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Fashion statement, health necessity, Arctic essential – there’s much more to sunnies than first meets the eye
The first wearers of ‘sunglasses’ were ancestors of the Inuit – these Arctic-dwellers made goggles from bone and wood to shield their eyes from dazzling snow. Smart.
Lenses that can absorb UV and infrared light are developed. This. Changes. Everything!
Sam Foster starts selling sunglasses for the masses in Atlantic City, USA, under the name Foster Grant. They quickly become a chic fashion accessory, with Hollywood costume designers (such as Edith Head, above) using them in movies.
The Ray-Ban brand is founded when opticians Bausch & Lomb creates the iconic green-hued Aviators for US pilots, to help reduce glare from the sun.
Released from the worries of wartime rationing, people start to get fancy with their frames! The cat’s eye is one of the big style statements of the era.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis is a huge fan of the oversized look. Practical as well as fabulous, the wide shape offers extra protection during all those glam holidays.
It’s all about personal style and individuality. Sunnies are loved by celebs – for hiding from the paps and looking cool (à la Lady Gaga)!
Elton John has admitted to owning 250,000 pairs of glasses – many of them with coloured lenses, like these fabulous shades.
Classic designs we still love
You’ll look super-chic in Miss KG Round, £35, even if you’re not in Capri.
Like Gaga, go bold or go home. New Kyusu 1702* Boots Exclusive £50.
NEVER OUT OF DATE
Channel your inner screen siren with New Boots BSUN1702F*, £30.
RAY-BAN REDUX A timeless style from the iconic brand: Ray-Ban RB2132*, £130.In store only
Words Charlotte Grant-West Photography The Advertising Archives, Everett Collection/Mary Evans, Getty Images, Pixeleyes
*Available at Boots Opticians stores only. Sunglasses are available with prescription or non-prescription lenses. Prices shown include frames and non-prescription lenses.