Home LOOK GOOD A Look at Lighter Shades of Tortoiseshell Eyeglass Frames

A Look at Lighter Shades of Tortoiseshell Eyeglass Frames

by Kara Keigan
lighter shades of tortoiseshell

While tortoiseshell frames have been popular since the 1920s, we are beginning to see a softer version of the multi-color pattern incorporated into frames as of late.

If you’ve always loved the timelessness of a tortoiseshell frame but thought they were too dark or too bold, this new colorway is just for you. Blonde tortoiseshell glasses have become popular as the lighter, brighter cousin to the classic brown and black speckled shades.

Tortoiseshell history

While the pattern got its name from the use of real tortoise shells in the early 1900s, the tortoiseshell trade has been banned since the 1970s and has given way to plastic recreations.

To produce the plastic version, frame manufacturers would take three to six colors, make plastic sheets of each, dice them up, and melt them together, rolling them into a sheet to create the pattern. The classic tortoiseshell colorway involves natural colors like ambers and browns, creating a rich, dark colorway.

With cellulose acetate, designers began experimenting with different color palettes in the same popular speckled shape. Blonde tortoise offers a lighter, brighter version with light tans and taupes instead. This color palette is great for blondes and those with gray or white hair as it brightens the face instead of overwhelming it with a darker frame.

Tips for choosing your tortoiseshell palette

Blonde tortoiseshell glasses flatter almost everyone, but with many palette options to choose from, it may be hard to know where to start. Here’s a guide on how to choose the best tortoiseshell glasses for you.

  • Consider your eye color
    Pairing glasses that complement your eye color will help your eyes pop.
  • Consider your hair color
    Along with your eye color, your hair color will help frame and complement your frames, so it is best to consider what looks best with your hair color.
  • Consider your skin tone
    As the final step, evaluate your skin tone and which glasses look best with your complexion and skin undertones.

Skin tones are largely separated into two primary categories: warm and cool.

Cooler skin tones have an undertone of blue or pink, while warm tones usually have yellow or green undertones. Warm skin tones pair well with similarly warm colors and the same goes for cool skin tones. Warm undertones will want to look for blonde tortoiseshell glasses with amber undertones, while cool undertones will be best complemented with ashy undertones.

Shop our round-up of some of the most attractive blonde tortoiseshell glasses to compliment your colors and tones.

On the warmer side…

Tory Burch TY2084

On the cooler side…

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