history of sunglasses

Sunglass trends come and go (and come back around again), so take a tip from history and repeat your favorite decade of shades. We’ll bring you up to speed on the evolution of sunglasses in fashion and the celebrities who made them famous along the way — plus, we’ll give you the chance to snag those retro styles for less.

1950s Sunglasses

Cat Eye Sunglasses

Meow! Cat eye shades just scream, “I am woman, hear me roar.” Made popular in the ‘50s by glamorous celebs, cat eye sunglasses add the perfect amount of drama to any look. Today, cat eyes of all sizes are still sunglass staples.

Browline Sunglasses

While cat eyes were popular for women, browline sunglasses were all the rage for men in the 1950s. These shades have a hipster, smarty-pants reputation. Today, you can find these shades in a wide array of colors, patterns, and lens tints.

1960s Sunglasses

Retro Square Sunglasses

The epitome of cool, retro square sunglasses first gained popularity in the 1960s among creative types. In recent years, these shades have made a major comeback, and we don’t foresee them disappearing from the spotlight anytime soon. Retro square shades are the choice pair for all you rebels without a cause.

Oversized Sunglasses

Big, plastic frames in pops of black and white were the eyewear trend dominating women’s fashion in the 1960s. Today, oversized sunglasses come in a spectrum of shapes and styles. Try a pair with embellished temples, geometric frames, or keep it classic in an all-black, square-shaped pair that’ll have you saying, “Please, no photos.”

 1970s SunglassesTinted Lenses

The hippie rockers of this decade made colorful tinted lenses a hot trend during the ‘70s. Peace, love, and rose-colored shades, baby — these sunglasses were a must-have for the flower power generation. Many musicians today are still fond of wearing these shades during performances. Rock a pair of your own to a music festival or when you’re feeling artsy-fartsy.

Square Framed Sunglasses

In the age of disco, large square-framed sunglasses ruled the dance floor. Most often found in shades of gold and bronze with gradient-tinted lenses, these sunglasses were popular for both men and women. Today, square frames come in all frame types and styles and are a classic option.

 1980s Sunglasses

Shield Sunglasses

Fashion in the 1980s was all about bold, off-the-wall, head-turning trends. It’s no surprise, then, that shield sunglasses stole the spotlight in the decade known for MTV, Hammer pants, and larger-than-life hairstyles.

Aviator Sunglasses

With their teardrop lens shape and wireframe construction, aviator sunglasses started out as a niche style worn by pilots and military members in the early 1900s.  Today, aviator sunglasses are as popular as ever. You’ll feel invincible in a pair of oversized, mirrored, or polarized aviators. Take flight with caution.

 1990s Sunglasses

Sport Sunglasses

Wraparound sports-style sunglasses became a functional staple for many people in the ‘90s. Sporty shades in different tints and fits grew quickly in popularity. Cyclists, tennis players, water sport enthusiasts, and everyone in-between needed sunglasses to give them that extra edge. Whether you’re playing a quick round of beach volleyball or going for gold, reach for a pair of sport sunglasses and get ready to bring your A-game.

Round Sunglasses

If everything was bigger and bolder in the ‘80s, it all shrank when the ‘90s rolled around. Smaller, more minimalist sunglasses in round and oval shapes became the trend of the moment. Round shades were a hot commodity in the decade of grunge, boy bands, and AOL. Today, many icons still wear this popular sunglass style, large or small.

Which decade do you belong in? Find out here

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