Looking for a sweet pair of 80s sunglasses? Stick around, as we’re taking a look at 11 great pairs of retro shades that evoke the 1980s across a wide variety of styles. Further down the page, we’ll also share our logic on how to pick the right 80s glasses for your personal style and budget.
The fashion scene of the eighties was unashamedly cool. Clothes and accessories loudly announced their presence with their distinctive flashy colors and non-conforming designs.
The sunglasses of the 80s were no exception to this.
These retro shades were defined by their screaming colors and outrageous geometric patterns. If anything, they weren’t just meant to silently sit on your face, they subjugated all else and stood out supreme with their exaggerated dimensions.
To recognize the age that gifted us with synth pop, hip hop and other cultural icons, we’ve compiled 11 classic 80s style guaranteed to make you look like a badass.
The Choicest 80s Sunglasses Reviewed for 2021
Vintage 80s sunglasses are back with a vengeance. While it takes a certain type of guy to sell some of the more flamboyant models, with the right attitude you’ll be turning heads for all the right reasons. (And hey, there’s no reason ladies can’t wear these either!)
So whether you’re looking for the classic Wayfarer frames or something more tubular, we’ve got your damage down below.
The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is as much of an American classic now as it has ever been. From Rick Astley to Johnny Marr to Madonna and Michael Jackson, the iconic 80s Ray Bans are possibly the most beloved (and imitated) frames ever–and for good reason.
There are several reasons why the iconic Wayfarers never go out of fashion. First, Wayfarer sunglasses are loved for their frames that go well with myriad face types. What’s more, they’re made from extremely durable material that makes them wear hard as your daily drivers. And perhaps most fundamentally, they remain the go-to brand for a the enduring stylistic legacy of the 1980s.
Ray-Ban Wayfarers are also highly protective against harmful UV light and are effective at reducing eye strain. Whether you’re looking for polarized or non-polarized sunglasses, this brand has both options.
However, the genuine article don’t come cheap–be ready to pony up and take care of them, and these bitchin’ 80s sunglasses will last you for life. These are by far the most expensive 80s shades on our list, but we couldn’t pass them by in good faith.
Eclipse by Blenders Eyewear are oversized 80s glasses frames that excellently showcase the unmistakable funky vibe of the decade. With a single-mirrored lens, they make a fantastic pair of sunglasses for the the beach, bar, or boardwalk.
They come in four distinct colors and a rubber frame that’s comfortable and sturdy on the head. These sunglasses are perfect for vigorous water sports or skating as they’re tightly secured on the head.
Not only do Eclipse sunglasses look great on you, but they also offer complete UV protection and polarization. Polarized sunglasses are superior to ordinary sunglasses as they completely filter out harmful UV rays, filter glare, and enhance clarity especially when outdoors, hence lowering eye fatigue.
Blenders could improve these sunglasses by employing a wider variety of colors to cater to varied preferences. That said, they still earn their place in the list of the best retro 80s sunglasses.
The Flawless Eyewear Zigzag Sunglasses are an inexpensive way to pull off a distinctive retro look. They’re the go-to cheap sunglasses if you have a mustache, mullet, and penchant for PBR in a can.
These fly retro shades come in an unbelievable spectrum of color combinations–the louder the better we say. And with the oversized lens that covers not only the front of your eyes but also the sides, you can effectively cast shade in any direction while keeping your peepers free from the sun’s glare.
What you may find wanting about these shades is that they’re not really durable thanks to low-priced materials. But who cares? You’re not buying them because they’re timeless BIFL eyewear; you’re going for the novelty of standing out and probably don’t care if they get trashed while you party.
Remember what we said about Wayfarer spawning imitators galore? That’s what we’ve got with the PolarSpex Polarized 80s sunglasses. But don’t get us wrong, it’s not a knock against them, since they’re outrageously cheap compared to Ray Bans and do pretty much the same job on yr skull.
Practically speaking, these 80s polarized sunglasses are great at preventing sun glare. They’re also great for outdoor activities as they’ve got a decent grip of the head with sturdy hinges. You can therefore count on them not falling off when hiking, or jogging on the beach.
