Polaroid Best Under the Sun sunglasses — 10 vintage designs from the 1930s to 1980s

polaroid vintage style sunglassesYes, across most of the U.S. it has been bloody, unbelievably, wicked hot. But that also means: It’s sunglass season, and no matter how much a dork you may be, cool sunglasses pretty much always make you look and feel like a with-it dude. And what could be better than these Polaroid sunglasses — 10 designs, recently introduced, that have been meticulously copied from the 1930s through the 1980s.Read on — you’ll see that even his loveliness Johnny Depp can’t resist –>

polaroid vintage collection sunglasses broadway style

Here is just a sampling of the 10 styles — taken from the best-sellers in Polaroids archives — that are now available in their “Best Under the Sun” colllection. Going rockabilly? I’m thinking it would be the sparkly “Broadway” (above) or simpler cateye “Marilyn” for you.

polaroid vintage sunglass collection donna 1970s

Want to disco again? It’s “Donna” (above) to be sure. There are a goodly number of 1970s style, which is more popular than ever today. There also are “iconic” sunglasses from the 1980s. Yes, the “Best of the 80s” is another tsunami headed our way. Well, it may be a small splash — “Best of?” I dread.

vintage style polaroid sunglasses 1930s Swing style

If you want to get a a way-way-back machine, this is what they wore in the 1930s — the “Swing” (above) — back when sunglasses for the masses became within reach…

Yes: There is a video that lays out some history. And actually, it’s pretty informative and very entertaining. Dr. Edwin Land invented the first synthetic polarized lens in 1929. In 1937, he created Polaroid, and launched the sunglasses revolution. Looks like Polaroid then had a good 50 year run of stylish shades — dominance, maybe even? I certainly recall buying Polaroid sunglasses in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, I think that the word “polaroids” meaning “sunglasses” was pretty much tossed around like “Kleenex” for “facial tissues”. Another one: “Keds” for “sneakers” no matter what the make and model.

These puppies are not cheap — with MSRPs at $70, $79 and $110. Perhaps you can find them on sale. The video claims ‘finely crafted’ and no doubt, they are going to be sturdier and provide better visibility than $10 “I always lose them anyway” sunglasses. Interestingly, when DH and I were on vacation last week, he was using some special-order sunglass-readers. We are a “we always lose them anyway” family, but in this case, he paid like $50 for them, because of the combo lens.  They were So Much Better — in terms of overall visibility quality — than cheapo sunglasses that he actually stopped and made me try them. So it seems, you can get what you pay for with sunglasses. Just don’t lose them.

To be sure, these Polaroid Best Under the Suns are pretty wicked cool — and you know how I Luv Authentic Reproductions. Well done, Polaroid!



  1. Gavin Hastings says:

    I am torn on the subject of mass-market “Retro”.

    I went to the website and could find very little in sunglasses that screamed 2011.
    Have all the “Innovation & Design” depts been shuttered? Greige,greige,greige….

    Halston would cry if he came back from the grave.

  2. Jessica says:

    For some reason I can no longer see all of the wonderful content on your blog on Google Reader! It seems to cut off sentences, and no more images. Anyone else having this problem?? I almost never read blogs on a normal computer…I am missing my retro fix!

  3. Jocelyn W. says:

    I was hoping to see my vintage pair of Polaroids in this post…and there they are on the model at right in the advertisement! They’re not very dark, but they are huge. I thought they were a men’s style when I found them in a vintage place in Michigan ten years ago or so.

  4. Tut says:

    I totally forgot that Polaroid made sunglasses. What’s weird is the ’40s Victory model. Before I watched the video, I thought those were a model from the ’80s.

  5. Just another Pam says:

    Starting as a teenager I had Polaroids and this spring I scored a bunch of unused RayBan’s from the 70’s. My son loves the one’s I gave him as he thinks the Elvis-esque look is hysterica as well as, of course, cool. I have to say the old girl is rather emotionally attached to her more demure ones as well. They make up for the estate purchased Armani one’s I set on a Sally Ann shelf while shopping that someone bought before I remembered and went back for them. Blush, but at least it helped a good cause.

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