The 10 Most Iconic Sunglasses of All Time


Let’s face it: nothing instantly ups your cool quota better than a set of killer sunglasses. There’s just something so mysterious and, well, bad-ass about a great pair of sunglasses, and perhaps that’s why so many celebrities rock them 24/7 and so many set designers push them as the essential cool-kid movie props. As far as, you know, shielding your eyes from the sun? Well, that’s obviously an afterthought. They come in a million different shapes and sizes, but some sunglasses — and the celebrities and characters who popularized them — are iconic artifacts of our collective culture. Click through to see our countdown of the 10 most iconic sunglasses of all time, and don’t forget to let us know what we’ve missed.

10. Lady Gaga’s Cigarette Goggles

We think these are too complicated (and dangerous!) to ever become a true iconic trend, but they’re pretty freaking ballsy, and people will never stop talking about them.

9. Geordi Laforge’s Futuristic Visor

Even if you couldn’t tell us what a Geordi Laforge was to save your life, you probably remember the weird Star Trek visor guy. There have been attempts to wear this style in the real world, but to no avail.

8. Ozzy Osbourne’s Circular Spectacles

For us, the fact that Mary Kate Olsen and Taylor Momsen both have rocked these extensively and they’re still referred to as “Ozzy Osbourne-style shades” is evidence enough.

7. Elton John’s Square White Frames

Though Sir Elton has worn shades ranging from the modest to the extravagantly flamboyant, these white and pink charmers are what we think of when we think of Elton John.

6. Kanye’s Shutter Sunglasses

Why were these a thing? We still don’t know. But boy, were they ever a thing.

5. Raoul Duke’s Yellow Aviators

Invest in a pair of these and you have a Hunter S. Thompson Halloween costume for the rest of your life. It’s irrelevant that they were worn by Johnny Depp playing Raoul Duke, who is only “based” on Thompson. Irrelevant!

4. Kurt Cobain’s White Alien Shades

Sometimes we think he was always just messing with us.

3. Lolita’s Heart-Shaped Peepers

By now, every girl in America has now bought, wanted, or been ironically gifted a knockoff pair of the heart-shaped shades worn by Sue Lyon in the poster for the 1962 film version of Lolita. Mostly they don’t even know what they’re referencing, but hey, trends evolve.

2. Maverick’s Aviators

Cruise could have popularized the flight jacket/aviator combo by this photo alone. Wear these duds, get a hot blonde to wrap her arms around you.

1. The Blues Brothers’ Ray-Bans

We were tempted to put Tom Cruise in the top spot for Risky Business, but we know who he was copying. Since the Blues Brothers, a million celebrities have opted for the classic Ray Bans, and who can blame them? They look good on everybody and they’re a shot of instant cool. Go on, be a king bee.