Timeless & Sophisticated Frames

By Jo Phillips

Sunglasses are staple pieces in every fashion enthusiast’s wardrobe. As such, it’s not surprising that more people are purchasing eyewear products this year, according to Euromonitor International’s report on the UK spectacles market. It’s even estimated that brands with a strong presence in the luxury fashion scene, such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, will experience a high demand as more people start to invest in stylish pairs of sunglasses.

If you’re planning to invest in fashion sunglasses, you should start with timeless, sophisticated frames that never go out of style regardless of the season or occasion. In this article, we take a closer look at five examples from today’s biggest eyewear brands.

Cat eye frames

In 1952, fashion designer Claire McCardell joined forces with American Optical to launch these iconic frames. This particular style would immediately start gaining recognition after notorious celebrity Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of oversized cat eye sunglasses in the cult film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Famous cat eye aficionados soon included other stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Barbara Windsor—and they’re still worn today by the likes of Meghan Markle and Rihanna. If you want to nab a pair of your own, you can invest in Alexander McQueen’s Spike Studs Cat-Eye Mask shades. These eyewear pieces stood out in the Spring/Summer 2023 runway because their vibrant colours brought new life to the classic frames.

Aviator frames

The first aviator-style sunglasses contracted by the US military in 1935 were also produced by American Optical. However, it wouldn’t be until the sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame in 1939 and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator that the style would see international commercial success. They would consequently be worn by famous pop culture icons in the ‘70s, such as Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. Currently, Aviator-style sunglasses are some of the top-selling women’s sunglasses from Ray-Ban due to their timeless and versatile design. The Aviator Classic model has a classic design that suits almost every face shape, making it a staple accessory for both women and men.

Browline glasses

Also known as Clubmasters, these are one of the most commonly-used frames for eyeglasses and sunglasses. They were first popularised after Bruce Willis wore a pair of Shuron Ronsir frames in the mid-1980s on the TV series Moonlighting. The minimalist design is flattering on many face shapes and has therefore seen many enthusiasts sporting the frames. In 2023, Warby Parker even collaborated with late-night show host Jimmy Fallon to create an innovative version of the classic browline glasses called Flippies. Fortunately, eyewear company Warby Parker is committed to creating stylish eyewear pieces without charging a premium. As such, consumers can expect that the brand’s minimalist browline sunglasses can be more affordable to all.

Tortoiseshell frames

Alfred Bonnet first crafted gold and tortoiseshell eyewear in the French town of Morez in 1930. Over the decades, he sold them through his family business Maison Bonnet, a brand that’s now immortalised by well-known users like Brad Pitt. In fact, Brad Pitt recently wore Maison Bonnet’s tortoiseshell sunglasses for men in Berlin. These premium shades are made from high-end materials, such as Italian and Japanese acetate. So if you truly appreciate the classics, ordering directly from Maison Bonnet for your own customised tortoiseshell frame is in order.

Holbrook sunglasses

The Sunglass Fix under licence CC BY-SA 4.0. No changes were made to the image.

Holbrook is a timeless rectangular design popularised by Oakley and created as the ultimate sport and lifestyle eyewear model. It is inspired by the screen heroes from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s to comfortably fit the wearer’s face. This offers athletes and non-athletes stylish shades from an exciting collection of colours, all made with cutting-edge technology and performance-driven lens shading.

Whether you buy one or buy all of the listed designs, you can surely use any of these timeless, sophisticated frames on any occasion. Pair these with your next outfit, and you will surely turn heads with your classic look.

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