Jackie Kennedy was famous for her exquisite fashion sense. Key to this was her penchant for French haute couture, which featured clean-cut lines, block pastel colors, and elegant tailoring. But her accessories truly made her a fashion icon: specifically, her sunglasses.
Jackie Kennedy (later Jackie O) popularized oversized sunglasses decades before Posh Spice, and a bevy of movie stars and members of the glitterati adopted the style as their own.
What Sunglasses Did Jackie Kennedy Wear?
Jackie wore several different eyewear brands over the years, all in her favorite oversized style. Francois Pinton, Nina Ricci, Traction, and Maison Bonnet were some of the designers she patronized most often.
Although the oversized element always remained the same, typically large enough to totally cover her eyes and a significant portion of her face, the frame shape did alter. Jackie sometimes chose her signature sunglasses in round frames, other times oval or rectangular. She was even seen to sport hexagonal frames on occasion.
The most well-known of Jackie’s shades are probably the round butterfly sunglasses, designed by French eyewear aficionado Francois Pinton in the late 1960s. These shades incorporated an elegant saddle bridge, which helped make the shape of the extra-large frames extremely flattering. These sunglasses were available from the designer with frames in either tortoiseshell or black, and Jackie was a fan of both options.
Nina Ricci 3203
One of Jackie Kennedy’s favorite sunglasses, this design was notably worn by the First Lady at the 1978 Robert F. Kennedy Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament. In 2010 the designer re-released replicas of the famous sunglasses, available in six colors, as the ‘Jackie O’ collection.
Francois Pinton Spa 2
Another pair loved by Jackie from the luxury French eyewear brand Francois Pinton, these shades feature black gradient lenses. Francois Pinton also designed sunglasses for Aristotle Onassis, Jackie’s second husband, in the late 1960s.
The Traction company has been producing high-end eyewear since the 1920s. Jackie visited the brand’s Paris shop in 1967, where she purchased several pairs of sunglasses, including the Traction P711 design. The brand still sells this extremely popular model today.
Tips for Wearing Jackie Kennedy Style Oversized Sunglasses
You may be surprised to learn that everyone can pull off the Jackie Kennedy oversized sunglasses look – as long as they choose the right design of oversized shades! Here are the essential tips for getting your perfect maxi eyewear look!
Keep them Off the Cheek
The bottom of the frames should not touch your cheek when you’re wearing a correctly-fitting pair of oversized sunglasses – even when you’re smiling widely. The rule of thumb is if they touch your cheek, they’re too big.
Eyebrows Should be Visible
Most people find that a pair of oversized shades that still leaves their eyebrows on display is the most flattering look.
The best sunglasses for you – whether oversized or otherwise – should frame your face beautifully. Check if the frames are wider than your face. If this is the case, then they’re too big.
The Comfort Test
However great a pair of oversized shades may look, if they’re too heavy, you’re not going to be able to wear them comfortably all day. When choosing a pair, it’s important not to sacrifice comfort for style. If they pinch or feel heavy after a few minutes, it’s unlikely you’re going to want to wear them for hours at a time.
The arms of the sunglasses should rest comfortably on your ears. If they don’t, the shades are likely too small for you.
Try the Smile Test
And finally, the smile test! Oversized glasses should fit securely on your face even when you change facial expression, so pop on the pair you’re considering, look in the mirror, and give yourself a big grin. If the shades noticeably rise up from the bridge of your nose, they’re not the right choice for you.
Choosing the Best Oversized Sunglasses for Your Face Shape
As a rule of thumb, the oversized frames that will suit you best are pairs that contrast with your face shape rather than match it.
Therefore, if you have a round face shape, opt for oversized sunglasses that incorporate angular frames, such as square and rectangle. Those with square faces tend to look best in oval and round-shaped frames – aviator styles can work particularly well.
Round oversized sunglasses and oversized aviator styles look fabulous on those with heart-shaped faces, and if you have a diamond-shaped face, you’ll likely look amazing wearing a pair of oversized cat’s eye shades.
And if you have an oval-shaped face? Lucky you! Most types of oversized frames will suit you beautifully, so have fun experimenting with several different styles.
Jackie Kennedy Style Oversized Sunglasses: The Takeaway
Anyone can wear oversized sunglasses in the style of Jackie Kennedy, providing individual face shape is taken into account, and time is given over to find a pair that fits well and doesn’t overwhelm the face. Use our hints and tips above to find your perfect oversized shades, and get set to step into summer Jackie O style!