If you want to stray away from your typical men’s sunglasses, it’s time to enter the circle. For the past couple of years, round sunglasses have been mounting a full takeover of the style scene. Known to sunglasses connoisseurs as teashades, this strikingly simple profile is at once futuristic and nostalgic. And judging by the celebrities who have sported them well before their current fad statuss — we’re talking Samuel L. Jackson, Johnny Depp, Elton John, Prince — round sunglasses suggest a nonconformist personality who marches to the beat of a drum that everybody else wishes they could hear.
Ready to take round sunglasses for a spin? Here are a few of our favorite picks for that timeless teashade look.
The retro round sunglasses are both solidly constructed and eminently affordable. If you’re tentative about dipping a toe in the teashade look, start here.
Combining the classic round shape with a touch of horn-rimmed distinction, these Ray-Ban frames complement any sartorial style you can throw at them.
Unleash your psychedelic rocker persona with this faithful repro from Vint and York. Neither oversized nor pinpoint, the lenses are perfectly proportioned for a timeless look, and their amber gradient makes the world look like an endless summer.
These rimless round specs offer an undeniable intellectual distinction. If your idea of a fun summer afternoon is sipping limoncello while discussing obscure European philosophy, these are the shades for you.
These frames are for the outdoorsmen. The polarized lenses are stylish for everyday wear and for your next outdoor hiking adventure.
The slightly softened shape of these sunnies, combined with their slim framing and temples and their sophisticated technical details, makes them an attractive choice.
Garrett Leight Harding
Inspired by midcentury playwright Arthur Miller, this thick-rimmed pair of specs offers a hybrid aviator-teashade look for those who want to pair two iconic styles in one.
Vint and York Charleston
Channel your inner Jay Gatsby with these dapper frames that — surprise — separate to allow for traditional eyeglass wear without the shades. Because versatility is the bee’s knees, old sport.
If you have a square-shaped face round sunglasses will compliment your face. It adds a bit of balance to the width of your face. Round sunglasses have become increasingly popular recently for everyone. What has made round sunglasses so popular in the last couple of years? We have a few theories in mind:
Round Sunglasses are Nostalgic
The more alarming our modern world becomes, the more folks want to immerse themselves in the past. Larisa Ginzburg, the founder of the “modern nostalgic” sunglasses brand Vint & York, confirms this theory. “Round sunglasses were popular amongst intellectuals in the late 1920s and ’30s. They came around (no pun intended) a second time in the ’60s & ’70s, made famous by pop icons like John Lennon, Ozzy Osbourne, and many others.”
Granted, past eras like the 1900s and the 60s weren’t objectively better than now, but they do have the virtue of being over and done with. If we could teleport back to those eras now, we’d know exactly how things were going to turn out … and boy, wouldn’t that be nice for our current state of anxiety. Barring time travel, a pair of round sunglasses can give you a momentary hit of that comforting nostalgia, permission to mentally inhabit a time that, compared to today, seems a lot more innocent.
Over the past few decades, tech innovation has been changing our way of life with thrilling, chilling speed. In response, designers and stylists have drawn upon the aesthetic of past eras when innovation was moving at a similarly breathless pace–specifically the late 1800s and early 1900s. Along with mind-blowing inventions like the airship and the automobile, and the harnessing of electricity, this era also happens to be when sunglasses debuted as a mainstream trend. In generations since, the “genius inventor” look has been replicated under both the steampunk and Afro-futurism trends, popularized most recently through films like Sherlock Holmes, Black Panther, and the upcoming Tesla biopic.
Western culture’s chronic overconsumption inspires trendsetters to strike back with a less cluttered, less complicated aesthetic. And what could be more minimal than the simple circle? It helps that this minimalist profile looks good on just about everybody.
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