The Top 5 Vintage Sunglasses

So, you’re looking for a new pair of sunglasses, and you want that classic look. Here’s where the dilemma begins. The two most well known vintage-style sunglasses are the Ray Ban Wayfarer and Aviator – and they’re both just that – too well known.

Photo by jbcurio


They’re classics, but if everyone from your dad to the Hipster kid on the bus is wearing them, you might want to find something a little more unique. There are plenty styles out there with the retro revival going on, but it’s difficult to know what to go for, so here are my pick of the best.

1.Ray Ban Clubmaster

These are the famous browline-style glasses that have been popular since the 50s, as they can give anyone that effortlessly cool Rockabilly look. Half of all glasses sold in the 50s were in this style, and they’re gaining popularity once again as Ray Ban have put a modern spin on this vintage classic – it’s a look the A-List love; both Beyonce and Robert Pattinson have been seen sporting them recently.

The Clubmaster combines a metal nosepiece into the browline and has a good range of colours on both the plastic and metal rims.

2. Carrera Champion

The Carrera Champion are those classic 80s on-piste/off-piste look without the fluorescent jumpsuit (sadly), but look fabulous whether you’re on the slopes, relaxing in the VIP section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or sunbathing in your garden. They sport plastic frames in a huge amount of colourways – everything from black/red to violet/white to tortoiseshell.

If you want frames with that 80s retro edge, these are a cut above everything else on the market in both look and quality – Carrera use Optyl plastic to make their frames, making them anallergic and lightweight with a memory-effect for comfort.

3.Ray Ban Round Metal

These have that John Lennon look, the round, metal framed glasses that are once again gaining popularity. Lady Gaga and fahionista Mary-Kate Olsen have both been pictured in them recently, but this vintage-chic look is great on anyone – if you’re willing to make a statement. Ray Ban Round Metal come with a good selection of fames and lenses, so you can go Lennon with gold frames and green lenses, or Gaga with matt black frames and grey lenses.

4. Armani EA 9703/S

This Armani number epitomises that Jackie O look – big, bold and beautiful. Popular since the 60s, large, plastic-framed sunglasses are favourites with the A-List today, and the 9703/S range exude glamour. The wide, round frames and dark lenses are perfect for blocking out the glare of the paparazzi’s cameras (or, y’know, the sun), and the straight arms give a strong, powerful air to them. They come in a good colour range, but my favourites are the shiny brown.

5. Carrera Carrera 1

These glasses embody sports-chic, but with a powerful twist.  They’re a blend of the classic Carrera Champion glasses and the aviator style, producing a sleek, metal frame with a strong browline and slightly wider, larger lenses than the classic Ray Ban Aviator, so they’re flattering for virtually every face. You can even get colourways where the browline and nosepiece are a contrasting metal to the rest of the frame.

So there you have it. Five vintage sunglasses that are just a little bit out of the ordinary – perfect if you’re looking to make a statement or just looking for a classic pair of timeless vintage shades. Why play it safe when you can have something really special?


Jasmin Ayres is a keen blogger and a sunglasses lover who writes for Valley Optics, a leading online retailer who sell a wide range of designer sunglasses, such as Carrera sunglasses and Ray Ban glasses.

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