Zooey Deschanel: an eyewear icon

Zooey Deschanel Glasses

Wholeheartedly embodying the geek chic image, Zooey Deschanel has become a fashion icon when it comes to eyewear. Her characteristic glasses have (literally) framed each role she's played in her various hit TV shows such as New Girl and movies like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She's even had her own collaborative edition of sunglasses named after her.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at some of Zooey Deschanel’s most stylish eyewear frames throughout her acting career so far. From classic cat-eye shapes to mid-century browline frames, we'll explore how she uses eyewear to make bold statements with each character she plays.


Zooey Deschanel in New Girl wearing thick round glasses frame looking surprised

What glasses does Zooey Deschanel wear?

Zooey Deschanel has worn various glasses frames throughout her acting roles. Most famously, her role in 'New Girl' saw her adornment of the 'Wacks' spectacle frame in Cocobolo acetate, produced by Californian eyewear brand Oliver Peoples.

After series 1 of the hit sitcom, she progressed to a different, more rounded Oliver Peoples frame for which she became best known for. This particular model was the 'Sheldrake' spectacle frame, again made from the same Cocobolo acetate. (See our section on New Girl below.)



Screen shot of Zoe Deschanel's 2011 post on Facebook stating that she's worn glasses all her life

Does Zooey Deschanel wear glasses?

Yes, Zooey Deschanel is in fact mildly myopic (short sighted) and needs to wear glasses in order to see things far away. Regardless of her 'New Girl' geek-chic ensemble, she does actually need to wear glasses for a full range of vision.


Does Zooey Deschanel have lenses in her glasses?

No. On the set of TV show sitcom 'New Girl', Zoe Deschanel's glasses were often fitted without any lenses. This is becuase ophthalmic lenses have a habit of reflecting strong studio lighting which not only revealed the various light sources, but also prevents viewers from seeing her eyes properly.

For TV and movies, it's common for actors to wear spectacles without lenses as they can inhibit their conveyance of emotion and feeling. Even with anti-glare coatings, ophthalmic lenses annoyingly reflect camera crew and studio lighting which would ultimately detract from the scene.

Whilst anti-glare lens coatings help reduce reflections, they produce blue, purple and green tones across the lenses which may or may not align with the era of the film being produced. For example, in period dramas such as Downton Abbey, modern day lens coatings weren't congruous with the early 20th century setting.


Zoey Deschanel's glasses in New Girl

Zoe Deschanel in series 1 of New Girl wearing Oliver Peoples Wacks glasses frame

What glasses does Jess Day wear?

In series 1 of New Girl, Zoe Deschanel's character, Jess Day, wears a pair of full rimmed glasses made by Los Angeles optical brand - Oliver Peoples. These slim rectangular frames are made from thick acetate, a colourway which the brand still refer to as Cocobolo.

Seen above, the earthy tones of amber, black and honey are the perfect match for her brown hair. With an angular shape and a slightly wider temple, the Wacks glasses frame is one of Oliver Peoples most iconic designs.

With its slim rectangular frame shape, it's a versatile spectacle design that can be worn by anyone. If you're thinking of getting a similar frame, these Cocobolo hues will bring warmth to your complexion for an easy-to-wear glasses look.


Jess Day in series 1 of New Girl wearing blue cardigan and slim rectangular eyeglasses frame

The Oliver Peoples 'Wacks' glasses frame

For the first series of New Girl, Jess Day wore these slim spectacles titled 'Wacks' by Californian eyewear brand Oliver Peoples. These streaked acetate glasses frames have a slightly wider temple and feature an angular shape which creates a bold, distinct look.

A simple design, the Wacks spectacles frame is full-rimmed with a subtle cat-eye shape that helps to draw attention to your eyes. For women, this sort of shape is perfect for adding femininity to your look in a classic acetate pattern.

Interestingly, these slim rectangular eyeglasses have also been worn by Jennifer Anniston. With its flowing frame shape and flattering colour palette, it's clearly a popular style for Hollywood celebrities.

Three quarter view of the Oliver Peoples Wacks glasses frame in Cocobolo acetate



Zoe Deschanel in New Girl wearing blue blouse and thick rimmed glasses frame sitting on leather couch

After the first series of New Girl, Zooey Deschanel's glasses were updated to the Oliver Peoples' Sheldrake frame. Although still made in Cocobolo acetate, this frame has a much rounder frame shape which gave a more timeless sort of look.

These were the glasses that became part of Jess Day's character, a synonymous part of her nerdy wardrobe which she wore for the majority of the following seasons.

A noticeable departure from the more 'noughties' style glasses prior, the Sheldrake frame was the perfect look for her heart shaped face. With a traditional keyhole bridge and rounded rims, it accentuates her soft cheekbones and chin making her face seem smaller and less wide.

