For the spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses trends, you better go big or go home. We saw all kinds of different shapes this season, but overwhelmingly, the sunglasses were large – perfect for protecting the eyes from the summer sun. Yes, there were a few reasonably sized options in the spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses, but they were in the minority.
The key design elements we saw were cat eye frames, in all manner of variations, along with some rounded and rectangular shapes, and the materials they were made of ran the gamut from plastic to metal to acetate. We saw other shapes and designs as well, with the most unique ones featuring interesting and unusual shapes, sci-fi vibes, or lots of appliques.
#1. Large Cat Eye Frames
The star design element of the spring 2018 sunglasses is the cat eye frame. This shape is a mainstay in sunglasses design because it elongates the face beautifully, and perfectly straddles elegance and devil-may-care whimsy. The oversized take on these glasses also has a retro flare that is alway stylish.
The whole Badgley Mischka collection was ‘60s inspired, from hair to makeup to clothes, so the large cat eye sunglasses in transparent acetate fit in just right. The pastel-colored oversized sunglasses at Temperley London had a similar effect.
At Laura Biagiotti, the large cat eye frames had a more modern feel, thanks to sharper edges of the cat eye on the outer ends, and a gorgeous blend of brown and purple over a clear acetate.
#2. Extreme Cat Eye Frames
Some designers created cat eye frames that were a little more angled and sharp, in order to stand out in the crowd of the spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses. Some of the lenses were large, while others were quite small, which actually made them look sharper and more interesting.
Perhaps the most iconic cat eye frames were at Louis Vuitton. While the sunglasses weren’t particularly large, their pointed ends were long and sharp, with frames made of both metal and acetate looking both sporty and more retro.
Maison Margiela could be relied on this season, as in every season, to give us maximum drama with oversized cat eye sunglasses in a variety of colors, with a unique acetate half-rim that jutted out of the top of the frame, below the cat eye extension.
We also saw examples of extreme and unique cat eyes on the runways of Emilio de la Morena, Moschino, Rochas, and Erdem.
#3. Rectangular Cat Eye Frames
In addition to the extreme cat eye frames almost all designers embraced for the spring 2018 eyewear trends, the more subdued rectangular cat eyes also made a splash. If you want to enjoy this retro-classic eyeglass style, but aren’t quite ready for its extreme form, you can certainly rock the more rectangular take on it.
At Ashley Williams, pastel plastic frames in the rectangular cat eye design were a little on the thicker side, with brown lenses allowing the eyes to show through. The rectangular cat eyes at Acne Studios were on the larger size, and were made of darker acetate, with some solid and some bi-colored frames.
There were both sunglasses and regular glasses in a rectangular cat eye shape at Anya Hindmarch, made of sturdy, light-colored metal.
#4. Multi-Colored Frames
If a single color is not enough, you might prefer one of the bi-colored offerings that were part of the spring 2018 sunglasses trends.
At Marni, for example, rounded lenses were ensconced within a plastic frame with the top half in one color (white, blue, or red), and the bottom half clear.
There was a distinct mod feel to the sunglasses at Marco de Vincenzo. The massive frames, which covered almost a full half of the face, were tri-colored, with rings of color covering the perimeter of the lenses.
#5. Long and Skinny Sunglasses
An exception to the oversized ruled in the spring/ summer 2018 eyewear trends is quite a few frames that were long and skinny – a trend heavily supported by Instagrammers/ models like Bella Hadid.
These included skinny but still very arched cat eye frames at Prada, as well as rounded cat eyes and rectangular glasses with a metal frame at Miu Miu. At Sonia Rykiel, the frames were made of black plastic, and were a little chunkier but still decidedly skinny.
#6. Small Round Frames
The Beatles are forever, and so are the tiny, round sunglasses popularized by John Lennon. We saw a few interesting takes on this iconic look as part of summer 2018 sunglasses trends.
There were wire-frame sunglasses in all shapes and sizes at Miu Miu, but the small, round-lensed ones stood out especially. The lenses were particularly close together, and a thorough look revealed a double bridge.
The small, round glasses at Valentino had a distinct edge, as the lenses were made of blue or red tinted material, and the frame surrounding them was covered in small studs.
