Dopamine Dressing Extends To Your Eyewear, Too

Spoiler: Bold glasses are key.

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via @warbyparker
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Similar to the effect of freshly trimmed bangs or a visit to your go-to facialist, getting new eyeglasses can entirely elevate your look. Admittedly, though, it can be hard to part with your wear-everyday pair. But if you’re looking to freshen up your look going into this summer, consider this your official sign to purchase fresh frames. You may even discover that 2022’s eyeglasses trends — which span a vast range of aesthetics and silhouettes — make shopping for new spectacles effortless, as you’re all but guaranteed to find a pair that works for you.

According to OPR Eyewear’s CEO and Co-Founder Idriss Nestor, finding eyewear that delivers a statement look should be a key factor in your decision. “In 2022, [working from home] is continuing for some, and overall most people are continuing to value more utilitarian, function-driven ready-to-wear — which leaves room for people to really experiment with bold accessories,” he says. “Eyewear is now more than ever considered a key accessory.” Translation? Zoom only allows a torso-up view of your ensemble, so glasses are one of the few ways to ensure your style translates through the screen.

Katie Caplener, creative director of VADA, echoes Nestor. “I love seeing new shapes on the market, [and], overall, I think unique frame styles are always on trend,” says the eyewear designer, who is also known for her heirloom-inspired fine jewelry. “It’s really quite hard to dream up a new frame and then make it functional on a face,” says Caplener. And yet, eyewear labels are dreaming up wholly original frames for an expansive range of tastes, as if anticipating a consumer push for individuality in eyewear.

Courtesy of VADA
Courtesy of VADA

Along a similar vein, the continuation of remote work lifestyles means blue light-repelling lenses are slated to be another prominent eyeglass trend going forward. For those who aren't quite sure what the technical frames do, allow Caplener to elaborate: “Blue light is high-energy, short-wavelength light that we, as humans, come in contact with frequently these days,” she explains. “Blue light lenses are a great way to combat eye strain and sleeplessness that comes with excessive screen time, [as] the lenses filter out blue light to effectively block the transmission of a range of wavelengths emitted from devices.”

Ready to peruse 2022’s eyeglasses trends and find a pair that speaks to you? Scroll onward to discover and shop the year’s leading eyewear styles thus far.

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“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 through oversized frames in a variety of shapes and color,” says Kim Nemser, the chief merchandising officer at Warby Parker. Nestor, too, expects retro glasses to be everywhere this year. “We’re seeing a big demand for 70s-inspired glasses (big and bold!) and revised classic styles, like an aviator reimagined in a modern key,” she observes.

When looking for a retro pair of your own, Nemser advises you to look for frames that “add an updated twist to vintage-inspired trends for a fresh, current take” — like the brand’s oversized and champagne-colored Alston pair.

Translucent Acetate

Both Nemser and Nestor shout out bright and see-through acetate frames as being a soon-to-be everywhere style throughout the year. “Translucent crystal colors are expected to be very popular [in 2022,] even more so than their solid opaque counterparts,” says the OPR Eyewear co-founder. Furthermore, the clear and colorful trend isn’t specific to any one shape, meaning you can grab the style in any silhouette that you like.

Retrofuturistic Optimism

Caplener of VADA says you can also expect that going forward there will be an increase in eyewear with vintage influences manifesting in contemporary and mood-boosting ways. She calls this joyful approach to design “retrofuturistic optimism.” “[Retrofuturistic optimism] is more to set a mood than a direct recreation of something we have already seen,” she explains. “Moving forward, evolving, and not being afraid of change is top of mind.”

“I love looking forward and not getting stuck in the past. I pull from vintage inspiration for design, but [I] always think of ways to create a new look and focus on fit,” she says. In particular, the creative director casts a spotlight on the label’s SIREN pair for embodying the old-yet-new, experimental look.

Classic Cat Eye

Nemser says a cat-eye silhouette, a tried-and-true classic, is also charted to be a significant eyeglass trend throughout 2022. “A statement frame is the perfect finishing touch to elevate any outfit — and a playful cat-eye creates a fun, polished look,” she says. If you like a more minimal look, opt for sleek black or deep burgundy frames. Or, if you’re drawn to a statement piece, consider a playful print — like a multicolored tortoiseshell.

Extreme Vibrancy

“We expect bolder colors to be most popular in 2022,” says Nestor. The eyewear designer aptly links the growing interest in vibrant hues to maximalism’s rise. “In 2022, ‘colors’ are the new black. [And] after difficult and unprecedented times, people are looking at colors as a way to attract and emanate positive, vibrant energy.”

Additionally, Nestor encourages you to pull from a wanderlust spirit when shopping for vibrant eyeglasses. He shouts out the brand’s Spring 2022 collection, in particular, for embodying the look. “Spring is all about refreshed energy, so our color palette [for] this season drew inspiration from tropical vacations — think lush greenery and marine life.”

Blue-Light Blocking

“I don’t think we can even call the proclivity for blue light glasses a ‘trend’ anymore,” remarks Nestor. Instead, he finds them to be more of an essential accessory, noting how more people have become widely educated about the benefits of blue light filtering. Now, he adds, “most of [OPR Eyewear’s] customers now consider blue light filtering lenses to be necessary.”

Caplener agrees and shouts out VADA’s new PHANTOM style, a pair of handmade titanium spectacles, for being exceptionally lightweight and all-day wearable. “[They’re] the perfect frames [with] blue light lenses to block the waves and the haters,” she says.

Tortoise With A Twist

“[Tortoise print] is a timeless pattern with subtle yet bold details that go with absolutely everything,” notes Nemser. In particular, though, she says you can expect to find the flecked pattern done in lighter, more vivid, or unexpected color palettes throughout 2022.

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