Just like 1970s clothing, 70s sunglasses and other eyewear had lots of character.
Furthermore, sunglasses were quite popular and plenty of people wore them all the time, even when they weren’t out in the glaring sun.
Indeed, everyone who was “groovy” had at least a few pairs and many individuals had numerous pairs in colors that matched a variety of clothing.
In the early years of the 70s, sunglasses didn’t differ a whole lot from those that were popular in the late 60s hippie era. Generally, they were wire framed and were fairly small and round.
Some people called them “granny glasses.” This 70s style was actually made quite popular by John Lennon, who usually wore them with along with his long hair and a headband that was tied around his forehead.
The lenses may have been traditional dark green, but these glasses were also available sporting a variety of colored lenses including orange, pink, and purple. Some even had rainbow-hued lenses. The rims were generally gold - or silver - toned but may have been a different color metal as well.
As the decade progressed, however, eyewear changed. By the mid 70s, small round glasses began to disappear and large glasses came into fashion. As a matter of fact, when most people reflect on sunglasses styles of the 70s, they picture huge, oversized glasses that seemed to take up half your face.
These vintage oversized sunglasses that were so popular in the later years of the decade came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some were round and included thick round plastic frames in any number of bright colors, like neon green, yellow, or orange.
The most popular shape, however, looked almost square. They may have had plastic frames, wire frames, and – sometimes – no frames at all. Often, the stem of the glasses met the frame at the middle instead of at the top so that half of the lens / frame was above the eye and half below. Most of these frames were so large that the glasses pressed into the wearer’s cheeks.
Aside from changes in style, sunglasses also saw some great improvements in quality during the 1970s. Designers started taking the initiative to include sunglasses in their fashion lines.
This included Lacoste, Cazal, LaRoche, John Paul Gaultier, and many others. These sunglasses were quite costly, though the quality was far superior to that of the average pair of shades.
Ray-Bans also rose to popularity in the 1970s, even though they were invented way back in the late 30s. As always, the company’s aviator style was the most popular. Polaroid’s “polarized” sunglasses were quite popular as well and also a good investment.