i-dealoptics’ Style No. R750 in its Reflection Women’s collection updates vintage eyewear with three-dimensional etching.

The ever-popular vintage eyewear has two trends—sticking to the initial styling and making it more modern.

Vintage eye- and sunwear are big right now. These styles are easy to spot with the look of yesteryear, yet lately, this trend has split into two distinct directions. Some try to stay as close to the original look as possible while others have updated the vintage look in some way.

The combination style of vintage eyewear is one of the most recognizable. Dark and bold top rims with matching temples and a thin eyewire beneath are the signatures of yesteryear. Malcolm X, a man well known as an advocate for the civil rights of African-Americans, wore this familiar style.

A great example of this frame for today’s world is Style No. MG118 within the Mario Galbatti Collection by Best Image Optical, Inc. This newly released model not only represents yesteryear’s styling, it offers the perfect balance between luxury and casual.

Another recognizable style is the popular plastic square/rectangle in traditional tortoiseshell color that dates back to the ‘30s and ‘40s and worn by the young and not so young. Style No. DG17 in the Danny Gokey Eyewear Collection by Match Eyewear is a large, geometric-shaped frame. The library-type temples complete the vintage look and feel.

The library-type temples complete the vintage look and feel on Match’s Danny Gokey Style No. DG-17.

By modifying a vintage shape ever so slightly, the result morphs into its own look. I love this trend because it adds a new vintage look that can be sexy and fluid, angular and bold. Anne Klein Style No. AK7006 by Altair Eyewear is a vintage-inspired sunglass that took the original cat-eye shape and gave it fullness and delicate curvatures which mirror a female silhouette.


One of today’s popular manufacturing techniques is three-dimensional etching. This subtle yet interesting engraving technique helps to carve out a unique look for today’s high-fashion styles, and of course, for updating vintage eyewear. Style No. R-750 in i-dealoptics’ Reflections Women’s Collection depicts this trend perfectly. This modified cat-eyed frame adds etched details on the frame front for a fashion-forward look. The implanted rhinestone embellishments offer another vintage dimension.

Adding opaque color to translucent frames like Marc by Marc Jacobs Style No. MMJ561from Safilo makes them unique.

The latest trend in vintage eyewear is translucent frames with opaque color carefully added. Whether the colors are bold, playful, or conservative, it is how the colors are added that makes the look unique. Unisex Style No. MMJ561 in the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection by Safilo USA is so cool with its rectangular front and chunkier bridge. The inside of the clear temples features a fluorescent opaque color and comes in crazy color additions like orange, green, blue, pink, purple, and red.

FYSH Style No. F-3496 in the FYSH UK collection by WestGroupe adds patterns that motivate the wearer.

I have recently noticed colorful patterns emerging in plastic vintage eyewear that enhances the look for today’s wearer.

Inspired by the beauty and freedom of the sea, the FYSH Style No. F-3496 in the FYSH UK collection by WestGroupe adds patterns that motivate the wearer. This feminine model comes in a neutral color and places the design on the upper corner of the frame front and continues through the temples. This combination of translucence and pattern symbolizes the choice to take your passion from within and apply it to everything you do.

In the 21st century, what’s old is new again…and sometimes with an added twist.

Jackie O’Keefe is a licensed optician and a writer, lecturer, and course preparer in the Virginia Beach, VA, area.


Altair Eyewear
800-505-5557 •

Best Image Optical
800-688-7661 •

800-758-6249 •

Match Eyewear
877-88-MATCH •

Safilo USA
800-631-1188 •


800-361-6220 •


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