Steampunk Sunglasses; The Comprehensive Guide 2021
Nowadays, everyone can say that sunglasses are not just a functional piece to aid your sight around UV rays. Most of the time, they are a very important fashion choice, and even a focal point of many attires. As you may expect, there are many Steampunk options for you to choose. Here is everything you need to know about Steampunk sunglasses:
⦁ What are Steampunk sunglasses?
We all know that sunglasses are a very famous item in fashion, which is the reason why the Steampunk community quickly adopted it as one of the ‘key’ items for the attires. Also, almost everyone can pick up a style of sunglasses that they enjoy the most, so you can bet that all the Steampunk sub-categories also have their options available. As sunglasses are an extremely popular accessory (in and out the community) you won’t have a hard time trying to find exactly what you like.
Another detail that we will mention here is that we are talking about SUNGLASSES, and you shouldn’t confuse them with GOGGLES. Steampunk goggles are another key item of the Steampunk community, specially the aviator goggles, but this is not what we will be discussing here.
And what’s the difference, you may be wondering?
Well, for instance, it’s very unlikely for someone to be wearing goggles outside of a cosplay/event environment. They are very heavy and most likely just worn because of aesthetic reasons. With sunglasses, however, the story is entirely different. You can wear them in essentially any environment or setting, and there’s no need to be cosplaying a character or dressing up as your Steampunk persona. Of course, there are different sorts of sunglasses that may be way more flamboyant or attention-graving than others, but that’s not always the case. There are differently more instances in which you can wear your Steampunk sunglasses, in comparison with goggles.
⦁ Extra note: monocles
Monocles are a gorgeous accessory that reminds you directly of the past times. They are excellent for cosplaying high-class characters that are very typical of Steampunk cosplays. However, it’s evident that there are very few cases in which you can wear monocles IRL, and these cases coincide with the ones that let you use your Steampunk goggles. This, of course, doesn’t mean that monocles can’t be as fashionable as sunglasses: they can, indeed, be as fashionable as the latest sort of eyewear.
⦁ What’s the relationship between Steampunk and sunglasses?
Obviously, Steampunk accessories are mostly inspired by an exaggerated and more flamboyant version of Victorian fashion. The typical spectacles that were worn by the people in the XIX century were used as a focal point to enhance the Steampunk aesthetic. The result? Glasses, sunglasses, goggles and monocles were adopted as part of this very beautiful community. As time passed, protection from UV rays also brought tinted lenses, colourful rims, and variable shapes.
⦁ Tips for your Steampunk sunglasses
Wearing the right sunglasses is also the best defence for keeping ultraviolet (UV) rays from causing short and long-term eye damage, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons.
Studies have shown that accumulated UV exposure can heighten the risk of cataracts, (a leading cause of blindness worldwide), pterygium and several kinds of eye cancer. Even just a few hours of intense exposure can cause temporary blindness (photokeratitis). While everyone can potentially suffer these conditions, children and people with light-coloured eyes should be especially careful, due to their heightened susceptibility.
⦁ Fewer than half of people buying sunglasses bother to check whether the lenses protect the eyes from UV rays (according to the Academy). You should always aim to buy sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV rays.
⦁ Bigger is better. The more coverage provided by your sunglasses, the less sun damage inflicted on the eyes; consider buying oversized glasses or wraparound-style glasses.
⦁ Darker lenses don’t offer more protection. Dark lenses may look cool, but they do not necessarily block UV rays more effectively.
⦁ Colour doesn’t matter. Some sunglasses come with amber, green or grey lenses. On the other hand, they don’t increase contrast; which may be useful for athletes, such as those who play baseball or golf.
⦁ Polarized lenses cut glare. The glare reduced is comes from reflective surfaces such as water or the pavement. This doesn’t offer more protection from the sun, but can make activities like driving or swimming way safer.
⦁ Cost shouldn’t be a factor. Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money to work well. Cheap pairs of lenses can still be marked as 100 % UV-blocking.
⦁ What technical information do you need to know about Steampunk sunglasses?
⦁ Main parts of sunglasses:
Now that you know about UV rays, we will dwell a little bit deeper into the basic elements of a pair of sunglasses. Here, we will tell you a bit about the main parts of your sunglasses, and we will also talk a bit more about the types of lenses that you can choose.
⦁ Top bar:
The top bar is what binds both rims and can be seen exactly above the bridge. Most of these are made of metal. If it’s just a simple bar, the top bar doesn’t affect the wearability; but if you add a couple of charms (cogs, gears), they made feel a bit heavier. However, this would be something manageable if you want to do it just for cosplays or events.
