend that would continue for decades.
There's a reason cat-eye glasses have withstood the test of time. They are considered to be universally flattering and can work with a wide range of styles. The upward sweep of these frames draws attention to the eyes and gives the wearer’s face a lifted appearance. They are also incredibly versatile and can be worn with casual and formal attire.
Women are often drawn to harlequin frames for their ability to enhance feminine features. They are also great for showcasing different patterns, colors, and textures. Plus, the exaggerated winged shape adds a little drama to almost any look.
Cat-eye glasses and sunglasses are commonly associated with women, but men can also wear them for a fashionable appearance. The key is to choose a subtle frame that has less of an exaggerated wing. This creates a masculine look while still keeping the distinctive shape of the frames.
One of the reasons cat-eye frames are so popular is their ability to complement many face shapes. The upswept corners help lift and elongate facial features, making them appear more angular and balanced.
Those with round, oval, or heart-shaped faces tend to gravitate toward big cat-eye glasses because they help define their features. Square and diamond-shaped faces can also benefit from the soft curves of the frames.
It’s important to consider size and proportion when choosing the right prescription glasses or sunglasses for your face. Choosing frames that don't extend beyond your temples can help ensure the most comfortable fit.
When it comes to cat-eye prescription glasses and sunglasses, there is no shortage of brands to choose from. The following top brands offer frames in various styles, materials, and colors.
Ray-Ban is one of the leading eyewear brands worldwide, with frames that cater to classic and contemporary tastes. Cat-eye sunglasses by Ray-Ban may be ideal for someone seeking both quality and comfort.
Coach is an accessible luxury brand that offers a range of eyewear options to channel your inner diva. Coach cat-eye glasses often feature modern and on-trend designs with high-quality craftsmanship.
Versace cat-eye frames are all about making a statement. Their eyewear has bold colors, patterns, and details such as their iconic Medusa logo. Make a statement with a designer frame from Versace.
Chanel is a renowned high-fashion brand known for their timeless elegance and sophistication. Cat-eye sunglasses by Chanel feature luxurious materials and often incorporate their iconic interlocking C logo.
While traditional readers may seem plain and unexciting, cat-eye readers can add style to your everyday look. They come in different magnifications and can make a great gift for the fashion enthusiast who wears reading glasses.
There are countless ways to incorporate cat-eye frames into your style. Here are a few ideas to inspire your fashion journey:
Harlequin frames continue to be a go-to accessory for fashion-forward women and men. So why not add them to your eyewear collection? Whether you prefer a classic or contemporary look, a pair of cat-eye glasses or sunglasses could be a great way to express your personality. FramesDirect offers a wide selection of designer frames, so you can find the perfect pair for your personal style.