Retro to Contemporary: How Cat Eye Frames Have Evolved Over the Years

Wut Win Wut Win
Thursday, 30 May 2024
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An ode to timeless femininity, the cat eye style first gained popularity in the ‘50s and continues to remain a hit among women even today. But do you know the story behind the cat eye frames evolution and how they became so iconic? If not, then you are in for a treat because we have the tea for you.

Contrary to the frames that ruled the shelves before, the gorgeous, feline-inspired cat eye style eyewear revolutionised the very word “style” for women. Initially curated to pair with optical lenses, their popularity rose exponentially after actress Audrey Hepburn sported the cat eye sunglasses in her blockbuster film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Source: olivergoldsmith

Other Hollywood celebrities, including Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe had previously donned winged-out glasses. However, due to the addition of tint to the lenses, it was the ‘60s that saw the style being embraced by the general public.

Evolution: history and design over the years

It all started in the ‘30s, when American artist and sculptor Altina Schinasi came up with the Harlequin frame design, which eventually came to be known as the cat eye . Here’s an interesting fact - the masks in Venice, Italy, were the key inspiration behind these frames.

Altina Schinasi

Source: dailymail

Surprisingly, Schinasi’s idea wasn’t welcomed by many opticians until she finally found a ray of hope in one of New York’s glasses boutiques, and the rest is history!

Cat eye frames from the ‘40s to the ‘50s

The ‘40s were about rectangular lenses accompanied by thick frames that were slightly winged from the edges, along with minor detailing.

It was in the ‘50s when the cat eye frames started becoming more pointed and narrower and gained exponential popularity after Marilyn Monroe started sporting them in her movies.

Marilyn Monroe in cat eye frames

Source: zennioptical

Cat eye frames from the ‘60s to the ‘70s

This era saw the transformation of the cat eye frames from smaller to a larger, oversized style. The frames gained massive popularity with Audrey Hepburn sporting them.

Jacqueline Kennedy

Source: zennioptical

In the ‘70s , the eyewear trend changed to larger and circular frames, resulting in a dramatised form of the cat eye frames.

Cat eye frames from the ‘80s to the ‘90s

The trend of oversized frames continued to have its effect in the ‘80s as well. At that time, cat eye featured a ravishing oversized and metallic look.

Princess Diana wearing cat eye frames

Source: zennioptical

Interestingly, the ‘90s saw coloured lenses in vogue, influencing this style to be available in vibrant colours.

Cat eye frames from ‘2000s to 2010

The bigger, the better was perhaps the inspiration for the frames in the ‘2000s. This era saw thick, chunky frames with shiny sides, just like Paris Hilton in the image below.

Paris Hilton in cat eye frames

Source: zennioptical

Eventually, the cat eye frames became more geometric and significantly smaller compared to all their previous versions, and honestly, they were still making statements! We can tell with Rihanna’s image below.

Rihanna in cat eye frames

Source: refinery29

Retro revival: celebs that are rocking the look

The evolution of these frames is significant, and the following for these frames is heartfelt, no matter what the decade. Celebs including Kendall Jenner, Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce, Rihanna and Gigi Hadid have been seen carrying these iconic frames, and we are a fan.

Gigi Hadid wearing cat eye sunglasses

Source: hellogiggles

Not only are these frames aesthetically pleasing, but they also make their wearer look influential and chic. Look at “Queen-B” making an immaculate statement with her style.

Beyonce wearing cat eye sunglasses

Source: justsunnies

What do we think about Kendall Jenner, who is a sight for sore eyes in these beautiful cat eye sunglasses?

Kendall Jenner sporting cat eye sunglasses

Source: hollywoodreporter

Have a look at Scarlett Johansson flaunting that million-dollar smile in those gorgeous pair of sunglasses.

Scarlett Johansson wearing cat eye sunglasses

Source: Pinterest

Cat eye frames styling tips

When you opt for this timeless frame style, you stand out as a woman who isn’t afraid to pursue what she wants - even the world. Whether it is casual t-shirts and regular pair of denims, or a formal attire for a business meeting, the cat eye glasses and sunglasses are a versatile accessory that are designed to suit all your moods.

Curated to enhance the persona of its wearer, this eyewear style complements a variety of face shapes but specifically pairs well with those with round faces.

If you love a sharp, feminine look, then you cannot go wrong with these frames.

By the way…

Here are a few cat eye styled frames for you to get your hands on:

Feel Good Collection Meghan Nude prescription glasses

Feel Good Collection Meghan Nude

Shop Now

Marc Jacobs MARC 560 086 Havana glasses

Marc Jacobs MARC 560 086 Havana

Shop Now

Dolce & Gabbana DG4405 501/8G Black

Dolce & Gabbana DG4405 501/8G Black sunglasses

Shop Now

Future of the cat eye frames

Looking at the past and current trends, we can say without a peck of a doubt that the cat eye style eyewear is still in vogue and will continue to be so for times to come.

If you are looking for quality sunglasses and glasses, then Feel Good Contacts is the place for you. Shop now and enjoy up to 70% OFF our eyewear collection.

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