Tortoiseshell Frames for Timeless Wear

By  | 

Tortoiseshell Frames for Timeless Wear

For thousands of years, people have loved the mottled tones of burnt umber, mahogany and ochre in tortoiseshell, which was taken primarily from the hawksbill turtle.

Designers used pieces of tortoiseshell as inlays on cabinets and other large pieces of furniture, but tortoise shell was used for small objects, such as bowls, musical instruments, frames, combs, jewelry boxes and eyewear. Eyeglasses and sunglasses in tortoiseshell were extremely popular in the 1950s, and the tortoise population declined significantly.

The material was so adored for decorative embellishments that the tortoises were hunted to the point of endangerment, and a worldwide ban on real tortoiseshell was put into effect in 1973.

That, however, did not end the passion for all things patterned in tortoiseshell.

Today’s trends

Today the tortoiseshell patterns you love in your sunglasses are manmade from materials such as plastic, acetate or even stained horn, but they reveal the same gorgeous patterns and coloring for which the tortoiseshell is revered.

Trendy hipsters appreciate these frames, and the manmade versions are far less expensive than authentic tortoiseshell. You can pick up a pair of manmade tortoiseshell frames for around $100, compared to the several thousand dollars vintage tortoiseshell frames will cost you.

When you are looking for faux tortoiseshell frames, keep in mind that this popular pattern is now referred to as a color rather than a material; sometimes the color is also called Havana Brown, which tends to be slightly lighter in hue than true tortoiseshell.

You can still wear the warm gold and brown tones of tortoiseshell in your sunglasses and prescription eyewear. Many designer eyewear brands make this pattern available in several of their designs, and the tortoiseshell pattern still conveys the same timeless look of intellect and savvy sense of preppy style.

If you are looking to upgrade your style in eyewear, consider tortoiseshell options from Ralph Lauren, Bobbi Brown and Gant for some gorgeous selections to complement your look.

Although the frames may be entirely patterned in tortoiseshell, there are also frames that combine tortoiseshell with bold colors such as red or aqua, and some of the newest trends include tortoiseshell patterns in blonde shades or those marbled with fresh color, such as lime, berry and lavender.

Tortoiseshell frames are versatile accessories for men and women, and these frames are equally at home with business and formal wear as they are with your jeans and cable sweater. You will discover that tortoiseshell is the new black because this pattern and the colors in it seem to go with everything.

You will find yourself turning to this style again and again because it is as truly ageless as it is affordable.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login