The Hottest Trends In Eyewear For 2022

Glasses aren't what they used to be. With the coolest, most fashion-forward frames available, glasses are now more than just a way to help us see. "Eyewear is now more than ever considered a key accessory," Idriss Nestor, co-founder and CEO of OPR Eyewear, told The Zoe Report.

And, with many of us continuing to work from home — largely precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic — fun eyewear is one of the few accessories you can actually display while on a Zoom call. "I love seeing new shapes on the market, [and], overall, I think unique frame styles are always on trend," VADA creative director Katie Caplener said to TZR. Eyewear designers continue to design frames with unique shapes, colors, and features to suit our faces and help us display our sense of individuality.

If clothing and other accessories can be fashionable and fun, why not eyewear? So, that said, we've done our research and rounded up our favorite looks. From animalistic cat-eye frames and bold retro '70s looks to barely-there translucent frames and blue-light lenses that are said to help fight eye strain, here are the hottest trends in eyewear for 2022 that'll give you the urge to get yourself a new pair.

Release your inner feline with cat-eye glasses

If there's one look for eyewear this year that's on every list, it's cat-eye frames. Kim Nemser, chief merchandising officer for Warby Parker, told The Zoe Report, "A statement frame is the perfect finishing touch to elevate any outfit — and a playful cat-eye creates a fun, polished look."

If you're worried that the trend might be too bold for you, what's great about the style is that it varies from bold to basic. For a more minimal look, go for black and brown frames. If you're looking to make more of a statement, look for bold colors or fun prints, like tortoiseshell glasses with a pop of color, for example, per TZR. Nemser also spoke with StyleCaster about cat-eye glasses, saying, "They are the perfect way to add a fun twist to your outfit and step into the new year on a fresh foot."

Like with any pair of glasses, the look you select should also be one that suits your face shape. Biana Swan, frame stylist for Specsavers, recommends the style for those with a sharp jawline, though they work well for a variety of face shapes. This is because the cat-eye shape draws attention to your brow arch, per Woman & Home.

Focus on a pair of perfectly round frames

If you want others to take notice of you, go for a pair of round glasses. A little bit retro, a little bit hipster, and a whole lot of cool, round glasses can go with a variety of looks, from business to casual. If you're going for a bold look, opt for larger round frames. Vint & York suggests round glasses with a two-tone gradient that gives off a retro, ombré look. However, if you want a pair of round glasses that are a bit more understated, smaller frames should be your go-to choice.

Will round frames look good on you? Definitely consider your face shape. According to Woman & Home, the look will suit you well if your face is long and oval. And, if you've got prominent, angled features, these are the frames for you. 

If you're still riding the Gucci craze since "House of Gucci" hit theaters, Cosmopolitan recommends Gucci's Sylvie & Web round sunglasses, which could be your go-to pair for years to come.

Square and rectangular frames keep you looking sharp

If you think that because round frames are hot for 2022 that this means square is not, think again. In fact, square and rectangular frames are all over the place this year. Rectangular glasses make for a simple but modern look. Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Elizabeth Banks are just a few of the celebs taking on the look, as Woman & Home noted.

The hottest square glasses are oversized, with thick frames, giving off a retro, nerdy vibe. In addition to true square and rectangular frames, those with slightly rounded edges are just as fashionable, per Vint & York. One of our favorites comes recommended from Elle Australia: the boxy Hindsight sunglasses with black frames and green gradient lenses from Quay that are flattering on just about everyone.

Another reason for the rise in "geek chic" glasses? We can blame the pandemic and all those Zoom meetings for focusing more on how our profiles look. As Marie Wilkinson, style director for Cutler & Gross, said to Woman & Home, "Some crave more angular frames as they can sharpen profiles that have become a little softer over lockdown."

Slight differences in design, size, thickness, and color ensure that no two pairs are exactly the same. Whether your personality screams bright colors or bold prints, go with whatever look speaks to you, and you're good to go.

Go minimal with barely-there wire frames

If you're a minimalist or new to wearing glasses, then wire frames are for you. They're so thin and delicate that, in certain colors, like beige or rose gold, they'll barely be noticeable. Optometrist Natasha Luthra of David Clulow told Woman & Home, "Metal frames are having a big moment — almost every brand has released a distinctive metal double bridge frame to soft round frames."

Coastal refers to the look as one that's classic and simple. With lots of different colors and shapes, from round to geometric to — our personal favorite — aviators with a double bridge (per Vine & York), you're bound to find the pair for you. Another one of our favorites? Vint & York's Aberdeen style — round frames that are black on top, with an understated silver on the bottom, providing a stark contrast.