PolarSpex Polarized retro shades come in up to 60 different color combinations. Plus, the frames and lenses come with assorted mirror coatings for different scenarios from a bright day on the beach to driving at night. Not too bad for what you pay!
Are the zeroUV Cyclops wraparound shades ahead of their time, or totally of their time? You be the judge.
Just like the Blenders Eyewear Eclipse, they’re inexpensive–so if you’re not sure if you can pull it off, just pull the trigger and give it a shot anyway. While they are nice to look at, they won’t put up with rough handling. Too many drops and you’ve lost your pair.
But whatever. These are rad 80s style sunglasses through and through, with a wraparound visor design to give you an indomitable techno-terminator look. Plus, they’re comfortable to wear as they have a nose bridge. They also come in multiple colors that make it easy to accessorize your wardrobe.
On the flip side, they’re not made from high-quality material, and that massive lens is just begging for scratches. Then the curvature of the lens contorts objects on the margins making them unsuitable for driving. But with their price tag, it’s hard to go wrong with these oversized 80s sunglasses.
Knockaround Premiums are stylish and timeless. If you’re looking for sunglasses in myriad color options that go well with a wide range of outfits, then go for these.
These retro-styled 80s shades are fast gaining popularity and are ideal for everyday use especially since there are both polarized and non-polarized options. The polarized version offer full UV400 protection from destructive ultraviolet rays, and are thus what we generally recommend.
Moreover, these Knockaround 80s sunglasses have super light frames that fit well and add to your comfort. When you purchase a pair, it comes with a protective case to help prolong their lifespan.
Stand out with these Retro Rewind Neon sunglasses. These classic 80s sunglasses will elevate your outfit with a bold but not ostentatious vintage touch.
Featuring a solid plastic frame with sturdy metallic hinges, they’re durable and chic. They’re also made from tough smash-proof premium plastic frames that can withstand impact. And with lightweight materials, Retro Rewind shades are comfortable to wear all day. And for your safety, Retro Rewind shades offer UV400 protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
These retro neon shades come in a wide range of brilliant colors to choose from and to match just about any outfit. The clear frames also add to the vapor aesthetics.
They come in a microfiber pouch for convenient storage.
SOJOS makes a fantastically affordable pair of 80s aviator sunglasses ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities. You could pose for selfies in them, have them over hiking trips, or wear them as a sleek addition to your everyday rotation throughout the year.
The sidebars have an appearance of being flimsy being made from thin metal. Nonetheless, they’re made from high-quality solid metal frames and sturdy metal hinges, all that you require for long-lasting retro shades.
Vibrantly colored mirrored lenses that offer UV protection make them a safe addition to your collection of sunglasses. The polarized lenses filter out excessive glare from the sun rays and protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays.
SOJOS package these retro-styled sunglasses as a ready gift item, therefore, make it a convenient gift choice for a loved one. They also come with a wiper for the lenses and a classy storage pouch.
Blenders Eyewear Full Speed have the hallmarks of the throwback 80s sunglasses. They’re bold, bright, sleek, and beautiful.
They offer full protection from UV rays and are also polarized mitigating glare from bright sunlight. You’ll find these shades awesome for an active life outdoors. The rubbery frames make them plenty comfortable.
Alright, godawful branding and the fact that no one actually wore light-up shutter shades in the 1980s ENTIRELY aside, the TURNMEON 20-pack is kind of a steal. Think about it, where do you wear these things? To raves, parties, and other levities. You’re not going to want something you have to worry about. If there’s a cute girl who wants to steal your 80s specs, you’re gonna let her have them. And if you need to trade a spare pair for a beer, these allow you to do that.
And most importantly, they light up! Yeah, we can be sold on novelty alone. They’re cheap, they’re plastic, you’ll forget them in the backseat of your car after wearing them once. And, they are in stark contrast to the quality of the true classic 80s sunglasses, the legendary Ray Ban Wayfarers at the top of this list. But guess what, it’s a wide world of experiences and there’s room for these in your budget and on your face. Guaranteed to garner a smile at festivals and block parties!
