What are Wraparound Glasses?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2019
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Wraparound glasses are eyewear that provides coverage for both the direct and indirect areas of vision. Most versions of wraparound glasses are manufactured to include a clear viewing area for the direct line of vision as well as the peripheral line of vision to each side of the eyes. Sometimes worn as a matter of practicality and other times as a fashion statement, wraparound glasses have been available since the middle of the 20th century.

In terms of fashion, wraparound glasses made their first appearance impact during the early 1960’s in the United States. Prior to this time, sunglasses were considered more of a practical accessory than a fashion statement. However, this changed when Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Lady of the nation, began to wear wraparound sunglasses. In a very short time, wraparound glasses for wear on the beach and by the pool became very popular with young people. The initial craze lasted for a few years before the look began to fade, although wraparound styles of sunglasses continue to appear each new fashion season.


In some professions, wraparound glasses serve the purpose of protecting the eyes without limiting the field of vision. Often, wraparound glasses are used when there is a need to limit the amount of exposure of the eyes to natural or artificial light. The glasses are also effective in minimizing the chance of dirt and other fine particles from reaching the eyes. This is due to the basic design of wraparound glasses, which includes framing that fits snugly around the area immediately above and below the eyes.

Some versions of wraparound glasses are intended for wear over an existing set of corrective lenses. These oversized versions were particularly popular with consumers during the 1990’s, as they were often inexpensive and came in a wide range of colors. For many persons who wore prescription glasses, these colorful wraparound glasses made it possible to own several different pairs of varying colors, and eliminated the need to purchase an expensive pair of prescription sunglasses. The oversized design was also favored by many people who did not require corrective lenses, and have remained on the market well into the new century.


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