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The Round Sunglasses Guide

Round sunglasses? Really? You might be thinking of unflattering, scholarly spectacles on an elderly professor. You may think that kind of frame isn't for you. Not so fast. There are many styles of rounded frames to fit every personality and style. After all, they are the OG glasses.

A History of Round Glasses

It's not easy to define when round lenses became popular, since they were the first lens shape ever. Round frames are the natural shape of glasses, designed to fit lenses as they come from the factory, which in turn are designed to best fit the shape of an eye.

Although round lenses started as a practical--and, well, the only--option, they grew in popularity as eyewear manufacturers began paying attention to the look as well as the functionality of glasses. Beginning in the '20s and peaking with the rise of Hollywood's first starlets, round frames were all the rage until the aviator eclipsed them in WWII.

One of the most iconic associations with round frames is John Lennon. He caused another wave of round-frame mania with his very small, perfectly round signature glasses and shades.

Since the '60s, the variety of rounded frames available has grown exponentially, making it easy for anyone looking for something a little different and classic to find a pair that perfectly suits their style.

Questions and Styling Advice

Still not sold on round sunglasses? Let's dive into the specifics and options available.

What round style sunglasses are currently trending?

Metal frames are having a big moment right now. They have a vintage, classic look and don't take up much visual space on your face. If you don't like big frames, metal is a great, lightweight option.

The Nevada is a bestseller for a reason. The frame feels retro, but the polarized, mirrored lenses keep it fresh. The top of the frame is flattened a bit, to flatter a wider range of face shapes. Speaking of...

What face shapes are best for round sunglasses?

Round frames are best suited to angular faces or deep set eyes. The rounded edges of your sunnies will soften that strong jawline or sharp cheekbone--again, think John Lennon with his thin, straight nose and high cheekbones. That's not to say that softer, rounder faces can't wear rounded frames, they can! Just avoid the perfectly round styles, and opt for something with a browline, like our Drew sunglasses:

Should you choose metal or plastic frames for round glasses?

Plastic frames are more suited to casual looks, and tend to be more durable for the beach or for travel. If you want the plastic frame color options and look, but with more durability, go for a polycarbonate frame, like the stylish Jay. As a bonus, polycarbonate frames are recyclable and better for the planet!

Metal frames look a little more polished, and will fit larger heads more easily (especially if they have flex hinges). Try the Bexley for a sophisticated, thoroughly modern take on the Lennon look.

What are round glasses called?

Rounded frames are labeled in several categories, including:

  • Vintage
  • Retro
  • John Lennon-inspired
  • Scholarly
  • Classic

Are sunglasses with polarized lenses better for your eyes?

Polarized lenses reduce glare from bright sun and flat surfaces, offering a clearer image and reducing eye fatigue over long periods outside. This can be great at the beach or when driving. The lens is coated in a special filter that blocks intense reflected light.

Polarized lenses are not the same thing as UV lenses, which protect your eyes from sun damage.

How much should you pay for polarized round sunglasses?

Quality sunglasses don't have to be (and shouldn't be) expensive. Yet you'll see high-end sunnies selling for upwards of $200! What's the difference?

For the most part, if you're paying more than $30 for a pair of polarized sunglasses, you're paying for branding. Even high-end glasses are still made from polycarbonate lenses, coated in the polarization filter, and framed in polycarbonate or metal. Is a logo worth that much?

The Bottom Line

Rounded sunglasses are a fashionable and practical way to find your signature look. With options to fit every personality and face shape, these unique-looking frames are making their way back into the spotlight. Will you be ahead of the curve? Which round frame style is your favorite?


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