Iconic Sunglasses Through the Decades

Sunglasses first made their appearance in 12th century China. As you can imagine, materials then were quite limited, flat panes of smoky quartz being the only material one could wear to block out the sun. Over the past 9 centuries sunglasses have made quite the transformation. There have been countless innovative styles created that have transcended through the decades, some cute some glamorous and some just straight up bizarre- Lady Gaga’s frames made from cigarettes anyone? Once an object that’s sole purpose was to protect your eyes from the sun has now evolved into a integral accessory that simultaneously serves as both fashion and function.

We happened upon a great article from The Cut that takes a look at the 50 Most Iconic Sunglasses of all Time and highlighted a few of our favorites.

We don’t even need to say it, you already know. Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, cat eye frames; the definition of iconic.


John Lennon was the poster boy for the round frames and largely responsible for the huge impact they had on fashion eyewear in the 70s. Circular frames exude coolness and carry an essence of sentimentality that truly make them timeless.


Wayfarers had been on the scene since 1956, yet it wasn’t until Tom Cruise rocked them in Risky Business did they amass such a cult following. They are a quintessential frame in any wardrobe.


Oh yes. How could one forget the late 90’s/ early 00’s celebrity favorite. Thin frames, colored lenses, sometimes bejeweled, sometimes not. They seemed to have disappeared when ‘N Sync disbanded and have yet to resurface. Yet.


What was once considered old is new again. With a nod to one of our favorite decades, Capital’s updated take on the circular frames prove that this classic shape has become a timeless choice.