Best sunglasses 2019: stylish shades from designer brands

The best sunglasses for all budgets this summer

The best sunglasses 2019

Sunglasses are one of the best things about summer. And winter, if you're a cool character like us here at T3. The last few years, the trend has been massively towards clear, circular frames, but there are also still plenty of other options out there for those who prefer a more classic and timeless look.

Not only do they protect your eyes from the harshness of the sun, they also give men a rare opportunity to buy an accessory, to go alongside your watch, your wallet, and, er, your backpack.

In short, get yourself a decent pair of sunglasses and your eyes will stay safe, you'll be able to see where you're going, and you'll look (more) like Steve McQueen (a bit).

How to buy the best sunglasses for you

With sunglasses from the high-end likes of Persol, Tom Ford and Gucci, people's favourite Ray-Ban, and one with an incredibly innovative design from Oakley, it's fair to say there's something for every face here.

Prices vary from as little as £60 all the way up to £200+, with looks from techie to edgy, from cool to classic.

If you're serious about eye protection, look out for filtering of UV-A and UV-B rays. Most of the glasses in this list boast both. 

Just want to look like a rock star? Choose based on looks and price, bearing in mind that you will eventually sit on them or leave them in a bar.

If you require prescription lenses, you'll need Rx compatibility, which involves paying more, on average. Them's the breaks.

Our pick of the best sunglasses to buy today

Best sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

1. Ray-Ban Clubmaster

American-meets-Euro chic, these sunglasses are classics

Specifications
Frame material: acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Can be customised+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-You might prefer Wayfarers

Always the most under-rated of the Ray-Bans, Clubmaster is all about American-meets-Euro chic. Think The Talented Mr Ripley - but you don't have to be a sociopathic murderer to wear them! We hope!

The reason these ones look a tad odd is that we knocked them up using Ray-Ban Remix. This brilliant system lets you easily customise your own specs. Frame choices include Aviators, all the Wayfarer variants including folding, Clubmasters, obviously, and go all the way up to the more techy Lightray frames, as seen here. Mmm, blue on blue.

Best sunglasses: Cubbits Gifford Sunglasses

2. Cubbits Gifford Sunglasses

The style of the summer, we love these round-framed marvels

Specifications
Frame material: slate acetate, gold-tone metal
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great details+Grey and gold colourway+Traditional production 
Reasons to avoid
-Round frames won't be for everyone

If you want a pair of sunglasses to standout this summer, then this slate grey frame will do the trick. The sleek dark-grey lenses are trimmed with engraved gold-tone borders, and the frame is made from lightweight acetate.

Each one of Cubitts' retro-inspired styles are crafted using up to 50 traditional methods of production, including hand-polishing to achieve a fine lustre. 

Best sunglasses: Oliver Peoples O'Malley Sunglasses

3. Oliver Peoples O'Malley Sunglasses

Clear framed sunglasses are set to be a major trend this summer

Specifications
Frame material: clear acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Clear frames+Great shape+Gold frame
Reasons to avoid
-Clear frames aren't as bold as others

We expect you'll be seeing a lot of clear frames this summer, with these O'Malley sunglasses from Oliver Peoples being our pick of the bunch. It's actually one of OP's most coveted designs, modelled on the glasses worn by the former LA Dodgers owner, Mr Peter O'Malley. 

These sunglasses are made in Italy from clear acetate, and are accented with gold metal frames. The vintage-inspired keyhole-shaped bridge gives them a classic look, while polarised green lenses protect from UV rays and ensure enhanced vision in bright, reflected light.

Best sunglasses: Ermenegildo Zegna D-Frame Leather Sunglasses

4. Ermenegildo Zegna D-Frame Leather Sunglasses

Zegna's leather sunglasses are the epitome of luxury

Specifications
Frame material: tan leather, silver-tone metal
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Talking point+Luxurious+Blue lenses
Reasons to avoid
-Not vegan

While Ermenegildo Zegna may be better known for its impeccably tailored suits, you can't ignore its amazing accessories. These leather sunglasses can transform any outfit into something effortlessly cool, especially if they were paired with a cream linen suit. 

The sunglasses are made in Italy from silver-tone metal and they're trimmed in tan leather and fitted with retro blue lenses.

Best sunglasses: Tom Ford Square-Frame Polarised Sunglasses

5. Tom Ford Square-Frame Polarised Sunglasses

These are the sunglasses James Bond wears

Specifications
Frame material: acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Bond's sunglasses+Square frame stands out+'T' hinges
Reasons to avoid
-Square frames not for everyone

In Spectre, Daniel Craig's James Bond wears a pair of super sleek square-frames from Tom Ford. While these aren't the exact pair worn by Bond, we think they're a little more wearable, with easy to match grey lenses.

