Eyeglass styles for older men: a guide to staying timelessly stylish

Getting new glasses can be daunting and sometimes, even disheartening.

Yet, the right pair of glasses can be your steadfast ally, enhancing your features, projecting confidence... and of course, helping you see.

As we age, our visual needs change, and so do our style preferences. This article offers insights into eyeglass styles that will help you look and see your best.

Let's dive in.


What glasses look good on older men?

Older men, between 45 - 65 typically suit thick frame glasses in classic shapes such as round, oval or square. Full rim frames made from cellulose acetate are particularly popular for men as they come in various colours, transparencies and patterns such as tortoise shell acetate.

Why so?

Chunky glasses frames create much stronger contrast against your skin, compared to thin, rimless or wire spectacles. This contrast helps draw attention to your eyes, emotion and sense of character whilst detracting from any signs of ageing.

This is why rimless glasses (with no material surrounding each lens) have a tendency to make you look older. Their lack of colour and definition are much less personable, which doesn't help with the onset of wrinkling etc.

Whilst slim, lightweight glasses may be appealing, they simply lack any depth or amiability. Rimless glasses or sports-brand frames are, for some reason, generally quite dull and uninteresting. Which is why thick frame glasses are a better option for men who wish to impart some panache and style into their appearance.

If that sounds ideal, this guide's definitely for you. 👇



How to pick glasses over 50

Illustration of the four types of glasses frames

#1 Types of glasses frames

You've worn glasses for a while now, so this isn't your first rodeo. But it's worth sharpening-up on the type of frame you think will suit you best. (To look younger and a little more stylish, I'd suggest the first two types.)

Full rim glasses frame are the chunky ones, with material which fully surrounds each lens. These are typically made of a type of plastic called acetate.

Semi-rimless glasses feature acetate 'caps' across the top half of each lens. Also known as Clubmasters or browline frames, they originate from '50s optical fashion.

Rimless glasses are two lenses, conjoined with a metal bridge with temple-arms attached directly to the edges of each lens. These skeletal frames are very lightweight compared to full rim glasses.

Wire glasses are a subtype of full-rim frames. Made from extruded wire, this thin section of metal surrounds each lens.



#2 Frame shape

The thicker your frame, the more contrast it creates against your face. Which is why the shape of full-rim or semi-rimless glasses is an important factor to consider. If have a softish face with little definition, a rectangular frame shape will bring angularity to your cheeks and jawline. Conversely, if you have high cheekbones and a strong jawline, you should consider rounded frames to balance your defined facial features.

Exploring all the variables of frame/face shapes would make this post way to long, so for a more detailed guide to choosing glasses for your face shape click here.


Example of spectacle frame dimensions labelled on inside of temple

#3 Frame size

Just like your shoes or clothes, glasses follow their own sizing system too. This is based on three key-dimensions which affect their positioning and performance whilst being worn. In this particular order, these dimensions denote the (1) lens width (2) bridge width and (3) temple arm length.

When looking for new glasses, it's good to have an idea of what size you need. Try checking your current/old spectacles for their dimensions which are usually labelled on the interior surface of either temple.

Eg. 50 [] 18 145.

  • 50 = lens width
  • 18 = bridge width
  • 145 = temple arm length.

Because frame brands/manufacturers can vary so much, my advice is that you get a rough idea of the size you need. But, if numbers are 'your thing' you can go deep on frame sizing here.



#4 Frame colour

Plain ol' black might seem like a safe and easy choice. But don't let convenience leave you stuck with a boring pair of glasses for the next couple of years. If you decide on a semi or full-rim frame, there's a whole world of acetate colours to choose from.

As a mature chap, a little colour can really brighten your appearance - without looking too flashy, gaudy or attention seeking. If you have greying hair, consider spectacles with subdued earthy tones. Dark browns, Bordeaux reds and amber whisky hues are a stylish way to add depth, character and (for heavens sake) some personality.

Life's too short for boring glasses.

A great example are these two tone frames seen below. A black frame front with tortoise shell temples. Not shouty, but certainly not boring either.

Rectangular black spectacles with Havana pattern temple arms


#5 Lenses

Truth is, most people aren't that fired-up about spectacle lenses. It's the 'new-frame new-you' that gets the creative juices flowing.

But your lenses are of course integral to optical performance. Which is why your prescription and lifestyle should be taken into consideration.

If you have a strong prescription you'll likely be familiar with lens thinning or 'high index lenses' as they're commonly called. Rule of thumb? The stronger the prescription, the higher the index of lenses you'll need. More info on that here.

After 40 years old your close distance vision naturally deteriorates, incurring the requirement for multifocal lenses such as bifocals or varifocals (progressives). If so, you can choose to have one glasses frame that covers all vision zones or two pairs for different purposes. I.e. a 'close-reading' frame and a 'distance' frame.

Lens coatings are a must-have for longevity, performance and surprisingly aesthetics. A lesser known fact is that anti-glare helps people see your eyes more clearly. This coating absorbs more light through your lenses, instead of it bouncing off. (Uncoated lenses scratch easily, produce distracting reflections and look like an low-cost afterthought.)

Good quality lenses should use what's called MAR (multi anti-reflective) or HMC (hard multi coat). These terms mean the same thing, combining anti-glare and anti-scratch properties.

Blue light coating for protection against digital screens is usually considered as an upgrade (depending on the supplier). This coating is recommended for diminishing the effects of HEV (high energy visible) light emitted from your computer, smartphone or TV, especially at night.

Lifestyle can influence the material of your lenses. For most of us, standard ophthalmic lenses made of CR39 plastic are perfectly suitable. However, high-index (thinned) lenses can be made of impact-resistant materials such as Trivex® or polycarbonate which can be handy for active occupations.


