Vintage style: catseye glasses

Unfortunately I am cursed with vision so poor that without contact lenses or glasses I’d trip over/walk into things even more than I do with them. Contact lenses are my faux-sight of choice, but glasses are fun for a change and when you’ve had enough of jabbing your finger in your eye (or if you manage to scratch your eyeball so badly you can’t wear lenses for a week – it happens.)

For me, it is just yet another excuse to spend a while browsing the many lovely things there are to buy online and throw a little period research into the mix as well.  I don’t care much for the quaint round-rimmed glasses of the 40s – a bit too Postman Pat for me – but I do find myself a fan of the winged styles of the 50s/60s.  There’s something enduringly feminine about the catseye frame and it’s also an incredibly easy way to make any outfit look ‘vintage.’

Grace Kelly in catseye glasses
Grace Kelly


Marilyn Monroe in catseye glasses
Marilyn Monroe (from How to Marry a Millionaire)

You’ve got two choices, as ever, for buying ‘vintage’ style frames – you buy the real deal, or you look for the modern (and often cheaper) alternative.  Here’s some of my favourites… (and most of these you can buy without prescription lenses, if you don’t need them)

It’s worth noting that some websites I mention below, like Lensway, offer the whole glasses buying package – they’ll put in your prescription (if you have one) and put special coatings on the lenses.  Others, like Jeepers Peepers, only offer non-prescription or reading glass strength lenses, so you’ll need to take them to an opticians and have your lenses put in, probably at a cost of around £40.

My top tip is if you’re nervous about buying online where you can’t try them, if you already own a pair of glasses that fit you well for the width across your face, on the bridge of your nose and for the arms length, measure these and use them as a guide on websites where they provide the frames’ measurement (Lensway do this well).


Classic Tortoise 1950s Cats Eye Spectacles, Dead Men’s Spex, £55
Klasik, 1960s black, £125


Jeepers Peepers Retro, Lucy black, £18
And my choice – the Love L748 from Lensway above…

Love L748 glasses tortoiseshell

I can see!  I like these frames as well because the slightly thicker plastic and rounded winged edges lend them a bit of a more modern look.  These were a present for my birthday yesterday – which is probably fitting, seeing as I’m now the wrong side of 25 and my eyes are only going to get worse from here…


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