Aviators are a sunglass design with oversized teardrop-shaped lenses and a thin metal frame. The design was introduced in 1936 by the Ray-Ban company for issue to U.S. military aviators. Their popularity with pilots, military and law enforcement personnel in the United States has never wavered. As a fashion statement, aviator sunglasses are often made in mirrored, coloured, and wrap-around styles. In addition to pilots, Aviator-style sunglasses gained popularity with young people in the late 1960s and continue to be popular, with only a brief fall in demand during the 1990s.
Clip-on glasses are a form of tinted glasses that can be clipped on to eyeglasses for sun protection. An alternative are flip-up glasses.
Faded lenses go from a darker shade at the top to a lighter one at the bottom, so there will be more protection from sunlight the higher one looks through the lens, but the lower one looks through the lens, the less protection is offered. The fashion advantage is that one can wear them indoors without fear of tripping over something and also allowing the user to see. Wearing sunglasses to nightclubs has become common in recent times, where the faded lens comes in handy. The Independent (London), has also referred to these style of sunglasses as the Murphy Lens. Double gradient lenses are dark at the top, light in the middle and dark at the bottom.
Flip-up glasses combine sunglasses and corrective glasses, allowing the wearer to flip up the tinted lenses for indoor use. An alternative are clip-on glasses.
Mirrorshades are sunglasses with a mirrored coating on the surface. Mirrored lenses are an alternative to polarization for UV protection, improving contrast when depth perception is important such as seeing moguls and ice while skiing or snowboarding. The mirrored lens reflects glare to protect the eyes but improves the ability to see contrasts, and mirrored lenses of different colours can expand the range of fashion styles. Their popularity with police officers in the United States has earned them the nickname "cop shades". The two most popular styles are dual lenses set in metal frames which are often confused with Aviators (see above) and "Wraparounds" (see below).
Oversized sunglasses, which were fashionable in the 1980s, are now often used for humorous purposes. They usually come in bright colours with coloured lenses and can be purchased cheaply. The singer Elton John sometimes wore oversized sunglasses on stage in the mid-1970s as part of his Captain Fantastic act. In the early twenty-first century moderately oversized sunglasses have become a fashion trend. There are many variations, such as the 'Onassis', discussed below, and Dior white sunglasses. Onassis glasses or "Jackie O's" are very large sunglasses worn by women. This style of sunglasses is said to mimic the kind most famously worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the 1960s. The glasses continue to be popular with women, and celebrities may use them, ostensibly to hide from paparazzi. Oversized sunglasses also offer more protection from sunburn due to the larger areas of skin they cover, although sunblock should still be used.
Shutter Shades were a fad in the early 1980s. Instead of tinted lenses, they decrease sun exposure by means of a set of parallel, horizontal shutters (like a small window shutter). Analogous to Inuit goggles (see above), the principle is not to filter light, but to decrease the amount of sun rays falling into the wearer's eyes. To provide UV protection, Shutter Shades sometimes use lenses in addition to the shutters; if not, they provide very insufficient protection against ultraviolet radiation and blue light.
'Teashades' (sometimes also called "John Lennon glasses" or "Ozzy Glasses", after Ozzy Osbourne) were a type of psychedelic art wire-rim sunglasses that were often worn, usually for purely aesthetic reasons, by members of the 1960s drug counterculture, as well as by opponents of segregation. Rock stars such as Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, Liam Gallagher and Ozzy Osbourne, all wore teashades. The original teashade design was made up of medium-sized, perfectly round lenses, supported by pads on the bridge of the nose and a thin wire frame. When teashades became popular in the late 1960s, they were often elaborated: lenses were elaborately coloured, mirrored, and degregated, produced in excessively large sizes, and with the wire earpieces exaggerated. A uniquely-coloured or darkened glass lens was usually preferred. Modern versions tend to have plastic lenses, as do many other sunglasses. Teashades are hard to find in shops today; however, they can still be found at many costume websites and in some countries. The term has now fallen into disuse, although references can still be found in literature of the time. 'Teashades' was also used to describe glasses worn to hide the effects of marijuana (conjunctival injection) or 'bloodshot' eyes or the effects of opiates such as heroin (pupillary constriction). The glasses worn by Seraph in the Matrix films are teashades.
The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is a plastic-framed design for sunglasses produced by the Ray-Ban company. Introduced in 1952, the trapezoidal lenses are wider at the top than the bottom and were famously worn by James Dean and other actors. The original frames were black; frames in many different colours were later introduced.
Wraparounds are a specific design of sunglasses. They are characterized by a single, smooth, semi-circular lens that covers both eyes and much of the same area of the face covered by protective goggles. The lens is usually combined with a minimal plastic frame and single piece of plastic serving as a nosepiece. As an alternative, the glasses can have two lenses, but the design evokes the same semicircle. Wraparound sunglasses are also quite popular in the world of extreme sports.