April 24, 2016

Sunday Spotlight: Vintage Style Sunglasses

While the sun truly never goes away, and sunglasses are pretty mandatory year round (especially for me as my eyes are super sensitive to bright sunlight, when it's reflecting off of lots of white snow in winter it is extra awful!), it just seems right to talk about sunglasses in Spring! I suppose a new pair of sunglasses is just a great way to kick off the warmer seasons. I know I always like refreshing my eye-wear wardrobe with a few new options each spring/summer.

But what sunglasses are best for completing (or at least not interrupting) a vintage look? The classic cat eye sunglasses are always a hit, but the variety of sunglass styles from the forties and fifties is actually quite large! Just look at the image above and check out all of the rather different styles captured in one image! From crazy novelty flower shaped lenses, to thick colored plastic frames, to dainty round glasses that seem to be straight out of steampunk comic to our modern eyes, vintage ladies seemed to have more options than we give them credit for today.

 It's crazy how modern (or 80's!) some of the styles above seem right? So it turns out we vintage lovers don't have to stick to upturned cat eyes, there are several choices!

Nothing beats classic round tortoiseshell frames in a smaller size for 1920's and 1930's looks. Sunglasses really didn't start coming into style as a prominent accessory until these decades anyways. As people started spending more time in the sun (tennis, golf, sailing anyone?) obviously sunglasses became more of a stylish and practical necessity. By the forties the styles already seem endless. The fifties brought out the best in the cat eye shapes, be they small, sharply angled, rhinestone studded, or cartoonishly large. As I usually focus on early to mid-century fashion I won't even get into the fun/crazy styles of sunglasses in the 1960's!

Where does one find good vintage styled sunglasses though? Well I have found two very good sources this past year and I am penning this post mostly to share them with you! You too can look super retro and keep your eyes happy this upcoming summer :)

The first source is an online retailer called Polette. They have a bunch of awesome sunglass styles, but they have AMAZING retro style frames. I am dying to pick up some frames for my next pair of prescription glasses (yes I am vaguely nearsighted but only wear glasses for driving at night and the movie theater really). Of course if you know of a good optical place that can replace lenses with sunglasses lenses then you could choose any of their awesome frames!
Mono in Vanille (Currently out of stock in this color but hopefully they will restock!) $9.99
Odyssee in pink (I think these would be great with 30's looks!) $16.99
 My other favorite shop for vintage style sunglasses is the real jackpot place for retro pairs! Sunglasses Museum on Etsy is so good I actually do fear telling people about them!
Vintage Retro Classic Cat Eye Sunglass $30
Round Horn Rim Tortoiseshell Dapper Vintage Sunglasses with Keyhole Bridge $20
Waldo $35 (with 20's or 30's ensembles?)
EDGAR 1930'S Style Old Fashion Vintage Round Sunglass with Double Bridge $28
REDT Red Clubmaster Soho Style Horn Rim Vintage Sunglass $15
Sienna Vintage Retro Circle Acetate Plastic Round Sunglass $28
I myself ordered the round Sienna's above and another style from Sunglasses Museum before my trip to California and can report that the quality is great for how inexpensive they are! I really like the lighter amber colored plastics and green lenses! I can't wait to order more from them, in grabbing these photos for the post I found several other pairs to add to my wishlist!

Now some general tips for looking for vintage appropriate sunglasses out in the wild- the biggest thing I look for is a solid color lens. Most modern sunglasses have that gradient ombre colored lens that I have yet to see in a vintage pair of 30's or 40's glasses. I also look out for green colored lenses as these seem to be a very prevalent shade in vintage glasses. Try to avoid printed or patterned glasses that look digitally printed as up close they really give the game away. Many vintage 80's or 90's pairs of glasses are very similar in style to 40's pairs and have more modern eye protection, so try and score a more modern pair in a vintage style to make sure your windows to the world get maximum protection!

Do you have any tips on finding vintage style sunglasses? I just love sunglasses so I am always looking for more places/shops that have vintage styles!

P.S.- So sorry I have been posting a bit infrequently this past week, I promise things will pick up again soon!


  1. Ummm okay so I want to order *every* pair you have featured here, not even kidding! I am forever on the hunt for the perfect round vintage style sunnies that work for a 20s - 40s look! I feel like round sunnies are the hardest to buy too because sometimes it's difficult to tell what the size of the lens will be like and you end up with 70s boho instead of 30s... Hope these will still be around on pay day!

    1. I want every pair too! I totally know what you mean, I always try and find a photo of a person wearing the glasses for scale because I want small rounds not crazy huge ones!

  2. Fantastic post!!! I second Harlow, where's the "add all to cart (and add money for such to bank account at the same time ;D)" button?

    What a lovely look at a classic accessory. I adore sunnies, but needing prescription specs, I don't own many. At present I have one pair of prescription sunglasses and a couple of inexpensive ones sans such, which are pretty much just for posing with during photo shoots. :)

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you Jessica! I know I want another few pairs myself, they are all so cute! I would love to have prescription sunglasses, or at least 1 pair, to wear when I am driving since I am a bit nearsighted! I really need to go to the eye doctor and update my prescription as it is from 2011! Opps ;)


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