Fashion in Focus: Tortoise Never Fails

10:44 AM

Is there one glasses frame color that will never go out of style? Your best bet: tortoise shell.  There may not be a single more versatile color in the universe. We've all been brow-beaten by our grandmothers to not to mix black and brown, but tortoise shell can mix with anything.  It's brown, it's black, it's got gold and ivory undertones.  It just works.  If you are trying to find a frame that will last for years, and be a glasses-staple in your wardrobe, I always recommend shopping in this color range.

Why not black, you may be wondering?  Black is considered by many to be the building blocks of a wardrobe, but if you have ever worn black frames, you know how heavy they can look on your face.  In the world of glasses, black frames are a very strong fashion statement -- there is nothing subdued about a bulky black plastic frame.  Tortoise shell, however, has a softer infusion of several colors, making for a much lighter and approachable look.  

Where black frames can be harsh, the same frame shape in tortoise shell can look light and airy.  Exactly what spring and summer needs!

How can you bring your basic tortoise shell frame into summer 2014?  Dr. S breaks it down with two fashion forward stylings:

One: Let the Glasses Frame Your Face

They are called "frames" for a reason.  Glasses can enhance your natural face shape attributes (just check out my posts on the best frames for your face shape to see how).  With a neutral like tortoise shell, you can let the shape of the frame make the statement for your look (and your own natural beauty shine through).  Overtly oversized frames are quickly fading into the past, so skip the extra large frames in the men's section.  2014 is trending much more natural -- look for a frame whose depth, or vertical length, is about two times larger than your eye, and where your eye is well centered in the horizontal width.  Bigger than this was popular in years past, but will look quite juvenile by 2014 standards.

Two: Pop of Gold

Looking for something with a little more punch?  I love pairing tortoise shell with gold for a stronger statement.  Gold is still your metal of choice in 2014, and there are no signs of the gold phenomenon fading any time soon.  Tortoise shell naturally has gold highlights, so the color story flows quite naturally.  Look for a pop of gold in the temples or in a two-tone effect along the face of the frame.

All photos in this post are from the talented Melissa DeLorme photography

You Might Also Like


  1. What adorable frame is she wearing with the gold temples? I'm an SCO grad and now a NC optometrist and I LOVE your blog! Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much! I love hearing from fellow NC optometrists. If you are ever interested in getting involved on the blog or just swapping OD stories, please email me at and maybe we can link up :)