However, before you go ditch your contacts and get yourself a pair, Woman & Home notes that not all prescriptions can be supported by wire frames, particularly thicker lenses that often come with stronger prescriptions. We recommend checking with your optician first.

Ditch your contacts for tiny and transitional frames

Micro frames had their moment in the '90s and early 2000s, and they're having another moment once again in 2022. According to Elle Australia, these tiny glasses deliver major style. One look the magazine editors love has gold detailing on the sides for a pop of metallic.

A particular type of micro frame that was popular in the early 2000s is the ever-functional transitional frame, which morph from regular glasses when indoors to protect your eyes from the sun when outdoors. Refinery29 notes that transitions are sometimes thought of as "dad" glasses, with comedian Larry David being a regular wearer. But don't let that scare you off!

According to a review from Refinery29, transitional frames quickly adjust to protect your eyes the moment you step outside. However, the reviewer points out that they won't exactly eliminate your need for actual sunglasses, as they don't darken quite to the same level. Additionally, transitional lenses will increase the price of the frames by approximately $80 to $130, depending on whether it's a newer or older version of the technology.

Tortoise-shell frames are both classic and fun

Tortoise-shell frames are a classic style because they pack a bit of punch without being too much — and they coordinate with just about anything you wear. Kim Nemser of Warby Parker agrees, telling The Zoe Report, "[Tortoise print] is a timeless pattern with subtle yet bold details that go with absolutely everything."

What's also great about tortoise-shell glasses is that the style can be both basic or bold. Go with a more minimal style for a conservative look, and, for a twist on the basic tortoise-shell frames, more and more designers are experimenting with bringing these frames out of their shell. From thicker, squared frames to those which mix color with tortoise shell, you're bound to find a style that suits you well.

In an interview with StyleCaster, Nemser gave more details as to what makes tortoise shell such a classic. "It's universally flattering, versatile, and never goes out of style," she said, adding that it's also a perfect look for spring. It's neutral and can be a welcome change from plain black frames, she explained.

Make a statement with big and bold frames

Another hot look for 2022 that's at the complete opposite of the spectrum from the minimal look: big and bold frames. Go maximalist with a pair of oversized eyeglasses or sunglasses that demand you be noticed. For 2022, if you're the type who likes to make a statement, choose to go bold. "We're seeing bigger, thicker, and bolder shapes really come to the forefront of eyewear trends this spring," Kim Nemser, chief merchandising officer for Warby Parker, said in an interview with StyleCaster. "Oversized frames can be a simple way to liven up any outfit in a flash — they simply elevate your look." A couple of pairs that StyleCaster points out are Chloé's signature lightweight, retro-inspired 58mm square sunglasses and Warby Parker's Alston Poblano frames in dark green with a touch of gold detailing on the sides.

One super interesting benefit of the look we love is that, according to Woman & Home, oversized glasses are a great choice if you find your glasses fogging up whenever you wear a mask (which, these days, is quite a lot). Cutler & Gross Style Director Marie Wilkinson has this reasoning: "Oversized frames ... offer wide uninterrupted fields of view and are easier to tuck the edge of your mask so lenses are less likely to steam up."

From '70s frames to retro aviators, we're feeling the vintage vibes

A specific type of oversized frames you'll be seeing everywhere in 2022 are retro-inspired glasses which bring back the 1970s, available in a wide array of shapes and styles, from rectangular frames to aviator-style glasses. As Kim Nemser of Warby Parker told The Zoe Report, "The maximalist style of the '70s is having a huge moment right now, and we love how that trend has come to life in eyewear."

We're seriously digging retro-style aviators, as seen on celebs like "And Just Like That..." star Sarah Jessica Parker and designer Jenna Lyons, as noted by Woman & Home. And, just like many of the other styles we've mentioned, aviators are available in regular frames, too — not just sunglasses.

Another plus of these big, bold, retro-looking frames? The "bug-eye" frames give you the look of having high cheekbones, per Vogue

From bold brights to pale pastels, colorful frames are everywhere

If you haven't been able to guess from reading thus far, color is totally on trend for eyewear in 2022. Idriss Nestor of OPR Eyewear credits the bold color trend to the rise in maximalism. "In 2022, 'colors' are the new black," he said to The Zoe Report. "[And] after difficult and unprecedented times, people are looking at colors as a way to attract and emanate positive, vibrant energy." In other words, everyone just wants to get out and go bold, as reflected in the eyewear of the moment.

And this is one trend that you can rock at any age. According to Woman & Home, Prue Leith, restaurateur and judge on "The Great British Bakeoff," admires colorful glasses so much that she launched her own collection with American eyewear brand Ronit Furst. The publication noted that other celebs spotted in colorful frames include supermodel Gigi Hadid and British singer-songwriter Celeste.

