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Round Eyeglass Frames: Classic for a Reason

Worn by a host of famous faces — think Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Steve Jobs, Harry Potter, and more — round eyeglass frames are always in style. Also known as circle frames, circle glasses, or teashades, they can be trendy, artistic, or intellectual depending on their design — and who’s wearing them.

Will round eyeglass frames work for you? That’s a good question. Let’s look at why round glasses have stuck around for so long, and who should wear them. We’ll also talk about some different kinds of round eyeglass frames, and how to choose the right ones for you.

Why Are Round Eyeglasses So Popular?

Laughing woman with curly hair wearing teal round eyeglass frames in front of a green background.

Round eyeglass frames were first invented in the 13th century and at that time, round glasses were your only option if you wanted to see better. The frames then were made of materials like iron and leather, and they cost a pretty penny.

Without ever really going out of fashion, they made a comeback in the 1920s, then another one in the 1960s and ‘70s — the last mainly due to John Lennon. They’re now worn by people as diverse as rock stars, intellectuals, and politicians. They’re age-appropriate no matter how young or old you are, and they go with any outfit from denim jeans to a suit or cocktail dress.

There’s also a primitive, psychological element involved. As humans we’re naturally drawn to round shapes. They’re simple, natural, and complete, and evoke stability, safety, gentleness, and peace. It’s no wonder we like them so much.

Who Should Wear Round Frames?

Round frames may be infinitely versatile but the frame shape does suit some people better than others, depending on their face shape.

They work very well for wearers with sharper, more angular features — for example, a square face or jaw line — softening and balancing them. They also flatter oblong, diamond, triangle, or heart-shaped faces.

If you have a round face, you may be better off with square frames, as these will provide a contrast that balances your features. That said, if you do want to challenge that advice, try round eyeglasses with transparent frames.

What Kinds of Round Eyeglass Frames Can You Get?

A pair of dark round eyeglass frames from Pair Eyewear sitting on a peach and yellow background.

Although some of their appeal lies in their retro feel, especially as vintage styles once again become popular, round eyeglass frames have evolved a lot since their beginnings so long ago. You can now find them in a host of different styles and materials, and for different purposes.

Round frames, by definition, are curved and more or less equally wide and tall. But that still leaves a lot of room for variation.

The rims of your eyeglass frames could be perfect circles or slightly elongated into an oval shape. Aviator and cat-eye frames can also broadly be classified as round glasses frames, albeit with a twist.

Your round glasses could have thick or thin frames that come in different materials, including acetate, plastic, or metal frames.

Your round frames might hold non-prescription, clear lenses, designed for style alone. Or if you wear prescription glasses, round eyeglass frames can accommodate either single prescription lenses or progressives.

Round eyewear is popular for reading glasses, as well as non-prescription or prescription sunglasses, with vintage round sunglasses never going out of style. Or add a blue-light filter, and you have a perfect pair for computer work.

In general, round eyeglass frames are light yet sturdy, and comfortable to wear.

How to Choose Your Round Eyeglasses

Assuming you’ve decided that round eyeglass frames are for you, these questions will get you thinking further:

Do You Want Your Glasses to Disappear into Your Face or Stand Out?

Depending on the frames you choose, round eyeglass frames can blend into or draw attention to your face. For example, clear acetate or thin wire frames can be barely noticeable, while thicker, colored frames tend to stand out, make a statement, and often highlight your eyes more.

What Kind of Look Do You Want?

As always, size also matters. If you’re going for a more intellectual look, smaller round frames or cat-eyes may work for you. On the other hand oversized frames have more of a retro, glamorous, and/or mysterious vibe.

What’s Your Eye Color?

Your eyes are highlighted by your glasses and you can aim to complement or contrast depending on your personality and mood. Try these frame color options:

  • Brown eyes: green, gold, tortoiseshell, purple, red, or black

  • Blue eyes: brown, blue, gunmetal gray, black, coral, or tortoiseshell

  • Green eyes: purple, pink, rose gold, tortoiseshell, silver, or brown

  • Hazel eyes: gold, green, brown, or gray

  • Gray eyes: burgundy, black, deep blue, green, or purple

What’s Your Hair Color?

This is another factor to consider, although if in doubt, matte black tends to work with most hair colors. Otherwise, try these:

  • Black hair: tortoiseshell, gold, bold pink, red, blue, or orange

  • Blonde hair: pastel blue or pink, pale red, tortoiseshell

  • Brown hair: blue, turquoise blue or brighter pink

  • Red hair: tortoiseshell, copper, purple, green, or blue

  • Gray or white hair: green, blue, or red

What Are You Wearing Your Round Glasses With?

A young man wearing a blue jacket and colorful round eyeglass frames in front of a blue background.

Luckily, a round eyeglass frame shape goes with anything, but if you’re choosing colored frames, you might want to give some thought to the colors you wear most often. Then try to either blend or contrast your frame colors with that. Add a watch or some jewelry and your styling efforts will be complete.

Buying Your Round Eyeglass Frames

Now that you’re thinking in the right direction, consider Pair Eyewear for your new specs. Whether you need prescription glasses or not, with our wide range of top-quality women’s eyeglasses and men’s eyeglasses, you’re bound to find something you like. Best of all, with our versatile Top Frames, you can change up your look from day to day.

Start by choosing from our popular round Base Frames, all of which are unisex:

  • The Otis is our widest round frame and has a keyhole nose bridge — which helps ease pressure on the top of the nose.

  • The Soto is a classic round lens, also with a keyhole nose bridge.

  • The Reese is narrower and works well for more petite faces.

  • The Twain is for children aged 9 and older, or adults with extra-narrow faces.

  • The Serra is for children aged 5 to 9 and made with durable materials that are safe for kiddos.


If you’re not sure which would suit you best, compare them using our Virtual Try-On feature. 

Then choose the Top Frames that best suit the look you’re going for. For example:

  • For understated elegance, you might go for Tortoise

  • For an intellectual air, try Black

  • For a smart, professional look that suits the boardroom, consider Navy Pin Dot 

  • For a trendy, fashion-forward look, try Striped

  • For a retro, vintage feel, go for Rainbow Tie-Dye

  • For a gallery opening, try Irises

  • For a touch of glamor at a party, have fun with Hot Pink Sparkle

  • For the cutest look on your kid, go with Sesame Family

  • For a mysterious look (that also protects your eyes), try Sun Tops

Choose the Right Round Eyeglass Frames for You

Round eyeglass frames have been around for a while — and they’re only getting better. Now available in a wide range of styles, materials, and colors, they help to soften and balance a more angular face.

Round eyeglasses are extremely versatile and work for any type of activity and with any look you choose. When you’re making your selection, consider what look you want and which colors will best complement your hair and eyes. Then start your search with a quality brand like Pair Eyewear, and you’ll never look back.