20% OFF frame & lenses!

Jackie O Sunglasses: How She Changed Fashion History

Updated: 19 May 2024 •  
share via facebook share via twitter share via linkedin share via email

Socialite, writer, photographer, editor and former First Lady – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has worn many hats.
Throughout her career, Jackie O captivated the world with her intelligence, grace, and timeless style. She certainly made history in several fields – from the famous White House restoration, to popularizing some of the biggest fashion trends in the 60s and 70s.
And, of course, who can forget the era-defining Jackie O sunglasses!
Read on to revisit some of her most historic moments, and perhaps take a few cues from the icon herself.

Jackie O’s influence

jackie o giving tour in the renovated white house

Jackie O gives a tour of the newly renovated White House. Source: Chic and Petite

Prior to becoming Mrs. Kennedy, Jackie O had already (quite literally) been making headlines as a reporter and photographer. She covered plenty of important stories during this period of her life, with some of her most notable ones being Queen Elizabeth’s coronation as well as an interview with her soon-to-be husband, JFK.
With a profound love for the arts and a deep sense of obligation to her country, the young and devoted First Lady set out to restore the White House to an establishment that accurately reflected America’s history.
Her work naturally gained the admiration of the nation, and at the same time, citizens also began to look forward to what the First Lady would do next and what she’d be wearing.

Jackie O’s timeless style

jackie o wearing a pair of sunglasses in a dress

Jackie impeccably styles a shift dress with a head scarf, white gloves, and her signature sunglasses. Source: Pinterest

Jackie’s refined taste also translated to her sense of style, making her a consistent source of fashion inspiration for 21st century first ladies, celebrities, and designers alike.
The two piece Chanel sets, pillbox hats and shift dresses she wore during her stay in the White House mirrored her regal aura perfectly, while her casual yet polished ensembles during her days as a book editor still look incredibly chic when worn at present day.
But out of all her exciting looks, no garment or accessory will ever be as iconic or synonymous to Jackie O as her oversized sunglasses.

Jackie O’s sunglasses – an iconic look

jackie o in sunglasses during a tennis tournament

A photograph of Jackie O during the 7th Annual RFK Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament. Source: Pinterest

Jackie always gravitated towards classic silhouettes and effortless styles, but the former First Lady never shied away from a statement accessory.
She particularly loved to wear large sunglasses, and was said to have kept several in a bowl by the front door ready for her to pick up before heading out.
It was also revealed that she started wearing them thanks to writer Gore Vidal, who told her that they were ‘not only useful for hiding under but also for studying people without their realizing it.’
jackie o wearing a pair of oversized geometric sunglasses

Jackie O epitomizes 70s style in a camel coat, neck scarf, and bold hexagon sunglasses. Source: Pinterest

She sported shades made by designers with the likes of Nina Ricci, Traction, and François Pinton, with the latter designing several pairs for Jackie and her second husband Aristotle Onassis.
jackie o wearing the jacky 2 sunglasses

Jackie O wears her Jacky 2 sunglasses while husband Aristotle Onassis dons his bespoke Onao eyeglasses. Source: InStyle

One of his most popular sunglasses, aptly named the Jacky 1, features a classic oval shape and their signature wide hand-bent end pieces, while his other 2 pairs, the Jacky 2 and Jacky 3, present oversized round and ovalish-round shapes respectively. They each came in a variety of colorways that the former First Lady enjoyed, flawlessly embodying her distinguished sense of style.
Jackie’s sunglass collection came in several silhouettes from round, square, to a bold hexagon shape, but all of them had a distinctive bridge that gently swooped up her nose bridge, always giving off a graceful and feminine look despite their large size.

Why we love wearing oversized sunglasses

Aside from giving you major style mileage, oversized sunglasses are also very practical, as they offer more protection against the sun’s harmful rays compared to regular sized frames.
Moreover, given that they provide more coverage, they’ll also be your best friend for those no-makeup days or when you need to be out of the door in a snap.