Lastly, at Sportmax, we saw a stylish variation on small, round lenses that had a bit of a steampunk twist. The bridge was bent upwards, so the glasses looked as though they had a center hinge.
#7. Oversized Round Frames
Oversized glasses offer the best protection from both the sun, and from having to look people in the eye. If you want a softer look, rest assured that round frames were also spotted all over the runway, in addition to the more angular and pointy designs.
From Bottega Veneta, for example, we saw dark acetate frames with purple-hued lenses that covered everything from brow to cheek. On the Emilio Pucci runway, models rocked pastel acetate frames that were round and big, with just a hint of ‘60s cat eye effect thanks to the extra material above the top of the lenses.
#8. Drop Temples
While most of the drama with the spring 2018 eyewear was about the face, some designers also got creative with the arms of the glasses. A trend that really shone was a sudden drop in the handles, between the frames and the ears.
The sunglasses at Coach were all dramatically oversized and covered in decorations, but the dropped arms were the most unique. They dipped in a curve, sitting at about mid-ear, below the temple, and then curved up to go over the ears.
At Francesco Scognamiglio, we also saw dropped temples and an oversized design, but that’s where the similarities end. The frames were made of a thin metal, and the lenses were clear, which is more ideal for corrective eyewear. They were simple and sophisticated, with a hint of retro charm.
#9. Return of the Square Frames
Even though this was not a primary trend, it is undeniable that the square frames of last season still have room in your accessory collection. The square frames are part of the spring/ summer 2018 eyewear trends for anyone who likes to appear a little more put together and edgy.
At Calvin Luo, square, brown lenses were the height of style, with a unique frame that was just a little separate from the lense on the outer corner. It was a sophisticated and artistic take on the classic shape.
Angel Chen gave us the square glasses along with the recurring sci-fi vibe. The sharp edges on the solid-black-lens sunglasses were less hipster, and more badass.
#10. Oversized Aviators
If you want to opt for one of the spring 2018 sunglasses that offer a more unisex look, you’ll be happy to know that aviators are still in style, with all manner of lenses including the classic mirrored ones. Across the board, we saw oversized aviators for maximum coolness.
The large aviators at Altuzarra were especially beautiful thanks to some unique tear drop shapes created out of the wire over the bridge of the nose. At Chanel, there was some uniqueness in the oversized aviators as well, as the mirrored lenses were connected through the bridge while still maintaining the aviator shape.
#11. Branded Glasses
Something about branded sunglasses immediately makes me think about the Carpenter film “They Live!”, where a pair of special sunglasses allows the viewer to see the truth behind capitalist advertising. Needless to say, when you put on a pair of branded sunglasses you let your very eyes become a place of propaganda, and you allow yourself to become part of the label.
From Dolce & Gabbana branded sunglasses came in the form of lenses shaped like D&G – the iconic brand’s letter labeling. The frame was thick and covered in jewels, in case just the letters were too subtle.
The sunglasses at Christian Dior were just a touch less extreme, with “J’ADIOR” written on top of the frames, right above the bridge of the nose.
#12. Printed Frames
If you want to stand out and be memorable wherever you go, then the printed acetate frames some of the most creative designers put together for the spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses trends should be your first choice.
For Ashley Williams, the designs on sunglasses with thinner acetate frames were unique, but also subtle, with zig-zag lines and dots in black and white.
The sunglasses at Versace were covered in exactly the kind of patterns so iconic to the brand that were also used heavily on the prints of the actual clothes. This means loud, bright shades of yellow, orange, green, or red, punctuated with some heavy black lines. These patterns worked quite well with the retro, oversize cat eye frames.
#13. Colorful Frames
Solid frames in neutral shades were by far the most common thing we saw on the runway, but quite a few designers – especially ones who opted for more classical eyewear shapes, decided to jazz things up with bright colors.
House of Holland is celebrating spring and summer with bright, neon frames made of plastic. They used all kinds of shapes that are so iconic for the season, like cat eyes and rectangles, in shades like bright blue and loud orange.
At Elie Saab, the colorful sunglasses for summer 2018 had a more subdued color, but their design was anything but. Models wore oversized, square frames in colors like red, blue, yellow and green. The colors were matched to the monochrome outfits, but you can mix and match if you like.
