Editors’ Pick: The Sunglass Scene for Spring 2022, It’s Hip to Be Square

Image courtesy of trendyqueen.com

When it comes to sunglasses for spring/summer 2022, it’s hip to be square as Huey Lewis and the News sang in their 1986 hit single. Big, square, oversize frames were the biggest story that emerged when it came to sunglass trends for spring/summer 2022 as were lenses in all colors, particularly grey. Open the pages of American Vogue and all the major brands have their version of oversize square frames. Our picks are on the aspirational side, but rest assured that there are versions to snap-up at Zara and H&M if you’re not fully committed and just want a “for this season only” pair of sunnies.

But first, a little bit of history about the appeal of sunglasses for both men and women.

Images courtesy of themirror.co.uk, sunglassesid.com, and thethings.com, respectively

Iconic moments in sunglass history for men include Jack Nicholson, who’s never without a pair on, from heavy black on black shades to frames with boldly colorful lenses. Tom Cruise was unforgettable in his gold Ray Ban aviators in the 1986 classic, “Top Gun.” And you can add to that list Samuel L. Jackson is often spotted wearing some cool shades.

Images courtesy of selectspecs.com and distractify.com

When it comes to women’s sunglasses, top of mind classics tend to be oversized, such as Audrey Hepburn’s tortoiseshell cat eye Oliver Goldsmiths she wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” very similar to Ray Ban’s iconic Wayfarer model. Once former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, became “Jackie O,” after her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, she was seldom without her oversize dark sunglasses. Some were large and square, by Nina Ricci, and others were solid black and round; one of Ray Ban’s best sellers to this day are their “Jackie Oh 4101” model.

And now, Fashion Reverie’s top picks for 2022:

A trip to the upscale Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, and a chat with *Ingrid, who works in accessories at Nordstrom’s sunglass department, provided insight into what’s popping when it comes to sunglasses this season.

According to Ingrid, the number one word is “oversize.”  While oversize square frames are firmly on trend, a softer rounded frame as well as cat eye shapes are good options for customers who want to participate in the current trend but prefer a more toned-down version. Aviators are a classic that never go out of style as are skinny wraparounds for sporty types who spend the day on the golf course and rely on polarized models for protection and brighter colors.


Oversize Squares

Images courtesy of Louis Vuitton, $890 each

This is undoubtedly the season’s most popular shape and a statement piece, no question about it. Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel scored top marks in this category. While the frames are huge, they are juxtaposed with unexpectedly slim gold stems that make them surprisingly comfortable to wear. Louis Vuitton’s late artistic director, Virgil Abloh, created the “1.1 Millionaires” currently available in patriotic red, white, or blue frames. S-lock hinges make for an eye-catching accent inspired by sunglasses in the House archives and evoke the distinctive eyewear popular in Al Capone’s Chicago.

A more delicate take on the season’s number one shape is Chanel’s “Square,” in metal and strass with a silver lens that looks as if the frames are surrounded by the tiniest pave diamonds.


Colorful Frames and Lenses

Image courtesy of Maui Jim Walilua. Polarized Classic Sunglasses with lava red lenses, $229.99

One of the winners in this category is from Quay Australia, a brand that’s a smash hit stateside for consistently delivering right on-trend styles at a budget friendly price, many in the $65 to $85 range. “Knightfall” is a large square frame with a tequila sunrise lens that successfully straddles two trends. Maui Jim has long offered fans polarized lenses. The “Wailua” has the look of Tom Cruise’s “Tom Gun” sunglasses but with red lenses aptly named “Hawaii Lava.”

Giant Rounds

Images courtesy of Chanel. Black Pilot $600

Chanel may well just about own this category. It’s hard to beat their iconic black on black shades that scream, “Step aside and don’t look at me.” Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, allegedly owns about a hundred pair and has been seen wearing them since she ascended to her position in 1988. What’s new is the updated version, the “Pilot,” a squared-off, large round with quilted stems and mini gold CC logos on them.  

Celine has a new spin on “the Anna” as well. They debuted their “Bug” model, a heavy black acetate frame with silver mirror lenses on the runway that make for an upscale riff on the iconic one-way only sunglasses popularized by lifeguards in the 1980s.

The Cat Eye

Image courtesy of Celine

Celine delivers a twist on this classic shape, white or purple frames with a squared-off bottom and gray lenses to consider. Right to you from the Paris runway are Balenciaga’s unisex “Bat Rectangle Sunglasses,” made from white bio injected nylon, also with grey lenses. The glasses accessorized looks 19 and 25 of Balenciaga’s summer 2022 Red Carpet Collection.

Wrap Arounds

Image courtesy of Balenciaga

Maui Jim has long been a front runner in this shape and continues to be a year-round staple for golf and outdoor sportsmen year-round. An interesting update in this category is Balenciaga’s edgy take, the “Dynasty Wrap D-Frame,” available in punchy pink or green acetate frames with gray lenses.


Images courtesy of Remo Tulliani/Very New York and Ray Ban. $165 and $180

Ray-Ban’s perpetual classic, the “G-15 Pilot” model, continues to be a strong go-to for men in all sizes. Italian designer Remo Tuliani says, “Quality never goes out of style” but that doesn’t mean afficionados of this style can’t switch it up a bit. For those who are looking for a departure from their basic aviator wardrobe, there’s Ray-Bans’ “Aviator Flash Lens”, a teardrop gold rimmed model with bright blue colored lenses. Remo Tulliani also has an updated version of the aviator, the “Smooth” model with the house’s signature Ash Lens in a medium “Blue Ice” shade.

Vivian Kelly


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