Your Glasses Style

Acetate glasses frames: our stylists’ top picks

When shopping for glasses you’re likely to come across the word ‘acetate’ a lot, but what does it really mean? Acetate, also known as cellulose acetate, is a synthetic plant-based fibre made from wood pulp and cotton. It was first discovered by a scientist named Paul Schützenberge in 1865 but didn’t become a popular material for eyewear until the 1940s. Nowadays, acetate frames are regarded as the most durable and fashion-forward eyewear out there.  

Acetate is hypoallergenic and lightweight. The fibre is easily adjusted to custom fits as it is less brittle than other plastics, making it versatile and durable. Colours and designs are typically painted or sprayed on conventional plastic frames, but acetate designs are made from layering blocks of cellulose making the designs more vibrant and complex. 

Why not choose acetate frames for your next pair of glasses? Check out some of the styles below: 

Chunky and oversized

Bring back the 70s with oversized acetate glasses that are fashionable, flattering and will accentuate your eyes. These Viktor-Rolf acetate frames have an exaggerated square shape with a dark tortoiseshell colouring for a sophisticated look. The gold brand detail on the temple provides the perfect finishing touch and will look great when combined with any gold jewellery; wear these accessories with a simple outfit to let the glasses do the talking.  

Find out more about the rise of vintage-style frames this season

Minimal and clear frames 

Clear glasses are one of the most popular styles of acetate frames as they suit almost everyone. This eyewear trend is particularly popular in Scandinavian countries, appealing to their modern and minimalist style. So why not try the look with these Kylie Minogue glasses from her Fever range? The pale pink hue and cat-eye frame adds a feminine touch to the cosmopolitan clear acetate frames. Pair these with a trench coat or leather blazer, to tie the look together. 

Want to discover more crystal-clear frames? Read through their lookbook here

Colourful glasses

Looking for a pair of glasses that will immediately elevate your outfit? Look no further than colourful acetate frames for the perfect summery look that can also bring a pop of colour to your winter wardrobe. We love these fun and flirty Marc Jacobs acetate glasses with a good mix of mottled orange, pink, red and black the bold colour palette is highlighted by the rose gold metallic sides. Effortlessly accessorise every day by pairing these with your workwear or a simple monochrome outfit.

Monochrome glasses

The best investment is a pair of glasses that are durable, versatile and evergreen. Monochrome acetate frames will last a long time and are a classic style that will never go out of fashion. These deep-square framed French Connection glasses are in a tri-layer design with a shiny black, white and blue interior. They will give you that effortlessly cool and casual look with minor branding on the temples, making them an understated wardrobe staple that’s suitable for any occasion.

See our full collection of monochrome frames

Round-eye frames

Channel your inner retro vibe with round acetate frames. This wearable trend will particularly suit those with oval face shapes, but anyone can wear them and still look great. These Lyle and Scott glasses have a chunky acetate frame with dark green tortoiseshell colouring, incorporating the trendy hipster style that oozes a designer edge. Pair these specs with an on-trend sweater vest or a knitted jumper for a surefire way to nail the vintage look.

See our full collection of round frames

Patterned acetate frames

Acetate glasses are a stylist’s favourite because of the vibrant colours and patterns that can be created on the frames. Stand out from the crowds with these Karen Millen leopard print acetate frames. The additional diamanté studded gold chevron detail on the temple, allow these specs to sparkle in all directions. Coordinate your glasses with your outfit and pair these with a leopard print dress – an eye-catching look for a summer bbq.

See our collection of feel good prints


Or if you’re looking for a pair for the summer months, acetate frames are commonly used for high-quality sunglasses too. These Specsavers sunglasses come in a groovy tortoiseshell print in a classic double bridge design, which is a rising trend as an ultimate summer accessory.

With the social season in full swing, discover other sunglasses suggestions to wear to your upcoming event here

Ready to buy a pair of acetate glasses but want to see which would suit you best? Try our virtual try-on tool and check out our buyer’s guide to the best glasses style for every hair colour and face shape. From Levi’s new collection to 90s glasses, you can find more style guides and inspiration on the #LoveGlasses blog now.