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The Initial Purpose for Sunglasses 

Sunglasses were not created for the fashion purposes that they serve today - that is just what they evolved into. Initially, they were created for those in the military as a shield from the sun. New designs and shapes of the lenses were being created to explore new ways to stay safe from the sun. The U.S. Army Air Corps commissioned optical specialists Bausch & Lomb (B&L) to create another type of sunglasses. They were to produce one that protects pilots from high altitude glares. That challenge was solved by creating and perfecting a particular dark green lens tint that consumed light in the yellow band spectrum. 

Publicizing Sunglasses 

The special B&Ls are now known as aviator sunglasses, a very common type of sunglasses. At first, they were not available to the general public to purchase. Only one year later they became available to the general public to purchase. 

Now comes the fashion part to sunglasses. Sunglasses became incredibly popular ever since they were publicly available. Nearly everyone wanted sunglasses because they were both practical and stylish simultaneously since the 1950s. More and more designs were being created to introduce more styles and more ways to wear sunglasses. 

The Big Trend 

Trend setters and fashion leaders began wearing sunglasses with uncommon styles. In the 1960s, they found if the glasses were dark heavy framed plastic glasses, it made men and women look younger. This was during the youthquake movement, so youth was fashionable. If glasses could give an illusion that one was younger, many would pick up on that trend. 

Color and shape was an important factor when it came to your glasses. 1960s frame and lense colors came in various pastels and primary colors. The trend was to wear glasses that matched makeup or an outfit. Some had trouble getting into the bizarre shapes and designs. 60s glasses frames included shapes such as the half moon, wrap around, horn rim, oval, octagon and Harelquin. Some other older styles were reestablished such as the thin retro round glasses. Granny glasses came back, which were old fashioned frames but with new colored lenses being worn by all ages. Mirror lenses made their way in fashion in the 60s too! While all were very fashionable, sometimes they were difficult to see in. However, fashionable glasses in the 60s were meant to look good and be seen, not necessarily to see adequately in. 

The Trend's Revival 

In fashion, we tend to repeat trends after so many decades. Today, the trend for retro sunglasses has returned and is making a large comeback. We are seeing 1960s - 1970s glasses all over again. Blogs and celebrities are reviving the trend even more so. Industry leaders are bringing back vintage styles more and more. 


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