Okay. I know. These sunglasses are insane; there's no getting around that. But, before you freak out, hear me out. In the early 2000s, celebrities rocked huge, wrap-around — or "shield" — sunglasses. Usually, the lenses were colored (sometimes, they featured a smokey gradient), and they were always in-your-face aggressive.
Last year, colored lenses were resurrected in the form of circular and aviator silhouettes, but most people gravitated toward classic shapes, like the cat-eye. Today's shades are still fun, they have just definitely chilled out, and these wild-and-crazy iterations have taken a backseat. Until now. Just weeks ago during Fashion Month, runways featured playful pieces similar to those you'd wear paint-balling, confirming that this early-aughts aesthetic is back in a big way. Add that to the fact that the industry is currently experiencing a state of post-irony — where the coolest trend-setters are wearing things most would find absurd — and their revival is suddenly crystal clear. So, say hello to the shield shade, 2016's latest comeback kid.
To help you ready yourself for their return, we've put together images of celebs rocking the infamous shades in 2001, as well as some options you can buy now. I get this look doesn't tickle everyone's fancy, so if you hate it, leave it alone. For everyone else, get inspired by the #TBTs, ahead.
A serious Glo by J.Lo moment. These Chanel wrap-around shades were it in 2001.
With the return of the '90s, Aaliyah has especially become a top style icon. And what do you know, she's wearing shield shades and looking great doing it.
I'd be remiss to not include either Britney or Paris in this slideshow. Here is Brit in a gradient pair of shield shades.
Some brands have hopped on the bandwagon early. This recent collaboration is showing us how to do shield shades in a 2016 way.
Everyone loves Ray-Ban for its classic sunnies. But you can also get that logo embossed on a pair of shield shades.
If you want the real deal, I recommend hitting up The Real Real.
While these aren't exactly shield shades as we know them from the early aughts, they do have a similar vibe, and trendsetter Rihanna was involved. Have I convinced you yet?
For a less pricey, but just as authentic option, look to Rocawear.
Fine, I'll admit it: I've been talking a lot about sunglasses lately. From our Fashion Month accessories trend round-up, to the potential return of those controversial J.Lo shades from the early 2000s, sunglasses have been on my mind. And though I've done my due diligence to fill you in on what's next, there hasn't been much talk about what's happening right now — and what's happening right now is monochrome.
The runways the past September proved that sunglasses with matching frames and lenses are a thing — and will continue to be through spring. Fashion plates everywhere are already donning the style, with muted, semi-translucent hues dominating their pairs. And while many of our favorite takes on these pastel shades are selling out like crazy, there's one brand in particular with options available for pre-order right now — meaning you can get in on the look by spring. Ahead, we've rounded up a few pieces from It Australian brand Poms, which knows what's up when it comes to making these one-color items a thing. Get ahead of the curve by wearing your pair this winter — and just wait to see how many people will be in these shades come April.