Eyewear trends 2020

The start of a new year is the perfect time to update your workwear wardrobe with a new pair of specs.
Whereas once we bespectacled may have felt self-conscious about switching up our look day-to-day, it's now the ultimate fashion statement and a great way to show off some personality, made easy by the vast array of styles now available on the high street.
We asked three of our favourite glasses brands for the styles and shapes they expect to be big in 2020.

Transparent with warm accents


If you're a glasses wearer, chances are you've already invested in the huge trend for transparent frames which dominated 2019, so what's the new year update?  
"The transparent trend is still very much alive in 2020, expect to see lots of new colours and interesting lens combinations like two-tone faded lenses," say Dane Butler and David Lochhead, founders of Finlay London. "The traditional crystal (the clearest clear) is so transparent it has a reflective quality akin to a diamond, whilst colours such as Smoke (translucent with a grey accent), Butterscotch, Rose, Dark Rum and Champagne remove that highly reflective aspect of crystal whilst still being more subtle than an opaque frame."
Ruud de Bruin and Lauren van der Kolk, creative director and design director at Ace & Tate, agree that warmer accents are having a moment. "Besides "cold" hues like smoke and crystal, we see an increase in the warmer earth tones, like greens and sandy colours."
Marie Wilkinson, style director at Cutler and Gross, is also hot on warmth. "We can expect some women’s opticals with makeup inspired colour tones: think blush, rouge and apricot shades," she says. ​

Reworked classics


Reworked classics

Thin gold or silver rimmed glasses aren't necessarily going anywhere either, but you should expect to see some reworking of classics such as the aviator or wayfarer styles, according to the design team at Ace & Tate.
"For an exaggerated take on the trend try Carter (above), a new frame which takes a nostalgic approach to the aviator with a more boxy frame. The extra thing acetate provides is a super light feel on the face with a skeletal vibe," they say.
"Another frame from our SS20 collection, Tokio (above), which is available as sunglasses and opticals takes the classic aviator into the future," they say. "The frame has been designed with plated titanium on the temples to elevate the style to new heights. It's rooted in craftsmanship and exposure of details."

Go big and bold 

For 2020, it's all about making a statement with your specs.
"Bold, heavyweight optical styles will dominate this year alongside a resurgence of the round or Pantoscopic oval styles," says Cutler and Gross's Wilkinson. "I think a bold choice of eyewear indicates a certain inner confidence and a positive outlook. A lot of personal style choice can be applied to eyewear, which people don’t always consider. If you like wearing a blue jumper, why not try a blue optical frame?"

Rectangular shades

And while it is only February, whether or not you've got some winter sun in the planning or not, many of us will already be curious about the new sunglass shapes for the summer, particularly with the first Winter Love Island keeping us entertained by night.
Next season will continue to be dominated by rectangular frames," say the Ace & Tate designers. "They strike the perfect balance between novelty and commercial appeal. To bring a freshness to the style we'll implement monochrome and bright tones."
Wilkinson agrees: "The major trend for sunglasses will be monochrome acetates inspired by 90’s, attention seeking styles plus rectangular, ‘slice’ acetates with sculptural landscaping to emphasise the layering of colours," she says. 
New geometric shapes 
Finlay founders Butler and Lochhead suggest opting for some of the newer geometric shapes this summer. ​"For 2020 we predict lots of geometric frames in both small and oversized styles. Some great examples are our new frame called Blake (below) which is a bold geometric shape, Charlotte which is an oversized panto."

More sustainable specs


Look out for more sustainable materials in eyewear collections going forwards, too, 
Currently many frames on the market are made using cellulose acetate, a semi-synthetic material which is mostly derived from a plant base but which is still a plastic and draws on natural resources, but more brands are experimenting with circular production techniques.
Last year Cubitts launched Redux, a sustainable collection made of different waste materials like potatoes, sheep’s wool, chopping boards, plastic packaging, human hair, mushrooms, yoghurt pots and CDs. In 2020 it plans to roll out an entire collection of frames made using solid wool which it deemed the strongest of all 10 materials tested – and it's also just introduced a cleaning cloth made of  recycled plastic bottles in collaboration with artist David Shrigley. 
Meanwhile Ace & Tate, which explored the use of waste materials in an exhibition with Plasticiet for Dutch Design Week, says it hopes to incorporate new circular production techniques into future capsule collections.
"As sustainability becomes a main focus in 2020, we will see much more plastic composites and reclaimed plastic materials in eyewear. Watch out for frames in more peculiar materials, such as coffee waste and potato peels,that really push boundaries," say Ruud de Bruin and Lauren van der Kolk.