Retro-Chic Reading Glasses Style Guide

Love that retro look but having trouble finding readers that match it? We put together a list with some of our most popular styles that help you look groovy.


The ‘60s and ‘70s were a time where fashion felt distinctly American. The world’s largest economy supported a growing middle class, eager to enjoy their good fortune. This gave designers the freedom to express themselves in bold, unconventional ways.

In fashion, everything old becomes new again. The ‘60s and ‘70s are the decades some of today’s most popular films and TV shows are set in, and this retro American style is popular once more, especially in eyewear. Reading glasses might help you see, but they can also be a defining accessory to your wardrobe. When you speak with someone, they look you in the eyes, making your choice in specs impossible to miss.

One of the reasons this era is so popular in fashion is that it embraced the ideals of personal expression and individuality. You didn’t pick what you wore to fit in; you picked an outfit that helped you stand out. Despite this, most options aligned with a few general trends, including:

  • Bright Colors: Modern dyes and chemicals allowed plastics and fabrics to come in shades that were impossible to achieve only a few decades earlier.
  • Exaggerated Patterns: The new dyes also allowed designers to put contrasting colors together cheaply, something they chose to show off using oversized hatches, floral prints, or sharply-angled lines.
  • New Materials: New technology also meant new materials to work with, including durable plastic that became popular in women's eyeglasses during the era. This lightweight frame allowed for fresh, bold designs.

Finding a pair of reading glasses to match your retro-style will help you complete your look. We pulled together some of our most popular frames that feel like they’re from this brighter, bolder era.

Cat’s Eye Chic

You don’t have to wear your hair in a beehive to appreciate the look of cat’s eye readers. These specs get their name from the distinctive lenses, the bold frames are sure to help you make a statement. Popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, the style was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and other celebrities. Get this retro look in a variety of colors from some of today’s hottest designers.

The Librarian

Librarians are smart, sarcastic, and well-read. Unsurprisingly, reading glasses tend to be a staple whenever a librarian is portrayed in television or film. To get the Librarian look, you want to find a pair of specs that have bold frames.

One of the most popular styles that works is the single-vision half-frame, which also allows you to glance up and focus on something in the distance (like a noisy student), without having to take your glasses off.

Hollywood-Inspired Reading Sunglasses

Every woman deserves her weekend in the sun, and what better way to enjoy it than with a pair of retro-inspired reading sunglasses? Oversized lenses and bright, colorful frames take their fashion cues from hollywood when actresses donned them to hide from the flash of a paparazzi camera.

Available from some of today’s top designers, these chic frames are perfect for the red carpet, or an afternoon spent reading by the pool.

We Make Finding Fashionable Frames Worry-Free

Finding the right pair of reading glasses comes down to more than just something that looks good — it’s about what feels right when you wear them. If you didn’t find something that fits the look you’re going for, be sure to check out our entire collection.

At, we want you to love the lenses you wear, which is why we back every purchase with our 30-day guarantee. When you order something from our website, you can try it risk-free in your home for a month. If you don’t love them, send them back. Not only will we refund your money, but we’ll even cover shipping.