Tortoise Shell Sunglasses: Why Are They Popular?

Sunday 18th Dec 2022 |

We have seen trends appear and vanish, but they never stay long enough for us to know their full story or understand why they are well-loved. Most of us account the popularity of certain fads to endorsements of celebrities or keeping up with the times.

Still, there are tons of fashion movements with interesting histories that will give the majority a deeper appreciation for style. Fortunately, the classics and timeless pieces never fade into oblivion and are an exception to fleeting moments in the fashion and design limelight. With that said, it is time to take a deeper look into the enduring mania that is tortoiseshell sunglasses.

Eyepieces have never failed to make a statement. Their placement is strategic, wherein it is what first catches the eye and frames the face. Since their realization, the world has experienced countless styles of eyeglasses and sunglasses, but there is one that is worth diving into the history of. Here, we will discuss why tortoise shell sunglasses are popular.

The Chronicle Of The Tortoise Shell

First, it is essential to understand where the tortoiseshell trend all began. It doesn’t stray too far from its namesake since it genuinely originated from the beloved animal’s protective outer layer.

According to hearsay, tortoise shells were used as decorative feats in ancient Greece. The civilization deemed the patterns of the carapace exquisite and worth altering for decoration and vanity. At first, they manipulated it to create stringed instruments since the material complemented the device both sonically and aesthetically. It also added value to the piece. Not long after, the Romans hopped on to the trend but used it to make furniture veneers. The continued utilization of the tortoiseshell made it a favourite among the rich and slowly became a symbol of wealth. So, it has been popular ever since it was applied to different objects by earlier civilizations.

Tortoise Shell In Eyewear

Tortoise shells in eyewear use go far back to the middle ages when people started getting an education. When the civilization then began reading more, the need for glasses arose, thus marking the use of tortoise shells as frames. Moreover, literacy paved the way for the need for reading aids. Although, the eyepieces then vary significantly from the ones we know today as they were clipped on instead of having ear support. From there, the designs continued to develop until we achieved the styles we have today.

Design Vs. Material

Unfortunately, the species that inspired the design is endangered, and it would be unethical to harvest the organisms just to create the beloved frames. The good news is that tortoiseshell pieces today are now synthetic. Instead of coming from wildlife, designers recreate the style with plastic substitutes. The change of material is both environmentally friendly and cost-efficient. Not to mention, it makes eyeglasses and sunglasses more durable. So, it wasn’t long until the pattern became a fashionable statement and a timeless classic.

Why They Are Popular

The black and brown splotchy pattern maintained its popularity in the 80s, a time it represents the most, and to this day, eyeglass wearers can’t seem to get enough of the trend. Regardless of age and occupation, you are sure to encounter tortoise shell eyewear at any given moment in your waking life. However, aside from its intriguing backstory, what are the other reasons the fad is so well-loved today?

Vintage Staple

We all know that retro chic is a recurring theme that goes out of style. So what better way to rock the look than with tortoiseshell sunglasses? The stunning eyepiece exudes class and makes anyone look like a vintage star. In addition, it gives the wearer an extra oomph and makes a subtle statement.

Tortoiseshell sunglasses might be associated with the older generation, but the trend has translated well into younger generations and today’s fashion scene. So, a wide age range can enjoy the eyepiece.

It’s For Everyone

Taking on tortoiseshell sunglasses might seem intimidating as the pattern might appear loud when not worn correctly. Fortunately, the style is universally flattering and boosts the looks of everyone who wears them. Surprisingly, the design also complements men greatly.

We all know fashion for men is a vastly different world. There is a fine line before one can go too far. However, with the wide selection of designs of tortoise shell mens sunglasses, gentlemen of any age, style preference, and occupation are sure to find the perfect pair for them. The same goes for women and children.

A Versatile Choice

Aside from tortoiseshell sunglasses being diverse for multiple types of people, the pattern is versatile enough for various styles as well. So whether you want to dress up or dress down, there is a pair out there to fit your fancy.

The iconic frames come in numerous colors and styles, so owning more than one pair would be ideal. However, possessing one classic design that goes with everything is also suiting. Just remember that tortoiseshell eyewear can fit any of your needs.

tortoiseshell sunglassesAn Expensive Look That Is Affordable

Since the realization of the tortoiseshell as a symbol of wealth, the modifications to the material made the pattern accessible to us today. Despite being made of plastic and acetate, the frames are durable and resemble the design precisely. So now, no one has to break the bank to look expensive.

Effective Eyewear

Tortoiseshell sunglasses do not only function for style. Multipurpose eyewear is both a fashionable and efficient form of protection, regardless of design. So, rest assured that the eyepieces are not just an indulgence in vanity but an investment as well.

A Reminder of the Evolution of Fashion

Finally, regardless of whether the wearer is aware of the history of the use of tortoise shells in glasses, it will always be a reminder of how far we’ve come in the world of fashion and design. The value of the pattern is intangible but forever ingrained in history as one of the most memorable evolutions we have experienced. Some might even say this inspired using wildlife as fashion inspiration. The staple eyewear will stay an iconic piece that everyone must have.

Styling Handbags for any Occasion

Brunch Recipes We Love


How to Accessorise in Winter