An update addendum to this article can be viewed here.

Browline glasses, also know as Clubmaster, have had a recent resurgence, but first gained popularity in the 1950's and 1960's. A wide array of popular figures from very different backgrounds wore them, including James Dean, Colonel Sanders, President Johnson, and Malcolm X. James Dean Clubmaster Glasses Malcolm X clubmaster glasses Bruce Willis, Colonel Sanders, President Johson's eyeglasses According to the Stories of the World blog, the earliest know clubmaster sunglasses were 1947 and were invented by Jack Rohrbach, the owner of Shuron Ltd. They called the first ones the “Ronsir”. But alas, even the most enduring styles eventually seem "old", and the 1970's abandoned them for aviators, over-sized, cat-eye, and translucent plastic style frames.  Though Bruce Willis' character wore them in the 1980's TV show "Moonlighting", the Browline had a huge resurgence only recently. This could be because styles that used to be perceived as nerdy became hip.


Though at one time they were perceived to be too upscale, intellectual, and "button down" for hippies to wear, they are now one of the hippest, trendiest retro styles. Remember, this is not a "young" blog, as it is for people who wear reading glasses, and we can attest that Gen X and Baby Boomers alike are adopting the Clubmaster style whether in sun readers, bifocal or regular readers.

Bifocal Sun Readers in Browline Style
Bifocal Sun Reader

Single Vision Reading Glass (ordinary reader, no bifocal or tint)
Feminine Browline Designed For Women (optical- Can use for Rx)

Tinted full lens reader (not bifocal)

Bifocal Reading Glass

Trendy style also available in very high reading powers.
Rivet Styles (metal at corners)
As you can see, Browlines have a variety of lens options in over the counter reading glasses. The styles differ not only in the shape of the frame, but the rivet positions. Judging by 2017's NYC Optical Show, in the coming year there is going to be an even wider variety, including cat-eye browlines, rounder, or with more edges, not to mention incredible colors. Stay tuned!

Update 5-10-2017: The future of Browline has arrived! History, as you can see from the images above, has generally made this style for men. Now dozens of new browline designs are geared toward women. Fancy colors, cat-eyes, smaller proportions. We promised we would carry affordable, quality styles as we found them. The first has arrived. Moxie, designed by renown AJ Morgan. Womens browline reader The round shape and electric colors make them standout from their predecessors.