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Leaving aside the practicality of prescription glasses as vision correction, glasses frames last longer as popular accessories.Tortoise shell glasses, also known as tortoiseshell glasses, are a type of eyewear that features a unique pattern resembling the shell of a tortoise. These glasses have been a popular style for decades and continue to be a favorite among glasses wearers today. In this article, we will explore the origin of tortoise shell glasses, their popularity in the past, current trends, and tips for choosing the right pair for your face shape and outfit.

tortoise shell glasses

The origin of tortoise shell eyeglasses can be traced back to the 1930s and 1940s, when they first became popular. The material used to make the frames was originally derived from the shells of the hawksbill turtle, but due to concerns about the impact on the turtle population, it has since been replaced with a synthetic material that resembles the natural tortoise shell pattern. This synthetic material is not only more ethical but also more durable and resistant to scratches and cracks.

In the past, tortoise shell glasses were often seen as a symbol of sophistication and elegance. They were popular among both men and women and were often worn to complement formal outfits, such as a suit and tie or a dress. Today, tortoise shell glasses are still seen as a stylish accessory, but they are now more versatile and can be worn with a variety of outfits, including casual, business, and formal attire.


One of the reasons why tortoise shell eyeglasses continue to be popular is because they suit a wide range of face shapes. This is due to the neutral color and pattern of the frames, which can complement any skin tone and facial feature. For example, if you have a round face, a pair of tortoise shell glasses with square or rectangular frames can help elongate your face and create a more balanced look. If you have an oval face, any style of tortoise shell glasses will suit you, as oval faces are considered the ideal shape for eyeglasses.

In terms of current trends, tortoise shell glasses continue to be a popular choice for both prescription and non-prescription eyewear. They are now available in a variety of frame styles, from classic round frames to modern, angular styles. Additionally, many modern tortoise shell glasses feature colorful accents, such as red, blue, or green, which can add a pop of color to your outfit.

When it comes to matching tortoise shell glasses with your outfit, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you choose the right pair of glasses for different occasions:

  • Business attire: If you're wearing a business suit, a classic pair of tortoise shell glasses with a neutral frame color would be appropriate. A simple, understated frame will complement your professional look and not distract from your outfit.
  • Casual wear: If you're dressing casual, you can have more fun with your tortoise shell glasses. Consider a pair with colored accents or a more modern and unique frame style. For example, a pair of tortoise shell glasses with green or blue accents would look great with a white t-shirt and jeans.
  • Formal events: For formal events, such as weddings or black-tie events, a pair of tortoise shell glasses with a more elegant frame would be a good choice. A pair of rounded or oval frames in a neutral tortoise shell color would complement your formal attire and add a touch of sophistication to your look.
  • Outdoor activities: If you're participating in outdoor activities, such as hiking or camping, consider a pair of sporty tortoise shell glasses. These glasses often have a more durable frame and can protect your eyes from the sun and wind.
  • Everyday wear: For everyday wear, a pair of tortoise shell glasses in a classic frame style would be a good choice. These glasses will complement any outfit and can be worn with everything from casual jeans and a t-shirt to a more formal dress.

In addition to choosing the right frame style, it is also important to consider the color of your tortoise shell glasses in relation to your outfit. For example, if you're wearing a brown or neutral-colored outfit, a tortoise shell frame in a similar color would complement your look. If you're wearing a bold-colored outfit, such as a red dress, consider a pair of tortoise shell glasses with a neutral frame color to balance your look.

In conclusion, tortoise shell glasses are a versatile accessory that can be worn with a variety of outfits, from casual to formal. When choosing a pair, consider the occasion and your outfit, and don't be afraid to have fun with your glasses and add a pop of color to your look. Tortoise shell eyeglasses are a timeless and versatile accessory that continue to be popular among glasses wearers today. With their neutral pattern and color, they suit a wide range of face shapes and can be worn with a variety of outfits, from casual to formal. Whether you are looking for a classic pair of glasses or a more modern and unique style, tortoise shell glasses are a great choice.