Wasn’t 80s fashion the best? Shoulder pads, perms, legs warmers, MC Hammer trousers…. actually, ok, scrap that. Maybe 80s fashion wasn’t actually the best. In fact, it was pretty terrible, wasn’t it? A glitter covered smudge on the otherwise impeccable record of decade-related fashion; that is, at least, until the 90s came along. But one thing that definitely was great in the 80s was, you guessed it, eyewear; more specifically eyewear in 80s films, and, even more specifically women wearing eyewear in 80s films.
After being inspired by our friend Garrett Leight’s latest Spring Summer collection which took inspiration from 80s screen sirens such as Michelle Pfeiffer's character in Scarface and Lauren Hutton’s portrayal of Michelle in American Gigolo, we’ve scoured the archives of the internet and pulled together a scrapbook of the best eyewear the decade had to offer.
Meg Ryan as Sally Albright - When Harry Met Sally (1989)
First off the bat is the delectable Meg Ryan as Sally Albright in the 1989 classic When Harry Met Sally. The film follows the story of the aforementioned pair who, after a long car journey together argue over the idea that men and women can never truly be just friends.
While history may remember THAT particular restaurant scene, it’s this lesser talked about bookshop scene that we’re interested in. Sally rocks a pair of gold-rimmed Clubmaster style opticals with blue temple tips.
If you want to have what she’s having, try the Dita Statesman Five on for size.
Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer - Heathers (1988)
Next up is the forever-cool Winona Ryder as Veronica in the 1988 black-comedy-come-teen-drama, Heathers. The plot follows Veronica and the premature deaths of 3 of her fellow high school ‘friends’, all of which are named Heather. Throw in a heady mix of murder and seriously cool school corridor fashion and you’ve got a cult classic on your hands. Special mention goes out to these John Lennon style round metal sunglasses worn by Ryder.
Recreate the look with the Garrett Leight Wilson M in Black-Block Semi Flat Tortoise
Molly Ringwald as Andie - Pretty in Pink (1986)
There were lots of big round glasses in the 80s. Some were bad, some were good and some were absolute corkers like these ultra-round metal opticals worn by all-around 80s icon, Molly Ringwald in the teen classic Pretty in Pink. The plot is simple enough. A working-class girl is asked out by a preppy rich boy, friends don’t approve. Not the most memorable of narratives, but frames as bold as those have certainly stood the test of time.
The Garrett Leight Valencia is almost a perfect likeness for those worn Andie. All the style, no preppy boyfriend required.
Grace Jones as Mayday - A View to A Kill (1985)
We could hardly put together an ode to 80s glasses without giving these concave creations worn by bad-ass Bond girl, Grace Jones a mention. Jones dominates the screen in 1985’s A View to a Kill as the villainous May Day. She is both deadly and stylish in equal measures, there are some pretty memorable hairstyles and power suits on display here, but nothing quite tops those damn-I’ve-sat-on-my-glasses-again tortoiseshell shades. Check out the Garrett Leight Playa in Walnut Tortoise for that ice-cold assassin look.
Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz - Ghostbusters II (1989)
Conjuring her way into the line-up next is Annie Pott’s portrayal of sassy receptionist, Janine Melnitz in 1989’s Ghostbusters sequel, Ghostbusters II. Janine almost didn’t make the list due to her poor eyewear performance in the original film (think Deirdre Barlow) but managed to creep her way in after redeeming herself with these bold, black beauties.
If you’re after a slice of Ghostbusters style - who ya gonna call? Thom Browne for a pair of these chunky round opticals, of course.
Jennifer Grey as Jeanie Bueller - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Last but certainly not least is Jennifer Grey as Ferris’ sharp-tongued sister is the 1986 highschool skive epic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The character of Jeanie Bueller spends the entire film being pretty cheesed off by her brother’s ability to get away with bunking off school. Not the most loveable character from our list, but she does redeem herself somewhat by ultimately covering for her brother in the end; oh, and by rocking these rather epic side shield sunnies. Ohhh yeahhhh.
Grab yourself some side-shield styling with these silver beauties from Dita.
There you have it. Our favourite glasses-wearing girls of the 80’s movie scene, proving to us all that the decade's fashion maybe wasn’t quite as bad as we remember; we’ll pass on the shoulder pads for now though.