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Why Wear Glasses Without Lenses?

Shu Kie

Written By:

Shu Kie

Updated: 03 February 2023 •  

People usually wear eyeglasses for two main reasons. One, we actually need them to see clearly. And two, it’s all in the name of fashion and style! Geek chic is a popular aesthetic for a reason, and glasses are a must if you want to get it right.
 
Speaking of wearing glasses for aesthetic reasons, we can’t forget about lensless glasses. Yes! You read that right. Glasses sans lenses.
 
Read on to learn how this trend started, how it became a thing in pop culture, and get some style inspiration from your favorite celebs.
 

Why wear lensless glasses?

At the end of the day – why do people reach for lensless or non prescription glasses anyway? Well – a couple of reasons.
 
woman wearing lensless glasses for style

Lensless glasses are really just for fun and style! Source: iStock

 

1. Lets you emulate celebrities’ style trends without breaking the bank

 
Celebrities have always had a big influence on fashion trends, but not all of their looks have an accessible price point.
 
Glasses are fairly affordable compared to apparel, handbags, and shoes, which makes hopping on the trend more effortless and easy on the wallet.
 

2. They’re highly customizable

 
What we wear is an expression of our personality, and no matter what trends we follow, we still like to put our own stamp on it. With glasses, it’s easier to do so as you can customize so many aspects, from frame design to shape to color.
 
Some people may view wearing lensless glasses as weird or senseless but hey, at the end of the day, you should be free to express yourself however you wish. If you look and feel good in lensless glasses, wear it loud and wear it proud.
 

3. They give off an instant ‘smart’ aura

 
This is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you see someone wearing eyeglasses. Due to glasses always being associated with intellectuals, wearing a pair adds an instant smart edge to your ensemble. It can even add a layer of sophistication to your look.
 

How did the trend of lensless glasses begin?

It all began in California in 1965 when it became popular for youngsters to wear thick-rimmed glasses à la Clark Kent (yup, Superman himself) to poke fun at grownups. Since they didn’t actually need them to see clearly, they wore these glasses without lenses.
 
Jumping to the other side of the world, lensless frames also rose to popularity in Japan in the 1990s. Although the trend was short-lived, it resurged in East Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea) around the 2010s with youth gravitating towards large, thick frames without lenses.
 
Now, fake eyeglasses (or non-prescription glasses) are a whole other thing. Starting in 2010, this trend involves wearing glasses with actual lenses but without a prescription. Similar to lensless glasses, they are worn mainly for fashion.
 
With that being said, non-prescription glasses have their perks as they protect you from blue light (which causes eyestrain and headaches) and UVA/UVB rays.
 

Famous glasses in pop culture

Movie characters whose glasses are a distinctive part of their appearance and identity can have a big influence on eyewear trends. Here are a few of the most popular pairs in pop culture – which you can emulate with non-prescription glasses here at Mouqy.
 

Harry Potter’s round glasses

 
harry potter in round glasses

Harry Potter in his classic round glasses. Source: The Irish Times

 
One of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s most legendary alumni, Harry Potter is easily recognizable, even among non-fans, for his round, thin-rimmed eyeglasses.
 
For Potterheads out there, Mouqy’s got some similar frames:
 
mouqy bobby frame

Mouqy’s black round Bobby frames.

 
mouqy occassion frames

Mouqy’s golden round Occasion specs frames.

 

Tony Stark’s iconic aviators

 
tony stark in tinted sunglasses

Mr. Stark with his infamous tinted glasses. Source: Spotern

 
Who could ever forget one of the forerunners of the Avengers? The genius billionaire and creator of the Iron Man suit, Mr. Tony Stark is equally known for his classic tinted glasses, which have ranged from rectangular to square to aviator.
 
Here are some Mouqy frames to make his look yours.
 
swift square tortoise front view

Mouqy’s square tortoise Swift frames.

 
aesthete aviator tortoise brown front view

Mouqy’s round aviator tortoise Aesthete frames.

 
euphoria rectangle blue front view

Mouqy’s rectangular blue browline Euphoria frames.

 

Edna Mode from The Incredibles

 
edna mode in thick rimmed round glasses

Edna Mode casting her signature judgmental gaze from behind her thick-rimmed round glasses. Source: Racked

 
Finally, there’s Edna from the Incredibles. The famed fashion designer and creator of superhero costumes sports unforgettable thick, round glasses as part of her look.
 
ken round black tortoise front view

Mouqy’s black round Ken frames.

 
winnie round red front view

Mouqy’s dark red round Winnie frames.

 

Stars known for stylish glasses

From fiction, we move on to real-life personalities who have made an equally indelible impact on eyewear fashion.
 
Such is their influence, that even those without an actual need for glasses would hop on the bandwagon and go for lensless or non-prescription glasses in the name of emulating their favorite stars!
 
Here are some celebrities who are as known for their bespectacled looks as they are for their body of work.
 

Taylor Swift

 
taylor swift with black oval glasses

Taylor Swift wearing black oval sunglasses in her ‘You Belong With Me’ music video. Source: Teen Vogue

 
Taylor has donned a wide range of glasses throughout her many musical eras, switching from nerdy and geeky designs to bolder and more colorful ones.
 
