Your Complete Guide to Tortoise Shell Glasses

Your Complete Guide to Tortoise Shell Glasses

Elegant and timeless, tortoise shell glasses have spanned the decades as one of the most popular frame patterns. Their distinctive design features mottled yellow, brown, and amber patches, resembling the appearance of—you guessed it—a tortoise’s shell. In this article, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about these classic frames, including how to choose the perfect pair of tortoise shell glasses for your style and needs. Here’s what you need to know!

A brief history of tortoise shell glasses

Tortoise shell glasses first came on the scene in the 1920s and were made using real tortoise shells. While this is a very upsetting fact, the practice of using real tortoise shells was thankfully outlawed in 1973. However, that wasn’t the end of this classic style. With advances in the plastic manufacturing industry, it became possible to get that unique, speckled look without harming any tortoises. Today, the most common material used to create tortoise shell frames is acetate, a type of extremely durable plastic.

Are tortoise shell glasses in style?

tortoise shell glasses on a young woman


Tortoise shell glasses have never truly gone out of style—and for good reason! Their warm colors work well with a variety of different outfits and personal styles. Big-name celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston  (known for her roles in Friends, Bruce Almighty, The Break-Up, Marley & Me and more) and Ann Hathaway (known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada, The Princess Diaries and more) are regularly seen wearing tortoise shell eyewear. Fashion bloggers have also embraced the look.

Are tortoise shell glasses flattering?

Tortoise shell frames have a way of looking good on anyone and can be worn on any occasion, whether you’re dressing casual, preppy, or fancy. Because there’s quite a bit of detailing in tortoise shell frames, however, they’re best paired with simple clothing without too many patterns.

What kind of tortoise shell glasses should you choose?

GUNNAR offers a variety of different tortoise shell glasses that will not only enhance your style, but also protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light.

Blue light is widely used in modern screen technology to illuminate phones, laptops, computer screens, TVs, and homes. While people are exposed to a large amount of blue light every day, many do not know that this can have negative health effects, including eye strain, headaches, and disruptions in your body’s sleep cycle.

With GUNNAR glasses, you don’t have to choose between style and eye protection. You can have both! Here are our most popular tortoise shell glasses, broken down by three styles: round frames, square frames, and cat-eye frames.

Round tortoise shell glasses



attache tortoise shell glasses by gunnar

Attaché blue light computer glasses feature trendy, round lenses and a tortoise shell frame, effortlessly radiating sophistication and the perfect touch of modern edginess. Available with non-prescription or prescription lenses, these flattering glasses will provide relief from digital eye strain while making you look classy and stylish.


emery tortoise shell glasses by gunnar

Featuring attractive round lenses and a tortoise shell frame with juxtaposing temples, Emery blue light computer glasses offer protection, function, and style. These high-quality, acetate frames include GUNNAR’s proprietary lens technology, which blocks blue light and improves clarity and focus. Available with non-prescription and prescription lenses, Emery is lightweight, made for all-day comfort, and great for women and men alike.


rush tortoise shell glasses by gunnar

Who said tortoise shell glasses were only for adults? Rush glasses were made specifically for kids and teens (age 12+). These tortoise shell computer glasses are not only classically stylish, but also block blue light, reduce glare, and help prevent dry eyes. Rush glasses are available with prescription or non-prescription lenses and are perfect for protecting your children’s eyes when they’re using digital devices at school or home.

Square tortoise shell glasses


intercept tortoise glasses by gunnar

These retro, tortoise shell frames are a must-have if you spend long hours on the computer or using other digital devices. With their wide, square frame, blue light blocking lenses, and ergonomic design, Intercept will keep your eyes safe and comfortable while you work or play. They are available in non-prescription or prescription lenses and are suitable for a wide range of face shapes.


haus tortoise shell glasses by gunnar

Haus blue light blocking glasses are eyewear architecture. They feature European hand-crafted materials and GUNNAR’s patented lens material and tint. Acetate temples with inner bendable cores provide a customizable fit, while spring hinges gently work to keep your eyewear in place. Available in non-prescription or prescription lenses.


Choose your tortoise shell frames today

If there was ever a bonafide classic frame style, there’s no doubt it would be tortoise shell. The mottled tortoise shell pattern has been providing timeless class to people’s eyewear for over a century and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, tortoise shell glasses are currently trending!

If you spend long hours working on the computer or using other digital devices, consider investing in a pair of GUNNAR tortoise shell computer glasses.

Excessive screen time can potentially lead to digital eye strain and negative effects from too much blue light exposure, including disrupted sleep patterns.

Thankfully, GUNNAR’s blue light blocking glasses filter out harmful blue light and reduce digital eye strain, preventing these negative effects. GUNNAR’s patented lens technology also enhances focus, reduces dry eyes, and minimizes glare. Choose your perfect pair of GUNNAR tortoise shell frames today to protect your eyes with classic style!

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