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What kind of heart-shaped sunglasses are for you?

woman leaning outside of a car wearing red heart shaped sunglasses with her daughter

Heart-shaped sunglasses are in a league of their own when it comes to cute accessories. Their cultural popularity is undeniable: You can spot them everywhere from Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film “Lolita” to glossy magazine shots of pop icons like Lana Del Rey and Harry Styles. This eyewear style is a mainstay for any sunglasses aficionado.

Industry publication 20/20 Vision Magazine lists heart-shaped frames as one of their top “Fabulous Finds,” as they are glamorous, luxurious and “for people that were born to stand out.”

Indeed, heart-shaped frames can make a statement, but they can also be tricky to pull off without looking kitschy or cheap. Some may avoid these frames for fear of looking too young or “twee,” but wise shoppers know that they can be a chic accessory when worn well.

Designer brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and Betsey Johnson each have their own high-fashion take on this fun staple. But if runway wear is not in your budget, Forever 21, Quay, Target and Wildfox all sell affordable pairs of heart-shaped sunglasses.

What are heart-shaped sunglasses?

Heart-shaped sunglasses are sunglasses with heart-shaped frames — in a sense, marrying traditional round frames with a feminine cat-eye style. They are usually lightweight rather than bulky, making them easy to wear on any occasion.

While the frames themselves are shaped like hearts, narrowing and forming a point beneath one’s eye, they can also be shades with heart motifs.

Heart-shaped frames work on many face shapes, though naturally, they’re especially perfect for heart-shaped faces. There are many different styles of heart-shaped sunglasses, from thin-line metal to oversized plastic frames, either of which can provide a funky, artsy look. 

They also come in a variety of colors, from black to pink to rose-gold (and every shade imaginable) frames, and lenses that range from red to pink, yellow and blue. Pinterest features dozens of inspiring heart-shaped eyewear looks and clipart.

Why wear heart-shaped sunglasses?

Heart-shaped shades never go out of style. Over the years, they have remained a hallmark of sunglasses culture, lending a retro, 1970s finish to any outfit. They’re the ideal complement to vintage clothing or “funky” attire.

They might not be the eyewear you sport to the office or on a business Zoom call, but sometimes they’re exactly what you need to make any occasion a little special. They can be a delight to wear out to events and are a perfect addition to any youthful look.

Red heart-shaped sunnies with black lenses are the most classic look, though black frames and lenses are a popular look as well.

Where to wear heart-shaped sunglasses

Wear these shades to the beach, a concert or party, as they’re perfect for cocktail hours and laid-back cultural events. Here are a few ideas for where you can wear your versatile heart-shaped sunglasses, from the beach to Valentine’s Day.

Cultural events

When you attend a special event, you should flaunt a special set of eyewear to match. Heart-shaped shades are bound to make you the life of the party.

Music festivals: Heart-shaped eyewear is a perfect addition to an outfit while attending outdoor music festivals like Coachella or Burning Man, as they always make band T-shirts and jean jackets pop. They can also be a fun addition to any concert garb, be it an outdoor bash or an intimate indie show at a café.

Art galleries: If anyone knows creative eyewear, it’s the art world. At contemporary art fairs and galleries across the world, participants of the creative class are known to wear bright and bold eyewear to show off their originality and creativity. This is truly where heart-shaped frames can shine. Artists, curators and gallerists are known for their funky eyewear, so you will be in good company. 

Fashion events: Heart-shaped sun-shades can be worn at New York Fashion Week events, including pop-up runways, designer boutique parties and VIP gatherings. These events are where fashion icons strut their stuff. Often, they predict the hottest trends before everyone else. There’s no better way to show the fashionistas that you’re on top of the latest, or even retro, looks than rocking some heart-shaped shades. 

Parties: Heart-shaped eyewear might be the flirtiest accessory on the market. While wearing your regular set of shades on the nightclub dancefloor could veer toward the cliché, there’s no denying that a cute pair of pink heart-shaped shades can give you a fun, flirty look.

Special occasions

These eye-grabbing frames are great for special occasions — you are sure to stand out in all your holiday photos. 

Valentine’s Day: Heart-shaped sunnies send a clear signal that romance is in the air. This Valentine’s Day (February 14) is the perfect day to pair your new rhinestone heart sunglasses with your favorite fashionable outfit. Wear it for your loved one or even just for yourself.

Date night: Wearing a pair of heart-shaped frames out on a date is a great way to show your affection for that special someone. This is an accessory that can be a little sign of affection or simply enhance a fun outfit. 

In photos: Of course, these frames are camera-friendly. Wear them for a memorable moment in an old-school photo booth with friends. They’re also ideal for an Instagram selfie with a little heart-eyes emoji. It is truly the type of eyewear that begs the wearer to “strike a pose.”

