Round eyeglasses may be worn for fashion or vision correction. First popularized in the 1960s by the hippie movement and more recently by the literary character Harry Potter, these glasses look best on angular face shapes. They come in many different styles, including rimless and sunglasses. Lifestyle and activity level, as well as prescription strengths, should be considered when choosing round eyeglasses.
Early glasses were all round, since it was the easiest shape to make at the time. Around 1830, oval and rectangular lenses began to appear. John Lennon of the Beatles favored round eyeglasses, and they became a defining style of the hippie movement. Modern round glasses are easier for more people to wear, and often have more angular elements and slightly larger circles.
Glasses look best when they compliment the shape of the wearer's face. Round eyeglasses can soften square faces and strong jawlines. On a round face, they will accentuate curves and make the person appear larger or younger. People with oval faces can wear most shapes, but frames that are wider than the widest part of the face should be avoided by everyone. Many people like rimless glasses because they seem to disappear on the face and don't accentuate the spectacled look.
Round eyeglasses are available in wire-rimmed frames, tortoiseshell, and plastic in bold and delicate colors. Many designers offer sunglasses with round lenses, jumping on recent vintage and geek-chic trends. The wearer should choose a hue that contrasts and flatters skin tone and hair color. A cool skin tone looks best with cool colors like blue, silver, plum, and a darker tortoise. Warm tones can wear gold, copper, red, peach, and a lighter, blond tortoise.
Active people may choose contacts, but if this is not possible, frames for round eyeglasses can be made from high-impact plastic or titanium to withstand accidents. High-index lenses can reduce the thickness on the edge of the glasses. Nearsighted people who are usually stuck in Coke-bottle glasses can choose thinner polycarbonate lenses. A plastic frame hides thicker lenses better than a wire one.
In addition to John Lennon, some other famous wearers of round eyeglasses include George Burns, Dominick Dunne, and Mohandas Gandhi. Folk singer John Denver also wore round glasses, making them popular well into the 1970s. In 1997, author J.K. Rowling released the first Harry Potter book, and the black-haired boy wizard with the round lenses started a new eyewear craze. No matter what frame style is chosen, round eyeglasses give the wearer a distinctive look.