When it comes to picking cool sunglasses this season, there are two ways you can go: You can opt for the vintage classic sunglasses for men that have been shielding retinas since your grandfather’s era, or you can look at what’s trending now in terms of shapes and colors. Either way, it’s important to be able to choose the right pair for your personal style and face shape. Trendsetting celebs, British musicians and fashion pioneers are all reviving older styles such as thin retro round glasses, inspired by the 1970s.
The mid-sixties eyeglasses were basically all thick black frames or horn rims. But something changed between the late sixties and early seventies. A new and wide variety of fashionable sunglass choices surfaced on the era’s most popular celebs like John Lennon, who wore his trademark round frame glasses and Elvis Presley sported black metallic frames with an ornate arm. For some, a lot of the eyewear from the 1970s could be considered gaudy or excessive, but the styles that emerged during that decade were a backlash to all the understated sunglasses styles of previous years-- It was a new generation for eyewear.
Today retro sunglasses, especially those inspired by the 70s, are making a big comeback. Oversized frames with earthy brown tints and tortoise shell prints, thick frames in wild shapes and sizes, round lenses, mirrored lenses and aviators can be seen everywhere. Let’s have a look at some ads from the 70s and the top five sunglasses that you need right now!
From “MASH” to “Catch-22”, the films about war in the early 70’s have a lot to answer for. They captured the imagination of menswear designers across the globe, birthing a movement in both fashion and pop culture. Everyone from bikers to bankers were getting in on the action!
If you want to channel that authentic 1970s style, go for the classic aviator, a style originally designed in 1936 by Bausch and Lomb.
Right now aviators are having many moments in the sun. Also known as “pilot sunglasses” and
traditionally having a metal frame, they are now often made of acetate, with a single brow bridge...which we think gets them extra style points!
The eternally hot Robert Redford wearing mirrored aviators in the 70s
Double Top-bar Glasses
Top-bar sunglasses are far from subtle...they’re a style which is designed to be seen. For fashion experimentalists and bold thinkers, that’s never a bad thing. These glasses originally came into existence as a bigger, bolder take on the very first aviator design. Top-bar sunglasses are a wise choice this season and we think a chunky plastic frame in a bold color is going to be the thing that makes the “fit” !!
These thick double-bridge sunglasses became a hit as ‘Elvis Presley Sunglasses’; the man, the myth, the legend wore them on many occasions in the 70s
The 1970s-esque tinted sunglasses are pleasingly sublime. If you’re looking to bring a refined “Riviera” feel to your look, tinted sunglasses make an ideal piece to pack when going on a Christmas holiday. Rule of thumb when buying tinted lens sunglasses...they should be consistently wearable and great indoors and out. Get ready for viewing life in yellow, red, blue and FUN!
“The Bandit” himself...Burt Reynolds looking mighty fine in yellow tinted lenses
Thick frames may not be your cup of tea but they can sure make an awesome addition to your anti-UV arsenal if you dare to wear them. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that you should start considering the thickest of thick frames again. These sunglasses were extremely prominent during the 60s & 70s and it looks like they are going to develop into a huge trend in 2020 as well. If you’re a vintage loving fool with the confidence to pull off such a fashion forward look...NOW is the time to get on board!
Round sunglasses were such a staple for John Lennon that these sunglasses are often referred to as “Lennons”. But don’t let your personal lack of rock ’n’ roll cred put you off these babies, because this look can be pulled off by mere mortals as well! A must-have for this season, the best of the lot are coming in a combination of metal fronts with acetate arms. **Bonus tip: round frames suit square- and diamond-shaped faces the best.
Nonato Buzar’s - 100 Minhas, out in the 1970s
Here are some of our affordable 70s sunglasses sold on giantvintage.com: