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Zooey Deschanel Glasses: Who’s that Girl with Nerdy Chic Glasses

Jamie Mendiola

Written By:

Jamie Mendiola

Updated: 08 June 2023 •  
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Did you know that Zooey Deschanel’s glasses in ‘New Girl’ didn’t have lenses in them? Look back at the first episode, then you’ll see what we’re talking about.
 
And yet, the lack of lenses didn’t stop her from becoming TV’s quirky IT girl. On the contrary, the glasses launched a new wave of appreciation for the nerdy chic aesthetic.
 
Here’s how you get Zooey’s style onscreen or offscreen.
 

Who is Zooey Deschanel?

Zooey Deschanel cover for Glamour magazine

Zooey Deschanel became a household name after starring as the wholesome Jessica Day on New Girl. Source: Glamour

 
Zooey Deschanel was born in the beautiful hills of Los Angeles, California, on January 17, 1980. She’s an actress, musician, and singer-songwriter who appeared onscreen since the young age of 17.
 
Early on in her career, she honed her craft in quirky rom coms and deadpan comedies. You probably recognize her from films like Veronica’s Closet, 500 Days of Summer, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
 
But of course, the role that catapulted her to a household name is that of Jessica Day in the hit sitcom New Girl. The nerdy, bumbling, yet wholesome character — along with her distinctive style — endeared Zooey to many.
 

Zooey Deschanel’s quirky retro style

Zooey Deschanel wearing red floral dress

Zooey’s signature style consists of flared dresses, florals, and ballet flats. Source: Dazed

 
One look at her Instagram and you can tell what Zooey’s style is all about. From ballet flats to flared dresses and florals, she has mastered the art of modern retro chic.
 
In the 90s, she often sported knee-high socks, ballet flats, and Peter Pan collars. This was also the time she became known for her soft, browline-length bangs, which frame her face and accentuate her bright blue eyes perfectly.
 
Today, her style has evolved into something more sophisticated. Her style still has a distinctively vintage vibe, but she now mixes it up with sharp blazers and stylish spectacles too.
 
In fact, you might even find her easier to recognize with her glasses on. Keep reading to see some of the specs Zooey has sported in and out of character, and find out how to get her looks.
 

Zooey Deschanel’s eyeglasses through the years

Here’s the thing, though, does Zooey Deschanel actually need glasses?
 
The line that separates Jess and Zooey can be a blurry one, and with how big of a part glasses play in the former’s persona, it’s hard to imagine Zooey not wearing any IRL.
 
Zooey Deschanel reaction post about a meme poking fun at her

The ‘New Girl’ actress once poked fun at a meme about how different she looks without her glasses and bangs. Source: Geo News

 
As it turns out, Zooey does need prescription glasses, which she confirmed in a Facebook post back in 2011. In the post, she wrote, “I’ve worn glasses my whole life & don’t know any other way. How about you guys?”
 
Over the years, the ‘New Girl’ star has built up a reputation around her signature look. Here are some of the most memorable eyewear looks she showed off through the years.
 

Signature black frames for a classic fit

 
Zooey Deschanel wearing glasses

Zooey dons classic rectangular black frames as the face of an eyeglasses brand. Source: Flickr

 
Think Zooey Deschanel glasses, and classic black frames will usually come to mind. The pair she wears here can be easily mistaken for a Jess Day pair, but this chic pair actually comes from a campaign she did for an eyeglasses brand.
 
If you wanna steal her look, try our Laura glasses. The rectangular frames can frame your eyes well, regardless of what color they are. They’re also made of acetate, making them a lightweight, comfortable, yet durable choice.
 

 

Round glasses with transparent frames for a fun night out

 
Zooey Deschanel wearing glasses with round frame in the jimmy fallon show

These large, transparent frames are the perfect complement to Zooey’s quirky aesthetic. Source: Daily Mail

 
If there’s anyone who knows how to have fun with fashion, it’s Zooey. She showed off her playful side via her glasses when she made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which were round and had transparent, acetate frames.
 
You too can easily add a playful twist to your look with our Bobby frames, which add a touch of retro charm with their round, see-through frames. Additionally, they’re tinted with a light shade of gray so they’re still versatile enough for most outfits.
 

