Since the era of Netflix began, ‘80s sci-fi, throwback-thriller ‘Stranger Things’ is one of the streaming platform’s most successful shows.
Written, directed and produced by the twin Duffer Brothers, the meteoric series 4 has reportedly racked up more than 1.3 billion hours of views to date. And it’s no wonder. Each binge-worthy episode is peppered with enough ‘80s nostalgia, it leaves you yearning for simpler times. We’re talking when kids played outside, cut-off jean shorts, hair scrunchies, Kate Bush, mall hangouts, and even “New Coke.”
But for you, the eyewear aficionado, Stranger Things has featured some truly iconic sunglasses frames. Which is exactly what this blog is all about. To celebrate, we’ve listed each of the memorable frames throughout each series so far.
The best Stranger Things sunglasses frames and where to buy them
What sunglasses does Steve wear in Stranger Things?
Character Steve Harrington wears black acetate Ray-Ban RB2140 Wayfarers with ‘Green Classic’ lenses in season 2, chapter 2 of Stranger Things “Trick or Treat, Freak” and in chapter 6 “The Spy.” Accompanied by a light grey jacket and stonewashed jeans Steve carries the same rebelliousness of a young Tom Cruise from the 1983 film ‘Risky Business.’
Known as the Original Wayfarer Classic, the RB2140 model was first released in 1954 by Ray-Ban’s parent company Bausch & Lomb. These frames had a characteristically strong forward tilt (pantoscopic angle) and were fitted with green tinted lenses which were originally made of mineral glass. Although Steve Harrington’s lenses look black in Stranger Things, the lenses were in fact green. Judging by the calibre of the series’ wardrobe styling, it’s likely the sunglasses were vintage and contained the original glass lenses like those in the 1980’s.
Amongst all the Stranger Things characters, Steve Harrington seems to have captured the growing fan group’s attention the most. As a classic bad boy turned good, he mixes 80s jock style, including double denim, plaid shirts, and retro sweaters.
Steve Harrington sunglasses scenes
- 27th October, 2017, Season 2, Chapter 1 – “Mad Max.”
- 27th October, 2017, Season 2, Chapter 2 – “Trick or Treat, Freak.”
- 27th October, 2017, Season 2, Chapter 6 - “The Spy.”
Stranger Things, Season 2, Chapter 1 “Mad Max” | Steve Harrington sneaks up behind Nancy Wheeler in Hawkins High School hallway
Stranger Things, Season 2, Chapter 2 “Trick or Treat, Freak.” | Steve Harrington wearing sunglasses at Tina’s Halloween Bash party scene
In chapter 2 of season 2, Steve Harrington attends fellow school friend Tina’s Halloween party wearing the same black acetate Original Wayfarer Classics. He’s fooling around dancing and having a good time whilst wearing the sunglasses indoors.
Stranger Things, Season 2, Chapter 6 “The Spy” | Steve Harrington & Dustin Henderson prepare to fight the Demogorgons at car scrap heap
In chapter 6 of season 2, Steve Harrington and Dustin Henderson approach the top of a hill overlooking a car scrap heap. Preparing to fight the demogorgons, Steve is wearing a light grey jacket, stonewashed jeans and a black backpack carrying a baseball bat studded with nails. He’s also wearing the same black acetate Original Wayfarer Classics seen in previous scenes during season 2.
What sunglasses does Billy wear in Stranger Things?
Stranger Things bad-boy Billy Hargrove wears Ray-Ban Aviator Classic sunglasses; model RB3025. These shades have a gold wire rim and green tinted G-15 lenses. Billy is first seen wearing these in series 3, chapter 1 at the Hawkins Community Swimming Pool where he works as a part time life guard.
Known As the Ray-Ban Aviator, the original model was first released in 1937. These frames were originally made of plastic before being remodelled as the metal wire shape we recognise today. During the 1930’s, Ray-Ban’s parent company Bausch & Lomb had initially developed these sunglasses for WWII fighter pilots who were struggling with high-altitude sun exposure. They needed lightweight frames that could fit under their helmets that provided large lens coverage and anti-glare properties. This is why the original Aviators like Billy Hargroves were fitted with green tinted lenses to help diminish glare, either from altitude or reflections from the Hawkins swimming pool.