Can I pull off jackie o sunglasses?

Oversized glasses are a universal accessory that exudes glamour and mystery at the same time—that is, when done right. While everyone can definitely rock oversized sunglasses, the wrong pair may cause unwanted attention and physical discomfort, especially if you’ll be out and about for long hours.
Just like a pair of eyeglasses, your ideal oversized sunglasses are highly personal and will depend on your facial features and individual style.

Finding the right kind of oversized sunglasses

For starters, the perfect pair of oversized sunglasses should sit comfortably on your face regardless of facial expression. If you notice that the frames touch your cheeks or lift off your nose when you smile, then it’s a sign that you’ve got the wrong size. And for individuals with faces on the petite side, we recommend choosing a pair that lets your eyebrows peek through to avoid the dreaded bug-eyed effect.
Apart from overall size, another thing to pay attention to would be your face shape. As with any type of eyewear, a great pair of sunglasses should complement your features, and not overpower or work against them.
Individuals with diamond, heart or square face shapes can opt for sunglasses with curved edges to soften their angular features, while those with round face shapes can count on square, cat eye, and geometric styles to add definition and contrast. But if you have an oval face shape, you’re in luck! Thanks to your symmetrical features, you can more or less pick out any pair you want. Just be sure that the frames aren’t too wide, as this may disrupt the natural balance of your oval face.
Frame material is another important factor, especially for sunglasses that are on the bigger side. With this in mind, definitely avoid heavier metals and plastics, and stick to lighter materials such as acetate, titanium and stainless steel. Trust us, the last thing you need is a pair that could give you a headache on a hot summer day.

How to style oversized eyewear

Once you’ve decided on an oversized pair, you’ll want to style them accordingly to make the most out of your new shades. While they do generally go with everything, some things to be cautious of would be pairing them with one too many accessories.
For example, donning a pair of oversized frames, a wide brimmed hat, and a thick scarf at the same time may overcrowd your face and draw attention away from your best features.
Similarly, while wearing oversized sunglasses, it’s probably best to steer clear of clothing items that may compete for attention, such as oversized sweaters and other large, statement silhouettes.
Oversized sunglasses come in a variety of patterns and colors to choose from, making shopping for this statement accessory that much more fun. If modern retro is what you seek, black will always be a sophisticated choice, while lighter neutrals like browns and tortoiseshell frames offer a softer look overall.
nori square tortoise front view

Mouqy’s oversized Nori eyeglasses.

Alternatively, if you’re one to go all out in the accessory department, you can opt for vibrant hues and quirky patterns to show off that bright personality of yours.
joyful cat eye red front view

Our stylish oversized Joyful frames.


Celebs who love oversized sunglasses

Need some inspiration? Check out how these stars wear the larger-than-life frames.

1. Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie wearing a pair of sunglasses while visiting the louvre museum

Angelina Jolie visits the Louvre Museum in Paris with her kids. Source: Pinterest

Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie shows off her flawless Parisian style in a pair of gradient Fendi sunglasses. As the French would say: très chic!

2. Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid

kendall jenner and gigi hadid wearing oversized sunglasses

Kendall and Gigi backstage at Fendi’s S/S 2020 Fashion Show during Milan Fashion Week. Source: Pinterest

Model BFFs Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid served retro chic looks while twinning in oversized tortoiseshell frames. We’re sure Jackie O would have copped a couple of pairs for herself had she been born in the 21st century.

3. BTS’ V

V from BTS wearing a pair of sunglasses in the dynamite music video

BTS’ V playfully smirks at the camera at the end of their ‘Dynamite’ music video. Source: HYPE LABELS

Cool shade stunner V definitely knows a thing or two about accessorizing, and throws on an oversized pair of sunglasses to complete his trendy blue ensemble.

Allysa Gatchalian
Allysa Gatchalian is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle writer based in Manila. She loves trying out new trends, discovering new k-dramas to watch, and sharing her favorite finds with friends.

Jackie O Inspired Frames