Buddy Holly’s Famous Glasses and More Stars in Spectacles (Photos)

From Buddy Holly's iconic frames to Lady Gaga's all-the-time eyewear, we check out celebs whose glasses may have helped make them stars.

From left: Corbis; LAN / Corbis; Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

From left: Corbis; LAN / Corbis; Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

From Buddy Holly's iconic frames to Lady Gaga's all-the-time eyewear, we check out celebs whose glasses may have helped make them stars.


Buddy Holly

The Wall Street Journal described Holly’s look as “a nerd-gone-cool image that ultimately became almost as influential as his music.” The crooner whose hits include “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue” had dismal 20/800 vision. Holly was resistant to the glasses, and in his only public comment about them, he told a radio interviewer they were the reason he looked like a “jazz man.”

Bettmann / Corbis

John Lennon

Lennon wore wire-framed glasses to correct what his optometrist said was a “very near-sighted” vision impairment. His look became iconic in the 1970s both in regular spectacles and his wire-framed sunglasses. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s wife, was known for sporting a pair of sunglasses, as well, though hers weren’t nearly as famous.

LAN / Corbis

Lady Gaga

Gaga has set many a fashion trend as she has ascended to the top of the pop-music totem pole, eyewear included. In January 2011, she partnered with Polaroid to release sunglasses with a built-in camera. Her outrageous eyewear makes fans wonder if she can actually see anything through bejeweled lenses. In 2009, she told Barbara Walters, “[My glasses are] a part of me. That’s the psychotic part of me. I don’t take them off for many interviews, but I’ll take them off for you because I love you.” And yes, there’s even a website called Lady Gaga Glasses. Did you think there wouldn’t be?

Clockswise from top left: Ben Pruchnie / GEtty Images; Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images; Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images (2)

Elton John

The iconic singer has changed his bespectacled fashion throughout the years. Over the last decade, the British native has taken to square-framed sunglasses, often tinted a bright color. John is said to have started wearing glasses to emulate Buddy Holly. His glasses even inspired a play, aptly named Elton John’s Glasses, in 1999.

Fredrik von Erichsen, DPA / Corbis


Along with Bono, Moby has been known for his “signature frames” for years. A Los Angeles Times poll found that readers identify his look as “geek chic” and without his glasses he’s rather blind. In 2002 Moby was assaulted and his glasses were knocked off in the process, leaving him unable to identify his attacker.

Chris Canada / Corbis

Sophia Loren

The Italian-born actress made large-framed tinted glasses a must-have in the 1960s and '70s. By wearing glasses in public, Loren helped “elevate prescription eyewear to a more glamorous state.” Loren, along with American Idol’s Randy Jackson, has a licensing deal with eyeglass company Zyloware.

Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Grab a scarf and large, rounded sunglasses and you’ve got the look: known both as “Onassis Glasses” or “The Jackie O.” The wife of John F. Kennedy became famous for her oversize rounded sunglasses that she would often sport on family outings around Martha’s Vineyard.

Rolex de Pena, EPA / Corbis

Paris Hilton

The reason behind Paris Hilton’s fame has been perplexing Americans for years. The hotel heiress helped fuel the oversize-shades craze for much of the early 2000s until People called it one of the worst fashion trends in 2006. In the last two years, the larger-than-life sunglasses trend, which Hilton never abandoned, made quite the comeback. Hilton launched her own line of them in 2009.

Brendan Hoffman / Corbis

Sarah Palin

Palin made a splash on the presidential campaign trail in 2008, often in assertive sunglasses. Palin’s frames set off a retail frenzy for Japanese maker Kazuo Kawasaki, a brand that has also been worn by David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg, and former secretary of state Colin Powell. Palin paid a whopping $375 for the frames (not including lenses) and was said to have chosen her glasses from more than 300 options.

ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images

Steve Urkel

Jaleel White, who played “Urkel” on the sitcom Family Matters in the 1990s was the epitome of geeky—donning suspenders and oversize glasses for much of the nine-season run. The glasses actually belonged to White’s father, whom he borrowed them from at the last minute for his audition for the show in 1989. White recently made a cameo in Cee Lo Green’s music video for the song “Cry Baby,” bud sadly the glasses were nowhere to be found.