Throughout the ’80s, standing out from the crowd with bold, head-turning style choices was often the name of the game. The era’s sunglasses trends mirrored that theme. 

And with all things 1980s making a resurgence, it’s no wonder that certain ’80s-style sunglasses are sought-after again. But which are the best ’80s sunglasses to make part of your look?

First, we firmly believe that the “best” sunglasses frames are the ones you like. Anyone can wear any pair of sunglasses (as long as they fit properly), and we’ve got some ideas for ’80s sunglasses you may like to put on heavy rotation.

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Six 1980s Sunglasses Styles to Try

Maybe you’re going for a nostalgic head-to-toe ensemble that reflects the decade’s most buzzworthy trends. Or you want to sprinkle a smaller bit of ’80s essence onto your daily persona. 

Whatever your goal, we’ve curated a list of six ’80s-style sunglasses for you to try. These iconic ’80s sunglasses frames are either already in hot demand or are ripe for a comeback (perhaps with you leading the resurgence).

An animated GIF showing popular 80s sunglass styles

Aviator Sunglasses

Aviator sunglasses have been around since the 1930s. But, with the exposure they got from music and film, aviators became thoroughly entrenched in the domain of ’80s sunglasses fashion. They’re shaped like a rounded upside-down teardrop, sometimes with a top bar spanning the temples. 

The ’80s version of these timeless sunglasses tend to have polished silver or gold frames, with grey and black making an appearance, too. Today, a range of available frame and lens colors lets you dabble into the ’80s with a modern twist.

Sade Sunglasses in Polished Gold


Polished Gold

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Renaldo Sunglasses in Antique Silver


Antique Silver

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Hatcher sunglasses in oak barrel


Oak Barrel

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Thick-Framed Sunglasses

Any list of ’80s sunglasses would be lacking if it didn’t include these chunky sunglasses. This iconic design features square-ish, thick, and slightly oversized frames that come somewhat to a point at the outer temples. 

Favored among the more straight-laced populace of the ’50s and ’60s, these sunglasses came roaring back like a souped-up muscle car in the ’80s. The juxtaposition of this almost nerdy design with the cool starpower of “risky” on-screen celebrities of the ’80s gave these sunglasses an ironic freshness. 

Today, it’s hip to be square again. And lucky you! These popular ’80s sunglasses now come in an array of frame colors that expands on standard black or tortoise (though there’s certainly nothing wrong with those).

Makai Sunglasses in Astral Crystal Fade


Astral Crystal Fade

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Carmel Sunglasses in Jet Black


Jet Black

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Rosa Sunglasses in Forest Green with Sand


Forest Green with Sand

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Browline Sunglasses

Browline sunglasses first rose to prominence in the late 1940s and 1950s, but celebrities in the ’80s rejuvenated this old-school style. They feature a mixed-material construction, pairing a thick top rim with a thin bottom eyewire. 

While a black or tortoise top rim may stay more faithful to the ’80s sunglasses version, browline sunglasses in a choice of metals or colors infuse this tried-and-true eyewear standard with a shot of rogue fun.

Nemsey Sunglasses in Cattail Tortoise Matte


Cattail Tortoise Matte

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Ortega Sunglasses in Peppercorn Tortoise


Peppercorn Tortoise

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Liana Sunglasses in Jet black


Jet Black

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Round Sunglasses

Round sunglasses are a staple sunglasses shape across the decades. Because you can’t really change a circle without making it a different shape altogether, the most obvious change in round sunglasses from era to era is the size. Round sunglasses in the ’80s tended toward the smaller end of the spectrum, often with metal frames. 

You can make round sunglasses your own by playing around with the frame color and lens color. As for the size, wear what you’re comfortable with. But be aware of whether the size complements your face shape.

Naima Sunglasses in Amalfi Tortoise


Amalfi Tortoise

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Estrada Sunglasses in Prickly Pear Tortoise


Prickly Pear Tortoise

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Rafael Sunglasses in Polished Gold


Polished Gold

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Square Sunglasses

Often oversized, square sunglasses were big on the ’80s hip hop scene. Sometimes made with thick black frames, these bold sunglasses could also have metal frames. Current iterations can feature thick acetate frames in a translucent or opaque color.

A prominent top bar capping both lenses from end to end adds even more boldness to this classic ’80s sunglasses example.

Sutton Sunglasses in Saddle Tortoise with Polished Gold


Saddle Tortoise with Polished Gold

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Aniyah sunglasses in Polished Gold


Polished Gold

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Gabriela Sunglasses in Denim Blue


Denim Blue

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Cat-Eye Sunglasses

As timeless as cat-eye sunglasses are, they give off an undeniably vintage vibe in any era. Known for frames that sweep upward at the temples, cat-eye sunglasses have a flattering way of highlighting that upward tilt of the cheekbones. 

While some ’80s versions of cat-eye sunglasses feature exaggerated shapes, more subdued cat-eye shapes are offered, too.

Janelle sunglasses in Praline



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Tilley Sunglasses in Smoky Pearl Tortoise


Smoky Pearl Tortoise

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Kelsey Sunglasses in Marzipan Tortoise


Marzipan Tortoise

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The Best ’80s-Style Sunglasses Are The Ones You Love

To wrap things up, we’ll repeat our mantra about all eyewear: The “best” ones are the ones that you love.

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