If you’re curious to learn more about Taylor’s top glasses moments, you can check out her eyewear style evolution here and even find out how to get her look for less from Mouqy.
 

Tina Fey

 
tina fey in nerdy chic glasses

Tina Fey with her ever-present nerdy chic specs. Source: Vanity Fair

 
The award-winning actress and writer has been rocking eyeglasses ever since the start of her career. In general, Tina has always sported horn-rimmed glasses as part of her signature look, even on her famed sitcom ‘30 Rock’. However, she has also been known to change it up every now and then, like when she appeared on the Today show in thicker, ‘hipster-like’ glasses.
 
The following square and horn-rimmed spectacles are just what you need to replicate the witty comedienne’s style.
 
alice cat eye tortoise front view

Mouqy’s tortoise cat eye Alice frames.

 
quiet square black front view

Mouqy’s square black Quiet frames.

 

Elton John

 
elton john in red tinted glasses

Elton John with his playful red-tinted glasses. Source: New York Post

 
Musical icons get to where they are today not only for wearing multiple hats, but also for their memorable, boundary-breaking style. Singer, songwriter, and pianist Elton John is one such icon whose esthetic wouldn’t be complete without a pair of fabulous, colorful glasses. From tinted to glittery to vintage — you name it, Elton has probably worn it.
 
Here are two of Mouqy’s most flamboyant specs to help you bring out your inner ‘Rocket Man’:
 
xany cat eye red front view

Mouqy’s cat eye tortoise Xany frames.

 
harrison square red front view

Mouqy’s square red Harrison frames.

 

Lensless glasses worn by stars

While the aforementioned stars wore glasses out of necessity — with stylishness being a bonus — there have also been celebs known to rock lensless or non-prescription glasses purely for fashion.
 

Helena Christensen

 
helena christensen wearing round shaped frame non prescripted glasses

Helena wearing non-prescription glasses with round-shaped frames. Source: Instagram

 
The supermodel has admitted to not wearing prescription glasses, but she sure does like donning fake ones because according to her, glasses pique interest and project smartness. Plus, it makes her feel like a grown-up. The model usually goes with rectangular frames and occasionally with round ones like the one above.
 

Lebron James and Dwyane Wade

 
lebron james and dwayne wade with black thin rimmed glasses

NBA superstars, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade sporting black and thick-rimmed eyeglasses. Source: Business Insider

 
Lebron and Dwyane, who made up two of Miami Heat’s big three back then, put the lensless glasses trend in the spotlight during a press conference in China. D Wade asserted back then that he wore them just because it was something to do. He and his teammate have been known to favor thick-rimmed rectangular or square frames.
 

Justin Bieber

 
justin bieber with horn rimmed glasses

JB with horn-rimmed non-prescription glasses. Source: ET Online

 
Justin likes completing his streetwear ensembles with glasses, but he doesn’t actually need them as they’re all prescriptionless. He has been known to experiment with a ton of styles, from thick-rimmed glasses in the early days of his career to his more recent penchant for aviator, square, and round wireframes.
 

Frames to pull off the lensless or plano trend with

mouqy couple wearing same frame different color

There are a great number of frames with styles for every face shape and personality at Mouqy.

 
When it comes to making a fashion statement through your eyewear, Mouqy is the place to be thanks to our wide variety of frames for every esthetic. While we don’t offer lensless glasses, we do have non-prescription ones which you can easily tailor to your personality with various designs.
 
If you’re feeling like a classy yet modern design, these Gem frames will fit the bill. These geometric blue eyeglasses suit people with round faces best, and turn up the cool factor on your outfit instantly.
 
gem clear blue front view

Mouqy’s geometric clear blue Gem frames.

 
Now, if you’re leaning towards something more quirky and adventurous, Justin specs are where it’s at! This type of frame fits those with square, triangle, and diamond-shaped faces.
 
mouqy justin aviator

Mouqy’s brown aviator Justin frames.

 
For a more subtly elegant approach, Suzy glasses will do the trick. Perfect for round and oval faces, its minimal design can be worn in just about any setting.
 
suzy square gold front view

Mouqy’s square golden Suzy frames.

 
For bright and fun days, radiant glasses like Balance will make you stand out right away. The geometric shape makes it especially fitting for people with round faces, and as a bonus, its interesting design can be a great ice-breaker.
 
balance geometric tortoise front view

Mouqy’s geometric tortoise Balance frames.

 

Hopping on the lensless glasses trend

So, is this trend worth a shot? Well, that’s all down to your confidence and personal taste. If you’re confident you can pull it off, you’re already halfway there.
 
If you’re team #LenslessGlasses or want to hop on the non-prescription glasses wagon, check out our guide to finding the right glasses for your face shape before you start browsing frames.
 
Enjoyed our journey into this eyewear trend today? There’s always more for your reading pleasure at Mouqy.

Shu Kie

Written by:

Shu Kie

Shu Kie is Mouqy’s certified optician with over 5 years of experience in the optical industry. She earned her certification from Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).

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