Eyewear Trends for 2011

Eyewear finds plenty of pop this season with influences from the 1950s to the '80s. Blend in a little modern edge and chic, and you're going to like what you see.

We're talking bold square frames, round shapes, creamy neutrals and pearly finishes, cat-eye styles, metal frames, rimless and semi-rimless looks and rebellious blacks.

If you watched the Golden Globe Awards, you saw Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr. and Tim Allen in bold black glasses.

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The selection has never been so varied, said Dave Trent, owner of an eyewear boutique. According to Trent, one trend that's getting plenty of attention is a more vertical style. It's deeper, not so rectangular. From the eyebrows to the cheeks, it has a little more depth. It's not as long and thin across the eyes, he said.

Round shapes, both small and bigger styles, rolled into the picture recently, and now they're center stage. "I've probably sold more round stuff in the last eight months than the last eight years," Trent said. "It's very, very popular now."

And let's not forget retro cat-eyes in extreme or relaxed teardrop styles.

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While daring pattern is being talked up this year, Trent said his customers tend to opt for neutrals, tortoise, shades of brown, black and maybe a subtle pattern.

"When they want something to last three or four years, they're not afraid to do something out there fashion-wise, but they want to keep it fairly neutral."

Terry Furrh of Eyes Ltd. said response has been good as people reach for frames with a nod to the past. With such a presence at the Golden Globe Awards, those larger, bold frames may get snapped up even faster.

"It's ironic because most of those styles were medium to large," he said. "People come in and say 'I don't want to wear those big ones; I want to stay with small.'" But then those same customers leave with larger glasses, he said.

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Those big, black plastic frames that made the rounds at the Globes are retro yet edgy, Furrh said. So are modified cat-eyes with a sprinkling of crystals. They're poised to make even more of a statement this year. One detail that smacks of yesteryear is the shield or tiny accent on the front of many plastic frames.

One more thing about celebrities' glasses. If you ever wondered what you would look like in Johnny Depp or Tina Fey specs, you can recreate their look -- or design your own -- with DesignYourOwnEyewear.com.

While certain styles do look better on some facial shapes, those in the eyewear business say as long as there's symmetry to the face, you can wear almost any style as long as it fits properly.

And for most people, eyewear must be comfortable. Titanium or lightweight plastic frames and thinner lenses make that happen.


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