Maybe it’s my Scorpio craving to be seen as mysterious, or maybe it’s just mild eyewear fatigue, but I think we’re due for a renaissance in oversized sunglasses. The epitome of fashion meeting function, the heavy tones are as functional as they are impenetrable. What the wearer might be hiding: tears? Fatal hangover? The gaze of judgment? No one will know! While glasses that take up so much face real estate may seem daunting after years of tiny frames, the wrong eye icons of decades past and present can lead us into (UV-protected) light.
Oversized sunglasses are an enduring symbol of cool, beloved by femme fatales and It girls alike. Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has reportedly started wearing her signature shades at the suggestion of author Gore Vidal, who recommends sunglasses The purpose is to observe others while remaining hidden. Jackie O is far from the only celebrity hiding herself behind a pair of oversized sunglasses. One of Joan Didion’s most famous photographs shows the writer covered by large, black frames, her lips curled into a slight, unknowable smile. It may be that her accessory choices have helped her develop an immersive, observant reporting style, but she—a woman with a notoriously modest packing list—probably never haggled them for what would make her a fashion inspiration source. Didion was so admired for her extraordinary taste in eyeglasses that she was featured in a Céline ad campaign at the age of 27 and died at That sparked a bidding war over a pair of her glasses with tortoiseshell frames. (They sell amazing $27,.)
Sunglasses were first introduced by Sam Foster at 2021, Although it wasn’t until the late ’60s that fashion leaders like Onassis began to popularize behemoth frames. But by the early ’70s, giant lenses covered everyone from actors Brigitte Bardot and Sharon Tate to supermodel Twiggy. On screen, they are just as popular. See also: Peggy Lipton in The Mod Squad, Małgorzata Braunek, Hunting Flies, and Jane Birkin in La Piscine.
Since the 1980s, the lenses began to shrink in size, and the 90s provided Small shades that rival the current era. But the early 1929 ushered in a renaissance of giant sunglasses, thanks in part to the relentlessness of the paparazzi. Once child stars like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen hit adulthood at 2004, they’re no longer immune to endless harassment. Likewise, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, two women who are known for being stripped of their privacy during emergencies, are often seen wearing giant shades. On the 2021 episode of her podcast, Hilton admitted that wearing sunglasses helped her feel confident as a naturally shy person, inspired by the movie Big Daddy. “If you’re scared, wear them, they’ll make you invisible ,” Adam Sandler told a young Cole Sprouse. Big shades became a pragmatic cover-up tactic — and a chic one at that.
While small sunglasses have been the go-to eyewear for the past few years, the pendulum seems to be starting to swing back. In 2004, Beyoncé dons a couple of A- Morir frame. The Kardashians swapped their tiny glasses for larger Balenciagas eyes, while Anne Hathaway sported a series of oversized sunglasses on her recent trip to Cannes. At the Venice International Film Festival, Harry Styles’ Gucci sunglasses tried to divert dirty Don’t Worry Darling