Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

Date: 17.07.2013
Category: Vintage and retro glasses

Round sunglasses (often referred to as ‘John Lennon sunglasses’), are a classic style that has been around as early as the 1920s. This summer there is no doubt this retro style is making a big comeback.

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.

Jay Gatsby sunglasses for The Great Gatsby 2013 fashion in film Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

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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.

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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.

john lennon1 Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

john lennon and glasses 650x650 Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

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.

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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

Proenza Round Sunglasses Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

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holly fulton Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

Sunglasses Trends for Spring Summer 2013 by Tommy Hilfiger Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

  • Slightly smaller lenses with statement frames 

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Damir Doma 4 Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

gafasredondas Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

  • 1960s ‘hippie style’ - oversized lenses with thin, wire frames

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gafas hippie Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

gafas hippies Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

  •  Round retro-style sunglasses for men

Round sunglasses retro Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

Marc Jacobs Round Frame Beach Sailor Sunglasses Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

round sunglasses for men Round sunglasses – the return of retro!

rreflective ound sunglasses Round sunglasses – the return of retro!


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