Some people would argue that it's shoes or handbags that "make" an outfit, but I'd say there's nothing quite as impactful when you're out and about as a pair of great sunglasses. Like a cute puppy or intriguing perfume, you will get asked about them. Sunglasses can show confidence if you're wearing a bold pair. They can indicate in-the-know status if you've chosen a niche brand. No other accessory holds the mystical cool factor that comes with covering one's eyes/hangover/real feelings (delete as appropriate). And they can demonstrate the power of a cult classic—choose the right frames for your face and you have a buddy for life (so long as you don't sit on them). I also think the right shades can elevate and improve any given outfit, especially the kind of looks we're prone to leaning on right now. In essence, anything relatively low-key or lazy can be made all the more considered with the addition of some wonderful sunglasses.
So that's why the newly arrived sunglasses trends for 2021 are so interesting. They really run the gamut: There are styles for the brave (basically anything a pop star would have worn in the '90s or '00s—Aaliyah, JLo, and Eve are your icons here), but you'll also find just as many ultra-classic options that will never let you down, no matter the season or year you find yourself wearing them. Keep scrolling to see the sunglasses trends I've noticed. Then, shop the best options and let your new pair do all the talking.
1. PLAIN, BLACK, RECTANGULAR
For the minimalists out there, the trend continues for ultra-simple black, rectangular (or occasional oval) shades. They look just as expensive when they're affordable, so this is one key eyewear trend you can spend less money on and still get plenty of wear out of.
There are influences for this trend all over the place. From Gucci collections to BBC's The Serpent, many well-dressed women are looking back to the '70s for this summer's sunglasses. Square frames and tinted lenses are the way to do it.
If you'd like some pared-back frames with extra pizzazz, this flashy trend is for you. It's all about pledging your designer-brand allegiance for all to see, and there are plenty of major fashion houses backing it for 2021. However, you can also find a lot on offer in the pre-loved and vintage markets, as it's quite a throwback look.
Every now and then, colourful sunglasses come to the fore, and right now, there seems to be a real penchant for green. The same could be said for interiors (green paint is everywhere) and clothing (sage green continues to trend), so perhaps it's not surprising.
Think Aaliah, JLo, TLC, or Britney Spears, and you're on the right track—we're talking teeny-tiny, often frameless tinted sunglasses or more out-there wrap-around and reflective styles. Celebrities and models are already cottoning onto this Y2K vibe, and you can easily find affordable styles secondhand via online stores such as Etsy.