’70s-Style Glasses: Get This Iconic Look Today
November 29, 2022 • 8:03 AM
Those of us who are old enough (or who subsequently watched the movie “Saturday Night Fever”), remember the ’70s as the decade of disco. It was also a decade when glasses went through a revolution — no doubt influenced by the disco craze. For the first time, specs were widely accepted as fashion accessories, rather than just tools to see better.
’70s-style glasses are making a comeback, with retro styles very much in fashion. Let’s find out what made ’70s-style vintage eyeglasses so groovy and explore the different types that were popular back then. Perhaps there’s one that will take your style to the next level today.
What Were Vintage ’70s-Style Glasses Like?
As the new fashion accessory, glasses were no longer understated. Instead, they were a feature to carefully coordinate with your fun — and often over-the-top — outfit. Think flared jeans, button-front skirts, ruffled shirts, and glitter. Glasses were dramatic, funky, and often chunky, but always fashionable.
The Shape of Vintage Glasses and Retro Sunglasses
Cat-eye glasses and browline styles — with dramatic detail at the top of the frames — took a back seat, giving way to butterfly styles, round frames, double-bridge aviator glasses or aviator sunglasses, square glasses, and square sunglasses.
The Size of ’70s-Style Glasses
Although thin wire frames were still popular for a geek-chic look, frames in general tended to be much more substantial than they were in the previous decades. Oversized square frames and oversized sunglasses were especially popular.
The Materials of Vintage Eyeglasses
Frames were made of the newly discovered optyl, a light and durable plastic that’s still used by some brands. Nowadays, many vintage glasses have plastic frames made of acetate, which is also very hard-wearing.
Technological developments also allowed for the introduction of plastic lenses. These had many advantages over the original glass lenses, being less prone to breakage and much lighter, which made them more comfortable to wear.
The Color of ’70s-Style Glasses
Spectacle frame colors in the ’70s tended to be earthy and rich. Colors like amber brown, oatmeal, caramel, tortoiseshell, gold, beige, teak, black, and avocado ruled the fashion world — and glasses were designed to work with these colors.
To further tone with the color scheme, the lenses of vintage sunglasses were often tinted with amber or yellow. Tints with a gradient were also popular, graduating from dark at the top to light at the bottom. Light-responsive lenses were introduced too, getting darker with brighter light conditions.
Try These Retro or Vintage-Style Eyeglass Frames
Times have moved on but ’70s-style glasses are back in fashion. Try out one of these 70s-style options from Pair Eyewear:
Square or Rectangular Glasses or Sunglasses
It may not have been cool to be “square” in the ’70s, but ’70s glasses definitely took a square turn. Square and rectangular glasses were great news for those with oval or round faces looking for a complementary shape. And if your face is also oval-shaped or on the rounder side, they’re great news for you today too.
For a trendy, retro look, try out one of these square pairs combined with Top Frames to emulate the ’70s-style:
The Kirby: Pair them with the Merlot Tortoise
The Larkin: Try them with the Charlie Brown Plaid
The Finley: Top them with the Green Camo
The Casper: Complement them with the Floral Skulls
Round Sunglasses or Glasses
Round glasses have been worn by many famous people over the decades. In the ’70s, John Lennon was a strong influence on popular culture and his round glasses and sunnies were an iconic part of his look. If your face is more angular, they may work for you too.
If you like an intellectual look that subtly says “Deep thinker,” try out one of these round ’70s-style glasses:
The Soto, a classic style: Try it with Top Frames like the Tortoise
The Otis, which is our widest round frame: Add the Buffalo Plaid
The Reese, which is narrow and works best for more petite faces: Style it with the Sunflowers
The Twain, which is even narrower: Wear it with the Woodgrain
Ordering Your ’70s-Style Glasses
Start your Pair Eyewear order by selecting your Base Frame from our collection of men’s glasses, women’s glasses, or children’s glasses. You can use our Virtual Try-On feature to see how you look in the different styles and help you pick the right Base Frame color for you. Pair Eyewear Base Frames are made from tough cellulose acetate.
Once you’ve chosen your base, go ahead and select as many Top Frames as you want. If you like the color palette of ’70s-style glasses, select your Top Frames in more earthy colors. If you don’t fancy those colors though — or they don’t suit you — go ahead and choose something else that grabs you.
Then select your prescription, whether that’s non-prescription (if you’re purely using your glasses as a style item), single-vision, readers, or progressive lenses.
Next, decide whether you’d like to customize your lenses. For example, if you use your glasses for computer work or watch a lot of TV, it’s a good idea to add a blue-light filter to protect your eyes. Or if you spend a lot of time outdoors and don’t want to switch between your regular glasses and your ’70s-style sunglasses all the time, go with light-responsive lenses. And if you have a complex prescription, our Premium Plus ultra-thin and lightweight lenses are totally worth it.
All our lenses are made from impact-resistant polycarbonate. They’re also scratch-resistant and anti-reflective and come with UV protection baked in.
Then before you complete checkout, you might also like to add a glasses case or wall hanger to keep your new ’70s-style glasses safe when you’re not wearing them.
What to Wear With ’70s-Style Glasses
Go with a bold look that suits your ’70s-style eyewear. Try out a pair of flared jeans with a frilled blouse and feel free to add a denim or leather jacket to complete the look. Give a button-down skirt a go with platforms or knee-high boots. Or just stick with the perennial style of jeans and a T-shirt.
If you really want to go all out with a ’70s look, highlight your eyes with plenty of eyeliner, wear bold lipstick, and style your hair curled back at the sides.
Blend Function and Flair With Vintage Eyewear
’70s-style glasses were bold, fun, and designed to stand out from the crowd as accessories in their own right. Shapes for both regular glasses and sunglasses ranged from square to round and were often oversized. Earthy colors ruled the day and matched with the clothes of the time.
To choose your Pair of ’70s-style glasses, consider your face shape and choose a style that complements, rather than matches it. Add an outfit that screams the ’70s and you’ll be really far out, man.