Designer Sunglasses: A Look at Timeless Styles and How to Wear Them

Designer Sunglasses: A Look at Timeless Styles and How to Wear Them

Sure, sunglasses are crucial for UV protection and long-term eye health—but if you’re a fashionista, you’ll also want your sunnies to be the epitome of style. That’s where designer sunglasses come in. Crafted to the highest standards, these shades offer the best of both form and function: they provide full protection against the sun while coming in a variety of sophisticated designs aimed to cater to various preferences. That’s a major reason why the demand for them is growing. A Fact MR report finds that from being worth $40 billion in 2023, the luxury eyewear market is set to achieve a value of $56 billion within a decade.

With industry leaders like Prada, Ray-Ban, Gucci, and Versace offering countless options for you to express your personal style, you can easily explore the world of designer sunglasses, where timeless styles meet modern trends. Read on to uncover the allure of high-quality materials and precision craftsmanship that only designer sunglasses can offer—and how to wear them so your outfits pop with style and flair.

Evolution of Timeless Sunglasses

Iconic Origins

Designer sunglasses have a rich history, originating with sunglasses themselves. First designed over 2,000 years ago by the Inuits, they protected against the sun. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that sunglasses evolved into accessories designed to actually look good. Arguably, it all started with Ray-Ban sunglasses—aviator-style shades designed by Bausch & Lomb for pilots in the ‘40s that offered both style and functionality. Sunglasses designs then truly took off during the age of Golden Hollywood, with stars like Marlene Dietrich and Carole Lombard donning them both on and off the silver screen. 

Trend Evolution

Over the decades, sunglasses trends shifted dramatically. In the 1950s, cat-eye frames were all the rage among fashion-forward individuals. This style exuded elegance and glamour, with models like Oliver Goldsmith’s Manhattan popularized by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The 1960s saw the rise of oversized frames inspired by influential names like Jackie Kennedy, who was famous for wearing the now-iconic “Jackie O” sunglasses with large lenses. In the hip 1980s, we saw bolder styles that leveraged neon colors and mirrored lenses, reflecting the vibrant pop culture of that era. The 1990s took it in the opposite direction with an emphasis on sleek lines and understated elegance. 

Fashion Movements

Over the years, a growing association between sunglasses and society’s most influential individuals led to a demand for designer sunglasses that offer a touch of elegance and sophistication. With that, we’ve seen multiple luxury brands elevating sunglasses to a level of never-before-seen quality and craftsmanship. One only needs to look at the designer line of Prada sunglasses. Originally known for its ready-to-wear clothing collections, this historic Italian fashion house expanded to luxury eyewear in the 1990s to meet demand for higher-end sunglasses. Now, sunnies like the Conceptual and Runway boast understated design characteristics like slim frames and tasteful gold and silver details. Though arguably any run-of-the-mill eyewear manufacturer can pull off similar models, Prada’s sunglasses stand out for using only the finest materials to strike the ideal balance between form and function. In fact, you’ll find that unlike traditional eyewear, designer sunglasses offer some key design elements. 

Key Design Elements

Quality Materials

Designer sunglasses are crafted using high-quality materials to ensure durability. From sturdy frames made of the best metals like titanium to coatings that allow for scratch-resistant lenses, these materials enhance the overall product lifespan.

Attention to Detail

The attention to detail in timeless sunglass designs sets them apart. Luxury brands like Fendi only allow the finest Italian craftsmen to construct their eyewear in line with the strictest quality controls. That means every component, from intricate embellishments to precise hinges, undergoes scrutiny from keen eyes so they contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal and functionality of the eyewear.

Essential Features

Essential features such as frame shape, lens tint, and temple embellishments play a crucial role in defining timeless styles. These elements are carefully curated to reflect both fashion trends and classic elegance. High-end brands like Versace and Burberry, for example, infuse the history of their legacy in fashion by incorporating key details like the Medusa medallion and Burberry check pattern into the frames of their luxury eyewear. Some even add further features, with the stylish sunglasses from edlee—featuring unique bamboo frames varnished to the perfect shine—offering floating capabilities perfect for beach adventures. Ultimately, designer sunglasses do more than offer protection from UV rays by crafting eyewear that serves as a bold fashion statement. By combining quality materials with meticulous attention to detail, these eyewear pieces stand the test of time while elevating any outfit effortlessly.

