Nothing finishes an outfit quite like a pair of sunglasses! This simple touch adds mystery and elegance (and keeps your eyes safe from the sun). For a truly timeless feel, try a pair of vintage sunglasses.
Carrera is one of the biggest names in sunglasses, and a brand that’s become almost synonymous with quality eyewear.
Best known for their sporty aviators, Carrera sunglasses are practical and fashionable. Find some of the best Carrera vintage styles with this guide.
10 Beautiful Vintage Carrera Sunglasses
Created in collaboration with Porsche in the late 1970s, the Carrera 5631 aviators are a classic example of what Carrera does best. Slightly sporty and effortlessly cool, these glasses are a twist on the traditional aviator style.
The thin metallic frame of the glasses uses subtle sculpting, adding slightly stiffer edges to the normally smooth curves of the aviator.
With a brown frame that transitions to gold at the base, the Carrera 5631 frames look like they’re constantly catching the sunlight, even in the dark.
The classic aviator shape is still a staple of the Carrera line, which is part of the reason why these vintage sunglasses always look fresh.
Big, bold, and brash, the Porsche Design 5622 sunglasses by Carrera are everything we love about the 80s.
And if they seem a little familiar, it’s because these glasses were donned by one of the biggest stars of the 80s — Al Pacino, playing the titular role in Scarface.
The Carrera 5622 glasses aren’t designed to be subtle. These are glasses to be noticed in, while the large, dark lenses also shield your face from curious eyes.
Being almost all lens and no frame, these Porsche collaboration sunglasses play and bend the aviator style for a striking effect.
It’s hard to deny that Al Pacino looked pretty cool in his Scarface get up. For a more modern take on the look, try the 1014 glasses.
When Carrera partnered with Boeing at the end of the 1980s, you knew the collection would be pushing the boundaries of style.
These are pilot sunglasses with a difference, taking the classical aviator shape and adding metallic touches and a modern structured finish.
The Carrera 5701 glasses have that vintage/modern contrast that’s so popular in 80s clothing and accessories. They look like a historical vision of the future, particularly with the bold bridge between the nose.
If you’re looking for authenticity, make sure there’s Boeing branding on the lens! These sunglasses were made in limited amounts, so they’re pretty hard to come by.
Carrera still likes to play with the traditional aviator shape, even if they no longer partner with Boeing. The Carrera 237 sunglasses use similar shaping around the bridge, and modernize the classic Boeing look.
For a long time, aviators were seen as a working style of eyewear. With thin frames and a larger, curved lens, these glasses could fit under headgear and shield the entire eye.
The first aviators were designed for the US military, and the style became popular with men.
The Carrera style aviators were a little less practical than the standard aviators, using chunkier frames to add details.
Skirting the line between masculine and feminine, these sunglasses appealed to everyone, and broadened the perception of women’s eyewear.
Nowadays, aviators are seen as gender neutral. Sunglasses such as the Grand Prix range by Carrera use the sporty frame paired with interesting coloring to suit a range of people and styles.
The Sunjet 5273 range by Carrera brought together the forward-thinking styles of the 1990s with the classic features of the 1950s.
Featuring a thicker upper frame skirting the top of the lens, with bare sides and bases, they brought to mind the horn rimmed glasses that were made popular in the 50s by musicians such as Buddy Holly.
They looked vintage before they even were vintage!
The Sunjet range values style over practicality, and adds a rockabilly touch to any outfit. You can pair these glasses with casual jeans and a t-shirt for a 1980s look, or women can add a swing skirt to really lean into the retro fashion.
Carrera might not make the Sunjet range anymore, but they are still experimenting with shapes and colors, as well as classic sunglasses.
Perhaps best used on the ski slopes, the Carrera C80 sunglasses will still look amazing on the streets, at the beach, or anywhere the sun shines.
With a curving swoop to each lens, a thicker bridge, and exaggerated shaping, these glasses stood out when first created in the 90s, and still make a statement today.
There’s a touch of kitsch to the Carrera C80, particularly in the classic pink/violet coloring. You need confidence to pull these vintage sport glasses off, but if you’ve got it, you’ll want to flaunt it.
Modern designs, such as the Carrera TOPCAR, simplify the ski design, for a look that’s slightly more wearable.
Big frames and small frames tend to alternate in the world of fashion, and in the 90s, everyone wanted their sunglasses as tiny as possible.
Carrera were perhaps best known for their big ski goggles and bold aviators, but they transitioned smoothly into the little sunglasses world, adapting the Sunjet design to suit the style of the time.
The Sunjet glasses were typically seen as unisex, and they pushed the boundaries of men’s fashion. Featuring a burst of color on the upper rim, the Sunjet 5229 was playful, and didn’t take itself seriously.
As tiny frames make yet another fashion comeback, vintage Carrera Sunjet glasses should be styled with slip dresses and bomber jackets.
With the 90s trends constantly finding their way back into the mainstream, even recent Carrera designs like Ca167 echo the shapes of the time.
The Carrera 5565 C-Matic sunglasses have a stylish pedigree. They were once worn (and marketed) by Formula 1 racing sensation Nick Lauda. He liked them because of their color changing lenses, comfortable shape, and intricate detailing.
The 5595 sunglasses by Carrera are polished and precise. The larger aviator style lenses are surrounded by a delicate frame, with the gold detailing at the bridge providing a classic finish.
They might be menswear glasses, but the adaptable frame makes them a style that anyone can pull off.
Carrera sunglasses are still popular with the rich and famous, as well as the elite of the sporting world. Styles such as the Glory are perfect for the streets of Hollywood.
Wrap sunglasses fulfilled an important need in sportswear. The curving lenses and frame move around the sides of the head, which accomplishes two things.
First, it helps the sunglasses stay in place during movement (pretty helpful, in sports). Second, it offers more protection from the sun. You won’t get that awkward angle glare that results from smaller sunglasses.
Wrap sunglasses also have that undeniable 90s cool, the era when surfers, skateboarders, and snowboarders all hit the mainstream.
The Carrera 5420 glasses removed most of the frame, intersecting the top of the lenses with a single metallic line. Simple, effective, and perfect for daytime wear.
Carrera is still a brand for the cool kids, and modern designs such as the 1016 can help you stand out in a crowd.
Everyone wanted to stand out in the 90s, and Carrera helped people push the fashion envelope. The 5503 sunglasses by Carrera used an unexpected steampunk design to capture the hearts of alternative 90s fashionistas.
Pair with a plaid flannel for a look of 90s rebellion.
The 5503 glasses wrapped a circular Carrera frame in fabric shields on both the arms and the bridge. Featuring large popper buttons, this was a style you wouldn’t be able to look away from.
And as alternative steampunk fashion is still popular today, these glasses can add an unexpected twist to an outfit.
The Carrera 5046 sunglasses are a slightly fresher take on the vintage 5503 style. They’ve kept the round lenses and covered arms, but simplified the bridge design for a slightly more streamlined appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Was Carrera Founded?
Carrera was founded in Austria in 1956 by Wilhelm Anger, and named for the famous Carrera Panamericana car race. The brand was known as an innovator, thanks to its creation and use of light Optyl plastic.
What Is Carrera Known For?
Carrera is best known for its range of aviator sunglasses, which have appeared in movies, television shows, and on numerous celebrities and athletes.
Is Carrera A Top Brand?
Carrera is one of the biggest and best known eyewear brands in the world, with their blend of classic and modern design appealing to customers around the world.
Carrera often blends timeless classics with modern touches to create exceptional quality sunglasses. Look for vintage frames and lenses for an amazing retro style!
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