As a gal who lives in the Arizona desert, sunglasses are an accessory MUST if you want to protect your gaze from the sun’s harsh rays. In the vintage reproduction community, brands exist that sell retro-inspired items ranging from shoes to bras to make-up, but no prominent brands revealed themselves whenever I went on the look-out for some sunnies. When Retro Sunnies contacted me through Instagram for a collaboration, I was completely surprised and excited to see a shop producing (and specializing in) something that often gets overlooked as a marketable accessory in the repro world.
Scrolling through their Instagram, my interest was sparked as I absorbed a feed full of gorgeous midcentury gals showing off their sunglasses, and happy customers showing off their Retro Sunnies. While a whole slew of styles are available on their website, I naturally gravitated toward styles replicating the true vintage cat eye that’s surprisingly difficult to come by in modern sunnies, and one of their statement sunnies.
The Vicky Sunnies, priced at $45 and available 4 color ways, had the roundest shape of the 3 I chose, but something about the flow of the band on top with the metal bar running parallel below gave a very butterfly-y, almost art deco-y feeling to them that immediately appealed.
As the highest priced sunnies I received (and one of the highest on the site,) it was interesting to feel the difference in quality from the lower priced Ava sunnies I received. While looks-wise, there is no perceptible difference in quality between the pricier sunnies and the cheaper ones, these felt much sturdier when wearing them. Luckily, Retro Sunnies provides a handy little measurement chart to ensure the glasses will fit before committing to the bill:
Lens Width: 60 mm
Bridge Width: 17 mm
Height: 46 mm
Temple Length: 132 mm
On my rounder, fuller face shape, these probably flattered me the most. The metal striping through towards the top helped give just enough of that cat eye feel that they fit into my wardrobe, while flattering me like modern, larger shapes tend to do. Plus, the detail, while simple, is absolutely stunning. Perfect for statement glasses that can double as a neutral staple.
The Maria, clocking in at $35, is a bit cheaper than the Vicky, while retaining the same sturdiness and quality level. She is available in 3 colorways, but I opted for tortoiseshell to break up the black I generally lean toward.
Unlike the other two sunnies I chose, these were the only ones featuring metal instead of plastic, and I generally tend to prefer this as I find they’re a bit more malleable and can be shaped to head size more because of it; however, like the Vicky, Retro Sunnies did provide the chart to double-check and make sure they’ll fit:
Lens Width: 51 mm
Bridge Width: 21 mm
Height: 48 mm
Temple Length: 132 mm
Shape-wise, these are a nice in between cat eye. These are definitely more angled with that lovely point on each side, but they’re large enough that someone who’s not necessarily into dressing vintage or retro all the time could still wear them without seeming out of place.
The Ava, which clocks in at $24 but is on sale for half off at the moment, is the most affordable pair of the three, but definitely my favorite. While available in only 2 colors on their website, I did notice scrolling through images of customers that they were once available in white as well as black and tortoiseshell. For these, I opted for black as the colors in my wardrobe match it best, and I knew these would be my new staples sunnies.
These sunnies are definitely my favorite, and for obvious reason. I tend to lean toward repro items that echo styles that have gone out of fashion or are simply harder to find easily. A truly thin cat eye pair of sunglasses is hard to come by unless shelling out the big bucks for a vintage pair (something I have never felt comfortable doing). The Ava perfectly satisfies this desire of mine with it’s slanted, long shape. Of the three, it’s a style that will perhaps not flatter everyone’s face shape, but I find they actually accentuate the fact that my face is oval instead of making it rounder by hiding my cheeks.
With Retro Sunnies’ wide range of styles and prices, there’s definitely something for everyone! Whatever your wardrobe (or your features), they’re sure to have something that’ll fit into your look while flattering you. You can head to their sites here to take a look at other styles, and they’re currently holding an Instagram contest that’ll win you the chance to get a few pairs for yourself for free should you win!:
Miss Lark Bahar