Sunglasses never go out of style.
Protective goggles were invented in the 1200s, but only became a seasonless must-have for tailors in the 20th century.
Over the decades, the accessory has served as so much more than a defense against harmful UV rays.
Ivana Rosato of international retailer and eyewear destination Sunglass Hut reveals top trends throughout the decades and how to get the look today.
Sunglasses never go out of style. Ivana Rosato, NA Head of Sun Assortment at Sunglass Hut, reveals trends over the decades. Cool girls Lisa Bonet wore small round frames at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1987
The 1970s were a time of rebellion.
While Americans in the 1960s were involved in political and cultural movements (civil rights, Kennedy assassination, anti-war protests) in the decade that followed, they focused on personal liberation and rebellion against societal norms.
When mainstream life was rejected, the “hippie” counter-culture movement emerged.
Bell bottom trousers, frayed jeans, peasant blouses, wallpaper prints and tie-dye were all the rage.
Cher’s striking ensembles fascinated America during her variety show with her then-husband Sonny Bono, and disco became popular in the latter part of the decade.
Do you want to tap into your inner flower child this summer?
“Look for oversized round, oval, or square frames to channel those cool boho 70s vibes,” says Ivana Rosato, Sunglass Hut’s Head of Sun Assortment at Sunglass Hut.
“With a ‘less is more’ makeup approach and pencil straight hair, these frames really embrace the easy-care aesthetic of the ’70s.”
Cher enchanted America with her amazing ensembles. Here in 1973, she accessorized with diamond-accented sunglasses
Freddie Mercury was in a class of his own. In 1975 he rocked aviator curtains
The 80s were the decade of decadence with hair bands like Bret Michael’s Poison
Lisa Bonet didn’t follow trends, she made them. The Cosby Show actress radiated confidence and cool cool
It was the decade of decadence.
For those who grew up in the 80’s, you know how glorious it was.
From teased hair to floppy bracelets and Member’s Only jackets, the look was glam rock. Think Poison, Dynasty, Guns n’ Roses, Boy George and Prince.
To tap into your favorite ’80s star, “go big or go home,” says Ivana.
“The 80s were all about fun, bold looks from head to toe.
“From classic sunglasses styles like pilots or wayfarers to oversized colorful frames or lenses – fashionistas in this decade were meant to be seen,” the expert said.
Do you want to travel 40 years back in time? Try one of the custom styles below, then create a mixed tape!
Axl Rose 1988, right Kurt Cobain 1993
A Different World aired in 1987, starring Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable, Dawnn Lewis as Jaleesa Vinson Taylor, Marisa Tomei as Maggie Lauten
To tap into your favorite ’80s star, “go big or go home,” says Ivana. In 1985 Boy George was way ahead of his time
In 1988, George Michael was rarely seen without sunglasses. The Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Singer Was a Mirror Flyer Favorite
Mary J Blige is a true 90s icon, from music to fashion she was always in a class of her own
While the 1980s were dominated by neon clothing, video games and glam rock, the 1990s are often remembered as a decade of peace and prosperity.
The Cold War ended and pop culture took over (hello Britney, Mariah and Alanis).
Grunge killed hair bands, Google launched, Friends and Living Single debuted, and Beanie Babies were hot commodities.
Narrow, sporty and rectangular sunglasses were all the rage in the 90s.
“The trick to capturing this decade’s aesthetic is to throw on some cool shades, add some plateau sneakers and a crop top and you’re good to go,” said Ivana.
U2 frontman Bono always wears sunglasses, seen here in 1992. In 1993, Kurt Cobain became a casual fashion icon
Mariah Carey (photographed here in 1999) is a self-proclaimed diva who wears sunglasses indoors
Anna Wintour has said that wearing sunglasses is “incredibly useful because you prevent people from knowing what you are thinking”
2000’s and beyond
Vogue’s Anna Wintour has said that wearing sunglasses is “incredibly useful because you prevent people from knowing what you’re thinking”.
During her 25-year tenure, the editor has rarely been seen without them.
Each season, we’ve turned to hair and fashion magazines for advice on which styles are trending.
But in the past two decades, social media has changed the game in fashion.
There has been an increase in fast fashion, vintage, designer logos and streetwear as users become Instagram and TikTok stars inspire each other.
“In the 00s so far, we’ve seen sunglasses trends centered around geometric shapes, cat-eye styles, shields and bold colors,” said Ivana Rosato of Sunglass Hut.
But the pandemic has changed priorities. Acceptance of others and respect for individual differences have contributed to an “anything goes” aesthetic.
2021 is about being authentic. “Be your true self and wear sunglasses that make you feel good.”
The Olsen twins (pictured in 2015) wear a chic city uniform consisting of black clothes and sunglasses
Lenny Kravitz (photographed here in 2020) has been unafraid of attracting male and female fashion for decades and is a bonafide trendsetter