Just, please don’t rely on them for protection from the sun, they don’t even have lenses.Buy now
Buyer’s Guide for 80s Sunglasses
With so many brands selling retro shades, it becomes tricky knowing what makes a great pair. We’ll therefore delve into what you need to look for when buying sunglasses.
Protection from Harmful UV Rays
Not all sunglasses are made the same. You may wear a pair of shades for their sleek design or to shield your eyes from the dazzling rays of the sun. However, a good pair of sunglasses should offer complete protection from harmful UV rays that the sun radiates. These rays can damage your eyes with prolonged exposure.
Sunglasses that offer UV 400 protection offer complete protection against UVA and UVB rays that the sun emits. Check to ensure the next pair of sunglasses you buy aren’t just a fashion statement but also keep you safe from harmful UV rays.
But hey, if you want to prioritize style over substance while slashing budget, you can get by with less protection. Just remember that when you go into harsh outdoor light, you’ll really want to try to limit your exposure and you’ll be fine.
Different factors determine the price of the sunglasses you may want to buy. The level of UV protection, the brand name, the demand for a particular frame type, the building materials used, and so forth.
Well-known designer brands such as Ray Ban, Maui Jim, and others may command a higher price compared to the less popular frame designs. Also, the kind of materials used to build frames and lenses has a bearing on the cost.
Additional features such as scratch resistance on lenses or antiglare properties are likely to push the price upwards. But it’s a case of value for money.
All in all, with a little bit of window shopping online, you can land some awesome discounts for premium products. But always aim to get the best deal where quality isn’t compromised.
There are lots of different frame designs which evoke the 80s, even if they aren’t originally from that decade! The classic Wayfarer is an obvious example, but so too are wraparound visors, shutter shades, oversized aviators, and bodacious geometric shapes that push the bounds of traditional taste.
Here’s the thing, normally we tell you to shoot for gear which kind of works with everything. But when going for the 80s shtick, throw that out the window. Pick something that’s fun and fits your personality, not to mention the social context you’ll be wearing them in. You don’t need to rock a mullet to pull off 80s sunglasses, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Similarly, you don’t need to look like Top Gun-era Tom Cruise to pull off the more traditional frames, either.
The novelty of 80s style sunglasses–especially affordable ones like the ones we’ve listed above–is making a statement. Figure out what it is you’re trying to say, and pick the shapes and colors to match. There’s a fairly forgiving margin of stylistic error here, so go nuts.
80s Sunglasses FAQs
How Do I Clean My Polarized Sunglasses Lenses?
The recommended way to clean smudges from your polarized sunglass lenses is by use of a microfiber cloth. Most other materials can potentially leave your sunglasses with scratches. For stubborn smudges, use a lens cleaner
When sunglasses have been in contact with salty water, like when you’ve been to the beach, clean with warm water. Salty water can potentially damage your mirrored lenses.
What’s the Best Sunglasses Lens Color?
The color of your lenses doesn’t determine its ability to protect you from harmful UV light. The lens color is largely a matter of personal preference. Many people go for sunglass colors that have the slightest distortion on your field of view. That explains why brown and grey are common shade colors.
Sportspeople, for instance, fancy sunglass lenses that help contrast different items in the environment.
At What Time Do UV Rays Affect My Eyes the Most?
We receive the strongest rays of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm when UV rays are the most dangerous. That doesn’t mean you can’t be affected by UV radiation at other times. That’s why you need sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors.
The risk of UV radiation increases when you’re nearer the equator, at high altitudes, and in the warmer seasons of the year. The absence of cloud cover also increases the effect of UV radiation.
Wrapping Up: Affordable 80s Sunglasses
Sunglasses from the 80s are timeless accessories that defined a period and left an indelible mark on the fashion scene. The eighties were famed for extreme fashion when everything came in oversize. The bold-colored sunglasses that were a thing then are making an incredible comeback.
What are your favorite kinds of 80s sunglasses? Who is the most iconic wearer of retro shades that you associate with that glamorous decade? Got any other recommendations for great-value 1980’s style sunglasses? Leave us a comment below.