’80s-Style Glasses: A Fashion Trend Here to Stay

The ’80s were iconic in so many ways. Big hair, big shoulders, big music, and big ’80s-style glasses. Several decades later, those retro-style glasses are back in fashion — and they may just work for you.

Let’s explore some of the features of old-school, ’80s-style glasses so you know what you’re looking for. Then we’ll share where to get ’80s eyeglass frames so you can rock your retro inspiration right now.

What Was Trending in the ’80s?

The ’80s was a decade of consumerism — some might say excess — and it was all about showing off what you had, from cars and houses to jewelry. Clothes were big and loose — remember high-waisted jeans, unisex oversized sweatshirts and blazers, and bubble skirts? Colors were bright, patterns were bold, and neon featured heavily. The music ranged from soft rock and pop to punk, hip-hop, and heavy metal, and Michael Jackson, U2, and Guns N’ Roses ruled.

Many of the fashion trends were set by celebrities like movie stars and rappers. For example, Bruce Willis set a suave tone with his semi-rimless, browline glasses in “Moonlighting.” Tom Cruise boosted sales of Wayfarers and aviator frame sunglasses simply by wearing them in “Risky Business” and “Top Gun,” respectively. And Madonna rocked chunky frames and started a trend that never stopped.

In keeping with the style of the decade, gold frames and white-frame sunglasses were popular. Mirror glasses and oversized frames blended vintage-style form with functionality, protecting many a famous person from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

’80s-Style Retro Eyeglasses

80s style glasses: eyeglasses with glitter

If you want to emulate some ’80s-style vintage eyeglasses, look no further than Pair Eyewear. Recreate the look and add a modern twist by pairing a classic ’80s shape with an ’80s-inspired Top Frame. Here are some options you can try on for size.

Round ’80s-Style Glasses

Even though John Lennon died right at the beginning of the decade, his influence lived on, not least through his famous round glasses. While his specs had metal frames, you can achieve that gentle, intellectual look with any round-shaped glasses. Mimic an ’80s tint — not to mention protection from the sun — with light-responsive lenses that darken as you move outside.

Round glasses look good with sharper, more angular faces, adding some softness that balances your features. They also complement oval or heart-shaped faces.

One of these round glasses may work for you:

Cat-Eye Retro Glasses

Cat-eye glasses are incredibly versatile. They’ve successfully made it through several decades and were very popular in the ’80s too.

Turn your normal ’80s-style cat-eyes into sunnies by adding a pair of Sun Tops. Or, if you’re looking for vintage sunglasses, start from the Sunglasses page as you design your pair of cat-eyes. Pair sunglasses and Sun Tops are 100% UVA and UVB resistant, giving your eyes excellent protection.

Cat-eyes look good on just about anyone, whether your face is round, oval, square, or heart-shaped.

Give one of these a go:

Vintage ’80s Nerd Glasses

Get that nerdy, geek look with a pair of chunky square or rectangular glasses that highlight your eyes. You can choose a standard size or go oversized in true ’80s style.

Tortoiseshell or black frames would be traditional for the nerdy look, but if you want to live a little louder choose a bright color like pink or turquoise.

Square and rectangular glasses look good with rounder faces, adding some structure and contrast.

How to Style ’80s Glasses and ’80s Sunglasses

Woman pouting her lips while holding her glasses

You can wear ’80s-style glasses with just about anything, but they go best with clothes that help you stand out — think ’80s fashion. Kick out your inner shrinking violet and get adventurous.

Relive the ’80s with a power suit, a dress with shoulder pads, or a miniskirt. Or go with skinny, acid-washed jeans and an oversized shirt, or a denim or leather jacket. Bring back the animal print or choose bold, geometrical designs — and don’t forget your big earrings!

How to Order Your ’80s-Style Glasses

Whether you’re looking for reading glasses, progressive lenses, or retro sunglasses, you’re likely to find your ideal ’80s-style glasses at Pair Eyewear.

Pair Eyewear frames are made of cellulose acetate, while the lenses are made of impact-resistant polycarbonate. Both these materials are extremely tough so your eyeglasses will last you a while — just like well-made ’80s-style glasses.

Whether you’re looking for women’s glasses or men’s — or even kids’, if you have a trendy teenager — start by selecting the Base Frame of your choice. Use our Virtual Try-On feature to explore which option works best for you. Then browse through the Top Frames to find one that suits your personality and your vintage eyewear look.

Select your lens type, whether that’s non-prescription — purely as a style choice — or single-vision, progressives, or readers.

Be sure to add any extra features you’d like before you check out. For example, if you work a lot on your computer, you may want to add a blue-light filter to protect your eyes from harmful rays. You could also stick with clear lenses or go with light-responsive ones that will take you from inside to outside, without having to change your glasses.

You can choose to add your prescription immediately, upload it later, or ask us to contact your eye doctor to get it for you.

Finally, if you have more than one frame, you might like to add a Top Frame Case to your cart, or a Wall Hanger to display them all.

’80s Eyewear Is Right Up to Date

Green eyeglasses

Vintage frames made a splash the first time around and now they’re back in style again. If you’re not afraid to stand out, go big with round glasses, chunky frames, cat-eyes, or nerdy ’80s-style glasses that evoke a decade we’ll never forget.

Choose your ’80s-style glasses from Pair Eyewear and wear them with clothes that speak for themselves. You’ll never blend into the background again.