When it comes to style, sunglasses are regularly defined as the epitome of cool. They’re so accepted as a form of expressing this persona, that they’ve been incorporated into American street slang. Hip style of sunglasses have come to be known as shades, lokes, and hater-blockers. One of the most recognizable accessories that symbolize and exude this connotation of coolness are a pair of Elvis Glasses.
Elvis Presley, dubbed as the King of Rock and Roll, portrayed a Majestic style few could ever pull off. Many other successive musicians, and impersonators, have emulated him and the ways he dressed. Certain aspects of Presley’s unique style are still relevant today; especially his sunglasses.
Replicas are still extremely poplar. Many celebrities of the modern era can still be seen with a pair or influenced form of the various styles of his sun glass line-up. This is one way that shows not only Presley’s musical, but his cultural contributions as well.
Many movies, including True Romance, Megamind, and Bubba Ho-Tep, channel Elvis Presley’s sun glass style and spirit. Christian Slater, Brad Pitt, and Bruce Campbell represent the King of Rock and Roll with high regard in these films. The sunglasses play an important part in each of their character roles.
Few would argue of the grandiose effect Elvis Presley had on the American culture. Legends tend to conquer the test of time; especially when they’re labeled a King. Even though not all may be able to pull off wearing them, having a pair of Elvis Glasses may never go out of style.
History Of Elvis’s Sunglasses
Elvis’s style started off hip, yet modest. But his moves were considered ‘hot fire’ and over the top to the older generation of his time. As his career, music, and popularity progressed, his moves would be matched with an over the top style. The harsh judgment didn’t slow him or his popularity down in anything he did.
Transforming from a clean-cut image to a gaudy stage presence, one of the most closely associated swag accessories with Elvis were his iconic sunglasses. The most recognized model of sunglasses was the Nautic 14K Gold. The distinct style influenced generations of Rock and Roll musicians and fans.
What may be even considered an accident in trend setting, Elvis was practically forced to wear shades on stage. In the late ’60s, he started to develop glaucoma. Strong lighting amplifies the effects of this eye affliction. Being that Elvis was a super star and under bright stage and spotlights, he needed to combat the powerful illumination that his career and surroundings brought upon him.
The most convenient fix of course was to wear a pair of sunglasses. These events had him wearing shades a lot more often. This was no handicap for Elvis; as it only added to his overall look. According to Priscilla Presley in an interview in 2014 during the making of the book, Shades of Elvis, his gold framed shades were purchased in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard.
He would end up getting them custom-made with the letters TBC (Taking Care of Business) along the temples and his E.P. initials embedded above the nose-bridge of the glasses. They’re what are mostly thought of when someone mentions, “Elvis Glasses.”
What They Express
There are various reasons why people still buy Elvis Glasses. Their popularity reasons may vary, but have never become irrelevant. Today, a pair of Elvis Glasses can still exude coolness; if even in an ironic way to the wearer.
Very popular around Halloween, a cheap pair of the specs are usually purchased to supplement an Elvis costume. People that take on an Elvis role include the legend’s admirers, long-time fans, and fun-going holiday celebrators.
To the more serious wearer and stylish adventurer, the shades display a sense of freedom, independence, confidence, and a rock and roll attitude. They are a welcomed accessory to both the fashion savvy and Elvis memorabilia collectors.
One thing they express instantly, regardless of what fashion they’re worn, is recognition of ‘The King’.
What is hip may vary from person to person and generation to generation. But what the sun glasses ultimately represent is a true ability to be yourself. Putting on a pair can instantly make you the life of the party!
How many people have you personally known to have worn a pair of these iconic sunglasses in one way or the other?
A Modern Take
Black Flys King Fly are an Elvis-style pair of sunglasses that were worn by the late Bradley Nowell of the band Sublime.
These retro classic aviators mimic the essence and style of Elvis Presley. Fans of both the musicians can purchase these shades and represent two generations of talented artists in one piece of eye wear. They are available in Shiny Chrome with Smoked Grey Lenses and Black with Smoke Lens.
Size: ONE SIZE (oversize lenses)
62mm-18mm-132mm, 5.75″ Width, 2.15″ Height, 5.15″ Temple
Polycarbonate Lens Optically Correct and Maximum Precision for Long Term Comfort Reading. UV400 :100% UVA and UVB for Your Eye Protection lens.
Special Feature: Some models available with Polarized Lenses and all come with a case.
Price: $78.56 – $110.00
The vintage style Black Fly King Fly Elvis Glasses are still cool today. Elvis fans who buy into any resemblance or style would be happy with these. Just expect that the lenses are going to be larger than average.
I would personally ORDER THE KING FLYS if they were smaller and didn’t take up my whole face. My itching sunglass-fetish feels disappointed by this. So if you have a smaller face they may not portray the look you’re hoping for. For those with a larger face and attitude, feel free to rock on with these cool hater-blockers!
*I suspect that the dark grey metallic looking frames (pictured above to the far left) are most likely a result of lighting effects and not the actual color. They are both labeled as Shiny Chrome. The buyer should be aware of this strong possibility!
I have affiliate links to purchase the sunglasses that may result in me getting a small commission. This does not change the price of the product in any way.
Thank you, thank you very much!
– Mark G