A smiling woman with wavy blond hair wearing round sunglasses outside on a sunny day

Top 8 of the most nostalgic and trendy 90s sunglasses

23 May 2024

Good news for all you retro lovers out there – 90s fashion is making a big comeback this year! In 2024, style trends have come full circle with the revival of iconic decades like the 90s. The styles you thought you may never get to experience or have chance to reunite with again are re-emerging. That includes your favourite 90s-style sunglasses! Discover which fashion crazes dominated this decade. Find the perfect pair of 90s sunglasses to match your favourite nostalgic wardrobe items.

What style of sunglasses were popular in the 1990s?

During the 90s, chic-casual clothing and accessories became popular, inspired by pop culture, trendy new music and unforgettable 90s movies and TV sit-coms. The 90s welcomed a whole new era of fashion. From slip dresses and scrunchies to bomber jackets and flannel shirts, this decade brought about a variety of different fashion crazes. It welcomed the classic grunge look, casual street style and also the slightly more preppy and sporty looks.

In particular, slim yet chunky sunglasses remained a big hit amongst trendsetters of time. These styles casually waved goodbye to the big and bold eyewear of the 1980s making way for an era of stylish minimalism. You can see the obvious transition from 80s to 90s trends in The Terminator franchise. In the second film, which was released in 1991, Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a slick pair of shades which compared to the 1984 original film, are far less bulky and much more contemporary in appearance.

The 90s was a relaxed and carefree decade prior to the fast-paced and high-tech millennium years. They were all about self-expression and your sunglasses were a great way to draw attention to this.

A black woman with medium-length curls relaxes under a tree while wearing round metal sunglasses

What goes around comes around

Fashion trends come and go but some are truly timeless. This is true of round metal sunglasses in the 1990s. Britpop bands like Oasis and Blur are partly to credit for this trend. This simple style of sunglasses was also a nostalgic nod to earlier decades when John Lennon first made them iconic. Similarly, Small oval-shaped sunglasses were a real hit in the 1990s, popularised by supermodels like Naomi Campbell and movie stars such as Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt. Circular and oval sunglasses with thin metal frames were a must-have style to include in any 90s wardrobe.

Fast forward to 2024 and many celebrities are still loving this classic look. In fact, Selena Gomez often likes to rock a pair of 90s oval sunglasses. Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid are also big fans of these kind of chic shades. Take a look at the two following designs which complement any 90s-style wardrobe perfectly.

Make the ultimate style statement

In the 90s, fashion labels loved to showcase their logo on their designs in the boldest way possible. Famous rap stars of the decade, including Vanilla Ice and Biggie Smalls, were recognised for their fresh fashion sense and for their choice of slick designer shades. So, if you want to awaken the ultra-cool 90s spirit within you, this might be the way to go! Take inspiration from current hip-hop icon, Pharrell Williams, who has a timeless sense of fashion.

As for women’s 90s sunglasses, narrow pointed cat-eyes, similar to those famously worn by Julia Roberts in the Notting Hill film, are a glamorous designer style to go for. They give off the perfect retro vibe! Choose a pair of luxury designer sunglasses that really stand out from the crowd and show off the quality and heritage of the brand. Lady Gaga is an excellent example of how you can grab attention with statement-making designer sunglasses based on classic retro styles. World-famous R&B singer Rihanna and actress Priyanka Chopra are also very fond of this classic style.

A glamorous-looking woman with a wide-brimmed hat and wearing havana cat-eye sunglasses looks up at the sky

Set trends with future-forward fashion

Sci-fi films were extremely prevalent during the 90s. Iconic movies like the The Terminator and The Matrix encouraged fashion designers of the time to think ahead and create more innovative designs. Futuristic sunglasses inspired by science-fiction were a big hit at the time and continue to be to this day. The rimless sunglasses Keanu Reeves famously wore in The Matrix highlights the minimalistic approach to fashion at the time. Many men’s 90s sunglasses mimicked these fashion-forward styles.

Semi-rimless sunglasses were also a popular style for both men and women in the 90s. They were appreciated for their refined and functional style which could easily be dressed up or down depending on the outfit worn at the time. Check out the styles we’ve chosen below, which are inspired by this classic 90s trend.

Keep it sleek and angular

90s-style rectangular sunglasses add the perfect touch of finesse to your attire. Sticking with the minimalism of the decade, these styles tend to be very slim and boast a confident yet contemporary style that leans to the future. American model and actress Cindy Crawford certainly knew how to pull this look off well in the 1990s! Also, with the rave culture of the 90s, many trendsetters of the decade wore sporty frames for a fun and futuristic look. Fashionistas of today absolutely love the versatility of this style. If you pair rectangular sunglasses with an oversized sweater and cycling shorts, you can reflect the casual yet fashionable style of Princess Diana at the time.