#14. Sci-Fi Frames
If you’re feeling futuristic (or retro-futuristic, for that matter), you can opt for some of the more sci-fi inspired spring 2018 sunglasses. These unique eyewear designs will make you look like you’re some kind of space-age fashion icon, whose glasses do more than just allow her to see when the sun is bright.
The collection at Gucci was quite ‘80s inspired, so it was a real treat to see some retro-futuristic eyewear designs that covered the whole top half of the face, looking like some sort of robotic shield or personal screen.
There was a Cyclop from X-Men vibe at Koche, with pitch black wrap around sunglasses with a single, long horizontal lense.
Possibly the most unique design element was the concave plastic frame on a few of the spring 2018 sunglasses at Rejina Pyo. It made the lenses look like they were placed inside a shallow bowl, and gave the face a really futuristic feel.
#15. Double Bridge Frames
A double bridge on sunglasses is a late ‘60s design element that does not look outdated, and can work exceptionally well with unisex sunglasses designs. We saw double bridges on many of the spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses.
We saw a creative take on the double bridge at Alexstorm, where the part of the frame surrounding the square lenses was made of brown acetate, while the double bridge was made of metal. At Alberta Ferretti, the extreme cat eye trend was paired with a double bridge, for a unique yet stylish blend of retro styles.
The most unique example of a double bridge was spotted at Fendi, where semi-transparent acetate frames were already interesting, but sitting high above the brows there was a top bridge made of metal instead. We also saw double bridges at Tommy Hilfiger, Miu Miu, Prada, Self-Portrait, and Giorgio Armani.
#16. Tortoiseshell Acetate
Tortoiseshell glasses have been having their day in their limelight, with their ability to soften any look, and their adaptability when it comes to design and color. There were some really impeccable ways in which tortoiseshell acetate glasses became a part of the spring/ summer 2018 eyewear trends.
At Topshop Unique, multiple trends were combined, with yellow & brown tortoiseshell glasses frames taking the sharp cat eye shape we’ve been seeing everywhere this season.
Designs were decidedly unique at J.W. Anderson, where the lenses were circular but the warm brown and orange acetate frames were large and round, with a sudden straight line on the outer part surrounding the lense.
Another label to feature tortoiseshell acetate eyewear was Carolina Herrera, with glasses with both lighter yellow and brown blends, and darker black and gray.
#17. Bewjewlled Sunglasses
I’m usually not a fan of bling-on glasses, sun-protective or otherwise, but as part of the spring 2018 sunglasses trends, I have to admit that some designers changed my mind.
Blingy glasses this season managed to look like everything from modern and edgy to ornate and glamorous, not to mention that from Dolce & Gabbana we even got a bit of silly, with large frames covered in colorful jewels over a floral design, as well as my personal favorite – a pair of frames in the shape of hands covered in rings.
Sunglasses at Philipp Plein had the similar opulence of D&G jewels, with the same interesting colors, but the jewels were concentrated on the top of the wire-framed glasses.
Bright neon sunglasses at Jeremy Scott were covered with small, white jewels all along the part of the frame surrounding the lenses. We also saw blinged-out sunglasses at Coach 1941, Moschino, and Ashish.
#18. Delicate Metal Wireframes
Wireframes are a delicate choice for sunglasses, and a classic choice for corrective eyewear. They can be timeless in some designs, and in others they can be quite unique and sophisticated. The spring 2018 eyewear trends give us lots of options for the metallic material.
At Celine, wire was a distinct decoration, which, while it didn’t cover the full perimeter of the pink lenses, still made a splash by being very prominent at the sides and on the bridge.
The wireframe glasses at Balenciaga were very no-nonsense. They were made for corrective wear, with a thin rectangular lens, in a simple design that will never go out of style but will also never be the height of chic.
At Monse, we saw a larger take on metal frame glasses, with oversized glasses with rounded-square lenses, and a clear-to-purple gradient color.
#19. Semi-Rimless Sunglasses
You might remember this as a trend for people who didn’t want to look like they were wearing glasses, although a lot of the semi-rimless frames on the spring/ summer 2018 glasses are made to stand out!
