Get the Look: Cary Grant’s Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

cary grant featured in sunnies

Cary Grant’s timeless, impeccable style is simply one for the books.

Handsome, suave, and oozing with old Hollywood charm, Grant was a definitive leading man from the 1930s until the mid-1960s. His career, which spans over four decades, is a testament to his captivating screen presence and versatility as an actor. 

In over 70 films, Grant was a romantic interest for women and a debonair role model for men. Among the most iconic of those films is North by Northwest, where Grant plays Roger Thornhill, a businessman who gets caught up in espionage due to a case of mistaken identity. Roger wears a striking pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses to keep his identity hidden when he’s out and about. 

And we have the exact same pair of glasses for you in Classic Specs’ Webster.

Cary Grant in North by Northwest

Where Can I Get Cary Grant’s Glasses?

You can get Grant’s iconic tortoiseshell sunglasses from Classic Specs in Webster

Tortoiseshell is a classic, timeless pattern for glasses. Featuring a unique mosaic of brown and beige colors, the pattern mimics the appearance of a real tortoiseshell, hence the name. In fact, up until 1973, tortoiseshell glasses were made from real tortoiseshells. The practice has since been outlawed.

Today, tortoiseshell glasses are made from high-quality stained acetates. Our very own Webster glasses are made with one-of-a-kind Italian Mazzucchelli cellulose acetate and hand-polished to a glossy finish.

Get Webster in Havana Tortoise to emulate Cary Grant’s simple, sophisticated, and timeless look. For a modern twist, you can also get it in Crystal, Blue Gradient, Meadow Crystal, and Dove Grey.

Webster is available in single-vision and progressive prescriptions for correcting single-vision problems (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) and presbyopia, respectively.

What Glasses Did Cary Grant Wear?

Cary Grant wore several other glasses throughout his career, and we have the perfect match for many of them.

Here are other Classic Specs glasses in styles Grant wore on-screen:

1. Amherst

Amherst is a bold, round frame made with one-of-a-kind Italian Mazzucchelli cellulose acetate. Simple yet stylish, Amherst is a sophisticated choice for both men and women. Choose from three colors: Havana Tortoise, Meadow Crystal, and Olive Streak.

Cary Grant in The Grass Is Greener, wearing black frames that inspired the Amherst

2. Ashford

Our Ashford frame is a larger, sleeker version of Amherst, featuring thinner rims and stems. A universally flattering square frame, Ashford is designed to suit round, heart, and oval face shapes. Ashford is available in Matte Black, Tokyo Tortoise, and Whiskey Crystal.

Cary Grant in Indiscreet, wearing frames similar to the Ashford

3. Sutton

Sutton is a classic, square frame that helps add balance to the soft features of round, heart, and oval faces, while giving the illusion that the face is longer and slimmer. Choose from five colors: Black Crystal, Havana Tortoise, Smoulder, Olive Streak, and Brandy Tortoise.

Cary Grant poses for promotional material used on postcards with frames bearing a resemblance to the Sutton

What Face Shape Suits Webster Sunglasses?

Webster sunglasses suit round, oval, and square face types, thanks to their universally flattering round frame.

Do Tortoiseshell Sunglasses Look Good on Everyone?

Yes. The tortoiseshell pattern is a classic design that will never go out of style. It’s a flattering option for both men and women, and it will suit virtually any face shape and skin tone.

Classic Specs Tips for Wearing Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

Here at Classic Specs, we love a good tortoiseshell design. We have lots of frames available in the original tortoise color, so if you like this pattern, you’re sure to find a pair of glasses that will suit your style.

On that note, here are five tips for wearing tortoiseshell glasses:

  • Go for a different color variation. Variations on the original tortoise color, like navy, honey, and green tortoise, add a fresh vibe to a classic pattern.
  • Choose a flattering frame. Your face shape will help you determine which frames suit you best. Luckily, most glasses today are available in tortoiseshell, so you’re sure to find tortoiseshell glasses in a frame that enhances your features.
  • Ditch the makeup. If you wear makeup, you might want to apply it with a light hand or ditch it altogether when you’re wearing tortoiseshell glasses. The pattern’s beautiful mix of colors will help your eyes stand out and instantly brighten your skin tone.
  • Dress simply. Tortoiseshell glasses are already eye-catching by themselves. To help them stand out further, keep your outfit simple but stylish with staple pieces like a fresh, crisp shirt, a beige trench, and light-wash jeans.
  • Go vintage. Alternatively, you could lean into the retro-vintage aesthetic of tortoiseshell glasses with garments like dress shirts, high-waisted bottoms, and cinched dresses.
Why was Cary Grant so popular?

Cary Grant’s popularity can be attributed to his skill in acting, the types of roles he chose, and the lucky breaks he enjoyed in his career along the way. He played in over 40 on-screen roles, often as playful and debonair characters. To avoid a slump in his career, he landed roles in several Alfred Hitchcock films, which further extended his career. In private life, he was known to be a person with natural charm, sincerity, and a fuss-free attitude, which likely further enhanced his appeal.

How does one dress like Cary Grant?

He focused on well-fitting clothes over high-end labels. He spoke publicly about dressing to impress but without pretension, extolling the virtues of off-the-rack American clothing brands. However, it’s been speculated he did invest much of his wardrobe in custom-made clothing. His style can be described as simple, but elegant. He was consistent in his style, both in movies and in his personal life.

Why Choose Classic Specs?

High-end glasses typically demand higher prices. Many designer brands sell their frames well beyond the $1,000 price point when lenses and add-ons are included. Superior materials and construction account for some of this price premium, including Italian acetate and features like premium barrel hinges and branded engraving.

Classic Specs boasts timeless designs that many high-profile personalities prefer. Our frames are made of high-quality Italian acetate sourced from a family-owned northern Italy factory, featuring high-end construction and branded engraving for a timeless style. These aspects rival other brands, the main difference being the price: Classic Specs frames and lenses can often be purchased for under $500. In addition, we offer a virtual try-on and an online vision test, so the process from start to finish is hassle-free (factors that celebs tend to prefer).

About Classic Specs

Classic Specs is known for its contemporary eyewear inspired by its designers’ favorite retro silhouettes. Born in Brooklyn, New York, the brand seeks to revive classic designs from every decade to create unique and iconic pieces for discerning consumers. Their frames feature high-quality craftsmanship with reinforced, stainless-steel hinges. Sourced from the famous six-generation Mazzucchelli family factory in northern Italy, Classic Specs frames are made of premium hypoallergenic cellulose acetate in unique, eye-catching chromotypes. 

Many lens options are available for reading glasses, distance, progressive, sunglasses, or fashion frames.