Popularised during the ‘80s thanks to the original 1986 Top Gun movie, wire-rimmed Aviator sunglasses have the timeless quality and longevity of no other sunglasses style. Worn by an array of celebrities across the ages from: Jennifer Aniston, Dwayne Johnson, JLo to name just a few.
During Stranger Things series 3, Billy Hargrove wore the wire-rimmed aviator sunglasses, suiting his 'bad boy' personality. In these pool scenes, he'd certainly give the Hoff a run for his money.
H&M X Stranger Things sunglasses
Based on the Hawkins Community Pool scene in season 3, clothing retailer H&M launched a collaborative Stranger Things sunglasses collection. Styled and shot at the exact same location, the retail giant drew from ‘80s American pool culture. The models, including Dacre Montgomery who played character Billie, were photographed pool-side in various retro-styled pattern shirts and logo T-shirts. Featured in the photoshoot are the black rimmed Stranger Things sunglasses frame seen below.
What glasses did Cary Elwes wear in Stranger Things?
Hawkins mayor, Larry Kline wears Walker tortoise and gold sunglasses with green tinted lenses in series 3, chapter 3 of Stranger Things. The ‘80s vintage sunglasses were made in Korea and are no longer in production. However, deadstock models are available through this vintage optical dealer. The Walker frame features tortoise acetate temple tips and browline accents, with a characterising split double-bridge.
If you can’t source of the rare deadstock frames, a similar sunglasses frame is the Tullio Abbate 80s vintage aviators. These are incredibly similar in shape, size and colour so if you’re keen to replicate the Cary Elwes sunglasses look, these are a great alternative.
What sunglasses does Hopper wear in Stranger Things?
Hawkins chief of police Jim Hopper wears the gold edition Ray-Ban Outdoorsman, model RB3030, also seen in a Curious Case of Benjamin Button worn by Brad Pitt. In Stranger Things season 2, chapter 3, Hopper is called-out to Merrill’s pumpkin patch to investigate a strange rot that has ruined the entire crop. In this scene, Hopper stylishly wears the Outdoorsman sunglasses with his police uniform and blue zip shell jacket as he walks the farm’s estate.
Originally titled ‘Skeet Glass’, Ray-Ban launched their ‘Outdoorsman’ sunglasses in 1939 as a hunting frame for shooting and fishing enthusiasts. Like the Aviator, the Outdoorsman features a double bridge but with a characteristic brow bar cladded in natural materials such as wood, leather or nacre (mother of pearl.) The temple tips were often made from the same materials instead of acetate, thus differentiating the Outdoorsman from the Aviator range.
Jim Hopper’s Outdoorsman sunglasses feature a wood imitation brow bar which is designed to deter sweat from entering your eyes during hunting or fishing. As chief of police, Hopper embodies your small-town American cop with is beige uniform, moustache, and Red Wing boots. He’s easily one of the most likable and relatable characters of the Stranger Things series.
Hopper sunglasses scenes
- 27th October, 2017 season 2, chapter 3. “The Pollywog.”
- 4th July, 2019, season 3, chapter 2. “The Mall Rats”
Stranger Things, Season 2, Chapter 3 “The Pollywog.” | Jim Hopper wears Aviator Outdoorsman sunglasses
Originally scripted as “The Pumpkin Patch” season 2, chapter 3 of Stranger Things showcases Jim Hopper’s Aviator Outdoorsman sunglasses for the first time. After a strange call-out to visit Merrill’s Pumpkin Patch, he witnesses the destroyed crop on a sunny autumn day in Hawkins Indiana.
Stranger Things, Season 3, Chapter 2. “The Mall Rats”
Joyfully singing in his cop car, chief of police Jim Hopper wears the Aviator Outdoorsman sunglasses frame in Chapter 2, Season 3 of Stranger Things. This uplifting and amusing scene gives a close-up view of his Ray-Ban sunglasses. Based on his role as a policeman, the utility aesthetic of the Ray-Ban Outdoorsman fits his investigative job and American cop style.
What was the type of Max Mayfield sunglasses?
Whilst shopping at the Starcourt Mall, Max Mayfield tries on three sunglasses styles including a pair of red RB2140 Ray-Ban Wayfarers and some black and silver RB3716 Ray-Ban Clubmasters in season 3, chapter 2 of Stranger Things. Her and best friend Eleven are exploring the new Hawkins shopping Mall together in a spree of novelty-seeking teenage summer holiday freedom.
