In the 1950’s cat eyeglasses became popular among women as an alternative to traditional eye wear. It set a new trend for chic fashion, but it wasn’t until 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s that this frame was truly mainstream. The frames were designed for prescription lenses, but Audrey Hepburn wearing them as sunglasses in the film really set the wheels in motion. Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor did wear them first, but removing the need for a prescription made them more accessible throughout the 60’s.
The original cat eye frames, once worn by glamorous characters were taken over by loud characters like Frenchy from Grease. When a waitress at a diner wore glasses, they were cat eye as she calls out for a B.L.T. and pours another cup of coffee. Any time you saw a receptionist, she was wearing cat eye glasses. Behind those glasses, she was rolling her eyes at whoever was on the phone as she motioned people into her boss’s office. Cat eye frames became typecast as much as any actor ever has been. Well, now they have been recast.
You can still get your classic cat eye frame and rock it however you like, but eye wear is such an accessory now and there are so many takes on it. There are sophisticated metal cat eye frames. There are slight cat eye frames that are just a tad playful and maybe have a bold accent. Then, obviously, there are the super bold fashion cat eye frames. Celebrities from every industry are rocking cat eye frames so you know that the range of styles must be diverse.
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If you have felt pigeonholed by your face shape and what you are “supposed” to wear, don’t worry about it. Because there are so many variations, you can get in touch with your feline self. You just have to find the right pair. Forget the style guides anyway. If you like them and they make you feel good, look yourself in the cat eye and remember that cats don’t care.