It’s always tempting to reach for a dark pair of sunglasses, be they all-black, oversized cat-eyes or slim and oval in shape à la Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. After all, they go with everything! Yet, colorful sunglasses are on trend for 2022, which is a great reason to break away from the status quo. Last fall, bright-colored sunglasses were omnipresent at fashion week, appearing on the Spring 2022 runways of Gucci, Blumarine, and Versace (to name a few). And now, there are so many styles in a palette of shades available to shop from ready-to-wear labels, as well as eyewear brands like Illesteva, Bonnie Clyde, and Raen.
The cheery sunglasses can be seen as a mood booster, or perhaps they are a reflection of the collective relief that life is well on its way back to how we once knew it, pre-2020. (As Miuccia Prada said of her collection last February, in the midst of the initial vaccine rollout, “Optimism is mounting.” In which case, lively fashion and accessories are just what the doctor ordered.) Diving deeper into the trend, sales of sunglasses in translucent pastels and milky colors are on the rise, according to several experts.
“Pastels have become super important in apparel and other accessory categories, so I think a trickling down to eyewear is the natural progression,” Amelia Ansink, senior strategist at the global trend forecasting agency Fashion Snoops, tells TZR. “Soft pinks and cloudy blues seem to be the major colors on the market currently, but shades like buttery yellows and lilacs are seeing a rise as well.”
Meanwhile, punchy neons are popular among Nordstrom shoppers, according to Beth Kanfer, fashion director of accessories at Nordstrom. The colorways are largely informed by the Y2K renaissance, referencing nostalgic, ethereal shades that were prominent in the early aughts. Though, since the breadth of “color” is so extensive, the trend can be applied to statement or classic frames and styled in a way that best fits you, like matching them to your outfit for a tonal look or employing them as a pop of color in an otherwise neutral ensemble. Either way, colorful sunglasses offer a means to manifest a more ebullient way of accessorizing by reimagining past styles.
Below, find seven ways to go about the colorful sunglasses trend this spring/summer.
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The yellow brick road may not exist, but the satisfaction you’re likely to experience in this pair of sunglasses is real. “Because color is a mood booster, it’s only natural to experiment, especially with colorful frames and lenses,” says Kanfer. In the past few years, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and Rihanna have all been spotted in yellow sunglasses. Spurred from the runways of Giambattista Valli and Dior, this season’s edit includes slimline aviators and retro, acetate frames, among others.
Red sunglasses pack a strong punch of color to warm your complexion and pull your look together when combined with accent shades like crimson and deep berry. (A head-to-toe, runway-style look in this hue is also very chic, as an all-black alternative.) Over the years, red frames have ebbed and flowed in popularity, with celebrities like Sienna Miller, Gigi Hadid, and Diane Kruger all having sported various iterations in the last decade or so. And Victoria Beckham having worn them while performing as a Spice Girl before that. And free-spirited festival goers of the ‘60s and ‘70s having popularized them before that. In this season’s red mix, you’ll find many iterations of cat-eye — narrow, oversized, and rounded silhouettes.
Go green this year, but with your sunglasses. The color is a big trend for Spring 2022, so it’s no surprise that the hue has bled into eyewear. With a wide selection, this shade certainly opens you up to ample choices for a silhouette, aviators chief among them. From a physiological perspective, the color is known for its calming effect on the body, so it’s only natural for one to incorporate green-tinted lenses into their edit of eyewear.
Blue was thematic on the most prominent runways for spring, from Lanvin to Jacquemus. As a result, the selection is abounding in shades of it, from cerulean and powder blue to dark blue and cobalt. You also have your choice of shape, with narrow-but-not-too-thin acetate frames and large rimless styles among the variety. “I am personally partial to a beautiful gold metal frame with a light blue lens,” says Kanfer. “They are completely adaptable and can be styled with both warm neutrals and bright colors.”
While white is generally considered a neutral, the color isn’t as ubiquitous as black or brown when it comes to eyewear. “[It’s] a super easy way to pick up on the trend without investing in bold color,” says Kanfer. Labels from Coperni to Christian Siriano employed the hue to create eyewear for their collections.
As of late, pink has pervaded every shape and style imaginable. Though, it was likely from the runways of Blumarine and Givenchy that rimless pink sunglasses revival first began. “I’ve been gravitating towards pink when it comes to sunglasses, especially on a Y2K-esque frame,” says Ansink of her personal inspirations. “[Blumarine’s] colorful, bedazzled shades paired with hyper-feminine clothing is what I’ll be trying to replicate this summer.”
If you’re a color enthusiast, opt for a two-tone pair of sunglasses. “Pairing the frame with a tonal pastel lens color is definitely a big trend,” says Ansink. You can also try the reverse, as seen in the collections of VEHLA. Or, go a step further with an ombré look with aviators from Isabel Marant’s current crop.