Style: The Differences Between Horn Rimmed, Rimless, and Half Rim Glasses

Style: The Differences Between Horn Rimmed, Rimless, and Half Rim Glasses

When shopping for eyeglasses, many people wonder “What is the difference between horn-rimmed, half-rim, semi-rim, rimless frames?” Understanding the different types of frames will help you choose a style of glasses that you love wearing every day. Moreover, you will be able to select frames that complement your face shape perfectly.

We believe that shopping for eyeglasses should be a fun and pleasant experience. So, we’re here to help make the process a little bit easier. In this article, you will find a guide to horn-rimmed glasses, rimless-glasses, and half-rim glasses as well as answers to some frequently asked questions about each style. 

With this guide, you will be able to confidently choose your next pair of eyeglasses.

Frame Types Explained

Each type of glasses has its own set of characteristics that make them unique. 

Horn-Rimmed Glasses

emery black frame glasses by gunnar

Once upon a time, horn-rimmed glasses may have been made out of real horn, but that’s not where they get their name from. Horn-rimmed glasses for men first gained popularity when comedian Harold Lloyd wore them in the 1917 film “Over the Fence.” Before this, rimless glasses were the most popular because they help make eyeglasses look more “natural” on the face. 

Why are they called horn-rimmed glasses?

The name comes from the horn-like shape around the upper corners of the frame. Instead of the rim hugging tightly against the lens all the way around, horned rims flare out at the hinges. This creates a dramatic look that is surprisingly timeless. 

Are horn-rimmed glasses in style?

Today, horn-rimmed glasses are rocking the counter- and subculture scenes, like punk and indie rock. They are associated with being sophisticated, intellectual, and yet a little rebellious. You would probably like to wear horn-rimmed glasses if your style is daring and dramatic, or classic and timeless. Our Emery glasses might be exactly what you are looking for.

black frame glasses gunnar intercept

Who should wear horn-rimmed glasses?

Horn rim glasses are great for people with rounder face shapes. Their exaggerated corners will bring attention to the high corners of your face to give it more dimension. Horn-rimmed glasses are also a great option for people with heart-shaped faces. They will bring balance to your face instead of framing your rounded features. Check out the Intercept glasses.


gunnar glasses for different face shapes


Rimless Glasses

Rimless glasses for women and men help to make eyeglasses look less pronounced on the face. This is a great style option for anyone with a minimalistic style or someone that wants to show off their delicate facial features.

Are rimless frames in style?

Rimless frames are always in style. It just depends on what your personal style is. You might find that these perfectly fit your minimalist preferences. If you tend to have a flair for the dramatics, you might need the pop of color that horn rim and half rim glasses offer.

Who should wear rimless frames?

Rimless glasses for men and women are great for someone who is wearing glasses for the first time. Many people are worried about how glasses will look and feel on their faces. Because these frames are extremely low-profile, many people find it feels and looks like wearing nothing at all! Rimless glasses are the most lightweight option, so this style would probably be best for anyone who has a proclivity for headaches, migraines, and general sensitivities.

Semi-Rimless Glasses

half rim blue light glasses emissary

Semi-rimmed glasses give you the best of both frame types. On the top, you get all the drama of horn-rimmed glasses and on the bottom, you get the minimalism of rimless glasses. Half-rim reading glasses are great for people who need to wear glasses all day long but also read often. Because there is no bottom rim, you may find that it’s easier to look down and read – there is no thick plastic rim obstructing your view! For the semi-rimless look, check out Emissary frame.

Who should wear half-rim glasses?

Half rimmed glasses for women are a popular choice because they bring attention to the top of the face and eyes while leaving the cheekbones in clear view. Many women find that this gives their face a lifted appearance while adding class and elegance. Half-rim glasses are more lightweight than full-rim glasses, so they might be a great option for anyone that tends to have headaches, migraines, and facial sensitivities.

Are half-rim glasses in style?

Yes, they are! Because half-rim glasses give you the best of both worlds, they never go out of style. That said, they might not fit your personal style, and that’s okay. Try on a few pairs and see how they feel.

Looking for Your Perfect Style?

With so many different options for eyeglasses, it can be difficult to choose your perfect style. Ideally, you want to choose a style that you’re happy to wear every day. Buying eyeglasses online used to be risky, but today’s technology allows you to have an in-person shopping experience from the comfort of your home.

Here at GUNNAR, you can try on any of our glasses before purchasing by using our virtual try-on tool. Now, you can decide if horn-rim, rimless, or half-rim glasses look best on your face!

GUNNAR glasses are designed to help reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain. We believe that no one should have to compromise quality or function for style. GUNNAR glasses look good, feel great, and protect your eyes. Shop GUNNAR collections today!

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