Trendlet: Cat's-eye glasses

To be nerdy is to be hip. And throwing it back is keeping it fresh - hence the eyeglass frame of the season.

The trendlet

Cat's-eye frames are key to well-dressed women's, and men's, mod arsenal this fall. This is true even if you don't need glasses.

Where's it come from?

Spectacles were only for seeing until the 1950s, which was when Marilyn Monroe liberated the frames from dowdiness. Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of cat's-eye sunshades, also called Manhattans, in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Princess Grace was a fan of the almond-shaped eyewear, too.

About three years ago, fashion began its earnest celebration of the 1960s, so cat's-eye glasses, and eyeliner, began a major fashion comeback. Socially conscious eyewear brand Warby Parker offered modified cat's-eye glasses to its intellectual and frugal audience of millennials. And as futuristic, yet throwback, silhouettes grow in popularity, more eyewear companies like Philly EyeWorks and SEE Eyewear are offering versions of the exaggerated frame.

Who's wearing it?

Both the salon owner and the CEO who want to add of-the-moment edginess to their look. The frames have recently been spotted on Dita von Teese, Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie, Olivia Palermo, and even Madonna.

Would Elizabeth wear them?

Yes. I love, love, love them. But I'm too chicken to wear the big frames. On the other hand, my grandmother had a pair of midsize blue cat's-eyes from the '60s. I'd like to put a pair of lenses in them, if only I can get my hands on them.

Should you wear them?

The beauty of the cat's-eye frame is its timelessness. When choosing a pair, think about how much you want to be noticed. A pair of oversize red ones with rhinestones in the corners will surely shout "hello!" when you walk in a room. Smaller frames, in cooler winter pastels, subtly whisper "smart woman," and that's always sophisticated.

Pictured cat's eye glasses are available at Philly EyeWorks Showroom, 131 S. 18th St., 888-245-0540, www.phillyeyeworks.com; and SEE Eyewear, 37 Coulter Ave., 610-726-9010, www.seeeyewear.com