Sunglasses have been an important part of protecting our eyes through the years. While all sizes can be made stylish, oversized sunglasses are a trend that cannot be ignored. It began in the 1960’s and has evolved ever since, with Paris Hilton even being the face of the trend at one point. The oversized sunglasses style is edgy and unique, with traces of vintage and class. Here’s everything you know when it comes to donning these oversized frames.
Oversized sunglasses seem to become more and more trendy as the years pass, but the craze originated longer ago than you may realize. It began over 50 years ago, when Audrey Hepburn donned her iconic oversized sunglasses in the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Already a style icon, Hepburn made oversized sunglasses the rage for years to come as women around the world tried to emulate her look. Similar to those of the character Holly Golightly, Classic Specs boasts their “Mill,” oversized sunglasses guaranteed to make anyone feel like Audrey Hepburn for a day.
Hepburn’s sunglasses were a cat eye style, meaning they slightly curved up on either end. The famous actress Marilyn Monroe was also known for wearing cat eye sunglasses and eventually, the combination of these two icons’ styles led to a huge trend of cat eye sunglasses. While Hepburn’s sunglasses were for a movie role, Monroe’s were part of her everyday appearance. Why did Monroe opt for the cat eye look? Many attribute it to her status as a sex symbol, as cat eye sunglasses were seen as seductive and feminine. They are very different from the Jackie O round sunglasses, further adding to the stark contrast between Monroe and Jackie O, an actress and a First Lady.
However, credit for the craze of oversized sunglasses can also be attributed to the former First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, otherwise known as “Jackie O.” Forever seen as a fashion symbol, Jackie O was famous for her sophistication and glamour. Beginning in the late 1960’s, Jackie O would wear black, oval-shaped oversized sunglasses as the finishing touch to her ever-lovely appearance. The shape of her frames represented sophistication and elegance, just like the perception of her overall personality. She was not only the First Lady, but also one of the biggest style icons in America during her time. Why was it that she chose oversized sunglasses over simple frames? Did the larger frames give her a sense of privacy and anonymity in a world of scrutiny and fanaticism over her and her family’s legacy? Or why it simply a matter of style that she opted for them? Many speculate that her primary reason for sporting oversized sunglasses was to hide from the paparazzi, since their incessant flashbulbs from their cameras were constantly in Jackie O’s face. It perhaps also allowed her to hide wrinkles on her face as she got older.
In the middle of the 1970’s, Elton John also wore oversized sunglasses. This was during the release of his ninth album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. As part of his act, John would wear his sunglasses as he performed onstage, just like the figure on the cover of his album. This contributed to the rise in popularity of oversized sunglasses.
John’s oversized sunglasses were an aviator style of sunglasses. Aviator sunglasses differ from many other types of sunglasses, as they typically consisted of metal wire frames instead of cellulose acetate. Due to his eclectic and unique personality, it is no surprise why John, and anyone who emulates his sunglasses style for that matter, would opt for something less traditional and orthodox.
John would also wear oversized round sunglasses, which was made extremely popular after Beatles legend John Lennon began wearing them as well. It became the symbol of the hippie movement in the late 1960’s and soon enough, people everywhere, especially men, began wearing those same types of large sunglasses.
Size doesn’t matter
Whether your face is big or small, square or oval, you can still pull off oversized sunglasses if you do it right. There are different sizes and thickness to the frames so it is all about finding your perfect fit. There are ways for you to wear oversized sunglasses without making yourself appear “bug-eyed.” You want to make sure that the frames do not cover your eyebrows or else your entire face appears off. However, you also want to ensure that the bottom of the frames do not touch your cheeks because that means the oversized sunglasses are a little too oversized. Width is also another factor in size when it comes to finding the right shades. One easy trick to use when determining whether a pair of specs is the correct width is to use your hair as a reference. For those with longer hair, try on an oversized pair with your hair down. If the width of the oversized frames causes your hair to stick out, this might mean that the oversized sunglasses are too wide for you. However, every person’s look is different – a dramatically wider set of oversized sunglasses just might be the look for you!
When it comes to your face shape, you want oversized sunglasses that can complement your face. Heart shaped faces are defined a face with a wider forehead, high cheekbones, and a narrow chin. If you have a heart shaped face, you should opt for cat eye sunglasses, just like the ones that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Try out the Sedgwick frames from Classic Specs. Other round frames work as well.
Oval shaped faces are those with proportionate forehead, cheeks, and jawline. For this special type of face shape, any kind of oversized sunglasses are the perfect fit! This face shape is very versatile but it is important to keep in mind proportion, so make sure to not go too big.
Square shaped faces include broad foreheads with a square jawline. In this case, you want to contrast your face shape and soften these sharp features by wearing round or aviator sunglasses. Oval and cat eye sunglasses can sometimes work too. In the Classic Specs collection, there are the Beaumont and the Waverly as some of your choices.
Lastly, there are round shaped faces, which are faces with full cheeks and a narrow forehead and jaw. These faces are similar to oval faces but with a less prominent jaw. For these kinds of faces, I would recommend square or wide rectangular frames. Like square shaped faces, you want to contrast the face shape. Classic Specs offers the Knickerbocker and the Fox, among other options for round shaped faces.
Making a statement
Wearing oversized sunglasses can make a strong fashion statement for you. It shows that you are bold, demanding that attention be drawn to your face. Like Jackie O, it represents mystery and intrigue. You can transform yourself into a vixen with a secret by wearing oversized sunglasses. Words that will come into people’s minds when they look at your shades will be “vintage” and “retro” while at the same time showing that you are dressing in style. However, there are more to oversized sunglasses than just the Jackie O style.
Perhaps one of the best perks of wearing oversized sunglasses is that size allows you to blend with style, meaning that if the classic look isn’t for you, you have more options. Instead of Jackie O bumblebee frames, you might opt for Marilyn Monroe cat-eye sunglasses or slick aviators. No matter what, you will still be able to get any of these styles in oversized form.
In order to fully pull off the oversized sunglasses look, you also need to dress the part. These types of shades can work for any season so it is important to key in on specific looks. For women in the spring/summer time, oversized sunglasses pair well with a floral romper or sundress. In the fall/winter time, the sunglasses would match well with a turtleneck sweater or stylish blazer. In terms of things to avoid, oversized sunglasses with an oversized sweater might come across as too sloppy and not the refined look you should be going for. You should also avoid wearing any kind of scarf or large hat with the shades, as it could crowd your face too much.
Benefits of oversized sunglasses
With larger, oversized sunglasses, you give yourself more protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. They cover more skin on your face than normal sized sunglasses. Another benefit to oversized sunglasses is how they can diminish the size of your nose. If you have an arch that is a bit bigger than you would like it to be, oversized sunglasses are a saving grace and draw attention away from your nose.
Oversized sunglasses are also helpful for days when you do not feel like wearing much makeup. Your sunglasses will distract others from seeing any blemishes on your face, especially near your eyes. It is great for instilling confidence that you do not always need to wear makeup every day if you know that you have an alternative.