As this scene was very short, it's uncertain if the sunglasses worn by Max were in fact Ray-Ban or just very similar styles. They were certainly very similar, however imitation or knock-off sunglasses like these were prolific during the ‘80s due to the surging popularity of these specific Ray-Ban models.
Argyle’s sunglasses in season 4
In season 4, chapter 1 of Stranger Things, hippie pizza delivery boy Argyle is seen wearing these thick rimmed black sunglasses. Similar to the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, these unbranded (unknown) sunglasses have red temple arms and green tinted lenses. Although Argyle only wears these briefly in season 4, they encompass the bulky sunglasses style of 1980’s American fashion.
Mike Wheeler’s sunglasses
In chapter 1 of season 4 (2022) Mike is flying from Hawkins Indiana to visit his girlfriend Eleven in Lenora Hills, California. Walking through the arrivals hall, he’s wearing a pair of unbranded (unknown) white rimmed sunglasses. Pastel coloured frames like these were incredibly popular in the 1980’s and were made en-masse due to the surging popularity of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer style. Films like the ‘Blues Brothers’ and ‘Risky Business’ catapulted Wayfarer sunglasses to the forefront of ‘80s fashion and set the tone for what became one of the most successful and recognised sunglasses shapes ever.
Surfer boy pizza sunglasses
Sure, these aren’t real sunglasses. But this round-up wouldn’t be complete without the makeshift pizza box sunglasses seen in season 4, chapter 9 “The Piggyback.” In an attempt to help Eleven interfere with Vecna’s evil plot, Mike resourcefully makes her a pair of sensory-deprivation sunglasses using a Surfer Boy Pizza carton and sticky tape. Floating in the chest-freezer full of water, these shades help Eleven focus on piggy-backing endangered Max’s childhood memories.
If pizza box sunglasses aren’t for you, you could always opt for the outstandingly vibrant QuickSilver x Stranger Things Surfer Boy Pizza sun visor. They aren’t sunglasses, but they’ll help minimise direct sunlight in true ‘80s fashion.
Quick shout out to Murray Bauman’s spectacular glasses style
In keeping with the ‘80s styling, we couldn’t leave out the exceptional eyeglasses worn by character Murray Bauman. His humorous demeanour, dry wit and ‘80s style spectacles encompass the optical fashion of the era; perfectly. Introduced in Stranger Things season 2, he’s a intensely funny character bearing the signs of cold war paranoia. Conspiracist, tin foil hat comes to mind. In seasons, 2,3 and 4, he wears these exceptional double bridge wire spectacles which we felt rude to exclude from this list. Just look at the size of those lenses!
If you are looking to emulate Murray's style why not try this frame from David Beckhams collection:
Millie Bobby Brown launches her own sunglasses collection
In 2021, Stranger Things actresses Millie Bobby Brown launched her own sunglasses range in collaboration with Vogue Eyewear. Brown, who plays the leading role of Eleven, is one of Hollywood's youngest and most fashionable actresses. In addition to her brand collaborations and ongoing beauty line, Millie has announced her capsule collection in partnership with vogue eyewear.
Titled MBB, the collection is an acronym for the actress's initials. The range includes three optical frames and four pairs of sunglasses. Aimed primarily at women, the frames adopt a playful variety of retro silhouettes ranging from round, rectangular, cat eye, or classic oval shapes. Likewise, Millie Bobby Brown's fashion-forward style inspires many individuals. It is not the first celebrity collaboration for the eyewear brand, which has previously worked with Gigi Hadid and Eva Mendes.
Fans of Millie Bobby Brown's character Eleven (Stranger Things protagonist) will appreciate this retro-inspired collection that would aptly fit right-in on the ‘80s inspired set. This stylish actress has taken the fashion world by storm with her colourful retro styles in pink, blue, red, orange and turquoise.
Wait. You haven’t watched it yet?
If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend you watch Stranger Things on Netflix. If you fancy a blast from the past, packed with ‘80s nostalgia, this horror come sci-fi thriller is easily one of the best binges you’ll stream this year.Hopefully you found this article helpful. Please check out our other eyewear icons. Thanks for stopping by.