2000s glasses
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2000s Eyeglasses Aren’t Going Anywhere

Sabrina Carpenter is the latest celebrity to take the office siren-coded trend for a spin, but Doja Cat, Julia Fox and Gabbriette have been onto Y2K frames since 2023.

It’s not often that you hear people say they want to go back to high school, (the horror!) but for this eyewear trend, we just might make an exception. Celebrities and fashionistas are going back to the 2000s when it comes to their accessories, and it’s a throwback we can get behind. Yes, we’re talking about eyeglasses, but not just any old pair.

Everyone from Bella Hadid and Julia Fox to pop princess Sabrina Carpenter have been rocking a frame that looks like something your boomer dad or She’s All That’s Laney Boggs might have worn in the 1990s and early 2000s. Some may call it “librarian core,” others a “Lens Crafter’s special,” but the only requirement is that you lean into “nerdy” specs that make you look studious as heck.

If you’re surprised by this style of frame making a comeback with millennials and Gen Z, you shouldn’t be. Librarian chic glasses have been gaining in popularity since 2021, when the librarian core trend first started popping up on fan fave celebs. While it’s tough to pinpoint the exact moment that early aughts glasses went from tragic to trés chic, as many note, fashion girlies donning these seemingly out of place specs harkens back to Giselle Bündchen’s character in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. In the early 2000s, Bayonetta glasses were worn by stars like Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie. The glasses were named after a Japanese video game character who wore a similar small, rounded style. After a hiatus, the trend did what all trends do and came right back around.

Starting in 2023, celebs started popping up with their own take on the look, with stars like Billie Eilish and models Bella Hadid and Gabbriette rocking thin-framed glasses on their social feeds and the red carpet. Influencers like Emma Chamberlain also turned to the trend, pairing their glasses with  their signature street style looks of sneakers, long skirts and sports jerseys. That same year,  brands like Miu Miu took a cue from the ether, sending models down the runway at their Fall 2023 show wearing tortoise-rimmed librarian glasses.

 

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A post shared by Julia Fox (@juliafox)

And the trend is only picking up steam. Since the start of 2024, celebs like Reneé Rapp have hopped on the Y2K glasses bandwagon, pairing their frames with leather moto jackets and spiky buns.

 

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And the latest fan of the trend is the current It girl, Sabrina Carpenter. Since last summer, the “Espresso” singer has been spotted rehearsing travelling and out on in the town in a variety of librarian-inspired frames. Most recently, Carpenter stepped out during a date night in London wearing thick-framed blue light glasses from Quay x Guizo.

 

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The draw of this trend appears to be exactly why so many people are talking about it — the juxtaposition of high fashion with something viewed as nerdy or uncool. (Although as someone with 20/20 vision, I was always desperate to wear glasses growing up.) As writer Carmen Sin wrote in a June 2023 article for Vogue Singapore, the allure of the trend comes from this odd pairing.

An extension of the librarian core trend, and influenced by the popularity of the more recent “office siren” trend, the key to nailing the Y2K glasses look is balancing the geek with the chic. Hadid and Chamberlain pair their studious specs with low-waisted jeans and skirts, while Miu Miu sent bespectacled models down the catwalk in sheer polka-dot dresses and heels.

Singer Doja Cat, a recent and strong proponent of the office siren trend, has the formula down pat, often pairing her heavy frames with sexy items like sheer tops, corsets and luxe fur.

 

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A post shared by Doja Cat (@dojacat)

Cue up The O.C., because chances are we’ll be seeing more Y2K specs this summer. Looking to get in on the geek chic look? We’ve rounded up some options below.

Miu Miu Miu Regard Sunglasses

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include the designer specs that have been on everyone’s mind. These blue light glasses from Miu Miu are the perfect tortoiseshell pair to add to your collection. Studious-looking and safe for your eyes — a win-win!

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Quay Lucky You Glasses

Who doesn’t want to be like Sabrina Carpenter? If you’re hoping to get one step closer to the pop star’s cute style, this pair from Quay should be the next purchase in your shopping cart.

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BonLook Romy Glasses

A little wire frame action never hurt anyone! We love that these glasses from Canadian company BonLook are giving Harry Potter without actually giving Harry Potter, ya know?

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Ollie Quinn Ollie Glasses

For a pop of colour, why not accessorize with these sweet olive glasses?

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