What Are Horn Rimmed Glasses

What Are Horn Rimmed Glasses? A Look At Their History & Style

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Today, we're diving into the fascinating world of horn-rimmed glasses. Delve into their rich history and iconic style as we explore how these timeless frames have become a beloved fashion statement. Discover why horn-rimmed glasses are a must-have accessory for those seeking a classic yet trendy look.

What Are Horn Rimmed Glasses?

Horn-rimmed glasses are vintage eyeglass frames typically made of horn, tortoiseshell, or dark thick plastic. Originally named after the materials used, the definition of horn-rimmed glasses has expanded to include any pair of dark, thick, plastic eyeglasses. They are sometimes referred to as nerd or rockabilly-style glasses and retro glasses.

The History of Horn Rimmed Glasses

In the 1920s, horn-rimmed glasses gained popularity when comedian Harold Lloyd wore them in the movie " Over The Fence." Before this decade, rimless glasses were fashionable as they minimized the prominence of the wearer's eyeglasses. However, in the 1920s people embraced prominent and stylish horn-rimmed glasses as a fashion statement with large frames.

During the Great Depression metal frames became more popular than horn rims. But in the 1940s and 1950s browline glasses emerged with a combination of a horn-rimmed brow and a metal frame. This reintroduced the popularity of horn-rimmed styles.

Throughout history, there have been periods where their popularity declined such as during the 1970s and again in the 1990s. Yet today they remain popular due to their versatility and the various styles available.

Are Horn Rimmed Glasses Made Of Horn?

Contrary to their name, most modern horn-rimmed glasses are no longer made from animal horns or shells like tortoise/turtle shells. Instead, these materials have been replaced by durable plastics like acetate which can imitate natural materials' appearance while being stronger and less expensive.

Though plastic is now commonly used for manufacturing these frames, specialized manufacturers still create them using buffalo horns or other unique materials. Horn-rimmed glasses are a popular choice with retro-inspired designs available in various shapes and sizes.