History of Vintage Cat Eye Glasses

Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by amy

Cat eye eyeglasses have recently emerged as being one of the most popular styles of vintage eyeglasses, but they have a long history and have undergone several design changes since they were first popular way back in the 1950s. They were popular during the 1950s and 1960s as a feminine style that was considered to be graceful and glamorous at the same time. During the 1950s and 1960s it was also a cultural trend shift toward accepting people who wore glasses, as they were considered more of a necessity rather than something that needed to be mocked due to their adoption by celebrities and the new styles that became available. As a result there were style trends that started to emerge, one of which was the cat eye style.

Cat eye glasses gave a sophisticated look
Cat eye glasses were popular amongst women of many different ages during the 1950s because they gave a very feminine and sophisticated look that other styles of vintage eyeglasses really didn’t match. They were a very pronounced style due to the raised edges that gave the appearance of “cat eyes.” Technology had advanced enough so that the glasses not only looked good but they were practical for women; they wore them both as a fashion statement and for vision correction. Although vintage cat eye glasses initially only had very few variations, the variations started to increase in the 1960s as technology and production improved.

Elongated lenses were available
Elongated cat eye lenses became available that featured unique designs and a more pronounced look. Essentially the upper rim of both sides of the eyeglasses was extended due to production technology that allowed for longer lenses, and this area was an opportunity to add in new design features like etchings, ornaments, and other decorations. Some variations featured gold leaves, unique patterns, and other alternations, and soon there were perhaps thousands of different variations of cat eye vintage eyeglasses available for purchase. Companies set to create more unique cat eye vintage eyeglasses that they could own as a particular brand, and so the number of styles rapidly started to increase during the 1960s.

In later decades fashion companies started to offer their own variations
In the 1970s and 1980s, fashion companies started to offer their own variations of cat eye eyeglasses that were uniquely designed for the preferred style that they wanted to sell. For example, some variations had insets with rhinestones or glitter to create a faux diamond effect. Other variations had sculptures of flowers, fruit, grapes, leaves or other types of mini sculptures molded directly on the rims. The adding of “brows” to the eyeglasses was another similar type of sculpture addition that became popular in later decades. In general, cat eye vintage eyeglasses never really went completely out of style as there were always some groups that wore them more commonly than others, however in recent years there have been a lot more women wearing them as several companies have started selling vintage cat eye glasses in new configurations along with some of the more traditional ones.