Updated! We've added some cheaper alternatives that are similar styles below. Hat tip to Billy K. in the comments!
There’s something to be said about a great pair of sunglasses. It can be an instant self-esteem booster. In fact, if a pair of sunglasses does its job right, it makes you feel like you’re the star of your own movie.
And with good reason. A measure of coolness in movies often revolves around what the protagonist wears, specifically, a hot pair of shades. Even movie posters, like the one for Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, feature sunglasses prominently in order to attract audiences (“It” girls like Kate Hudson aren’t too shabby, either).
Sometimes a movie becomes so popular that the sunglasses from said movie become popular, as well.
Here are 10 Awesome Sunglasses Inspired by Movies:
Persol 714 – The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Let’s go back to the beginning of movie cool, starting with Steve McQueen, who looked oh-so chic in these honey-colored, blue-tinted shades (the blue tint was actually a specific McQueen trait).
Tom Ford Aviator TF108 – Quantum of Solace (2008). Daniel Craig’s smoke-blue-tinted lenses are a throwback to McQueen’s, but with a sleek Aviator update on semi matte Rhodium frames.
Oliver Peoples Victory – Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005). These boxier, Aviator-style sunglasses are probably the only square thing about Brad Pitt (and in a good way!). Fun fact: these are also the shades you see on USA’s “Burn Notice.”
Ray-Ban 3016 Clubmaster – Reservoir Dogs (1992). Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange adorns the classic browline frame in Quentin Tarantino’s first feature-length film. It’s the quintessential 1950s and ‘60s look you’ve seen plenty of times before, but the cool factor is enhanced with the frame’s ability to block sunlight and prevent onlookers from knowing your intentions.
Tortoise shell Ray-Bans – Catch Me If You Can (2002). It takes a real man to pull off a patterned frame. But if anyone can do it, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio. Tom Hanks chased him throughout the film, but he probably just wanted to catch up with him so he could trade glasses.
Michael Kors S110 – The Kingdom (2007). Jamie Foxx may be known for his iconic look in glasses as Ray Charles in Ray (which won him the Academy Award), but it was his turn in 2007’s The Kingdom where he told that image to hit the road and sported these blazin’ hot shades.
Blublocker Demi Tortoise Nylon – The Hangover (2009). “We fucked up,” admits Bradley Cooper’s character Phil, clad in sexy Ray-Bans during the opening scene of the 2009 sleeper. Yet, audiences knew that despite Phil and the gang losing their best friend in Vegas, they hadn’t fucked up on style. Even Zach Galifianakis’ Alan, often the butt of many jokes in the film, donned these hip frames.
Von Zipper Unisex Adult Fulton – Iron Man 2 (2010). Tony Stark’s sunglasses in the sequel to Iron Man are part hipster, part deflectors of the sun, but all cool. And since they’re unisex, they’re even perfect for Pepper Potts.
Ray-Ban Wayfarer – Risky Business (1983). With his tousled hair, boyish charm, and million dollar grin (at the time, it wasn’t worth as many millions), Tom Cruise burst onto the scene in the 1980s, specifically with the film Risky Business, which helped launch his career. The black Wayfarers he wore in the film became iconic, eventually becoming a symbol of ‘80s style (see also: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Blues Brothers).
Mirrored Aviator – Top Gun (1986). Tom Cruise appears again on the list, in the homoerotic film that heterosexual men love (contains what will forever be known as, “the superfluous volleyball scene”). You can’t put on a pair of Aviators without wanting to call someone “Goose.”
What’s most appealing about sunglasses is that they hide people’s eyes. You can’t tell what a person is thinking because the lenses mask what many call the “windows to a person’s soul.” The same goes for the movies. Maybe a protagonist is only a pitch-perfect symbol of cool because you can’t see how scared he is behind his shades.