The History of Browline Glasses


    Do you know browline glasses? Just by the name of them, many people are unaware of what Browline Glasses are. Browline glasses, first were seen in 1947 when invented by Jack Rohrbach who was Vice President of Shuron Ltd., an eyeglass company. But Ray-Ban produces them being called Clubmasters have been around since the 1940s. As the years went on, these style of glasses grew more and more popular. The brown wire frame they had originally turned to black, and any color you'd wish once time had reached the 1960s.

    History of the name “Browline”

   The name “browline” comes from the design of the frame:  the upper portion of the frame is thicker than the lower portion, drawing attention to the wearer’s natural brow line. The top is commonly made of acetate or plastic with a thinner wireframe wrapping around the bottom of the lenses.

    Development of browline glasses

  The first browline glasses were made to be completely customizable, with interchangeable bridges, wires, and “brows.” This contributed to their popularity because people loved having the opportunity to express their individuality by customizing the size, fit, and color of their frames.

    In 1950s, Browlines rise in popularity and account for half of all eyeglasses sold and worn during this decade. These glasses finally reached their peak in the 1960s, with celebrities such as Colonel Sanders and Vince Lombardi, and political figures such as Lyndon B. Johnson and Malcolm X were most known for wearing these glasses. Browlines decrease in popularity as plastic glasses become available in more shapes, sizes, and colors. “Plastic browlines” plastic glasses with transparent lower portions and solid upper portions, also appeared as a frame style.

    In 1970s, the hippie subculture led to a rapid decline in the popularity of browlines, which had come to be considered conservative. When it comes to 1980s, Bruce Willis wears a pair with tinted lenses on the series Moonlighting, leading to a surge in demand for browline sunglasses. In response, Ray-Ban introduced the Clubmaster, a traditional browline frame with sunglass lenses.

    Up to 1990s, Browlines are affected by the backlash against the 1980s consumer culture. They are also seen as overly bookish and conservative. In 2000s, Browlines continue to be seen as overtly conformist and associated with 1950s culture and fashion.

    Nowadays, the influence of the television series Mad Men, along with the hipster subculture, spark a renewed fondness for classic retro styles, particularly tortoiseshell browline glasses.

    Browline or Clubmaster frames have really stood the test of time in the glasses world and are now one of the most iconic and cool styles available. Browline glasses and sunglasses will add an intellectual and retro-inspired edge to your look, perfect if you want to make a fashionable statement with your specs without being too outlandish. Here are a few of our favourite pairs that are all available at

Featured Frames
VK 6082 Browline Glasses
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