Wraparound '80s Sunglasses: They’ll Be Back

The 1980s was a golden time for fashion: big hair, big shoulder pads, and big sunglasses were the order of the decade! In terms of eyewear, wraparound shades were one of the 1980s defining looks, and the style has reappeared several times over the decades since.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about wraparound '80s shades and how to wear them, as well as the stars of the era!

Cyclops Wraparound Sunglasses

Blockbuster sci-fi smashes dominated the 1980s, such as Blade Runner, Robocop, and Terminator, and the sunglasses trends of the decades reflected this. Cyclops wraparound shades were popular - also known as ‘robot glasses’ - they featured a mono reflective lens and, usually, bright-colored frames. This distinctive retro look is experiencing something of a resurgence, so check out online vintage retailers to find some authentic Cyclops wraparounds from the 1980s.

Oversized Neon Wraparound Shades

Oakley’s retro Razor Blade style was all the rage in the 1980s: think extra-large wraparound lenses with a thin upper neon-colored frame. These certainly made a style statement! They typically featured tinted lenses in a wide range of colors.

Visor-Style Shield Wraparound Sunglasses

Visor shield wraparounds with bold brow bands were also popular in this decade. Brow brands featuring colorful, abstract patterns were particularly prized, and this style was worn widely on both the red carpet and the high street throughout the 1980s.

Metallic Mirrored Lens Wraparounds

And for something a tiny bit more subtle- well, as subtle as this decade gets, anyway? How about a pair of metal-framed wraparound shades featuring mirror lenses? Back in the 1980s, these were the perfect way to nail the Terminator vibe and could regularly be seen worn by both men and women in bars, offices, and beaches all over the country.

When Are Wraparound Sunglasses a Good Option?

Wraparound sunglasses are often a great choice for those undertaking sports like running or cycling or who are outdoors for long periods and need protection not just for their eyes but also for the delicate area around the eyes. Those with light-sensitive eyes also tend to find this style particularly useful due to the much greater coverage they offer.

What’s the Difference Between Wraparound Sunglasses and Shield Sunglasses?

Good question. Shield sunglasses differ from their wraparound cousins as the former features a single lens that extends across the entire visual field. The benefits of this type of eyewear include the fact that it can provide better peripheral vision and give enhanced protection against dust and debris getting into the eyes.

Will 1980s-Style Wraparound Sunglasses Suit My Face Shape?

Vintage-type wraparound styles create a distinctive look, and whether you want to wear them for sports, leisure, or just when out and about, you may be keen to check if they’ll suit your face shape before splashing the cash. The good news is that most people can wear this style, whether you need a standard pair of shades or prescription sunglasses. Here’s what to take into account to pick your perfect pair of 80s-style wraparounds!

Best Wraparound Shades for Round Face Shapes

If you’ve got a round face shape, opt for wraparounds with angular shields, which will best compliment the curves of your face. Choosing a pair that sit a little higher on the temple can also create a flattering effect. It’s best to avoid wraparound sunglasses on the small side, as these probably won’t be particularly complimentary - plus, they won’t provide the coverage you need.

Best Wraparound Shades for Square Face Shapes

Do you have a square face shape? Choose rimless wraparound sunglasses to bring balance for a flattering look. Frames that incorporate slightly curved edges are also a good option.

Best Wraparound Shades for Oval Face Shapes

While the shield may not look very flattering on those with oval face shapes, all types of wraparound sunglasses should work well on this very versatile face shape. Oval-faced folk can experiment successfully with a range of styles and colors, as well as polarization options.

Best Wraparound Shades for Oblong Faces

Wraparound shades can be super flattering on those with oblong faces. Consider oversized styles and pairs with bold lines, sharp angles, or that feature decorative elements on the temples or arms.

Other Classic Sunglasses Styles of the 1980s

Have 1980s wraparound sunglasses got you thinking about other of the decade’s major eyewear looks? Here are two more of the key trends.

Ray-Ban Wayfarers RB2140

Still a classic choice today, the original Ray-Ban Wayfarers were popularized by a slew of 1980s icons, including Madonna, Rick Astley, Michael Jackson, and Johnny Marr. Their timeless styling, durability, and the fact that they suit most face shapes have made them a much-loved accessory for decades.

Carrera Linda Farrow 6031

Worn by Al Pacino in 1983’s Scarface, this sunglasses model became an instant classic and one of the decade’s most distinctive and sought-after accessories. While this model is out of production, there are similar styles on the market that take the Carrera Linda Farrow 6031 as their inspiration.

Wraparound 80s Sunglasses: The Final Word

As with so many fashions of the '80s, wraparound glasses have experienced several renaissances over the years and are sure to re-emerge with modern twists in the decades to come. Whether you love the style and want to inject some 80s flair into your day-to-day life or are thinking that wraparound shades could support your exercise or sports regime, use the guide above to help you pick the pair that’ll suit you and your lifestyle perfectly.

Headline image courtesy Depositphotos

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