5 of The Most Timeless Sunglasses for Any Age

5 of The Most Timeless Sunglasses for Any Age

Because sunglasses are a protective yet fashionable measure against UV damage, they are a staple in many Americans’ wardrobes. While serving a practical purpose, they can also tie a look together, which is reflected in how people use them. A 2023 report by the Vision Council found that while 68% of people wear sunglasses to see while driving, 52% wear them to lounge, and 48% wear them to concerts and sporting events. Those who recognize the versatility of sunglasses have likely had the same few pairs for years now. But over time, some can look too dated, reflective of a personal style you’ve outgrown. In this case, it’s wise to invest in classic eyewear pieces that can withstand the revolving door of trends, ensuring wearability at every age. Here are some styles to consider:

Cat-eye Frames

This distinctly feminine shape is the brainchild of Altina Schinasi from the 1930s. Patented initially as “Harlequin frames,” cat-eye sunglasses evoke the enigmatic allure of a masquerade mask. Popularized by Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, the style is a favorite of modern bombshells looking to carry an air of mystery. Case in point: supermodel Elsa Hosk collaborated with Christopher Cloos on an exclusive eyewear collection. Cloos x Hosk features lenses in three signature colorways and an enduring cat-eye silhouette. For the office-bound, this style is best paired with sharp choices like structured shoulders, while the younger set could pair this with a casual pair of jeans and a dressy top.

Tortoiseshell Glasses

Tortoiseshell sunglass frames used to be made from actual Hawksbill tortoises in the 1920s. Today, that’s (thankfully) no longer the case. Still, the unique patterns of tortoiseshell glasses deftly mix light and dark colors, making them a wardrobe must-have for women who want to inject personality into their frames without going overboard. The Tom Ford FT5401 features a classic keyhole bridge and a stylish and professional edge that will work in college and at the office. As tortoiseshell frames tend to steal the show, avoid wearing contrasting prints to avoid looking too “busy.”

Stella mirror by Koket

Oversized Pairs

As high fashion moves into function, brands like Balenciaga and Gentle Monster are leaning toward more surface area for the eyes. These ’60s babies don’t just cover up under-eye circles after a late night; they also provide ample sun protection throughout the years, making them the most practical of the bunch. We touched on how rounded, oversized sunglasses can be dressed up or down, which makes them friendly for a variety of occasions. If you plan on making these your workhorse pair, choose black frames or a subdued color matching your entire wardrobe.

The Wayfarer Silhouette

Wayfarers, invented by Ray-Ban in 1952, were famously worn by James Dean, and today, this style is an excellent way for women of all ages to embrace a little androgyny in their wardrobe. It also makes for good re-wear value; the Duchess of Cambridge has been photographed over the years in her favorite classic sunglasses, whether she’s in Wimbledon tweed or a Caribbean-friendly white tee. The utter universality of Wayfarers means that your outfit options are limitless – no styling tips needed.

Color-tinted Sunglasses

It’s not just the frames where you can consider adding color. Tinted lenses are favored across generations, from Billie Eilish to Rihanna to Robert Downey Jr. Depending on your age, this style may benefit you differently: in your twenties, they provide an exciting pop of color. Meanwhile, those in their 40s and above will enjoy their ability to slightly obscure signs of aging around the eyes. Consider channeling a corresponding 70s aesthetic to look coordinated, incorporating flowy pant legs or balloon sleeves. Alternatively, a grunge look makes for an exciting contrast.

Sunglasses are a lifelong necessity, but you don’t have to stick to one pair forever. With eyewear options that reflect your personality while allowing experimentation, you can build a rotation that sartorially grows with you.

Feature Image by Antoni Shkraba | Pexels