Sunglasses Icon: John Lennon

You don't have to be a rock star to pull these shades off, but it certainly helps.

From music to activism, John Lennon was an icon in many ways. But, today we won’t be discussing the merits of Sgt. Peppers over Revolver, or how he used his role as a global star to strive for peace. Rather, we’ll explore his impact on the world of sunglasses.

What are John Lennon Style Sunglasses?

John Lennon’s sunglasses of choice was a style of round glasses called the tea shade. In these glasses, all parts of the frame including the bridge, temples, and rims are made out of thin metal.

If you have even the slightest idea about who John Lennon is, you likely know what this frame looks like. You can see the style we are talking about in many of the music videos to his most popular songs, including mega-hit Imagine and Mind Games.

One of the main ways these glasses stand out is that in many styles the hinges come out of the mid-section of the lenses. This gives them a very unique fit. Also, the frame of this style of glasses is generally smaller than other popular styles such as aviators or wayfarers.

John Lennon has been pictured wearing his trademark frames with a variety of lens colors. In fact, he even wore them as regular glasses. However, the most iconic color is probably ones with an orange-tint. Modern variants of these shades come with a whole range of colored lenses.

Lennon also wore the style as regular glasses. According to The Beatles Bible, he began wearing the glasses after receiving a role in a Richard Lester movie called “How I Won the War.” For the role, he was required to not only cut off his trademark long hair, but also wear what would soon become his iconic glasses.

John Lennon Glasses Brand

For those after a true piece of memorabilia, John Lennon glasses appear on auction every few years. Unfortunately, it’ll cost you a pretty penny if you want to buy them.

Luckily for those who don’t have a few million dollars lying around, plenty of brands make excellent versions of the sunglasses. Here are some of our favorites.

Ray-Ban John Lennon Sunglasses

John Lennon Style Ray-Ban Sunglasses

Ray-Ban’s oval flat lens glasses are available in six colors, including ones with John Lennon’s trademark brown/orange tint. these are probably the glasses most similar to the ones Lennon wears in the video for “Imagine.” The glasses have a thin metal frame and are available in a great selection of sizes.

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Cubitts Guilford John Lennon Sunglasses

Cubbit's Guilford John Lennon Sunglasses

Cubitts Guilford sunglasses have a beautiful gold frame and green-tinted lenses. The nose arch is lower down than on the Ray-Ban’s which gives them a modern look.

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Spitfire John Lennon Sunglasses


Spitfire do a good range of well-priced sunglasses with designs that stand out. Their round-frame collection includes both regular john Lennon style frames, as well as ones with thicker acetate/plastic frames and clip-on designs. The glasses pictures above are the Lennon Clip frames.

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Oliver Peoples John Lennon Sunglasses

Oliver Peoples’s The Row After Midnight is a really nice looking round frame available in three different colors. The glasses are made from titanium and have a pattern engraved on the bridge and temple. Those who like the round shape but are looking for something a little different should also check out the Kosa frames, which have a similar look to The Row After Midnight but are instead made from thin acetate.

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