At Vivetta, for example, the rim, which was only on the top half of the glasses, was a pearlescent white, which starkly contrasted against the dark black lenses. At Prabal Gurung, semi-rimless frames broke the mold, as the frameless part was above the lenses instead of below. The lenses themselves were a vivid pink, while the frame was made of bright silver metal.
#20. Sporty Glasses
If you rock a more casual style, you’ll be happy to know that the spring/ summer 2018 eyewear trends have lots of options for you for more sporty sunglasses that will fit well, won’t break easily, and can even work for extreme summer adventures.
The semi-rimless sunglasses at Stella McCartney derived their sporty effect from brightly colored, thick frames on top, along with a connection at the bridge, and a long and thick mirrored lens. They wrapped around the face in a way that reminded of snowboarding sunglasses, specifically.
We saw the same bright semi-rimless design element at Fenty x Puma by Rihanna, which overall had a very sporty collection, although the lenses were unique with a tilted design, and the Fenty branding was all over the arm and bridge.
#21. Yellow Lenses
Opting for spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses with yellow lenses can be a daring choice, since yellow isn’t always a flattering color. However, when it works, it just works, and it helps warm up the face and create interest.
Warm yellow lenses were the choice at Aalto, where they were combined with acetate frames in a warm, dark green shade. This design looked natural and soft, despite the unusual lens color. We saw plenty of yellow lenses at Christian Dior, Rejina Pyo, Gucci, and Derek Lam, as well.
#22. Brown Lenses
Soft yet protective, brown lenses suit almost everyone and they do an excellent job of protecting the eyes from the harsh sun. The other benefit of brown lenses is that they soften everything you see, with a sepia tone, and they keep even modern designs looking a little less harsh.
At Lacoste, the brown lenses gave a nice contrast to large and modern looking gray metal frames. The brown lenses worked to soften the sunglasses at Ashish, which were crafted with a black frame and lots of tiny jewels.
We also saw brown lenses used at Altuzarra, Alice + Olivia, Phillip Plein, and Miu Miu.
#23. Pink Lenses
One way to get a feminine twist on your spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses is by opting for a gorgeous pair with pink lenses, instead of the more traditional colors like black or brown.
The oversized glasses at Fendi had lenses made of a few different colors, but a dark and warm pink shade stood out as particularly beautiful. At Rejina Pyo, bright pink lenses worked wonderfully with the delicate metal frame, in a golden shade that kept everything soft and lovely.
#24. Mirror Shades
There is something perfectly stand-offish about a pair of mirrored sunglasses – they just scream ‘eff off’ with their total concealment of the wearer’s eyes. If you want to be the person people either stay away from, or, hilariously, come up to to check their teeth or eye makeup, then choose one of these awesome spring 2018 sunglasses.
A classic choice from Paco Rabanne is a pair of sleek wire-frame aviators with a silver mirrored lens. At Chanel, the sunglasses were a bit more polarizing, as they were greatly oversized, with an aviator-style shape albeit made of a single lens, with a small connection at the bridge of the nose.
The most radical mirrored shades were spotted at Concept Korea – they were made in a round shape with sharp cat eye corners, and the mirror itself seemed a little bronze-tinted.
#25. Rimless Sunglasses
Rimless sunglasses look modern and futuristic, but also delicate and kind of see-through, and we are happy to have them among the top summer 2018 sunglasses trends from the runway. Rimless sunglasses for the upcoming season come in both colored lenses and transparent ones, looking gorgeous in both designs.
From Fyodor Golan we get oversized shades in a lovely purple coloring, which they matched with the model’s outfit. Emporio Armani also showed colorful lenses in rimless sunglasses, giving preference to blue instead, while Adam Selman embraced a couple of spring 2018 sunglasses trends in their design offering up skinny rectangular shades.
#26. Transparent Frames
Transparent frames for the spring/ summer 2018 sunglasses aren’t mostly fully transparent, as they feature exactly the same color of the lenses, perfectly blending in with the overall design.
Versace showed both pastel blue and pink transparent frames, using the same colors for the lenses. Sonia Rykiel also embraced this style, unveiling pastel blue and olive green cat eyes in transparent frames, while Gucci’s offerings were mostly grandma-chic, coming to add a much-appreciated retro vibe to our summer looks.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly