There’s a reason costume designers get awards: From draping actors in couture dresses to designing superhero costumes, what someone wears in a movie can help create and inform who is a character. And it goes beyond a simple shirt or pants; it includes everything a character wears, from their jewelry to their shoes.
In fact, for some characters, their accessories become an integral and extremely recognizable part of who they are. They say the clothes make the man, but sometimes it’s not just the clothes, it’s the glasses.
ten Holly Golightly sunglasses
The first shots in Breakfast at Tiffany’s are iconic. Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly strolls through the streets of New York before landing nonchalantly in front of the iconic Tiffany’s building. She pauses, grabs a pastry and coffee from her to-go bag, and browses the windows – all while wearing some seriously spectacular sunglasses.
Designed by Oliver Goldsmith, the Manhattan sunglasses have become an instant classic. Since their famous debut, countless dupes have been created. But if you want the original, you can always buy your own pair from Goldsmith.
9 Men in black tones
Become a member of the men in black means giving up your personal identity. You give up your name, take an initial and donate a uniform: a black suit, white shirt and a pair of sunglasses. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were the first to don the now iconic uniform, and the series became one of the most successful and profitable of Smith’s career.
But sunglasses aren’t all about looks and anonymity. In fact, they perform a very useful function: protecting the MIB agents from the power of the Neurolyzer.
8 The Maverick Airmen
There are many things of Superior gun that had a huge cultural impact: Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, Maverick’s (Tom Cruise) beach volleyball and aviator sunglasses. Whether he was piloting a Grumman F-14 Tomcat or cruising around town on his Kawasaki Ninja, Maverick rarely traveled without his airmen.
And he wore those Ray-Ban classics for a reason. According to the BBC, Ray-Ban pioneered aviator sunglasses as early as the 1930s to help keep the sun out of pilots’ eyes. Expect to see them again in the next Top Gun: Maverick.
7 Harry Potter glasses
The Boy Who Lived has become a global icon, and there are few things better known than his fear of lightning and his round reading glasses. From his first screen appearance in Harry Potter at the Sorcerer’s Stone in his last moments Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry sports the same simple set of frames. They survive countless clashes with Voldemort, the Triwizard Tournament, and several Quidditch matches.
At this point the glasses are world famous and no Harry Potter costume would be complete without a pair.
6 Luna Lovegood spectral specifications
Harry Potter isn’t the only one in the series to wear a memorable pair of glasses. Luna Lovegood first appears in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He’s a delightfully eccentric character with an unwavering devotion to the extravagant wizarding tabloid. The Quibbler.
At first, she’s seen wearing a pair of Spectrespecs, a variety of magical goggles said to help wearers see Wrackspurts. Whether real or not, the glasses helped Luna find Harry under his invisibility cloak, and their eccentric design cemented the Spectrespecs in the history of movie glasses.
5 Morpheus sunglasses
1999 The matrix has become a huge part of pop culture and is often considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. While the films introduced a slew of characters that have remained popular to this day, few have had such a big impact as Morpheus – and his glasses.
One of Morpheus’ most memorable scenes is when he offers Neo a red and blue pill, each perfectly reflected in the lenses of his glasses. Perched delicately on her nose, this modern take on pince-nez glasses was instantly iconic.
4 Blues Brothers Travelers
Few people in life can go on a mission from God, and even fewer can do it singing blues hits and looking cool. But that’s exactly what brothers Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) do in The Blues Brothers. The two brothers cross the country wearing suits, hats and their iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarers.
It’s hard to beat a pair of Wayfarers, they were worn by Bob Dylan and Debbie Harry. The titular brothers and their glasses became instant icons.
3 Nick Fury eye patch
Smauel Jackson has starred in dozens of films and had many memorable roles throughout the year, but one of his best known is that of Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From his black leather trench coat to his eye patch, Fury has an impressive figure that’s incredibly intimidating – and he probably wants it that way.
While many questions remain about the elusive and mysterious Fury, one of the biggest questions has been answered in Captain Marvel: How did Fury lose his eye and get his famous eye patch? Surprisingly, an alien cat scratch.
2 Pola Debevoise’s glasses
The 1953 romantic comedy How to marry a millionaire is a star affair, but one of the most memorable things about the movie is Pola Debevoise’s (Marilyn Monroe) glasses. As the name suggests, the three protagonists try to find and marry their own millionaire. This includes Monroe’s Pola who, on the advice of Dorothy Parker in “News Item”, refuses to wear her glasses in front of men.
Luckily, in the end, she puts on her cute cat-eye style glasses just in time to captivate the rich man next to her. (And popularize the style for women.)
1 Clark Kent glasses
He’s a bird, he’s a plane, no, he’s just a guy wearing glasses. Are there glasses more famous than those of Clark Kent? From the pages of his early comics to his many on-screen portrayals, Kent has had a pair of glasses. In fact, they are imperative to maintaining one’s secret identity. It’s not until he takes them off that anyone realizes he’s actually Superman.
Whether it’s the DCEU’s Henry Cavill or Christopher Reeves in 1978 Superman — without a pair of thick-rimmed dark glasses, there’s no Clark Kent.
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