Celebrities and Fashion Icons

Iconic Influences

Celebrities and fashion icons play a significant role in popularizing timeless sunglasses styles. Their influence extends beyond the silver screen and the red carpet to shape trends that resonate with users worldwide. One great example is how Tom Cruise saved Ray-Ban from bankruptcy by wearing aviators in Top Gun, cementing the designer sunglasses’ legacy for decades to come. By effortlessly sporting classic sunglasses designs, these iconic figures set the stage for enduring fashion statements.


Famous personalities have a knack for turning simple accessories into fashion essentials. Their unique sense of style transforms ordinary sunglasses into coveted fashion pieces, making them timeless choices for fashion enthusiasts seeking to emulate their favorite stars. In fact, we can credit the likes of Kate Middleton, Kendall Jenner, and Kaia Gerber for continuously popularizing iconic luxury designs like oversized cat-eyes, trapezoidal wayfarers, and oval sunglasses year after year. 

Signature Styles

Whether it's the oversized frames so favored by Jackie Kennedy that they were named after her, the sleek Ray-Ban aviators that Tom Cruise can’t stop wearing—or the wraparound Adidas sunglasses Princess Anne hasn’t been seen without for over a decade—each celebrity has left their mark on history by making designer sunglasses part of their signature style. As users aspire to capture the glamour and sophistication of their favorite icons, they turn to these characteristic looks as options for a touch of celebrity-inspired flair.

Choosing Designer Sunglasses

Personal Style

Your style plays a crucial role in choosing timeless sunglasses. Opt for designs that resonate with your fashion preferences and lifestyle choices. Classic aviators or wayfarers are versatile options if you need some starting inspiration. 

Trusted Brands

Look for renowned brands with a history of creating enduring sunglass designs. Brands like Ray-Ban, Persol—a century-old brand that boasts sunglasses popularized by Steve McQueen—and Oliver Peoples are known for their timeless styles that never go out of fashion, so browsing their catalogs for designer sunglasses is a good place to begin. 

Classic Color Options

Color plays a crucial role in the longevity of sunglasses. Opting for classic frames in black, tortoiseshell, and various metals like gold and silver ensures that your eyewear remains stylish through changing trends and is versatile enough to go with any number of outfits. 

Durable Materials

Choosing the right material is equally important in creating sunglasses with lasting appeal. Acetate is a popular choice known for its durability, lightweight feel, and ability to hold vibrant colors well. On the other hand, metal frames provide a sleek and timeless look that suits both men and women due to their versatility.

Elevating Outfits with Designer Sunglasses

Styling Tips

You can pair designer sunglasses with different outfits to elevate your look effortlessly. However, we at Luxury Travel Magazine believe you can best stay on top of fashion trends if you go for enduring pieces that can fit perfectly into a capsule wardrobe. For example, you can pull off a casual vibe by combining timeless aviators or wayfarers with simple outfits like jeans and a t-shirt. You can also use iconic designs like cat-eye or round frames with elegant dresses for a chic touch. Feel free to experiment with various styles and see which ones can add flair to any ensemble!

Maintaining Timeless Style in Designer Sunglasses

Proper Cleaning

Designer sunglasses require proper cleaning to maintain their quality and longevity. Use a gentle lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth to wipe away dirt and smudges. Avoid using harsh chemicals or rough materials that could scratch the lenses. Regularly cleaning your sunglasses not only keeps them looking stylish but will ensure optimal clarity while protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Storage Techniques

When not in use, store your designer sunglasses in a protective case. This shields them from scratches, impacts, and exposure to extreme temperatures and can prevent misplacement or accidental damage. It’s also important to avoid exposing them to direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can fade the frames and affect the lens coatings. By following proper storage techniques, you can prolong the lifespan of your timeless eyewear pieces and enjoy your designer sunglasses for longer.

Timeless Styles That Never Go Out of Fashion

In a world where trends come and go, timeless designer sunglasses can be a long-lasting wardrobe staple. Understanding the evolution of these iconic pieces, the key design elements that define them, and how to choose the perfect pair can elevate your style game effortlessly. So the next time you step out, remember the power of these accessories to transform your outfit and make a statement that is both elegant and enduring.