What is the difference between Havana and Tortoiseshell?

Havana vs. Tortoiseshell Frames: Decoding the Color Conundrum

In the world of eyewear, the aesthetic appeal of frames is just as important as their functionality. Two popular color patterns often encountered are Havana and tortoiseshell. While they may seem similar at first glance, subtle differences set them apart. Let’s explore what distinguishes Havana from tortoiseshell frames.


1. Understanding Tortoiseshell Frames

  • Classic Pattern: Tortoiseshell is a timeless design that mimics the look of a tortoise’s shell. It typically features a mottled blend of brown, honey, and amber hues, sometimes with dashes of black or dark brown.
  • Variations: The pattern can vary from bold, contrasting spots to a more subdued, blended appearance.

2. The Havana Style

  • Subdued Palette: Havana, sometimes referred to as “Havana Brown,” is a variation of the tortoiseshell pattern. It tends to have a more subdued, less contrasted look compared to traditional tortoiseshell.
  • Color Spectrum: Havana frames generally showcase a mix of dark brown and warm honey colors, often in a softer, more harmonious blend.

3. The Style Implications

  • Versatility: Both Havana and tortoiseshell frames offer a versatile and stylish option suitable for a variety of face shapes and skin tones. They pair well with both casual and formal attire.
  • Fashion Statement: While tortoiseshell tends to make a bolder statement with its more pronounced pattern, Havana offers an understated elegance.

4. Material and Make

  • Acetate Frames: These patterns are commonly found in acetate frames, a material favored for its durability and the depth of color it can achieve.
  • Print Variations: Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed for a wide range of variations in both patterns, making each pair of glasses unique.

5. Choosing the Right Color for You

  • Personal Preference: Your choice between Havana and tortoiseshell should be guided by your personal style and what complements your complexion and hair color.
  • Try Them On: The best way to decide is to try on different frames and see which pattern resonates with your personal style and coloring.


While Havana and tortoiseshell frames are similar in their earthy, warm tones, they offer distinct aesthetic vibes. Tortoiseshell is for those who prefer a bold, classic look, while Havana suits someone looking for a more subdued elegance. Both, however, stand as timeless choices in the world of eyewear fashion.


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