Celebrations: If you’re attending a celebration among friends and family, a pair of heart-shaped shades could be a fun way to add some flavor to the party.

Heart-shaped sunglasses in pop culture

Heart-shaped eyewear has dominated pop culture for decades, from Hollywood films to music videos to celebrities on the red carpet. From its birth in the 1970s, this style of sunglasses has grown into a symbol of style and superstardom.

Lana Del Rey: The famed pop singer has crooned about heart-shaped sunglasses in her hit song “Diet Mountain Dew.” She also sings about them in tracks, like “Heart-shaped Chevrolet” and “Every Man Gets His Wish.” She sports heart-shaped glasses in many photoshoots, adding to the popularity of the style.

Harry Styles: This mega star proves, heart-shaped shades aren’t just for women. Men love and can totally pull them off, too. British pop sensation Harry Styles rocks a pair of rimless cherry red heart-shaped frames in his popular music video for “Watermelon Sugar.”

Marilyn Manson: Manson released a song in 2007 called “Heart-Shaped Glasses” starring his then-girlfriend Rachel Wood wearing red heart-shaped sunglasses. These were quite likely an homage to the ones worn by Hollywood actress Sue Lyon in Kubrick’s film, “Lolita.”

Paris Hilton: Over the past decade, the hotel heiress has sported dozens of pairs of heart-shaped eyewear. Hilton, known for her love of oversized eyewear, has worn pink, mirrored and heart-shaped sunglasses with transparent, colored frames. She has even inspired her own line of heart-shaped shades.

Lady Gaga: The pop star and style icon has been wearing heart-shaped sunglasses for years. She often pairs pink and black heart-shaped shades with striking outfits like fur coats, yellow dresses and golden jackets. For a more youthful look, she wears them with a high ponytail, too.

Madonna: The notorious pop superstar wore a pair of white heart-shaped Moschino sunglasses on her Sticky and Sweet tour in 2009. She wore them on stage with a rainbow outfit and a pair of fishnets. 

Bad Bunny: The Latin pop singer is an eyewear enthusiast. He famously sported black heart-shaped sunglasses in a photoshoot this past spring, which landed him in Vogue and on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Taylor Swift: The acclaimed Tennessee singer wears a pair of red heart-shaped sunnies in the music video for her song “22,” which is (coincidentally) off her album called “Red.”

Katy Perry: The pop singer wore a pair of red heart-shaped shades in her music video for “This How We Do” in 2014, as she paired up the look with a swimsuit and chunky, retro platform heels.

A brief history of heart-shaped sunglasses

This glamorous style of eyewear all began in the 1950s when cat-eye glasses were a popular trend. Heart-shaped sunglasses were sold, but they didn't really pick up until “Lolita” hit theatres in 1962, which created some buzz around the (at the time) unique frame shape. Then, throughout the rest of the 1960s, they were widely mass-produced by a number of sunglasses brands.

Celebrities started wearing them, too, including The Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison, who wore them in the 1970s, as did English singer Marianne Faithful. They became a distinguishing feature of the hippie “Flower Power” style of the period.

As fashion designers caught on, they started creating their own renditions, which landed them in the pages of Vogue magazine throughout the 1980s and 1990s. While they’re sold by many fashion retailers today, heart-shaped sunglasses have made their way onto the catwalk, for example at a Moschino runway show in 2010 and a Jeremy Scott x Linda Farrow collection released in 2012.

Now, it feels like everyone owns a pair of heart-shaped shades. It isn’t just fashion designers who have caught on, but many eyewear retailers and designers, each with their own distinct take on this wardrobe staple.

SEE RELATED: Designer sunglasses: Look like a celebrity

Are heart-shaped sunglasses trendy?

In short, yes. Heart-shaped glasses are trendy, but you want to make sure you don’t look cheap while wearing them. They are sold in many places today, but the latest look for heart-shaped eyewear is pink lenses housed in metal frames. This is a more fashion-forward way to wear heart-shaped sunglasses; it’s subtler and classier than a pair of plastic frames.

Benefits of heart-shaped sunglasses

There are plenty of reasons to wear heart-shaped sunglasses. They’re an easy way to jazz up a drab outfit. They’re a quick style solution. They offer a playful and youthful feel to any look. And, they’re fun and festive — perfect for parties.

Heart-shaped sunglasses are affordable, as there is a range of brands that carry them. They’ll always allow you to stand out in a crowd. The eye-catching glamour they add to a look might even get you photographed at a public event. Heart-shaped eyewear shows the world that you have a bold, fun side to your personality. 

Are heart-shaped frames for you?

They are quirky, to be sure, and they may not be for everyone.

This fun eyewear style can certainly add an adventurous splash to your look, but they also may not be the kind of sunglasses you want to wear daily — so don’t toss out your Wayfarers just yet. You might not wear them at work, but they are a great accessory for a weekend on the go.

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