A huge vintage and hipster revival is taking place right now, and you seriously can’t miss out on it: we’re talking about the timeless tortoise shell glasses!
With their classic mottled yellow, honey, brown and black tinged look, these beautiful frames are back in full force. And here’s how you can get your hands on the best tortoise fashion styles for your own eyewear wardrobe!
Find out what are the best tortoise shell glasses that fit your style and improve your look with these beautiful horn-rimmed timeless frames for men and women!
What are Tortoise Shell Glasses?
Tortoise shell glasses, also known as “horn-rimmed glasses“, are frames that mimic the look of real turtles and have a speckled look. The distinctive pattern has mottled yellow, honey and brown shell spots, very similar to how certain turtles look like.
Compared to block black or any other solid colour frame, tortoise shell frames are much softer on the face and will complement your complexion better.
A bit of authentic Tortoise Shell Glasses History
One fact about tortoise-shell glasses will keep you up at night: the tortoise-shell pattern used to be specific to retro glasses and vintage jewelry or ornaments that were made (very sadly, and quite shockingly) out of the shell of real hawksbill turtles.
This way of making eyeglasses and other objects would be considered highly unethical today.
Authentic tortoise shell eyewear is actually specific to the vintage 50’s style, but the unethical animal-made versions first appeared on the eyewear market in the early 20’s.
It wasn’t until the 50’s when they really took off, thanks to the world famous Ray Ban aviators. The practice of using real turtles for making accessories was banned in 1970.
What are modern Tortoise-Shell glasses made of?
Thankfully to modern tech advances in the plastic manufacturing industry, you are now able to get the very same tortoise shell look without the worry of a single living being.
The most common material to represent the much-coveted tortoise shell patterned look is acetate, so you can feel easy knowing that no turtle has been hurt in making your beloved specs!
Instead of forking out over $4,000 for a pair of genuine tortoise shell glasses, you can easily pick up a high quality “faux” pair for a fraction of the cost. Vint & York designs tortoise shell eyeglasses and sunglasses out of high-quality acetate in different finishes, at just little over $100.
Are Tortoise Shell Frames back in style?
For many years, black has been the “it” color for eyewear, but tortoise shell has taken over and we can safely tell you they are the new black.
Just have a look at Anne Hathaway – this nerdy-chic Oscar winner celebrity wears our Fly Boy frame in tortoise shell while out in New York.
Why choose Horn-Rimmed glasses?
Other than being chic and great for achieving that hipster-geeky look everybody wants, tortoise shell glasses are a very versatile accessory to wear.
The great thing about this style is that it can go with any outfit, whether you’re going casual, preppy or dressing up for a club or date night. It’s subtle and an easy color to incorporate into any look.
If you’re going for a casual look, wear your tortoise shell glasses with a pair of jeans of your choice – it doesn’t matter if they’re a pair of skinnies, a pair of boyfriend jeans, or a pair of straight legged jeans.
Because there’s quite a bit of detailing in tortoise shell eyewear, a basic outfit will look best with frames in this pattern. They really pop and stand out with black clothes.
If you want to dress up and hit a party, go for solid colors. Modern tortoise shell glasses come in various shades of brown, caramel, olive and purple.
It doesn’t even matter whether you wear tortoise shell eyewear, jewelry or other accessories; it’s safe to say that this pattern is timeless, and will work with everything you got in your wardrobe.
Tortoise Shell Sunglasses Styles
Tortoiseshell spectacles are really cool and a lot of fashion blogger have adopted the style, whether it’s in aviator form or oversized.
Round Tortoise Shell Sunglasses
Oversized Tortoise Shell Sunglasses
Cat-Eye Tortoise Shell Sunglasses
Aviator Tortoise Shell Sunglasses
What Tortoise Shell Eyeglasses Styles to choose?
The style evolved from classic browline in warm browns, to cat eye shaped in colorful models. Here are a couple of the most popular ones:
Square Tortoise Shell Eyeglasses
Round tortoise shell Eyeglasses
Cat Eye Tortoise Shell Eyeglasses
Who said that tortoise shell had to be the traditional mix of brown and black? You can now choose multi-toned colored frames to showcase your creative ingenuity.
Can men also wear Tortoise Shell glasses?
Tortoise shell glasses suit anybody, either it’s guys or ladies.
However, there are so many fashion conscious men out there who love the style but are unsure of whether the look is right for them or not. When it comes to men wearing this frame style, there is still an unanswered “taboo” question: can they wear tortoise?
Ladies have long worn them, and admittedly, the style is very popular amongst them.
However, horn-rimmed is simply a pattern; what makes frames masculine or feminine remains in their look and how you wear them. So, don’t hold back your tortoise shell glasses just yet!
What everyone should know about the tortoise shell style is that it’s completely unisex. The pattern looks flattering on both men and women.
If you want to go with a more subtle look that’s not full on tortoise shell, try a semi rimless, browline type of frames, like Astor (the one above). The tortoise browline will complement your skin tone and eyes, all while not taking all the attention on the pattern.
What Celebrities wear tortoise shell frames?
And if you really want confirmation that tortoise shell is trending with men, just take a look at what the celebrities are wearing. Famous men, from both our past and current days, wore tortoise shell frames in different styles.
JFK and James Dean once wore them, and nowadays, Bruno Mars, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon (to name just a few) are sporting the vintage inspired tortoise shell frames.
Many other celebrities also jumped on the tortoise shell frame bandwagon.
Hollywood sweetheart, Ryan Gosling is kind of an icon of tortoise shell specs. He was seen sporting them so many times that they’re quite a signature look for him.
Let’s not forget acting legend Johnny Depp and Steve Carell who are famous for their tortoise shell eyewear look both on and off the Red Carpet.
How to pick Your New Tortoise Shell Frames
Tortoise shell frames aren’t one-size fits all, and like with any pair of glasses, you’ve got to think about your skin tone and the frames’ colors.
If you’re slightly new to tortoise shell eyeglasses, go for a thin, light tortoise shell eyeglasses. They look amazing against black, blonde or red hair.
The true secret is to match their color to your skin tone. The brown-honey tones go really well with blue eyes. Those with a lighter complexion, go for classic brown tortoise shell frames, as they will look great for you.
If you have a darker complexion, choose colored tortoise shell frames. Vint & York’s Stellar frames in red tortoise shell frames are fun and will certainly set you apart from the rest.
Tortoise shell also looks great with pale pink, royal blue, mustard, and cream.
In order to find the perfect frames for your face and style, you’ll have to try on a number of different tortoise shell frames, and the great thing is that tortoise shell eyeglasses don’t have, so there’s no excuse for not looking amazing!
Choose: Classic or Modern?
For true vintage inspired fashion look, go for a pair of classic tortoise shell glasses. They are timeless and the style will see you through many seasons.
Keyhole bridge glasses in caramel brown will give you a studious, preppy look while adding a touch of glamor and spunk.
For a modern variation of tortoise shell, that makes a statement, try a subtle aviator inspired sunglasses frames. Are you ready to leave behind black frames and choose tortoise as your new look?
Don’t miss out the Vint&York tortoise shell eyewear collection!