The pads or shields can be made of plastic or metal. They are usually not super noticeable, but in some models, they are a very important element. This usually happens with motorcycle sunglasses, like it can be shown in the picture below.
⦁ Bridge (and nose pads):
This is one of the most important elements when it comes to comfort, yet one of the most invisible parts of the sunglasses. It’s worth noticing that models with ribbons usually don’t have nose pads (picture below).
These frames hold the lenses and play a big role in the aesthetic category of your glasses. There are thin and thicker ones, monochromatic or colourful ones; you do have plenty to choose.
They can be made of plastic or metal, though we’ll warn you that metallic ones are usually more expensive. Also remember to check the padding if the rims are too big, to make sure they fit you correctly.
⦁ Temples/temple tips:
These are made out of plastic or metal. Temple tips can be made of silicone, too. These are also very important in terms of comfort, so you should pay attention if they fit your head correctly without being too tight. You’ll be able to choose many colours for the temples as well, and they can be as thin or thick as you want them to be.
⦁ Hinges and joints:
Hold your sunglasses together, and if these parts are too inflexible and close to the rims, it is likely you’ll experience pressure along temple lines. These should be flexible enough to fit your head size and shape.
⦁ Types of lenses for your sunglasses:
We have already talked about UV protection in our Tips section. Here, we will read into it a little bit more, and talk about the different types of lenses and how they will help you against reflections and very bright surfaces in order to make your life easier.
⦁ Polarized Lenses
Polarized lenses are not the same as UV protection, though these usually come together when you buy a new pair. Polarization is a nice advantage when it comes to sunglasses, as it reduces glare. These lenses filter the light that doesn’t come vertically towards them, improving general visibility and reducing the pressure on your eyes. This way, you can focus on what you are looking at without any extra annoyance.
⦁ Photochromic Lenses
Photochromic lenses are those that let the right amount of tint pass through them, adjusting easily to any light conditions, turning darker when exposed to bright light. These are light-adaptive lenses and can also come frequently with the UV-blocking feature.
⦁ Glass vs Plastic Lenses
Plastic lenses can block UV rays, but you should always add an extra coating to protect your eyes with a 100% effectiveness. It’s way easier for sunglasses’ makers to turn plastic lenses with photochromic and polarized features. Plastic makes the lenses be more durable, but you also have to consider that they may be vulnerable to scratch marks. They are also of a lighter weight and not likely to fog.
On the other hand, glass lenses are way more resistant to scratching, but it’s easier to break them if you drop them. They are also more resistant to chemicals and can sometimes be heavy.
As you may expect, the plastic lenses are cheaper than the glass ones.
⦁ How to wear Steampunk sunglasses?
There are many creative ways to wear your Steampunk sunglasses, which doesn’t necessarily include the most common (and obvious) way:
⦁ Over Your Eyes
This is the most obvious and safe way to wear your sunglasses. As we are not talking about goggles, you are safe to assume that this is definitely one of the ways to go.
⦁ On Your Head
This is a good way to wear both sunglasses and goggles. It looks fashionable, cool, and it’s perfect to enhance your silhouette in group pictures.
⦁ On Your Hat
If you can’t pick between your Steampunk hat and your sunglasses, but you don’t want to wear them over your eyes – here’s your solution: Stick them in front of your hat and you are done.
⦁ Around Your Neck
This is an alternative to the head option. If you are unable to wear them in your hat or your head, and you don’t want to use the common eye choice, add a strap to your sunglasses and you are good to go.
⦁ On Your Pet
If you don’t want to wear your sunglasses but still want them to appear in your pictures, you can always buy a Steampunk-looking sunglass accessory for your pet. This way, you will always be remembered by this accessory, even if you were not the one that was technically using them. PS.: Don’t use your real sunglasses on your pets, as this might be dangerous for them!
Remember: you don’t always have to wear your Steampunk sunglasses. If you don’t use them on the regular, you can skip them for once, and still get a really cool picture out of your Steampunk attire.
⦁ How to choose the perfect pair of sunglasses for you? Here are a few helpful tips to sum up everything we’ve taught you:
⦁ Choose the pair that flatters the shape of your face the most
⦁ Choose sunglasses that block 100% of the sun's ultraviolet rays
⦁ Pick good quality lenses: consider if you want plastic or metal for your lenses
⦁ Consider alternatives: you can wear them in a leather holster or as décor for your top hat
⦁ Consider options to accessorize your sunglasses (spikes, cogs and gears, etc.)
