WORDS BY STEPHEN YU
Nothing can make or break your sickest spring/summer outfit better than the perfect pair of sunglasses. A statement pair of shades are an instant mood boost, whilst a pair of timeless frames are as dependable as your most trusty denims.
With spring on its way to fully sprung, we’re putting one of the worst winters in memory behind us and embracing all things sunny. Not sure about the latest sunglasses trends for 2020 and the best glasses for your face shape? Don’t fret, we’ve got you. Join us as we take a run-through of the biggest glasses trends for 2020 and discover which will look best on your face.
Sandwiched in between Alessandro Michele’s love for all things grandma like the babushka, baubles and big jewels, and the rise of the orthopaedic grandpa sneakers, there’s still room for one more fashion contribution from your loving grandparents. Enter grandad glasses. You know the exact pair. The ones your pops got when he was in his twenties and is too stubborn (or tight) to replace to this day. They’re thick-framed and cut in an ironically cool retro square shape. The cute old man in ‘Up’ has a pair. Well, now you need a pair. Just don’t steal them from grandad.
Best for: These large square frames work well to offset the roundness of round faces (and hide your crows feet too).
While the nineties is slowly on its way out, the naughties is on its way in. Anything with translucent colored lenses and rimless frames is guaranteed to add more 0’s to your IG likes than the millennium bug did to our Windows 98 computers. Unleash your inner Britney, channel trashy-era Lindsay Lohan or Melissa Joan Hart (remember her?) and make a pair of tinted frames your thing in the twenties. To make sure you don’t look like you’ve just stepped out of ‘The Simple Life’, opt for matching tonal acetate rather than colored wire frames. Von Dutch cap optional. Not convinced? Just ask Bella Hadid, she just made a pair with Chrome Hearts.
Best for: Rimless frames complement the wide or high cheekbones of diamond face shapes.
Yes, we’re aware that the ‘90s trend that was, tiny sunglasses, has been around for a hot minute, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily over. With news that the ‘90s sunglasses reference bible that is ‘The Matrix’ trilogy is now becoming a quadrilogy, it’s as if designers have been clamouring to reimagine just what eyewear in the Matrix 4.0 universe will look like. Your favourite designers have remixed nineties style rectangular frames this season, making them bigger, sharper and more angular than ever, whilst ditching tiny metal frames in favour of chunkier plastic ones. Take the tiny sunglasses pill, and stay in the past, or take the slightly bigger rectangular sunglasses pill, and you’ll see how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Who’s done them: Loewe, Peter Pilotto, Proenza Schouler
Best for: The sharp angular lines of these specs can add defintion to round faces making them look skinnier and thinner.
Sporty sunglasses doesn’t have to mean cycling specs. One of the biggest eyewear trends in 2020 is the return of alpine style flat top sunglasses. From athletic shield-shaped wraparound goggles to futuristic aviators, anything with a square edged brow bar is king both off-piste and on it.
Who’s done them: Helmut Lang, Lanvin, Loewe, Off-White
Best for: The strong brow line helps to bring proportion to heart-shaped faces.
Forget everything you ever knew about sunglasses. Done?! Then you’re ready to have your mind blown by one of the biggest eyeglasses trends for 2020. The training wheels are well and truly off when shopping for geometric frames, with no semblance of an identifiable shape or silhouette weaving together each piece of eyewear in this category. Just know that if they look like they’re from the future, are exaggerated in either size or shape, or take on angular non-organic shapes then they’re definitely in.
Who’s done them: Chloe, Off-White
Best for: Anyone who has the balls to wear them.
These slinky and feminine feline frames seemingly have more than nine lives, resurrecting from a ‘50s retro classic into a perennial fashion industry favorite. While the cat is most definitely out of the bag on the more commonly seen shapes in classic black and tortoiseshell colorways, the latest breed of cat-eyes come oversized or with translucent frames in light colors that will have you purring.
Best for: Cat-eye glasses work across oval, heart-shaped and square faces depending on their shape, helping to flatten and elongate even the most sourpuss of faces.
If big shades like Iris Apfel’s aren’t extra enough for you, it’s time to go full Elton John with some embellished frames. Look for scalloped shapes with added bling in the form of jewels, pearls or even Swarovski crystals and as with oversized shades the more elaborate the frames the better. You’ll never feel like the sun goes down with a pair of these on.
Best for: Those extra queens among us, you know who you are.
A military inspired staple which has fallen out of favour in recent years, this veteran in the game was stripped of its topflight honours in favour of young rookie’s like the Wayfarer or Clubmaster. Demoted to the position of ‘the official sunglasses for every basic bitch to ever exist’, this iconic silhouette has been slowly regaining honour after being sighted on-duty last year at Copenhagen fashion week. Now, every brand is recruiting the trusty aviator to its ranks. While the classic Ray-Ban shape has never truly gone out of style, top fashion houses have made classier renditions with thin frames and tinted lenses for those who want to look more Gigi Hadid than G.I. Jane.
Who’s done them: Celine, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, Tory Burch
Best for: These bottom-heavy shades help round out the sharpness of square faces for a more balanced look, and take attention to the lower half of heart-shaped faces.
The resistance against all things itty bitty in the sunglasses world has been trying to take back control for several seasons now, with oversized frames seen on the runways as far back as 2018. Finally, the shift in power has now meant there’s never been a time when bigger is better. Retro large round and square frames are back in alongside heart-shaped ones, but for those looking for something uniquely attention grabbing there are a plethora of polygonal shapes to choose from with the rule being the more sides the better. So far, a heptagon is the most sides we’ve found, we challenge you to find more.
Best for: A pair of oversized frames can elongate a heart-shaped face, or add curvature to square faces depending on their shape.
While white frames may conjure up images of Kurt Cobain-style eyewear and chucking Snapchat’’s OG sunglasses filter on your pet dog’s face, it’s definitely time to move on from this ‘60s icon in favor of something more modern. In 2020, white frames don’t have to mean oversized and retro, this classic neutral serves as a versatile color of choice across every type of sunglasses shape, from teeny tiny to futuristic.
Best for: Those looking for a pair of sunglasses that goes with everything.