A Tour of Eyeglass Fashion History

We have all heard the saying, “The suit makes the man.” But, what about the eyewear? With styles changing as quickly as the weather one can be hard pressed to find just the right style. As you will quickly see, in the end the only thing that matters is what you like. But if you want a quick lesson in how it can effect the way others perceive you… take a look at some famous faces that set eyewear trends yesterday and today.

You have come a long way, baby! Or have we? We often tend to think that we have stumbled upon the latest greatest thing when it comes to fashion trends, including eyewear. But if we take a walk back through history just a few years we may find our choices today pale in comparison.

Let’s take stroll down memory lane through to our present day. As we look at people in history who, regardless of their careers, set the standard for eyewear in their own eras we will find styles as different, compelling as anything we can find today. In the 1950’s Grace Kelly was the picture of class and flawless style in eyewear that was never outlandish, yet stood out above the crowd for sophisticated design. Audrey Hepburn put Ray-Ban on the map in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (and you thought it was the Blues Brothers?). The Beatles enthralled us all with their small, rimless shades. Janice Joplin in turn appalled us all in her ghastly, large round shades that, despite everything, caught on quickly in the 70’s. Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis hid behind similar shades, large and dark with thick plastic frames. Nothing could have prepared us for The Fly, no wait! That was just Bono. No, wait again! It’s still Bono wearing the same ungodly shades, obviously stolen straight off the movie set.

The 80’s saw the revival of the Ray-ban shades that cost just enough to make any teen feel cool. The early 90’s are certainly to blame for Bono’s poor taste with the inception of Oakleys. No one was cool if they weren’t wearing those face hugging shades that cost entirely too much but made those working the Kiosk at the mall smile big. Today we have seen a resurgence of the big 70’s shades that not only protect our eyes, but our cheeks, ears and noses. Perhaps I am exaggerating, but not by much. I would be remiss to leave out the ever-popular prescription eyewear reminiscent of the Beatniks of the 60’s that I, admittedly, find quite appealing on any man! Today it is all about individual taste. Vintage, classic or futuristic – it is purely a matter of taste. There is a style for any mood, any price, and any trend you wish to follow.