The Most Iconic Sunglasses Styles of All Time

From big to small frames, dark shades to a pop of color, we've rounded up the most iconic sunglass styles over the past few decades.
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From big to small frames, dark shades to a pop of color, we've rounded up the most iconic sunglass styles over the past few decades.
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Wayfarer: 1950's

This style that made its debut in the 1950's, and despite a few ups and downs since then, the Wayfarer remains a classic today. The shades have been a go-to for anyone from movie stars to former presidents, like John F. Kennedy, pictured here.

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Browline: 1950's

Another classic sunglass design that's remained a well-loved choice today is Browline glasses. Once strictly a favorite of male 1950's icons like James Dean and even political figures such as Malcolm X, browline sunnies are now a favorite of the female fashion set.

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Cat-Eye: 1960's

Does anything say 1960’s Hollywood glamour more than a pair of cat eye sunglasses? Marilyn Monroe rocks this look iconic with husband Arthur Miller, but she was just one of many icons to rock this look in the 1960’s.

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Square: 1960's

The square look was a go-to for fashion trendsetters like Francoise Hardy in the 1960’s.

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Round: 1970's

Round frames took on many forms in the 1970’s, whether they’re thick plastic or thin wire-rimmed frames like John Lennon’s, seen here.

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Oversized: 1970's

Big frames have been popular throughout many decades, but no time were they more iconic than in the 1970’s when they were the go-to accessory of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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Aviators: 1980's

Thanks to Tom Cruise and Top Gun, Aviators went from strictly pilot’s garb to fashion wear—there was a 40 percent jump in sales of the glasses following the film’s release. This style may have hit big in the 1980’s, but this trend continues in popularity today.

sunglasses by decade
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Big and Plastic: 1980's

In the 1980’s, everything was the bigger, from the hair to the sunglasses. Larger than life plastic glasses framed faces of fashion mavens of the time such as Princess Di, rocking a pair of face-shielding shades in red and white (a perfect match to her polka dot top!)

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Colored Lenses: 1990's

The small frames of the 1990’s came in many forms—and many colors. Tinted blue and pink lenses were all the rage for both men and women in the 1990’s, like Britney Spears's electric blue rimmed shades.

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Bug Eye: 2000's

The Jackie O-style big shades of the 1970’s made a resurgence—bigger and better—in the aughts, thanks to starlets such as Nicole Richie and the Olsen twins.

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