 

Zooey Deschanel’s onscreen glasses

Zooey has portrayed many a colorful character in film and TV over the years. However, one common element you’ll often see pop up in these characters is — you guessed it — a pair of glasses.
 
Here are some of her most memorable onscreen specs.
 

Browline glasses in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

 
Zooey Deschanel in brownline glasses

Browline glasses helped Zooey Deschanel make an impression on fans of the cult classic ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Source: Twitter

 
In a sci-fi film like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you always need a trusty sidekick. That was Trillian, and Zooey played her memorably wearing a pair of browline glasses.
 
With rims that only extend to the upper brow part of the frames, these glasses are perfect for standing apart from the crowd in a subtle way. Now you can do the same with this Steven pair from Mouqy, which has sleek, black upper frames for a modern, industrial look and is made with silicone nose pads for a customizable, comfortable fit.
 

 

Oversized tortoiseshell glasses in ‘New Girl’

 
Zooey Deschanel wearing oversized tortoiseshell glasses

Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day in ‘New Girl’ wearing oversized, tortoiseshell glasses. Source: Insider

 
This section couldn’t be complete without Jess Day and the many varieties of glasses she’s worn over New Girl’s 7-season run. It’s the character that launched a thousand oversized, full-rimmed glasses, after all.
 
As Jess, Zooey often wore subtle tortoiseshell frames, and a pair like this Anonymous pair can definitely give you the same vibe.
 

 
If square frames aren’t your thing, maybe this rectangular pair will be more up your alley. The tortoiseshell print is more pronounced here, and its angular shape balances out her voluminous, tousled updo.
 
Zooey Deschanel wearing tortoiseshell glasses

Zooey as Jess Day has sported tortoiseshell glasses in a variety of shapes, like this rectangular pair here. Source: Madison

 
If this is what you’re looking for, check out these Joe frames. It’s got a classic tortoiseshell print with warmer brown tones and sleek temples to give your look a touch of elegance.
 

 

Get the Zooey Deschanel look for every face shape

One of the main things to consider when picking out glasses is your face shape. Knowing your facial structure is key to finding a frame shape that complements you best.
 
So, before you go full nerdy chic, check out our guide above and then circle back here to see which Zooey-inspired glasses you can rock for your face shape.
 

Heart-shaped face

 
Heart-shaped faces have high cheekbones that can be very fun to play with, fashion-wise. Opt for wide, oval frames like our Hipster frames to bring out your best angles.
 

 

Oval face

 
Those who are blessed with an oval face will have little to no struggle in picking specs, as almost anything will look good on you. To help narrow down your options, try these sultry tortoiseshell Nori frames.

 

Round face

 
Soft, round faces call for angular frames to balance out their features and give them a more contoured appearance. Something like these square, orange tortoiseshell Bravo frames will set you up for a great look.
 

 

Triangle-shaped face

 
If you’ve got a triangle-shaped face, you gotta find a way to work with your angles too. Sharp browline square glasses like this Steven design can balance your features out without blocking them entirely.
 

 

Square face

 
Unlike round faces, a square face usually has strong angles. Hence, you need a round pair of specs to soften your features and balance out your proportions. That’s where these thin, round Abby frames come in.
 

 

Diamond-shaped face

 
Having a diamond face shape is almost like a cheat code: most glasses will look perfect on you! This is especially the case with cat-eye frames that play up your cheekbones. With our Alice frames, you can get the effect of lifted cheekbones while channeling your inner Zooey.

 

Take a leaf from Zooey Deschanel’s book

Zooey’s style has shifted and evolved through the years, but some staples remain constant, such as her favorite glasses.
 
We hope this guide has helped give you some inspiration on what to look for, but if there’s one thing we want you to take away from Zooey’s approach to glasses, it’s to never be afraid to change it up every now and then.
 
Want more celeb eyewear style guides? Be sure to check out our pieces on Taylor Swift and Audrey Hepburn while you’re here!

Jamie Mendiola
Jamie is a writer and non-profit volunteer advocating for mental health. When not typing up a storm at work, you'll find her binge-watching Netflix or meditating like Yoda.

Zooey-Inspired Frames