You may have noticed the youth seem to be setting fashion trends lately—and eyewear is no exception. As Gen Z comes into their own as consumers, their tastes are shaping what’s stylish now and into the future.
This generation is redefining fashion in ways both big and small, taking inspiration from past decades and mixing things up to make them their own. They value individuality, inclusion, sustainability, and self-expression. And with accessories like sunglasses, they’re able to put together looks perfect for Instagramming their personalities.
Who Is Generation Z?
Before we break down all the trending frames, let’s get familiar with the generation driving these looks.
Gen Z refers to folks born from the late 90s to early 2010s. That puts most of them between ages 8 and 26 now. They make up over 30% of the global population—the largest generation yet.
But it’s not just their numbers that give Gen Z influence. They also have over $143 billion in direct spending power. And because they’re digital natives, their tastes spread quickly over social media and shape mainstream culture.
This generation cares about individuality and inclusion. They value sustainability and buying from brands that align with their principles. And they see fashion as a means for self-expression, donning looks that communicate who they are.
Eyewear is the perfect accessory for Zoomers to try new styles without breaking the bank. Glasses let them test drive trends before committing their wardrobe. And the right pair can take an outfit from 0 to 100 real quick.
Oversized Frames for the Bold
One hot Gen Z eyewear trend is no small deal–it’s oversized everything.
We’re talking big, chunky frames in every shape and color. While millenials slimmed down frames to balance proportions, Gen Z goes bold. These looks demand attention rather than shrinking behind delicate wires.
Paris Hilton, Hailey Bieber, and more It Girls have been spotted rocking shield sunglasses for major face real estate. The skater-inspired silhouette covers half your face for an aesthetic snap. Plus, smaller details like tiny logos are hidden, letting wild colors and shapes take center stage.
Oversized glasses pair perfectly with other popular Zoomer staples like baggy jeans, flowing dresses, slouchy button-downs, and oversized blazers. The proportions play well together while still allowing your accessories to stand out.
Rainbow Lenses Bring the Energy
Zoomers also use eyewear color to capture a vibe. While subtle earth tones had their time, this generation sees rainbow brights as a form of self-expression.
Lenses come in every shade these days from azure blue to Barbie pink. Gradient and mirrored coatings give extra dimension for an edgy appearance. Others opt for transparent or subtle tortoiseshell colors to let ornate frame designs and shapes shine.
No matter which route you pick, the right colors can liven up ensembles instantly. Rock a neon pair with equally vibrant accessories like a graphic tee, cashmere sweater, or sleek mini bag. Or offset ultra-colorful frames with neutral tones for balance. However you style them, these loud eyewear looks pack a punch.
Vintage Vibes: Cat-Eyes and Ovals
While current color trends tend bright, Gen Zers show some nostalgia in their frame shapes. Retro silhouettes offer a nod to yesteryear style while still looking fashion forward.
Cat-eye and oval frames are surging once again, recalling Old Hollywood and 70s rock n’ roll style. The winged-out corners of cat-eyes add a little vintage glam to casual outfits. Pair them with everything from mom jeans to slip dresses and watch them transform edgy to chic instantly.
On the other end, oval frames exude artistic edge with curved tops flowing into straight edges at the cheeks. Their clean rounded shape complements square, angled garments for balance and visual interest.
Both these throwback looks bridge past and present beautifully. They tie together recent comebacks like low-rise flares and crop tops with those era’s eyewear for a modern retro moment.
Eco-Conscious Materials Align With Values
Sustainability matters to Generation Z. So it’s no surprise eco-materials are hot in accessories right now.
Bamboo frames offer lightweight durability and a warm look perfect for any season. Natural sources like this align with Zoomer ethics while keeping costs affordable.
Upcycled materials are also trending now. Brands transform waste plastic bottles, metals, fibers into sleek yet ethical designs. Hardware and hinges may incorporate recycled brass or aluminum as well. The result? Stylish specs made sustainably.
Vegan leather earpieces and nose pads skip animal materials without sacrificing style or comfort. These extra details let conscience take center stage while the designs themselves shine.
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Caps and Graphic Tees Keep It Casual
Beyond eyewear, Gen Z influencers shape wider fashion spaces through their casually confident looks. These comfort-first fits let personalities take the lead.
Baseball caps punctuate athleisure apparel for sporty flair. Logo or plain, curved bills shade stringy hair and bare faces alike. The nostalgic headwear puts focus on the rest of the outfit.
Casual tops also let Zoomers speak their minds. Graphic tees relay clever quips and niche obsessions. Tie-dye swirls channel 70s sincerity. slogans stamped across chests or backs make literal statements.
Layered over plain tees, these conversation starters peak out from under varsity jackets, flannels, and cardigans. Paired with bike shorts or sweatpants, the whole look lands more personal than posed.
While silhouettes shift with each generation, expressing individuality remains essential. And accessories update looks without breaking budgets. Statement eyewear, hats, tees, and more let Zoomers try trends while declaring their personal brands.
Oversized sunnies balance loud colors and fabrics. Retro shapes play with eras colliding in fresh ways. Eco-materials align ethics and style. And athleisure pieces keep things authentic.
Through these trends, Gen Z dons accessory looks as diverse as their perspectives. So take cues from the youth culture making waves right now. Because 2023’s top frames might just reflect the vision for fashion’s future.