If you have a similar face shape, you should consider a '50's style spectacle frame in a bold, heavy acetate. The Sheldrake is a perfect example of how stark contrasting spectacles can really work for you, especially if you're going for a studious, preppy aesthetic. Even sported by Hollywood legend Robert Downey Jr.

Front facing view of Oliver Peoples Sheldrake spectacle frame in Cocobolo acetate


Dual comparison of Zooey Deschanel wearing glasses with and without lenses in her glasses frame

Do Jess glasses have lenses?

Throughout New Girl, Jess' glasses aren't usually fitted with lenses. Despite her myopia, her Sheldrake spectacles don't have lenses to prevent reflections interfering with eye-contact or revealing studio light sources.

This slightly odd but clever wardrobe detail made filming much easier as she wore glasses in nearly every scene through the show's seven year stint.

For most people however, glasses without prescription lenses makes no sense at all (unless your wearing them as a fashion accessory). To reduce reflections across your spectacle lenses, don't scrimp on lens coatings such as anti-scratch and anti-glare.

Anti-glare help more light pass through your lenses instead of bouncing off them. In turn, this makes your vision clearer and helps people see your eyes. It's worth the extra money and helps make you see more clearly.


Zoe Deschanel wearing thick black sunglasses frame with dark lenses in laundromat

Zooey Deschanel Sunglasses

With her affinity for Oliver Peoples glasses frames, Zoe Deschanel collaborated with the Los Angeles based eyewear brand back in 2009. Together they developed a vintage style sunglasses frame named after her, called the Zooey.

The silhouette of these sunglasses was a classy 1960's Hollywood shape, with a mild cat-eye look to them. Various colours were available when they were launched for pre-sale during March 2009 with a portion of the profits going towards a local domestic violence intervention group called the Jenesse Center.

Front facing view of Zooey sunglasses frame by Oliver Peoples in Cocobolo acetate

The Zooey sunglasses

Aptly titled the Zooey frame, these sunglasses were a limited edition collaboration between Zooey Deschanel and Oliver Peoples for Spring Summer 2009. The shape was superbly simple and featured wrap-around metal hinges that adorned the outer front edges of the frame.

Deschanel fans were delighted with the hidden 'kiss' icon that appeared on the centre of the lenses. If you breathed on them, the heat would gently reveal a set of lipstick lips on the surface of the lens. A signature per se... but also to prove authenticity.

Though these sunglasses have been and gone, you can still achieve the same look with some of the sunglasses listed below.


Dolce & Gabanna DG6171 a firm favourite of JLo

Three quarter view of Dolce & Gabanna DG6171 sunglasses frame


Bottega Veneta BV1119S

Three quarter view of Bottega Veneta BV1119S sunglasses frame


Ray Ban Lady Burbank

Ray Ban Lady Burbank tortoise shell sunglasses frame



Zoey Deschanel wearing white shirt and Clubmaster spectacles frame in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Zooey Deschanel glasses Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

The RayBan Clubmaster was the chosen style of spectacle frame for Zooey Deschanel when she starred in the 2005 movie, Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy.

These classic frames hail from the 1950's which were originally designed by American optical brand Ronsir. Characteristically, Clubmasters have a top-heavy look, featuring thick acetate sections in the upper half of the frame. This contrasting detail draws attention to the most expressive part of your face, your eyebrows, hence their original name; browline glasses.

The particular model worn by Zoey Deschanel during filming had a glossy black and bronze acetate contrast. This combination gave her glasses an understated but robust look that really suited her character's nature-loving girl persona.

Three quarter view of Ray-Ban Clubmaster spectacles frame in Black and Bronze acetate


Three quarter view of Ray Ban Clubmaster spectacles frame in Black and Bronze acetate

The Clubmaster frame

If the thick, bold frames worn in New Girl are a little too bold for you, this 'combination' style of frame gives you the best of both worlds. The frame front is primarily made from thin metal which look much less dominant on your face. In your peripheral vision, the thin wire is far less visible and is a nice way to keep the weight of your frame low - especially if you have a strong prescription with thick lenses.

Across the top of the frame front and for the temples, thick cellulose acetate is used in conjunction with the thin metal wire rims. This hybrid format of frame is a classic '50s style and has had a recent resurgence of popularity as hipster glasses.

If you have a round or square shaped face, browline glasses like these are an excellent choice. They aren't overly bold on your face thanks to the thin wire rims, but the chunky upper half provides enough definition so they don't wash you out.




Zooey Deschanel has a knack for picking iconic frames that accentuate her features. From cat-eye shapes to Clubmasters, she's sure to make a statement no matter the occasion.

For those of us lucky enough to share similar face shapes and eye colourings, we can take some fashion inspiration from Miss Deschanel. With the right pair of glasses, you too can look as chic and stylish as her.

Hopefully you found this article helpful. Please check out our other eyewear icons. Thanks for stopping by.