Earlier this year, I came across a pair of oversize aviator frames in one of my favorite vintage stores that stopped me dead in my tracks. Although I hadn’t worn the sunglasses silhouette in years, this particular pair stood out to me because they reminded me of the ones my very Italian grandpa always used to wear. So when the store owner told me they were a deadstock style from Italy, I bought them immediately. Scroll down to see them in action.
Fast-forward to summer 2021, the fashion crowd has joined me in my obsession with retro sunglasses. I’d even go so far as to say that they’ve become *the* accessory trend of the moment. If I spot someone in them, I know they’re a fashion person. But let’s get into the details. Nope, these aren’t the slim metal-framed aviators we used to know. Instead, this new wave is all about embodying a ’70s aesthetic that’s anything but minimal. The details that define the modern-day trend include large acetate frames in lieu of sleek metal ones, tinted lenses (especially transparent yellow and orange shades), and the general vibe that you could have lifted them from my own grandpa’s closet.
To show you what I mean, I’ve pulled together examples from Instagram that highlight how the style set is wearing retro sunglasses right now. I also went ahead and shopped out the 20 pairs that embody this whole aesthetic, so keep scrolling for more.
Ydaowkn Vintage Aviator Sunglasses ($11)
You’ve definitely seen these Amazon favorites in your feed this summer.
Gucci 59mm Aviator Sunglasses ($390)
If you’re going for the Italian-grandpa vibe, why not go all in with a pair from the OG Italian brand?
Lexxola Damien Sunglasses ($260)
Lexxola’s Damien Sunglasses have become a Gen Z calling card this year.
Ray-Ban 58mm Aviator Sunglasses ($154)
Ray-Ban basically invented aviators after all.
Tom Ford Neughman Sunglasses ($540)
In case you were wondering, this Tom Ford pair lives in my head rent-free.
Warby Parker Blaise ($95)
I recently tried these on in the Warby Parker store and can confirm that they look really good on.
BP Aviator Sunglasses ($15)
When it comes to these retro shades, the bigger the better.
Free People Day Break Oversized Aviator Sunglasses ($20)
No denying how cool these look.
Le Specs x Solid&Striped Jetties Sunglasses ($99)
Into this ’70s color scheme.
Poppy Lissiman Jimbo Sunglasses ($125)
The kind of sunglasses that make an outfit really pop.
Lexxola Damien Sunglasses ($260)
One more from Lexxola because they’re just so good.
Urban Outfitters Tallulah Plastic Aviator Sunglasses ($18)
The yellow tint tells me you’re a fashion person.
Victoria Beckham 59mm Shield Sunglasses ($345)
They’re not quite aviators, but these definitely fit the mood.
Urban Outfitters Liv Plastic Aviator Sunglasses ($18)
Eighteen dollars of fun.
Vehla Phoenix in Tort/Mocha ($160)
I have these in green, and they’re so fun to wear.
Isabel Marant 59mm Gradient Aviator Sunglasses ($200)
Embrace the retro vibe and style these with a printed scarf.
Lu Goldie Ruby Sunglasses in Tortoise ($165)
Imagine how cool these would look with a fur-trimmed coat in the fall.
Persol x JW Anderson Acetate Aviators ($361)
This color combo is doing it for me.
Spitfire Orbital Sunglasses ($45)
This affordable brand is a great source for all the retro styles you’re after.
Free People Ventura Oversized Aviator Sunglasses ($25)
How these aren’t a vintage pair I’m not sure.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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