Trend Alert: Classic Tortoiseshell Frames Are STILL In

woman wearing tortoiseshell glasses

The Latest Eyeglass Fashion Trend

Classic tortoiseshell frames are back! Okay, maybe they never actually left…Tortoiseshell is the one look in eyeglass frames that has been around since the beginning. Tortoiseshell is one of the original materials from which eyeglass frames were made.

Why was it called tortoiseshell? That’s an easy one. Until the early seventies, tortoiseshell was really made from tortoise shells! A process was used to treat the actual shell of a hawksbill turtle. They’d hunt for the shells and then process them for use in eyeglasses and other accessories. This is how most of the mid-century eyeglass looks—like the horn-rimmed eyeglass look—were created.

Nowadays, tortoiseshell is made from colored plastics and acetate. Can you tell the difference? Not really. The blends of brown and amber speckles still look gorgeous in an eyeglass frame. The best news is that you can capture that 1950s vintage style without endangering any animal species.

The NEW Classic Tortoiseshell

Some of the newer tortoise shell frames combine a contrasting color—like bright turquoise or pink–on the inside for a fresh pop of style. Others have straight vintage appeal, mimicking the classic horn-rimmed and Wayfarer™ styles. From cat-eye shapes and over-sized round frames, to classic-looking square frames, tortoiseshell is one of the most versatile looks out there today.

Though it’s never fully gone out of style, tortoiseshell is definitely “in.” Some are saying that tortoiseshell is the new black! That’s how hip it’s going to be this season. If you’ve grown weary of the black eyeglass ‘geek chic’ look, move on to the next hipster trend: tortoiseshell.

Personally, I gravitate towards the classic tortoiseshell look. Black frames just never look good with my skin tone. Thankfully, tortoiseshell is a different story!

I prefer the medium shade of tortoiseshell – a combination of coffee brown hues, amber and honey tones. Dark tortoise is a hot look, too though! Blonde or light tortoiseshell looks gorgeous on warmer skin tones. If you decide on a tortoiseshell frame, know you still have a lot of color options. The variety of shades and nuance to the patterns in today’s tortoise shell eyeglass frames is extraordinary!

Have you tried classic tortoiseshell yet? Don’t miss out on this trend. Head to your closest Eyeglass World and find a pair of tortoise shell frames that you love. Here’s my favorite from Christian Siriano called Gigi:

Christian Siriano Gigi Women's Eyeglasses