Translucent frames are the clear choice

Another style you'll see all over the place this year: translucent frames in clear acetate and fun colors. OPR Eyewear co-founder and CEO Idriss Nestor told The Zoe Report, "Translucent crystal colors are expected to be very popular [in 2022], even more so than their solid opaque counterparts." What's also great about the look, Nestor added, is that it works with any face shape.

Additionally, translucent frames are perfect for spring, as Warby Parker's Kim Nemser explained to StyleCaster. "Spring is all about refreshed energy and these vibrant hues will bring just that," she said. "Vivid colors also complement the warmth that we saw on SS22 runways, making them an easy (and fun!) choice."

So, what are the go-to colors for these fashionable and fun frames? Linda Farrow Creative Director Simon Jablon told Woman & Home that soft, pale tones will be super popular for the luxury eyewear brand this year, explaining that they focused on colors like lavender, sky blue, and peach. Marie Wilkinson of Cutler & Gross informed the publication that "ice blue, pink and Granny chic" are totally in style for 2022, while deeper, moody colors as well as ones that fade gradually are also a major trend in eyewear.

Funky chains are functional and fashion-forward

Now, this next trend in eyewear is both funky and functional: glasses with attached chains. If the thought of wearing glasses with a chain gives you grandma vibes, let us explain. These are not your grandma's old-fashioned reading glasses to wear while perusing the newspaper on a rocking chair. As Marie Claire explained, the eyeglasses chain has finally evolved from just a functional accessory to a fashionable one.

The magazine noted that eyewear designers are adding chains in a variety of materials, including metal, pearls, and beads, as well as in a variety of colors and patterns — everything from gold and silver to tortoise shell and multicolored. For additional proof, consider this: Gigi Hadid has been seen wearing a pair of gold-rimmed aviator sunglasses accessorized with a coordinating gold chain.

As for how to wear the chain look, Bustle explained two simple ways: either behind your neck or under your chin.

Sustainability has finally come to eyewear

These days, all sorts of industries are focusing on sustainability, eyewear now included. According to Vogue Business, the industry has been slow to incorporate sustainability into its designs — however, you'll be satisfied knowing that now even the glasses you wear are contributing to preserving the environment. These "eco-friendly frames," as dubbed by Coastal, include a sustainable eyewear line called Reincarnate, a brand that constructs each pair of glasses from recycled plastic bottles. Then there's Eco Eyewear, another such brand, featured in Elle, Vogue, Forbes, and Vanity Fair, among others, that uses recycled materials in both the glasses themselves and the packaging. How cool is that?

Couco Eyewear of London has a different take on sustainable eyewear: breathing new life into an old pair of glasses you might have been prone to throw away into new sunglasses.

Another up-and-coming eyewear brand from London, Wires Glasses constructs each pair with a wire frame, allowing you to choose which design of lens rims to add. This way, you can conveniently swap out old lenses that might be damaged or scratched. Bored with your plain-old black rims? Try out a bold colorful pair. Explains British model Lily Cole, a co-founder of the brand, to Vogue Business, "The origin of the idea was about repairing and not wasting. Not throwing something away when it breaks and understanding how we make things more durable."

Protect your eyes with blue light-blocking glasses

We've already delved a bit into functional eyewear, such as transitional lenses and chains, but we haven't yet gotten to blue-light blocking technology. According to Medical News Today, these lenses are designed to protect wearers' eyes from exposure to blue light, which is emitted from household lighting as well as screens, including laptops, desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones — all of which we tend to look at a lot.

Manufacturers of eyewear with blue light-blocking technology claim they block the blue light from impacting your eyes, therefore helping to protect you from eye strain and headaches. While there is no definitive research that points to the benefits of the trend, Medical News Today cites several studies that did show improved sleep among participants who wore glasses with the technology.

Scientific research aside, more and more designers are releasing glasses with the built-in technology. Cosmopolitan even features a couple of pairs from brands like SOJOS and Firmoo that block blue light.

Get noticed with bold patterns or a bit of bling

If you always thought that glasses were boring or unflattering, it's time to think again. With bold prints and extra detailing, whether studs or glitter, eyewear designers these days are experimenting with all sorts of styles to ensure that you can evoke your personality into your eyewear, just as you would with other accessories. You might find such funky detailing on the frame, temples, or bridge — or all over (per Coastal).

If you'd love to add a touch of bling to your glasses but still want them to be wearable for the office, Vint & York offers a few styles from which to choose. From Swarovski crystals embellished on the top of the frames to totally decked-out frames covered in rhinestones, you'll be sure to take your style to the next level with any pair of fun bedazzled glasses.