Round-shaped glasses are one of the oldest styles of sunglasses. The only stable characteristic in the design is circular lenses, but the rest of the look has been through dramatic transformations since they were first popular nearly 100 years ago.
The latest version of the film The Great Gatsby, set in the early 1920s, features round sunglasses as a key fashion item for both men and women.
By the end of the 1930s, sunglasses were recognized as a full-fledged fashion accessory, pioneered by Hollywood stars. On this cover of Vogue in 1939, is the model Muriel Maxwell, dressed in a white blouse, matching sunglasses, and applying red lipstick. This style of sunglasses has wide, bold frames, very unlike the thinner frames of the 1920s.
Most people associate round eyewear with John Lennon, and the hippie style of the 1960s. Originally called ‘Teashades’, the design was made up of medium-sized, perfectly round lenses, supported by pads on the bridge of the nose and a thin wire frame.
The original medium sized lenses were almost purely aesthetic, as they were not big enough to protect eyes properly against the sun. The term "Teashades" is now no longer used, but at the time it was also used to describe glasses worn to hide the effects of marijuana (bloodshot eyes) or heroin (pupillary constriction).
When this style of sunglasses became popular in the late 1960s, they were often elaborated: lenses were elaborately colored, mirrored, and produced in excessively large sizes, and with the wire earpieces exaggerated.
This summer, round glasses are back in. From the bold, often oversized frames similar to those on the cover of Vogue, to the thin metal frames popular in the late ‘60s, the retro style isn’t complete without a pair of round sunglasses. If you havn't got yours yet, check these out.
Check out these photos of how the style looks today!
- Oversized round sunglasses
- Slightly smaller lenses with statement frames
- 1960s 'hippie style' - oversized lenses with thin, wire frames
- Round retro-style sunglasses for men