The best sunglasses 2018

The best sunglasses for all budgets this summer

TODO alt text

Sunglasses are one of the best things about summer. The last few years, the trend has been massively towards mirror shades, but there are also still plenty of brown and black tinted options out there for those who prefer not to rock the "sadistic prison warden" 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 and, er, your laptop bag.

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 and Gucci, people's favourite Ray-Ban, and one fairly outrageous-but-cheap pair from John Lewis, it's fair to say there's something for every face here.

Prices vary from as little as £15 all the way up to £200+, with looks from techy 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

1. Ray-Ban Clubmaster

American-meets-Euro chic

Frame material: plastic
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Can be customised
Reasons to avoid
-You might prefer Wayfarers
Today's best Ray-Ban Clubmaster deals

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.

2. Oliver Goldsmith Lord

Mr Caine would approve...

Material: acetate
Lens: glass
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Timeless style
Reasons to avoid
Today's best Oliver Goldsmith Lord deals

Oliver Goldsmith more or less made glasses fashionable by outfitting the likes of Peter Sellers in the them during the 1960s. This sunglasses style was the model worn by Michael Caine in the David Bailey shoot that led to that genuinely iconic image.

Look closely on this updated version and the lower rim of the frame is ever so subtly camouflaged on this version.

3. Police Highway Zero 1

An iconic selection from Police

Frame material: metal
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Iconic brand+Classic look
Reasons to avoid
- Metal frames get hot 
Today's best Police Highway Zero 1 deals

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.

4. Oakley Latch

Never lose your sunglasses again!

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? 
Today's best Oakley Latch deals

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.

5. Persol Aviator

A little expensive, but worth it

Frame material: acetate
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Modern yet classic+Medium coloured lenses+Heritage brand
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List
Today's best Persol Aviator 0714 deals

Ultra-retro, super-luxe, folding sunglasses for the man who would be Steve McQueen. These heavy, classic shades are polarised and offer 100% UV filtering. They also fold at the bridge and temple, so you can origami them away somewhere discreet when not required.

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


6. Emporio Armani EA2031

Just the right amount of rectangle

Frame material: steel
UV protection: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Show-off Eagle motif+Classic rectangle+Steel frame
Today's best Emporio Armani EA2031 deals

Absolutely fantastic, classic Armani sunglasses. Polarised brown lenses, just the right amount of rectangular-ness (excuse the overly technical language), steel frame.

And where some premium brands layer on the luxury with a trowel, leaving you with a pair of heavy, over-specced specs, these Emporio ones are relatively youthful and light, with a big EA eagle on 'em… Textbook.