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Private Eyes: Vintage Sport Shades


In our all consuming quest to keep you looking your nattiest, it’s once again time for our monthly look at your face. Or at least the glasses sitting on it. With the help of our good friends Jordan and Erik from Silver Lining Opticians—our vote for the best specs shop in all the land—we’re going to bring you the vintage shades you should be wearing, one category at a time. And if something catches your eye, just shoot Silver Lining an email and they’ll set you up.

Whether they were skiing in the Alps with a pack of wild bunnies or playing a few sets of tennis with unthinkably small rackets, the athletes of the 70s lived it up pretty thoroughly, and they looked damn good doing it. Their gear can be hard to come by nowadays, but not if you’ve got a few friends in the business…

Ladies and Gentlemen, the best of vintage sport shades:


Boris Becker *Sport:* Tennis *Secret Weapon:* Two interchangeable lenses let you adjust from drizzly Wimbledons to blinding Australian Opens. *Inspiration:* A young, impetuous Boris Becker


Boris Becker Shield *Sport:* Doubles Tennis *Secret Weapon:* A solid polycarbonate frame can deflect a few serves without shattering. *Inspiration:* A slightly older, less impetuous Boris Becker


Bjorn Borg *Sport:* Table Tennis *Secret Weapon:* The old-timey shape and adjustable temples transform almost anyone into an icy Swede. *Inspiration:* Oddly enough, John McEnroe


Ray-Ban Chromx Driving Aviator *Sport:* F1 Racing *Secret Weapon:* A special Chromax driving lens slotted into an aviator frame makes these some of the stealthiest sport lenses on the market. *Inspiration:* Chuck Yeager


Serengeti Driver *Sport:* Competitive Road Tripping *Secret Weapon:* The Corning glass lenses darken in stronger sunlight, allowing you to literally ride off into the sunset. *Inspiration:* Vanishing Point


Ray-Ban Olympian I *Sport:* Breaking the Discus World Record *Secret Weapon:* The gold brow bar gives you a focused, stoic expression. *Inspiration:* Carl Lewis


Dior Monsieur *Sport:* Owning Football Teams *Secret Weapon:* Thick temples and non-existent tops. *Inspiration:* Al Davis


Boeing by Carrera 5701 *Sport:* Whatever Top Gun counts as *Secret Weapon:* The center bridge doubles as a bottle opener. *Inspiration:* Robert Evans


Alitalia *Sport:* Slalom *Secret Weapon:* Made for the Italian Olympic team before the ’84 games, this pair sports a removable lens mechanism on the bridge, along with some of the boxiest acetates this side of Switzerland. *Inspiration:* Alberto Tomba and ski jumpers the world over


Bausch & Lomb Wings *Sport:* Dance-Offs *Secret Weapon:* The monolithic look is about ready for a comeback… *Inspiration:* An anonymous villain in Beverly Hills Cop 2