From the late 60s until his death in 1980, John Lennon famously wore wire rim round glasses — glasses that are so closely associated with him that the majority of people simply know them as “John Lennon glasses.”
The glasses John Lennon wore, which have wire-rimmed, round lenses, are actually known as Windsor glasses. They get their name from the 19th century British company that first invented them. First made in the early 19th century, they became extremely popular in the 1880s.
Dig through a history book and you’ll find examples of various late-19th and early-20th century figures wearing Windsor glasses, including Theodore Roosevelt. The glasses gradually became less popular in the early 20th century, when they almost completely disappeared from use.
In the 1960s, Windsor glasses made a comeback, this time known as “tea shades” due to their tinted, tea-colored lenses. John Lennon started wearing them in the mid-1960s, purportedly due to their long arms that extend around the ears, keeping the glasses very still and secure.
Today, a variety of companies make sunglasses in the same style as the frames John Lennon famously wore in the 1960s and 70s. Below, we’ve listed what we think are the five best John Lennon sunglasses currently on the market today.
All of our recommendations are available from Amazon.com, making it easy to add them to your wardrobe. You can scroll further down the page to read our full reviews of each pair, or use any of the quick links below to jump directly to our recommended sunglasses on Amazon:
- If you have a limited budget, we recommend the Ronsou Lennon Style Vintage Round Polarized Sunglasses, which look very similar to the sunglasses John Lennon wore but don’t come with the premium price tag.
- If you want larger lenses, we recommend the Menton Ezil Lennon Style Polarized Circle Sunglasses, which measure 46mm instead of the 45mm lenses used in the Ronsou sunglasses.
- If you’re looking for a higher quality pair of sunglasses that more closely match the pair John Lennon wore, we recommend the Ray Ban RB3447 Round Metal Sunglasses, which are made in Italy using high quality materials.
- If you have a slim face and think the 50mm RB3447 sunglasses are too wide for you, we recommend the Ray Ban ORB3447 Round Metal Sunglasses, which use 47mm lenses and are better suited to women and men with a slim facial shape.
The Best John Lennon Sunglasses for $49 or Less
Search on Amazon and you’ll find a lot of John Lennon-inspired sunglasses that sell for $6, $10 or other incredibly low prices. As a general rule, these sunglasses aren’t worth buying. They use poor quality materials and often have plastic lenses that will reflect back into your eyes.
We’ve found that the best Lennon-style sunglasses start from around $15. For this price, you’re not going to get outstanding quality, but you will get a reasonably good pair of sunglasses that will last for at least a year, provided you take good care of them.
Ronsou Lennon Style Vintage Round Polarized Sunglasses
The Ronsou Lennon Style Vintage Round Polarized Sunglasses are available for less than $20 from Amazon. Despite their low price, these are surprisingly good quality glasses that perform much better than the majority of ultra-budget shades on the market.
These sunglasses have metal frames and composite, polarized lenses. They’re available in a huge range of lens and frame colors, from black with gray lenses to silver with light blue, blue and yellow, green and blue, plus a range of other color options.
The huge variety of frame and color options make these glasses a good choice if you want to match them to the rest of your accessories.
At 45 millimeters, these sunglasses have relatively small lenses that are best suited for people with thin faces. This makes them close to the glasses that John Lennon wore in the 1960s, but also means they not provide complete coverage for people with large, wide faces.
If you already own several pairs of sunglasses, it’s best to check their lens size before ordering these. If you fit a 47-49mm lens for most sports or classic sunglasses, these will probably fit you well. If not, they’re always easy to return via Amazon.
For less than $20, the Ronsou Lennon Style Vintage Round Polarized Sunglasses deliver great value for money. If you want some classic 60s-style teashades on a budget (or, if you select the gray/gray frames and lenses, some Ozzy-style sunglasses) these are the ones to choose.
Menton Ezil Lennon Style Polarized Circle Sunglasses
At 46 millimeters, the lenses on the Menton Ezil Lennon Style Polarized Circle Sunglasses are ever so slightly bigger than the Ronsou sunglasses. They’re also available in three colors, from the usual black to blue and green mirrored lenses.
From a design perspective, these sunglasses are much the same as the Ronsou shades. They have the classic teashades design, with circular lenses and wire frames that wrap around each lens. The frames are thin, light and very comfortable to wear, even for several hours at once.
The biggest difference between these sunglasses and the Ronsou sunglasses, other than size, is the color. These sunglasses are available with black, blue and green lenses, as well as gold tone frames that stand out nicely from the usual black, brown and silver sunglasses.
