NATIONAL SUNGLASSES DAY
Article Contributed by Bethany Cleg
Celebrated each year on June 27th, National Sunglasses Day is becoming more and more popular, especially as organizations like The Vision Council try to inform people about the dangers of UV exposure and why wearing sunglasses should be more than to just make a fashion statement. So in honor of the holiday—and to help you pick out a pair of your own—we present the top 10 sunglasses styles that have stood the test of time.
Prada Model SPR07F
Photo: Mary Evans/Everett Collection
Most known for their appearance in the 1963 Academy Award-winning Italian film 8 ½, these glasses are anything but old fashioned. They were first introduced by Prada as Prada model SPR07F, but the design has undergone some changes since the 60’s.Regardless, these sunglasses might be one of the only designs that can not only be worn with a suit, but that make a suit look so good.
Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
The original folding glasses, the Persol 714 sunglasses were introduced in the 1960s when the iconic actor Steve McQueen wore them in the film The Thomas Crown Affair. These glasses were based on the Persol 649 model and adapted with 10 additional manufacturing steps to allow them to fold. In 2006, a pair of Persol 714’s from McQueen’s personal collection were auctioned off at nearly $70,000. Get suave with a—perhaps less expensive—pair for National Sunglasses Day.
Ray-Ban 3138 Shooter
Photo: Raoul Duke
These yellow-tinted aviator shooters were not first worn by Johnny Depp in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but that is where they first became famous. The sunglasses, which have a small circle in between the lenses that is said to aid in hunting or shooting, were regularly worn by Hunter S. Thompson, the author of the novel that inspired the film. Shooters come in different color tints.
At their introduction in 1956, Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers were almost instantly popular because of the revolutionary plastic frame, a distinct diversion from the metal-framed sunglasses that were popular at the time. The sunglasses continued to be popular throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s but then slumped in popularity until the late 2000s when artists like Katy Perry and Bruno Mars wore them in their music videos.
Round and Oversized
Often known today simply as Jackie O’s, these sunglasses were popularized by former First Lady and fashion icon Jackie Kennedy during the years that her husband was president. They are instantly recognizable by their large round shape and still serve to make quite a fashion statement when worn today. It’s hard to wear these sunglasses and not channel some of the grace, style and elegance that Jackie was so famous for.
Photo: Oliver Cheshire
The history of the archetypal Ray-Ban Aviators begins in the 1930s when US Army pilots were reporting that the glare from the sun was giving them headaches and altitude sickness. American company Bausch & Lomb created what was originally known as “Anti-Glare,” sunglasses with plastic frames and green lenses. Just a year later they were remodeled with metal frames and rebranded as “Aviators,” how we still know them today.
Clubmasters are a type of browline sunglasses, which gets its name from the fact that the bold upper part of the frames frame the lenses like the eyebrow frames the eyes. Ray-Ban introduced the Clubmaster in the 1980s when Bruce Willis wore a pair of browline Shuron Ronsirs on the series Moonlighting. The Clubmasters gained popularity and quickly became the third best-selling sunglasses of the 1980s, after Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer and Aviator styles.
Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck
Not only did Gregory Peck win an Oscar for his role as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill A Mockingbird, but he also won a fair amount of acclaim for the glasses frames he wore in the film. These frames are once again popular today, thanks partly to their reintroduction in 2011 when Oliver Peoples released a new model to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the novel that inspired the film. Don these on National Sunglasses Day and channel your inner Atticus Finch.
Oliver Goldsmith Manhattan
Audrey Hepburn is one of film’s most well-known faces, and it was usually with a pair of Oliver Goldsmith Manhattans framing her eyes. These large, rounded-square sunglasses were first made famous when Hepburn wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a role that was originally supposed to be played by Marilyn Monroe. The glasses, instantly recognizable today, are still popular.
Photo: Allyn Scura
“To see the world through rose-colored glasses” is a phrase that means to view the world in a perpetual optimistic, perhaps naive, and unrealistic way. It remains in question what the origin of the phrase is, though there are some interesting and possible theories. One theory suggests that early mapmakers used rose petals to clean the lenses of the glasses. Not only would the natural oils protect the glass, but they would also leave a rose-colored stain.
For National Sunglasses Day this year, decide which of the above personalities or looks you’d like to emulate and grab a pair of sunglasses to match. Check in with an online glasses retailer for the styles of frames and lenses you want and celebrate in style while protecting your eyes at the same time.
Article Contributed by Bethany Cleg