Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Josh Wilkerson
The ‘90s was a decade of bold fashion statements, and glasses were no exception.
From small, round frames to oversized glasses, eyewear was an essential accessory for both men and women during this time.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular ‘90s glasses trends and explore how they’ve made a comeback in recent years.
What Styles of Glasses Were Popular in the 90s?
1. Small, Round Frames
Small, round frames were a staple of ‘90s eyewear. These frames were often made of metal and came in a variety of colors, including black, silver, and gold. They were popularized by musicians like John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne and were often paired with grunge-inspired outfits.
Small, round frames were also a favorite among Hollywood A-listers like Brad Pitt and his former girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow. Back in the ‘90s, the two often wore coordinating outfits — accessories included.
If you want to take a page from their style book and try small, round frames, you won’t go wrong with Fritz from Classic Specs.
2. Oversized Glasses
On the other end of the spectrum were oversized glasses — another popular eyewear trend in the ‘90s. These frames were often made of thick plastic and came in a variety of shapes, including square, rectangular, and circular.
Oversized glasses were popularized by celebrities, most notably Drew Barrymore. From her early days in the spotlight, Drew was often seen in casual, comfortable outfits that reflected her free-spirited nature and marked her fashion style in the ‘90s.
Thierry Mugler’s Spring Couture 1997 collection also helped elevate oversized glasses to elite status. The collection, which showcased the decade’s glam and goth sensibilities, gave us oversized black frames that characterized the term “bug-eyed.”
If you’re a fan of oversized sunnies, you’ll like Darcey from Classic Specs.
3. Thin Metal Frames
Thin metal frames were a popular choice for those who wanted a more understated look. These frames were often gold or silver and had a minimalist design. They were popularized by celebrities like Jeff Goldblum and notable figures like Steve Jobs, who, as then-CEO of Apple, often paired his specs with business attire or casual wear.
If you prefer something similar but with a modern twist, we have just the style for you: Lindsey in Silver.
A sleek pair of glasses with delicate thin metal frames, Lindsey is designed to fit round, oval, and square face types. It is crafted with precision and an eye for modern aesthetics, offering an effortless blend of comfort and style. The understated elegance of the metallic finish complements any outfit, not just business casual.
4. Tinted Lenses
The 1990s were a vibrant era in fashion, full of daring trends and bold statements. One of the most memorable of these was undoubtedly tinted glasses.
Tinted glasses, in a kaleidoscope of colors, were all the rage, adding an unexpected twist to the fashion narrative of the time. They brought an element of fun and playfulness to the wearer’s style. The colors ranged from soft pastels to vibrant, rich hues, and they allowed wearers to see the world through rose, or blue, or purple-tinted lenses — quite literally!
In the ‘90s, tinted glasses were often paired with small, round frames and were popularized by musicians like Elton John, Kurt Cobain, and Britney Spears.
If you want to add a pop of color to your outfit, try Burnside from Classic Specs. Burnside will suit any face type and is available with emerald polarized lenses. It features durable stainless steel hinges, anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings, and 99.99% UVA/UVB protection. Burnside is available in three colorways: Silver, Soft Brushed Gold, and Brushed Rose Gold.
5. Rimless Glasses
Rimless glasses aren’t for everyone, but they were all the rage in the ‘90s for many reasons. This was a decade marked by minimalism and a departure from the flashier, more vibrant styles of the ‘80s, and rimless glasses fit perfectly into this aesthetic shift.
Rimless glasses had no frame around the lenses, appearing almost invisible. This made them a popular choice among those who wanted a more subtle look. Friends star Jennifer Aniston was one of the many celebrities who accessorized with rimless glasses both on- and off-screen.
If you like your glasses looking clean and minimalist, try Knox from Classic Specs. These rimless glasses will suit any face type, and the lenses come with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings.
The re-emergence of cat-eye glasses in the 1990s marked a distinct nod to retro fashion, specifically the 1950s and 1960s when they initially rose to popularity.
This decade, known for its eclectic mix of styles and love for vintage revivals, saw the cat eye silhouette reimagined with a modern twist. Paired with either a minimalist outfit or a grunge look, these glasses added a chic and distinctive touch to any ensemble.
Julia Roberts was one of the most notable celebrities to have popularized cat-eye glasses in the late ‘90s.
In the movie “Notting Hill” (1999), she played Anna Scott, a famous American actress who fell in love with an English bookseller played by Hugh Grant. As part of her character’s chic style, she wore cat-eye glasses, which accentuated her features and gave her an air of elegance.
Want to add a touch of vintage-inspired charm to your everyday look? Try Sedgwick from Classic Specs!
The Resurgence of 90s Glasses Trends
In recent years, ‘90s glasses trends have made a comeback.
Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid have been spotted wearing small, round frames and oversized glasses, while fashion designers have incorporated rimless glasses and thin metal frames into their collections.
Social media has played a significant role in the resurgence of these trends, with influencers and fashion bloggers sharing photos of their favorite ‘90s-inspired looks.
‘90s glasses trends were a defining feature of the decade’s fashion scene. From small, round frames to oversized glasses, these trends were popularized by celebrities and embraced by fashion enthusiasts.
Today, these trends continue to inspire designers and fashion lovers alike, proving that the enduring appeal of ‘90s eyewear is here to stay.
Love the styles featured here? Check out Classic Specs for more!