Sunglasses Inspiration From Downton Abbey

The series finale of Downton Abbey is here! As I struggle to come to terms with the end of this magnificent show, I decided to do a period drama fashion post on an accessory essential: sunglasses. As in my other Downton Abbey posts, there are no plot spoilers here, just stylish pictures!

I’ve never really thought of sunglasses as a period drama fashion staple. I mean, unless it’s set in the 40’s onward, sunglasses don’t seem to make much of an appearance, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see Lady Mary wearing some sleek shades in episode 7 of season 6. Sunglasses in the 20’s? Leave it to Lady Mary to be ahead of the fashion curve.

Lady Mary wearing sunglasses in Downton Abbey Season 6

Lady Mary is sporting round-frame sunglasses. Round frames are usually synonymous with 60’s hippie or mod style, so it was interesting to see a pair in Downton Abbey. Turns out, retro-style round sunglasses have been stylish since the 20’s, and the round sunglasses craze from the 60’s was actually borrowing from a 40 year old trend. The newest version of The Great Gatsby, for example, features some round-shaped sunnies.

Coincidentally, round-frame sunglasses are having a moment in the fashion world right now. It really is true that past trends always seem to come back in style. Celebs certainly seem to love round-shaped shades. Lady Mary would approve!

Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen: round sunglasses
Twinsies! (Via
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wearing round sunglasses
Sisters who shade together stay together.

If you want Lady Mary-inspired sunglasses, look for black, round shades that have thinner frames. Thick ones weren’t en vogue in the 20’s.

Lady Mary sunglasses: Downton Abbey series 6

Lady Mary from Downton Abbey with round-frame sunglasses
The number one thing you need to rock round-frame sunglasses? Attitude.

Get the Look:

Round sunglasses in black
Francesca’s Collections
Classic round sunglasses in black
Forever 21
Black matte frame round sunglasses
Forever 21
Highstreet sun collection the RB 4222: round sunglasses in black
Round metal sunglasses in black
Forever 21
Retro round frame sunglasses in black
Forever 21
Round metal frame sunglasses in black
Round steel frame sunglasses in black

CaptureAs Lady Mary proves, round shades aren’t just for hippie-inspired outifts. They can also be rather polished and sophisticated. Downton Abbey may be ending, but timeless style never does. After all, what goes around comes around, and that includes round sunglasses!

Do you like round sunglasses? What’s your favorite sunglasses shape?

Lady Mary with sunglasses: Downton Abbey

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14 thoughts on “Sunglasses Inspiration From Downton Abbey

    1. Oh yes, I knew that! I only stated that they’ve been stylish since the 20’s. They have been around since the Victorian era and actually earlier than that, but they didn’t start becoming “en vogue” until the 20’s. One of my favorite period dramas “From Hell” which is set in 1888 features a character wearing round sunglasses 🙂


  1. Round sunglasses always look so cute, but they never seem to work with my face shape. I like large, squarish sunglasses. Still, I never knew these were in during the 20s!


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