Some key points on lenses

  • High index lenses reduce bulk
  • Avoid overpaying for unnecessary lens thinning
  • Multifocal lenses aid close, intermediate and distance vision all in one pair of glasses
  • Single vision lenses aid just one vision zone
  • Always opt for MAR/HMC lens coatings
  • Blue light coating is a handy secondary upgrade
  • Polycarbonate lenses are harder-wearing than CR39 equivalents, but will definitely require MAR/HMC coatings.


5 best eyeglass styles for mature men

Serious looking man with blue shirt and brown suit jacket wearing round tortoise spectacle frames

#1 Round frames

Round full-rim glasses offer a sophisticated and timeless look that complements any mature man's sense of style. Their studious shape and keyhole nose bridge is a classic style, suited for both casual and formal wear.

If you have a long-ish face with a high forehead and cheekbones, circular frames help to soften your facial features, providing a distinguished and intellectual appearance.

For a very traditional aesthetic, a tortoise shell pattern imbues natural warmth and depth to your complexion. Whether you have pale or dark skin, the Havana hues of the Linea G spectacle frame are an effortlessly stylish option you can rely on.

Round tortoise shell glasses frame



#2 Oval frames

Gentleman with salt and pepper hair wearing amber and black spectacles

If round glasses are too stylised for you, then perhaps an ovalized frame is a better option.

Compared to circular spectacles, oval shaped glasses are more forgiving if you have softer facial features such as your jawline and cheeks. Inspired by '50s optical fashion, oval frames can be worn by any man for a dapper but versatile eyeglass style.

Seen below, rich tones of hay, honey and amber complement your skin whilst detracting from any signs of wrinkling around your eyes. Warmly coloured frames such as the Linea B Golden Saffron are bold but flattering to your appearance that brings some spice to salt and pepper beards and hair.

Oval shape amber colour eyeglasses



#3 Square frames

Mature man standing in kitchen beside laptop computer wearing thick square eyeglasses frame and striped jumper

Ahh, the old faithful.

If colourful frames just aren't for you, then a neutral acetate frame is just the ticket. With no fear of clashing with your clothes, it removes the effort and thought towards the careful pairing of colours.

But here's the twist.

Instead of opaque black acetate (which can be incredibly stark) why not go for a dark transparent frame instead? Seen below, this smoked grey glasses frame has a subtle degree of transparency which offers a nice touch of depth and character.

On closer inspection, this acetate reveals shadow, sculpted undulations and inner hardware such as the hinges, rivets and temple cores within. Not your usual neutral-colour glasses, they offer a more character for a luxurious aesthetic.

Square dark grey spectacle frame



#4 Clear frames

Mature man with grey hair adjusting his round clear eyeglasses frame with one hand

Clear acetate frames are universally flattering.

Regardless of your skin tone or outfit choice, transparent glasses offer a versatile style option.

If you feel that bold, chunky frames are too overpowering, crystal acetate provides a more subtle alternative with the same thickness yet a softer appearance.

Unlike heavy black frames, transparent acetate creates a more subtle contrast against your skin. It effortlessly complements even the most vibrant clothing choices, making it a versatile accessory for any wardrobe.

For a style suggestion, explore the Linea C glasses frame in Arctic Grey acetate. These round, clear glasses are an excellent choice for men with grey hair, adding a modern touch of sophistication while drawing attention to your face. Whether paired with a sharp suit or a casual button-down shirt, these frames effortlessly elevate your look.

Thick clear frame oval shape eyeglasses frame



#5 Clubmaster frames

Close view of Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent wearing RayBan Clubmaster spectacles frame in 2016 Supergirl series

There's a special place in my heart for semi-rimless frames.

Achingly cool, these glasses combine the best of metal and acetate for a 'hybrid' eyeglass style for men. In essence, these are wire frame glasses, cladded with acetate across the upper half each rim. These 'caps' draw attention to your brow line, asserting your masculinity that's appealing and flattering in equal measure.

What's handy about this frame format are the adjustable nose pads which can be manipulated to suit your nose shape and bone structure. (Nice if you struggle to get the perfect fit!)

At Banton Frameworks, we don't make metal-rimmed frames, so the RayBan Clubmaster would be your an obvious mainstream option. However, for something more refined, the Garret Leight Gibson (seen below) is a wonderful specimen.

Side view of semi rimless eyeglasses frame




What glasses look good on older men?

Full-rim glasses in round or oval frame shapes are a great option for older men, as they bring definition to your face whilst coloured acetates add visual warmth to your appearance. Semi-rimless (Clubmaster frames) are also recommended, as they draw attention to your brow line and assert masculinity in a flattering way.


What style glasses make men look younger?

Thick frames glasses can make men look younger by creating a more playful and youthful appearance. Acetate frames with natural tones of brown, amber, grey and black have a more youthful look than neutral rimless glasses which typically lack personality or vibrance.


Should men's glasses cover eyebrows?

The top of your glasses should 'trace' your brow line, ideally slightly below, so they're still exposed and visible to onlookers. This allows people to detect your facial expressions more easily and give your face a more balanced look. Unless your glasses are especially thick or sit too high on your nose, they shouldn't obscure your eyebrows.


What colour glasses make you look younger?

If you have a greying complexion and fading hair, the best colour of glasses to make you look younger are typically warm in hue. Acetates with amber, honey, brown, black and reddish tones are a simple way to inject warmth, approachability and youthfulness to your appearance.

We hope you have found this article helpful, be sure to check out our Stylish Glasses for Men collection to find your next frame. Or if you are still a little stuck why not check out more of our style articles here.


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