Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear designed to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays and bright light. They come in various shapes, styles, and sizes to cater to different needs and preferences. From classic wayfarers to trendy cat-eye frames, sunglasses are not just a practical accessory but a fashion statement as well. Some people even opt for prescription sunglasses or interchangeable lens replacement to cater to their specific vision needs. Regardless of the style, the primary purpose of sunglasses remains to protect the eyes and provide clear vision in bright conditions.


Aviator sunglasses feature oversize teardrop-shaped lenses and a thin metal frame. The design was introduced in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb for issue to U.S. military aviators. As a fashion statement, aviator sunglasses are often made in mirrored, colored, and wrap-around styles. The model gained popularity in the 1940s when Douglas MacArthur was seen sporting a pair at the Pacific Theatre. The brand became an icon of the 1970s, worn by Paul McCartney.


Based on the eyeglass design of the same name, browline glasses have hard plastic or horn-rimmed arms and upper portions joined to a wire lower frame. A traditional, conservative style based on mid-20th century design, browlines were adapted into sunglasses form in the 1980s and rapidly became one of the most popular styles; it has ebbed and sprung in popularity in the decades that have followed.


Oversized sunglasses, which were fashionable in the 1980s, are now often used for humor. They usually come in bright colors with colored lenses and can be purchased cheaply. The singer Elton John sometimes wore oversized sunglasses on stage in the mid-1970s as part of his Captain Fantastic act. Since the late 2000s, moderately oversized sunglasses have become a fashion trend. There are many variations, such as the “Onassis”, and Dior white sunglasses.


“Teashades” (sometimes also called “John Lennon glasses”, “Round Metal”, or, occasionally, “Granny Glasses”) were a type of psychedelic art wire-rim sunglasses that were often worn, usually for purely aesthetic reasons, by members of the 1960s counterculture. Pop icons such as Mick JaggerRoger Daltrey, Duckie (Jon Cryer) in Pretty in Pink, and Jodie Foster‘s character in the film Taxi Driver all wore teashades. The original teashade design was made up of medium-sized, perfectly round lenses.


The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is a (mostly) plastic-framed design for sunglasses produced by the Ray-Ban company. Introduced in 1952, the trapezoidal lenses are wider at the top than the bottom (inspired by the Browline eyeglasses popular at the time) and were famously worn by James DeanRoy OrbisonElvis PresleyBob MarleyThe Beatles and other actors and singers. The original frames were black; frames in many different colors were later introduced. There is often a silver piece on the corners as well. Since the early 1980s, makers have also developed variants of the model, essentially Browlines made of plastic.


Wrap-arounds are a style of sunglasses characterized by being strongly curved, to wrap around the face. They may have a single curved semi-circular lens that covers both eyes and much of the same area of the face covered by protective goggles, usually with a minimal plastic frame and a single piece of plastic serving as a nosepiece. Glasses described as wraparound may alternatively have two lenses, but again with a strongly curved frame. As a backlash against 80s fashion occurred in the 1990s, wraparounds became one of the favorite frames of the decade.