Sunny season is around the corner and so it’s the perfect time to start picking out the best sunglasses, not only to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but perhaps more importantly, to look suave AF.
If that wasn’t reason enough, a quality pair of shades can actually keep you looking younger for longer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, frequent squinting under the bright sun wears a groove in the skin, usually at the sides of your eyes, and over time this groove becomes a wrinkle. So the more you squint, the deeper your wrinkles become. Wearing sunnies will obviously counteract this; don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Finding the right sunglasses that offer a great fit while suiting your face and style, however, is no easy task. To get a feel for how humungous the sunglasses market is, market data giant Statistica estimates that revenue in the sunglasses segment will amount to just over $23 billion this year alone.
With so many styles, sizes, colours and lens tints to choose from, sunglasses shopping can feel like a bit of a nightmare. Especially if you're shopping online and can’t try them on first. Luckily for you, we’ve gone to the trouble of creating a guide for finding the best pair as well as narrowing down your options to a few favourites.
Not only do they protect your eyes from the harshness of the sun, the best sunglasses for men also give you a rare opportunity to buy an accessory, to go alongside the best watch, the best wallet, and, er, the best 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). Here is our pick of the best sunglasses for men.
How to buy the best sunglasses for men
As sunglasses cover up one of the most important parts of the face - the windows to your soul - finding a pair that really represents who you are and complements the rest of your face is super important. But what fitting is the right fitting? Here’s a quick guide…
It comes down to face shape
Generally, the sunglasses design you buy can be matched to the face shape you own. Square faces, for example, suit a more round frame or aviator shape. Round faces are best suited to cat-eye, square and rectangular-shaped frames. Triangular faces need a soft shape, like a pantos round or a cat-eye frame. Oblong faces look best with aviator-style sunglasses. Diamond-shaped faces, generally, go well with cat-eye or square frames while heart-shaped faces are perfectly suited to rectangular frames. And finally, if you're lucky enough to have an oval face, you’ll be pleased to learn that these can pretty much get away with wearing any shape. Of course, this is no hard and fast rule and, ultimately, taste and personal preferences will prevail.
Oversized is the right size
If you already wear regular glasses, forget everything you know about fit. Well, not everything. But picking out the right pair of shades isn’t the same. They should be oversized when compared to your average spectacles. One thing they have in common with normal glasses is a good fit around the nose and ears, otherwise they might slip down your face, especially in that sticky summer heat.
To learn more about finding the right pair of shades for you, check out our article: how to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape.
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.
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 for men you can buy today
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.
Bag the best deal with one of our Ray Ban discount codes.
You might recognise this brand’s shopper bag over its sunglasses. It was only a few years ago when you’d see almost every hipster in Hackney proudly donning a Cubitts tote on their shoulder. Since then, the modern glasses company has expanded out of Kings Cross and across the UK, wowing young professionals with their well-priced yet chic handcrafted frames from London to Leeds.
While Cubitts has plenty of classy and stylish frames to choose from, the Herbrand Bold design gets our vote. With a 'panto' lens reimagined in a more graphic shape, these sunglasses boast an exaggerated keyhole bridge and symmetrically tapering temples for a sharp finish and an even crisper silhouette.
The Frames Tempo won’t be something you’ll consider when looking for something stylish to sit proudly on your face, but that’s not the idea here. Aimed at the more active, thrill-seeking sunglasses wearer, these gigs are the US audio giant’s latest attempt at offering the sunglasses market something different and superbly innovative.
Touting something Bose calls “Open Ear Audio” tech, the Frames Tempo carry small speakers in the sunglasses’ arms. These pump high-quality audio directly into your ears but not in a way that’s overbearing. The design allows you to hear your music and your surroundings at the same time, giving you an experience of listening to your favourite tracks effortlessly playing over the top of everything without any annoying earbuds getting in the way.
With a sweat- and weather-resistant design, lightweight, aerodynamic nylon frame and soft, silicone nose pads, the Tempo frames are super comfortable; perfect for wearing on outdoors runs and bike rides. Top marks for Bose.
Aussie sunglasses brand QUAY was born in 2004 out of the Australian festival circuit, but didn’t hit the big time until a few years later when its limited-edition influencer collaborations took off. Since then the brand has gone from strength to strength, creating uber-modern designs that the Gen Z crew just can’t get enough of.
One of our favourite SKUs from QUAY is the Jackpot sunglasses. With a squared-off round-shaped lens design, this design boasts a premium injection frame that features polarised lenses to reduce glare to help improve clarity. They’re also very study feeling and well-built for the price. A trendy, pared-back design that’s not too flashy but super affordable.
What we love about Dutch eyewear brand Ace+Tate is that it likes to play around with colours and contrasts in their design approach. Styles are modern yet subtle; understated and premium without costing the earth.
Its Benjamin frame is one of the brand’s best-selling designs and one of our personal faves, too. With a rounded frame and keyhole bridge, this structurally crisp frame is sharp yet traditional. Perfect for those after a more sophisticated look without wanting to spend a fortune.
British luxury eyewear brand Cutler & Gross has been cobbling luxury sunglasses and optical frames with signature creativity since 1969. Synonymous with quintessential British style, creativity and craftsmanship, this brand produces some of the most elegant and timeless sunnies you’ll ever set your eyes on. Obviously, this comes at a price, but it’s a worthy investment if you’re up for it.
Cutler & Gross’ 1394 sunglasses design is our top pick. Inspired by street styles of London in the seventies, this stylish frame will take you back in time. Featuring a double bridge, square shape and bold proportions, this subtle acetate aviator combines super quality textiles with a chic and sophisticated design for a suave edge.
Born in Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda are all about elevating everyday dressing, often mixing classic and contemporary styles to deliver a unique aesthetic. Another nice element of the brand is that it loves to run its business with greater sensitivity to the planet by making more responsible choices in a bid to reduce environmental impact.
The Kinney sunglasses are a perfect example of how the Dutch company likes to reinvent the classics with thoughtful twists and details. These contemporary yet easy-to-wear sunglasses feature round frames made from a sleek glossy acetate with a tortoiseshell-effect front that encases complementing lenses for a stylish finish. A super premium pair of shades for under £100.
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.
We love these unisex sunglasses from Silhouette. Taking on a classic wayfarer style, but mixing it up with flat-bottomed lenses for a more dramatic look, lightweight materials and a more modern design. All of the sunglasses offer anti-glare coating and water-resistant lenses and use Silhouette’s 'Light Management' programme – a brand-new technology to provide all its sunglasses with the highest level of protection and functionality. This Light Management programme works to shield eyes from strong blue lights whilst a IQ-POL filter offers antiglare protection and brilliant colour vivid vision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Police have 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 a 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.
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