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Benjamin Franklin Glasses Style: An Iconic Look

Phoebe Jade

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Phoebe Jade

Updated: 19 May 2024 •  
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Hunting for an iconic glasses look that’s lasted through the ages? With Benjamin Franklin glasses, you can.
Many celebs have worn these fashionable frames in a tribute to their classic and timeless appeal.
Let’s dive into the eyewear invention of the Founding father and how you can rock this style of glasses.

Did you know Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocals?

benjamin franklin wearing a pair of round glasses frame

Benjamin Franklin combined two lens types for effective multifunction glasses.

Although he is known for his many accomplishments and contributions to society, did you know Benjamin Franklin also invented bifocal glasses?
It all started when he grew tired of constantly switching between his distance and reading glasses.
Being the clever innovator he was, Franklin came up with the idea of cutting his lenses in half and combining them to create a bifocal lens.
These special lenses allow you to use the top half for seeing faraway objects and the bottom half for reading. Talk about efficiency!
Bifocals have the edge over single-vision glasses (regular glasses) in a way that you can transition from near-sighted tasks (like reading a book) to far-sighted activities (such as driving) and vice versa more conveniently.

How big a bang did Benjamin Franklin glasses make?

john lennon and steve jobs wore the iconic ben franklin style glasses

The Ben Franklin glasses that rock legend John Lennon and tech visionary Steve Jobs wore are now iconic. Sources: CNN Brasil, TechRadar

While they have been around for centuries, it wasn’t until recently that the popularity of this style of glasses truly exploded.
It started with a few daring trendsetters who donned these classic spectacles with rounded, wire-rimmed frames.
Before long, everyone from iconic figures to everyday folks was sporting a pair of Franklin glasses.
Rock legend John Lennon, tech visionary Steve Jobs, and even the famed Hogwarts character Harry Potter have sported these specs.
The secret to their appeal is the combination of style and utility.
With these glasses, people could read and see far distances without switching between two pairs.
The concept ultimately paved the way for more advanced and specialized lenses that we have today, such as progressive lenses (which allow you to see objects up close, at middle distance, or far away).

Defining the iconic Benjamin Franklin glasses style

harry potter wearing ben franklin style glasses in the show

Harry Potter’s classic black full-rim spectacles give off smart and studious, reflecting his character perfectly. Source: Parade


Benjamin Franklin’s glasses are different from your average eyewear style.
These round-lens spectacles are instantly recognizable by their unique shape and thin wire frames.
But what sets them apart from other eyewear styles is their history.
Benjamin Franklin was known to wear a pair, along with many other prominent thinkers during the 18th century.
Now, modern variations of the classic style are ever-popular among the fashion-conscious.
The thin wire frames make for a lightweight and comfortable fit, and the round lenses provide a cool aesthetic.
In other words – these glasses might be the perfect fit if you’re looking for a classic and trendy eyewear style.

How to wear Benjamin Franklin glasses

We believe in “You do you.” So, you can wear any glasses that you want.
However, if you’re interested in what style guides say about the face shapes that Benjamin Franklin glasses are most suitable for, we recommend these specs for people with square, diamond, or heart-shaped faces.
However, if they choose wisely, other face shapes can still rock these glasses.
For example, round, oval, or triangle faces can go for oversized Franklin specs or those with browline frames.
These versatile round-frame glasses from Mouqy are perfect for adding extra flair to your ensemble.
They’re oversized, so round, oval, or triangle face shapes can sport these specs.

Tips on how to choose the right pair


  • Consider the shape of your face when selecting your frames. A frame that complements your facial features will look good and feel comfortable.

  • Choose frames that complement your skin tone well- opt for lighter frames if you have fair skin and darker ones if you have darker skin.

  • Determine what activities you’ll use your glasses for. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, choose frames built to last and lenses that can take a beating. No activity is too extreme when you have the right gear.

  • Remember to take your style into account too. Whether you’re into classic or more modern designs, there’s a perfect pair for you.

  • Pick a frame material that is lightweight yet durable to ensure longevity.

Here are some excellent Franklin-style frames from Mouqy that you can consider if you’re interested in the style.
The Designer frames in round black-silver:

The Bobby frames in round, transparent-gray:

The Occasion frames in round black-gunmetal:


How to style Franklin glasses with different outfits

If you’re rocking the iconic glasses and want to take your style game to the next level, you should know a few basics.

First – keep the coloring simple and clean – black, brown, or neutral tones work best.
Additionally, ensure the frame is proportional to your face size and shape.
As for mixing and matching outfit pieces, feel free to experiment with different patterns and colors.
You can achieve a casual look by pairing your glasses with a graphic t-shirt and comfortable jeans.
And if you’re going for a more classy look, consider wearing a blazer or a dressy blouse with tailored trousers.
Remember to keep things simple, clean, and balanced to showcase your specs and make a statement.
Benjamin Franklin-style glasses come in so many variants today that matching a pair with your style is a piece of cake.
Take the Mouqy Brainy frames, for example.

They’re a perfect fit for the Bohemian and eclectic or modern and minimalist look.
Mouqy’s Innocent frames are versatile and go well with everything from tailored suits to retro-inspired styles.


Franklin glasses: where timeless fashion meets utility

Not only did Benjamin Franklin’s glasses serve as a practical solution for those with vision impairments, but they also became a fashion statement with their distinctive shape and style.
Today, you can still find modern interpretations of Franklin’s glasses, proving that his legacy has stretched beyond his impressive contributions to science and politics.
It’s a testament to the timelessness of good design and practicality.

Phoebe Jade

Written by:

Phoebe Jade

Phoebe is a registered nurse, licensed teacher and writer who's passionate about creating content that educates and inspires.

Franklin-style Frames