Menton Ezil fits these sunglasses with spring hinges, allowing them to adjust to your face’s shape and width without any wear or damage. They also have reinforced front hinges, which improve their durability and prevent them from breaking if lightly bent or dropped.
The one downside of these sunglasses is that the thin, lightweight frames can bend fairly easily if you apply too much force. Treat these sunglasses gently and there’s very little risk of this ever happening — if it does, it’s easily reversed by bending them back.
For just under $15 a pair, the Menton Ezil Lennon Style Sunglasses are easily the cheapest option on our list. Although they don’t quite reach brand name standards of quality, these are high quality glasses that are definitely worth their low retail price.
The Best John Lennon Sunglasses for $50 to $150
Brands like Ray-Ban have made teashades for years, making them a great choice if you want a pair of John Lennon sunglasses from an established company. Since these are Italian glasses, they have a significantly higher build quality than the cheaper Chinese-made options above.
We’ve listed two different products below, both of which are variations of Ray-Bay’s ORB3447 sunglasses. The first are larger sunglasses suitable for wide faces, while the second share the same design but use smaller lenses to suit slimmer faces.
Ray-Ban RB3447 Round Metal Sunglasses
The Ray-Ban RB3447 Sunglasses are Ray-Ban’s take on classic teashades. Instead of having a perfectly round shape, they’re slightly flattened on the top, with an oval-like shape that’s different from most other 1960s-inspired sunglasses.
As you’d expect from Ray-Ban, these are high quality sunglasses. The frames are completely metal, with a choice of color options. We like the Arista version of these sunglasses, which are gold with dark green lenses, although the black and silver frames are also very impressive.
These frames measure 50mm across each lens, making them fairly large. If you have a wide face, you’ll find that they fit fairly comfortably. If you’re not sure which size to order, it’s best to either try these on, or to compare them to similar Ray-BAn sunglasses like Clubmasters.
Compared to the cheaper sunglasses we reviewed above, the RB3447 sunglasses feel much sturdier and more durable. We get the sense that if we dropped them or accidentally left them near the bottom of a backpack, they wouldn’t take any significant damage.
These sunglasses also have much clearer lenses than the cheaper alternatives above, which means you’ll find it easier to see out of them in dark weather. If you want a pair of sunglasses that you can wear every day, it’s worth spending the extra cash for the real Ray-Bans.
Priced from $95 to $200 depending on the lens and frame combination, these sunglasses aren’t cheap. However, they do an excellent job of combining Lennon-inspired looks with durable, high quality materials that will last for years of regular use.
Ray-Ban ORB3447 Round Metal Sunglasses
The Ray Ban ORB3447 Round Metal Sunglasses are Ray-Ban’s original teashade sunglasses, with smaller frames than the new RB3447 sunglasses above. These sunglasses are ideal if you want the classic teashades look but have a slim face that doesn’t the RB3447s.
At 47 millimeters, the lenses in the ORB3447 sunglasses are three millimeters smaller than the RB3447s. While this doesn’t sound like much of a difference, it’s easily noticeable once they’re on your face.
As a general rule, we recommend the ORB3447s over the RB3447s if you’re relatively slim, or if you simply don’t like the look of large, oversized sunglasses. These sunglasses have look much more like the classic 60s and 70s teashades than the larger RB3447s.
Ray-Ban makes the ORB3447 sunglasses in two colors. The regular Arista sunglasses feature a gold tone metallic frame material and dark green lenses, while the matte gunmetal version uses brushed steel with similar crystal green lenses.
Overall, these sunglasses are a good alternative to the RB3447s for people that don’t want the modern, oversized sunglasses look. Available for just over $100, they’re priced similarly to other Ray-Ban sunglasses and offer a great mix of build quality and classic 1960s styling.
John Lennon Sunglasses: Quick Recap
All of the sunglasses we’ve listed above will give you the classic 1960s and 70s look that John Lennon is famous for. If you need the sunglasses for a costume or once-in-a-while use, both of the cheap options listed in the sub-$50 category will meet your needs.
If you want to wear these sunglasses often, you’ll be much better off investing a little more into either of the Ray-Ban 3447 series sunglasses.
Do you have a pair of John Lennon glasses we didn’t list above? If you have a favorite pair of teashades that aren’t from any of the brands on our list, let us know the brand and model name so that we can add them to our “to review” list for future product roundups and buyer’s guides.