⦁ Difference between men and women’s Steampunk sunglasses
There’s surprisingly not a lot of differences between the most popular sunglasses among men and women (in those that fit into the Steampunk aesthetic). It seems to be a tendency with ‘artsy’ looking rims and heavy padding in both demographics. Here we will show you a few examples:
⦁ Most popular among women:
⦁ Jackie Ohh Sunglasses by Ray-Ban:
⦁ Madison Champagne Sunglasses by Illesteva:
⦁ Brooklyn Cat Eye Sunglasses by Lele Sadoughi:
⦁ Most popular among men:
⦁ Sunski Treeline Sunglasses by Backcountry:
⦁ Vuarnet Edge 1907 by Vuarnet:
⦁ Revo Moonwalker Zero G Limited Edition by Revo:
⦁ What is your Steampunk sunglasses style?
There are many Steampunk styles that you will find around while trying to pick your sunglasses. Your typical ‘Victorian’ aesthetic, or Western-Inspired, Cyberpunk, and even a lot which are similar to engineer goggles. Sunglasses are mostly a superficial choice (once you consider the safety measures, we spoke about in section 4), so you are more than free to have fun with it!
Size is not everything, and this also goes for Steampunk glasses. It’s really a personal choice, and this goes for the lenses, the frame, temples and rims. Your face shape also plays a role here, as the size changes according to the face shape of the user (and it lets you enhance different features). Of course, these are just suggestions, and not something to be taken a strict rule.
The most common sets of sunglasses combine two or three colours, though there are also monochromatic pairs (if you want to go way too hard with a ‘one-colour’ aesthetic). Sunglasses don’t escape your typical Steampunk visuals: bronze, silver, brown, which means that it’ll be very easy for you to find a combination to match with your desired outfit. There are also neon-coloured sunglasses, which you can use if you want to go for a Cyberpunk aesthetic with your look.
You can find rectangular, triangular, circular or elliptic lenses. It’s not uncommon to find strange geometrical shapes among Steampunk cosplayers, and you can also commission them particularly if you want to. Many Steampunk sunglasses also have a most heterogeneous look, which is fantastic if you aim to look ‘not-normal’ with them. You may consider your face shape here too, as well as the size, if you want to base your decision in the most common fashion suggestions.
⦁ Do we need complex sunglasses?
Not necessarily. Remember that sunglasses are an accessory, and thus, this doesn’t mean that they have to be a very complicated piece to join your look. Some people use sunglasses as a focal point in their cosplays, for example; but not all of them. Your sunglasses can be small and almost invisible and still serve you well. Not everything Steampunk has to be ‘very obviously’ Steampunk.
⦁ Which sunglasses are the most accurate for your face shape?
As we have mentioned before, face shape is important if you want to stick to fashion standards and suggestions. If you have a wide face, you may need bigger glasses. The opposite happens with people with smaller face shapes. The most important point here is, however, that there’s always something comfortable out there that would fit your needs. Here we will explain ourselves way better:
⦁ Heart Face Shape
If your face resembles the shape of a heart (wide forehead, narrow and slightly pointy chin) the best choices for you are among wider frames for your sunglasses. However, try to avoid giant or very exaggerated details on the top part of the frame. To bring more symmetry, you can opt for sunglasses, which accentuate the lower half of your face, such as rectangular sunglasses.
⦁ Round Face Shape
If you have a round face (forehead, chin and cheeks are rather symmetric), you would have to opt for sunglasses that would enhance your facial features a little bit. Here, we strongly recommend you rectangular sunglasses, but remember to avoid rounded sunglasses. You can opt for a large frame. An amazing aesthetic that fits this description would be motorcycle sunglasses.
⦁ Square Face Shape
If you have a square face (wide forehead, angular chin) you would be very flattered if you wear thin frames, with small and round sunglasses. You can also opt for flip-ups if that’s your thing.
Avoid rectangular shapes (so you don’t enhance the angular features) and metallic colours. Pastel colours are your soft friends here.
⦁ Oval Face Shape
If you are among sunglasses’ users with oval face shapes can experiment with different shapes, sizes and colours. The balanced facial features let you try simple sunglasses or those with highly-crafted details.
⦁ What sunglasses’ shapes do you have as options?
Of course, there are many shapes and forms of sunglasses that you can choose from. There are endless options, so here we will highlight the ones that, for us, are worth enough of a mention in this section (and that are not repeated in other sections).
⦁ Steampunk hexagonal sunglasses
These hexagonal shapes are infrequent, though not as rare as the cat eye ones that we will talk about below. This is a great alternative to rectangular or round shapes, but they can be worn in all environments without weirding out people too much. To sum up, you will look common, but not too common.
⦁ Steampunk oval sunglasses
Oval sunglasses are a very common type, alongside rectangular ones. These are perfect for those that want to be subtle with their metallic rims but still want to show off some class.
