Look for eyeglass and sunglass frames in extreme cat eye and oversized round shapes, colors that pop, studious styles, and hues with a lux look. Be prepared to switch things up a lot too. To really be on trend you’ll need a wardrobe of styles to suit your moods and outfits.
“This is the first time since the mid ‘60s that eyewear is leading rather than following (fashion) trends,” says James Spina, editor-in-chief and vice president of 20/20, an eyewear magazine. “That is a big change.”
“Glasses are being seen as an accessory in their own right,” adds Kristin Durante, a spokesperson for B. Robinson Optical/Legacie Accessories. Their brands include Cole Haan, Betsey Johnson, Cynthia Rowley, Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Leiber , Kata, and David Yurman.
“The same way you may have multiple handbags, shoes, and earrings, optical frames and sunglasses are being viewed as a complement to one’s outfit,” Durante notes. “There is no reason why you can’t wear a Wayfarer one day, geek chic frames the next, and then glam oversized round sunglasses the next.”
Whatever the style, the looks and technology for the new spring collections are being kicked up a notch. Even retro favorites that are continuing trends are getting fresh makeovers.
Spina thinks it’s important to see the big picture first when considering what glasses to buy this spring.
“Those narrow and shy styles of just a few years ago have given way to eyes-wide-open and ready to make an impact,” Spina says. “Dainty little styles are finally a thing of the wimpy past.”
Also big on the list of what’s new for spring is color.
Levison says 2013 will be the year of color for women and that will help take retro fashions and geek chic to the next level. “They’ll stand out through color and shape,” she adds.
There will be fewer pastels and more bright and tropical hues like coral, bright orange and jade mint; and fun looks including Gerber daisies and butterfly shapes. Olive green and ink blue will become the new black. The smaller round glasses that were popular in the Roaring ‘20s will grab new attention with frames made of wood and thick plastic.
“To give a retro look a more modern spin we also experiment with a contemporary color palette,” Durante says.
Tortoise styles are coming out of their shells, Spina adds. “The hottest color trend is the transformation of typical brown and black tortoise into a virtual rainbow range of tortoise tones in red, yellow, green and blue,” he says. “It makes for a marble tone that is both skin and fashion friendly.”
Something else new for spring is a wider variety of patterns. “You’re going to start seeing more bold patterns, like comic book print, as an overlay on glasses,” Levison notes. “Designers are taking a cue from the world of sunglasses and making their eyeglasses bolder through contrasting patterns, deep etching and varied textures.”
While simple metal frames will still be around, more modern styles will feature a mix of metal and plastic.
Architectural details, minimalist styles, clear and crystalline looks, two-tones, fades, creams and nudes will also give a different vibe to some eyewear.
Advanced technology includes the screwless hinge. A magnet is used in the temple construction instead of screws, making adjustments easier and allowing for a more comfortable fit.