6 Memorable Sunglasses That Defined Their Generation

This article was written by Miranda Martin. All credit for its content goes to the author.


Vintage sunglasses trends are making a major comeback and bringing stunning classics back to the present. L’Officiel points out that 60s- and 70s-style sunglasses have seen a resurgence thanks to Gucci’s tinted frames and Bottega Veneta’s angular aviators last year. And who can blame them? Classic sunglasses styles, like oversized frames and cat-eye styles, have the power to elevate every look.

So now that old school is becoming cool again, here are some memorable sunglasses trends that you'll want to wear today.


Browline Sunglasses (50s)

Ever heard of the “clubmaster style”? The fashion term can be traced back to the browline eyewear style that rose to popularity in the 50s. This style has a historical background, since they were frequently worn by African-American human rights activist Malcolm X. Thanks to the influence of the public figure, these frames became a huge hit to men because the thick upper frames of the glasses would draw people’s attention to the wearer’s eyebrows.


The Cat-eye Style (60s)

Classy, stylish, and charming: just three traits that both cat-eye sunglasses and Aubrey Hepburn have in common. The two make the perfect pair, considering that Audrey’s tortoise cat-eye sunglasses from Breakfast at Tiffany’s fuelled a major trend during the 60s.

To this day, her character remains a style inspiration for fashion enthusiasts and contemporary divas alike. It’s no surprise that cat-eye frames have been the go-to choice for many fashionistas who want to make a memorable impression.


Oversized Frames (70s)

Oversized frames have been popular through the years, but the trend has been largely attributed to the former American first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Fashionable Clothing’s article on fashion icons recognised Jackie as a major fashion icon who was able to set trends through her formal attire.

Along with shifts and pillbox hats, oversized glasses were a constant in her everyday wear. Even if she was no longer the first lady during this period, people copied everything from her sunglasses down to her shoes.


Wayfarers (80s)

Much like oversized sunglasses, this classic style has been around for a long time. However, they became the centre of attention when Tom Cruise wore them in Risky Business. Because of the film, the frames have been recognised as the perfect representation of cool.

Recognising its importance as a timeless piece, PORTRAIT has reinterpreted this timeless style to embody the brand’s best qualities. The combination of its soft and sharp edges as well as its premium quality makes it a versatile piece that matches with any outfit.


Colourful Lenses (90s)

As ultimate fashion icons, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have taught us many fashion lessons— including the power of the right sunglasses style. The Olsen twins have sported sunglasses in basketball games, fashion shows, and even during quick walks because they understand its importance as a staple fashion piece.

In fact, they even popularised the 90s trend of wearing square, coloured lenses. Ever the trendsetters, they were able to turn an uncommon eyewear style into an instant crowd favourite.


The Bug Eyes (00s)

The Bug Eyes are the extreme version of the 70s oversized frames, but Paris Hilton was still able to turn the trend from "not" into “that’s hot”. The model-turned-influencer revealed that she actually started wearing big sunglasses after watching the movie Big Daddy. In the movie, they state that sunglasses can give people the power of invisibility. On Paris, the effect was kind of the opposite— her love for glasses turned her into a super popular fashion icon in the 2000s.

These classic silhouettes were beloved in the day, and remain iconic in the present. Among all these styles, which one are you most excited to wear on the street?


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