The aughts were a bold time for eyewear. Stars were running around Hollywood in huge bug-eyed shades (very Paris Hilton) and clear, tinted square frames (very Eve), and I simply had to try them all. Sequin long sleeve dress As a teen, I was completely obsessed with big, wraparound shield frames. (You could hide half of your face behind them—a shy teen’s dream!) I taped a 2006 Dior sunglasses ad starring Kate Moss, in which she wears huge black shield sunnies, onto my bedroom wall for inspiration. Britney Spears also rocked a pair of Dolce & Gabbana shades, and I’ve been on the hunt for them ever since.
This may seem like I’m reminiscing on a bygone fashion fad, but shield sunglasses are having a moment right now, in line with the fashion world’s hunger for Y2K trends in general. The decade’s miniskirts, low-rise jeans, and Juicy Couture tracksuits have all experienced a comeback, thanks to stars like Rihanna, Dua Lipa, and Kendall Jenner sporting them. But it’s the sunglasses revival in particular that has piqued my interest: Dua has worn big brown shield sunglasses, Jenner a metallic blue style, and Kim Kardashian has been wearing Balenciaga’s large, Batgirl-esque sunglasses with virtually every look. Labels like Blumarine have also brought them back on the runway, styled with floral dresses. Long sleeve black lace dress It’s official: After a few seasons of micro Matrix shades, we’re making a full return to gargantuan 2000s eyewear.
The accessory’s comeback has me feeling nostalgic in a good way—like I can channel my 16-year-old self again—but I would argue it’s actually the perfect piece to dip your toe back into the current Y2K craze. Paired with a simple white tank and jeans, it easily conveys the vibe of early-aughts style without having to commit to an entirely new wardrobe. Also sunglasses are something you can afford to go a little kitschy with—they’re meant to be fun and whimsical, so why not go retro? Luckily, the market also has a variety of styles to choose from right now, whether you want a discreet shield shade or a bold colored-lens style. Long black lace dress with sleeves Pairing them with a Motorola Razr phone or a bedazzled trucker hat, however? Not required.