100% Money back Guarantee
Free Shipping in U.S.A.
Shopping Cart
Product Search
Only use numerical portion of product Id

Popular Sunglasses Styles in History


Bright   In the 20th century, popular sunglasses styles dominated various decades, with shapes like wayfarers and cats eye sunglasses getting a lot of attention. However, did you know that even the 1800s had popular styles? People have been using sunglasses for centuries in one form or another, but it was the 1800s when some interesting inventions led to popular styles.

Early Inventions and Styles

A few stylish inventions of the 1700s would influence sunglasses of later centuries including bifocals and scissor spectacles, as well as eyeglasses made for men who regularly donned wigs and needed particularly wide frames.

In the 1780s, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals, which would become an indispensable part of the development of glasses and sunglasses over the centuries. It seems like such a simple concept today, but today's prescription sunglasses that feature bifocals trace their roots to Franklin's invention.

Cool Styles of the Early 20th Century

Although sunglasses had been worn for a few centuries by the time 1900 came around, the first few decades of the last century saw some landmark styles make their way into the sunglasses world. A style of eyeglasses referred to as pince-nez would make their appearance in France in the late 1800s and were a style that pinched the nose (hence the name, which means "pinch nose") instead of resting on the ears for support.

The style was made popular for eyeglasses by famous figures like Calvin Coolidge and Teddy Roosevelt, and would eventually rise to popularity again in sunglasses with the 1990s landmark film "The Matrix" and the smooth sunglasses donned by "Morpheus," played by actor Lawrence Fishburne.

1930s and the Rise of Sunglasses

Prior to the 1930s, most of the popular styles of glasses were just regular spectacles used for vision correction, but Hollywood changed sunglasses forever when movie stars started wearing them virtually every time they were photographed.

History suggests that sunglasses developed in the 1930s were originally made to help military pilots cope with the bright light of high altitudes, which is where we got the aviator style of sunglasses.

Many sunglasses made prior to the 1930s used simple colored lenses to block bright lights, but sunglasses developed by English inventor Sir William Crookes would bring advanced lenses capable of blocking ultraviolet light to sunglasses.

The 1950s, Where Style Met Function

With movie stars making sunglasses popular for fashion and inventors creating more advanced types of lenses capable of truly protecting the eyes, the post-World War II era saw the merging of sunglasses meant to protect the eyes while also offering the wearer a fashionable accessory.

Popular frames in the 1950s and beyond included thin gold wire frames for men and the trendy cats eye style for women with the upswept corners that have remained popular to this day. In addition, aviators and wayfarer sunglasses became widespread as functional sunglasses for the "everyday" wearer.

Bright   The close of the 1960s would also see Jackie O's famous white sunglasses, with their large lenses and even larger frames, becoming a permanent part of high fashion and luxury style.

The 1970s and Beyond: The Arrival of Plastic

Think back to that scene in "The Graduate" where Dustin Hoffman is cornered by a man who mutters "plastics" as the wave of the future? The availability of plastic for the manufacture of sunglasses allowed designers to think up wild creations for several decades of innovation.

Remember the crazy sunglasses of the 1980s that sported crazy colors and patterns along with wild frames that would feature wild features like flames, glitter, and giant lenses? The less expensive material of plastic allowed sunglasses designers to think up madcap styles that were just as fluorescent, noisy, and wild as anything in their imagination.

Why wear normal black or gray sunglasses when fashions like pink aviator sunglasses and rhinestone sunglasses would add fun, as well as functionality to a stylish outfit?

The High Fashion of the 2000s

It's rather incredible that the designs of the 1930s, like classic aviators have remained popular even to this day, despite the passage of so many decades. People also continue to wear the wayfarers worn by everyone from beach bums to John F. Kennedy in the 1950s and 1960s.

Clothing fashions come and go in what seems like seconds of popularity, but sunglasses styles have endured so long as to become a permanent part of our collective fashion sense.  

 By : Upneet Kaur

Home | Sunglasses Blog | Terms & Policy | Sitemap Copyright by © 2014  SunglassesLove.com