Style Guide: Round Glasses

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Originally designed for use on U.S. Navy submarines, round metal frames became a military staple during WWII. The circular shape and slim frame made it easy to fit all types of prescription lenses and as an added benefit, the frames remained functional under helmets and gas masks.

Known as an era filled with post-war optimism, the late 1940’s and 50’s will always be remembered for its groundbreaking and modern approach to fashion, automotive design and architecture. 

It was during this time that round acetate glasses came to prominence. James Dean helped popularise them in the same way he made white t-shirts and denim jackets a sign of youthful rebellion. Actors like Grace Kelly and Gregory Peck brought them further attention, and by the end of the 1950’s round glasses had become an icon of modern style. 

Over the next six decades, the P3 shape (named so because of a 3mm difference in lens height and width) was adopted by artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat through to actors like Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley.

Inspired by mid-century and vintage design, our optical and sunglass collections have many examples of this classic round shape. Some of our favourites are featured below, and you can find more of our round style guide collection here.

The Joyce is available in two sizes and a wide variety of colours.
The Yeats is perfect for those with small to medium sized faces.
The Markova pairs a slim acetate frame with polished metal temples. 

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