Sunglasses have come a long way since their humble beginnings as a protective eyewear item in ancient times. Over the last several decades, these iconic accessories have seen a remarkable evolution in design, functionality, and popularity. From the classic aviators of the 1950s to the futuristic frames of the 2010s, let’s take a journey through the changing trends in sunglasses and discover how they have become a timeless fashion statement.

The Swinging 60s and 70s

As the world embraced liberation and individuality, the 1960s and 1970s saw sunglasses transform into bold and eccentric pieces. Oversized frames with tinted lenses became the go-to choice, reflecting the era’s psychedelic and groovy culture. Round-shaped glasses, as popularized by icons like John Lennon, epitomized the counterculture movement, while oversized square frames adorned the faces of Hollywood’s finest. Sunglasses became more than just eye protection; they reflected one’s personality and attitude.

The Iconic 80s

The 1980s marked a significant shift in sunglasses trends, as Hollywood icons and musicians influenced fashion like never before. Aviators made a triumphant comeback, gaining immense popularity among both men and women. The era saw the rise of neon colours and reflective lenses, making a bold fashion statement on the streets and in music videos. Additionally, the Wayfarer style, introduced by Ray-Ban, gained immense popularity, and remains an enduring classic to this day.

The Minimalist 90s

In stark contrast to the flashy ’80s, the 1990s brought about a more subdued and minimalist approach to sunglasses design. Small and narrow frames with neutral tones became the trend of the decade. The oval and rectangular shapes dominated the market, and brands like Oakley and Prada gained prominence with their sporty yet chic offerings. The ’90s also saw the re-emergence of cat-eye sunglasses, adding a touch of femininity and elegance to women’s fashion.

The New Millennium and Futuristic Designs

As the world entered the new millennium, sunglasses experienced a futuristic makeover. Sleek and futuristic designs with geometric shapes and unconventional materials gained popularity. Shield sunglasses and wraparound frames became symbols of high-tech elegance. Brands started experimenting with materials like titanium and carbon fiber, making sunglasses lightweight and durable. The ’00s was a decade of innovation and boundary-pushing in the eyewear industry.

Retro Comeback of the 2010s

Nostalgia struck the fashion world in the 2010s, leading to a revival of vintage-inspired designs. Retro styles from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s resurfaced with modern twists. Round frames, made famous by the likes of Steve Jobs and Harry Potter, became a hit once again. The cat-eye trend from the ’50s found a renewed audience, as fashion-conscious individuals sought to embody the allure of bygone eras.

Present-Day Eclecticism

In recent years, sunglasses trends have become incredibly diverse, embracing various elements from the past decades while introducing innovative new styles. Oversized frames, like the Faded Days specialties, have made a return, offering both glamour and practicality with increased UV protection. Mirrored and gradient lenses have gained popularity for their unique and eye-catching appeal. Moreover, sustainability and eco-consciousness have influenced the industry, leading to an upsurge in the use of eco-friendly materials and designs.


The evolution of sunglasses over the last several decades is a testament to the ever-changing landscape of fashion and cultural influences. From the avant-garde styles of the ’60s to the minimalist ’90s and the futuristic designs of the 2000s, each decade has left an indelible mark on eyewear fashion. Today, the sunglasses market caters to a wide array of preferences, offering something for everyone, whether it’s vintage charm, futuristic flair, or eco-conscious designs. As we move forward, one thing is certain: sunglasses will continue to be a timeless and essential accessory, reflecting our ever-evolving sense of style and self-expression.