⦁ Steampunk sunglasses round metal
This type of sunglasses is very good for cosplays, as they are very similar to goggles due to the (metallic) padding and the tinted lenses. However, you have to consider that these might be heavier than other types.
⦁ Steampunk sunglasses circle
Another unusual-but-not-so-unusual shape of sunglasses. Many musicians use this type of sunglasses, obviously because of the John Lennon inspiration. However, many people just like the shape and give these sunglasses a try.
⦁ Steampunk sunglasses cat eye
This is one of the most uncommon sorts of shapes in sunglasses, but don’t let that discourage you: people that go with the weirdest shapes usually really make a point. If you consider yourself a fashionable person and like to take risks, you should try this shape once or twice and see if it really fits you.
⦁ What are your options of Steampunk sunglasses to choose from, then?
If you have already understood the main points about choosing your Steampunk sunglasses but you are still unsure about what to buy, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here we will show you plenty of examples of different styles and categories, separated in three different sets of sunglasses (read from the left column to the right column):
⦁ steampunk sunglasses rainbow
⦁ steampunk sunglasses square
⦁ steampunk sunglasses side shields
⦁ sunglasses steampunk shields
⦁ steampunk sunglasses mask
⦁ steampunk motorcycle sunglasses
⦁ steampunk sunglasses tony stark
⦁ steampunk tortoise sunglasses
⦁ steampunk sunglasses vintage retro
⦁ steampunk sunglasses welding
⦁ steampunk sunglasses red lens
⦁ steampunk mirror lenses sunglasses
⦁ steampunk gothic sunglasses
⦁ steampunk glacier sunglasses
⦁ steampunk sunglasses leather
⦁ steampunk flip sunglasses
⦁ steampunk sunglasses Egypt
⦁ steampunk chrome sunglasses
⦁ Extra: Pros and cons of Steampunk sunglasses with Ribbons
⦁ If you are into pastel aesthetics, this is a great choice for you
⦁ Absolutely wearable on cosplay events
⦁ Not a very common choice: you’d definitely stand out
⦁ They are not the best choice for casual-wear attires
⦁ If you don’t like standing out, you better avoid them
⦁ Only compatible with pastel aesthetic (there are not a lot of goth-inclined options with ribbons)
⦁ Most popular Steampunk brands
Of course, the Steampunk community has its go-to brands when it comes to choose any accessory that’s common on it, and sunglasses are not the exception. Even if a lot of Steampunk crafters make their own types of sunglasses, there are plenty of people that prefer buying them directly from your typical sunglasses-makers.
Here are the most known names:
⦁ Kingseven Steampunk sunglasses
⦁ Ray Ban Steampunk sunglasses
⦁ Carrera Steampunk sunglasses
⦁ Magnoli Clothiers Steampunk sunglasses
⦁ Popular Steampunk Personas who wear sunglasses
As we have discussed in other articles, all our accessories can be seen in different Steampunk personas that you may want to adopt. Sunglasses are definitely not the exception. Here we will show you a few examples that you’d like to imitate or use as inspiration:
⦁ ‘Roaring 20s’ Steampunk Lady:
⦁ Steampunk male engineer:
⦁ Steampunk female explorer:
⦁ Steampunk sunglasses in movies
⦁ Robert Downey Jr. has rocked some beautiful red-tinted sunglasses that fit very well within the Steampunk/Cyberpunk aesthetic.
This caption is from the Civil War (2016) movie, which is one of the most beloved ones in the MCU. It honestly looks fantastic on him.
⦁ Another brilliant use of Steampunk sunglasses is the one featuring Johnny Depp in Sleepy Hollow, a beautiful movie for those gothic fans out there.
Professor Ichabod Crane a perfectly cosplayable character and all the extra gear and lenses that surround the main ones (including the incorporated magnifying glass) look brilliant in this movie as well. Of course, this would be very hard to wear in your everyday life, but honestly, who cares? It looks really cool.
⦁ Gary Oldman’s Dracula doesn’t need any introduction.
This movie is not just a banger in classic horror movies, but also features a lot of Steampunk elements that many people would love to wear. His Dracula look says everything: top hat, gentleman’s coat, shirt with a high neck, and, of course: blue-tinted sunglasses that fit very well into the Steampunk aesthetic.
So, did you enjoy our article? Sunglasses require a lot of investigation from your side because of all the options and extras that you can acquire. There are infinite options to pick from your Steampunk sunglasses and wear them however you would like. Their versatility and aesthetic variety allow you to choose the best pair for you and your preferred look. As sunglasses can be a bit pricey, you should definitely do a lot of research until you find the ones that you want the most. Take your time and, most importantly, have fun while doing it!