These shades would go great with a tailor suit, adding polish to an already sharp outfit. Tom Ford's square-frames have been made in Italy from glossy black acetate and detailed with the signature 'T' hinges at the sides. 

Best sunglasses: Oliver Spencer Sid Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

6. Oliver Spencer Sid Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

Absolute classics which can be worn for many summers to come

Specifications
Frame material: tortoiseshell acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Tortoiseshell goes with most outfits+Comfortable keyhole bridge
Reasons to avoid
-Quite dark

If you're looking for an understated, classic pair of sunglasses which can be worn for many summers to come, look no further than the 'Sid' sunglasses from Oliver Spencer.

Inspired by vintage styles worn by doctors, these sunglasses have been made in Japan from lightweight tortoiseshell acetate and trimmed with silver hardware. The round frames have a comfortable keyhole bridge and are fitted with protective grey lenses.

Best sunglasses: Cutler and Gross Round-Frame Sunglasses

7. Cutler and Gross Round-Frame Sunglasses

Brow bars make a stylish statement

Specifications
Frame material: black and clear acetate, gold-tone metal
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Brow bar is bold+Great brand+Lots of design elements
Reasons to avoid
-Brow bar not for everyone

Cutler and Gross was founded in 1969 by formidable duo Messrs Graham Cutler and Tony Gross – the former had an eye for detail and practical design, while the latter brought a high-fashion element. 

These sunglasses are made in Italy from acetate and polished gold-tone metal. The bold round-frame sunglasses have a brow bar and blue lenses which really make a statement.

Best sunglasses: Persol Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses

8. Persol Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses

Understated sunglasses for the man who would be Steve McQueen

Specifications
Frame material: acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Understated design+Hinge design+Classics
Reasons to avoid
-Quite harsh colourway

Offering elegance and sophistication by the tonne, Persol is one of those brands you just can't really go wrong with.

These ultra-retro, super-luxe, all-black sunglasses are for the man who would be Steve McQueen. The frames are finished with Persol's signature arrow hinge, and are handmade from lightweight black acetate in a classic round shape.

Best sunglasses: Gucci GG0396S Sunglasses

9. Gucci GG0396S Sunglasses

For the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas look

Specifications
Frame material: metal
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight frames+Bee detail+100-percent protection
Reasons to avoid
-Some people prefer acetate

For the ultimate retro look, finish your outfit with these metal-frame sunglasses from Gucci. 

The shades are crafted in Japan with a shiny metal frame and acetate tips. The lenses offer 100-percent UVA/UVB protection, while Gucci and bee details add style points. They come with a durable velvet hard case.

Best sunglasses: Muscot Bjorn Aviator-Style Acetate Sunglasses

10. Muscot Bjorn Aviator-Style Acetate Sunglasses

For an updated Top Gun look

Specifications
Frame material: acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Aviators, but not as you know them+Green lenses+Handcrafted
Reasons to avoid
-Large and chunky

Aviators are a classic design that suits a range of face shapes, but the lightweight, metal frames aren't for everyone. Enter these stylish, acetate aviators from Moscot. 

The frames are handcrafted from Italian-sourced tortoiseshell acetate, and are fitted with dark-green lenses that offer complete UV protection.

Best sunglasses: Oakley Latch

11. Oakley Latch

Never lose your sunglasses again!

Specifications
Frame material: plastic or metal
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Latch to attach to clothes+Three point fit
Reasons to avoid
-Will you actually use the latch? 

This range of sunglasses is built for skateboarders, but fine for you, and has a very interesting USP: a clip that holds them securely in your shirt pocket when not on your face. So they won't fall off when you bend over to tie up your shoelaces.

They're also a great-looking batch of sunnies, with numerous frame and lens colour options. The one above (matte, grey ink frame with iridium lenses, since you ask) is perhaps our favourite.

Oakley's usual non-slip nose pads, precision optics and lightweight/tough build are all present and correct, as you'd expect.

Best sunglasses: Police Highway Zero 1

12. Police Highway Zero 1

An iconic selection from Police

Specifications
Frame material: metal
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Iconic brand+Classic look
Reasons to avoid
-Metal frames get hot

Police has dragged Dolce & Gabbana bad boy Enrico Furlan in for questioning, and in return for all charges being dropped, he's designed this for the quintessentially 80s/90s Italian Paninaro brand. 

Although there's still a distinctly 1980s vibe to Highway Zero 1, from the name upwards, they are lot more elegant than many recent efforts from Police, which have tended to be about as subtle as being pepper-sprayed in the face. 

So the styling is more classic, the branding is toned down, there's a choice of tints – although obviously, you want the mirrored ones – while, as Police would have it, "angular frames add definition and intrigue to the style".

Now officer, do your duty and take down our particulars.