Choosing the Best Sunglasses for You

Posted on Tuesday, 26th May 2020


For many of us, choosing a pair of sunglasses for the summer is just as simple as popping into your favorite retail store, pharmacy, outlet mall or even gas station (on the way out of town to the beach if you’re lucky) and grabbing the first pair that looks cool. Whether you’re into big lenses, tinted glasses, cat-eye glasses, huge, oversized trendy pairs or something else entirely, you’re going to have plenty to choose from, even in the most out-of-the-way places.

London Food Blog - Sunglasses

Photo Credit: Felipe Ferreira

And if you’re like us, you’ll probably buy at least three pairs every summer, because they get lost or damaged or you simply like having a few pairs to choose from (not to mention one pair for the car, one for the purse, another pair for sports, and so on and so forth).

People love their sunglasses. They become part of your aesthetic, tell the world about your individual style, your personality, your identity. Choosing a pair of sunglasses is fun and exciting, and for many of us, signifies the ushering in of summer fun and relaxation.

But if you’re tired of just buying cheap pairs from the dollar store or want to invest in a pair of more heavy-duty, sophisticated or functional sunglasses, you might be wondering where to start. Consult our guide below to learn more about the different types of sunglasses that remain popular the world over, and find out which ones suit you best.

Aviators have always been popular (well, except for a very brief period in the 90s when the grunge period took over and clunky plastic tinted glasses known as “clubmasters” ruled the world; but that was short-lived and aviators were back with a vengeance after only a short time on the bench). The oversized, often-tinted lenses (the coolest ones being brown or even green) with the thin metallic frames look great on pretty much everybody. The teardrop style is a classic, minimal look that suits pretty much any face structure and style.

If you’re looking for a classic pair of frames that go with anything and are guaranteed to be durable and functional, choose some aviators. Once favored by airline pilots, nowadays, they can be worn by anyone. You can buy them almost anywhere very affordably, but there are some high-end brands that make durable, high-end aviators, too.

Coke Bottles
These days, coke bottle glasses are seen as major throwbacks, vintage or retro glasses. Not everybody can pull them off, as their circular lenses are definitely a “look”. But if you have the right facial structure, a pair of coke bottle glasses can set off any bohemian or vintage style.

If you can score a legit vintage pair, then you’re golden (even more points if you can find red or yellow lenses). But if you don’t have the time or money to scour vintage shops looking for an authentic pair, plenty of modern-day companies make coke bottles in a variety of styles and frames.

Cat’s Eye Glasses
These are another style that not everyone can pull off, but for some, a pair of cat eye glasses can really up your game and make you look like a sexy vixen. Cat eye glasses often come in traditional black, but there are plenty of other styles, too.

These are best suited for vintage pinup looks and amazing retro beach days. But make sure you get a pair of lenses that actually protect you from the sun, rather than something that just looks cool. You want your glasses to be functional as well as fashionable.

The butterfly glasses style is kind of a modern version of the cat eye; favored by women (and some men) all over, these slightly oversized and angular glasses give you the same fashionable, pin-up effect without being quite so dramatic. The frames are usually plastic, but you can sometimes find metal versions. Tinted lenses come in all sorts of colors, including traditional brown or black, as well as blue, green, and more.

Wayfarer glasses are hugely popular; one of the more often worn styles of glasses, and yet so many people don’t know what they’re called! The reason wayfarers are so popular is because their slightly-rectangular frames and darker lenses suit almost any face shape and go with any look, no matter how casual or fancy. These are practical, versatile sunglasses that are easy to grab and go.

They come in a variety of colors and styles, but all of them are very basic and versatile. You can buy them at any cheap retail outlet or buy higher end ones online; the choice is all yours!

Square or Oversized Frames
In recent years, these have become very popular. Square frames and oversized frames can suit any look if you choose the proper frame shape for you. They come in a variety of colors but the most popular is generally black, with tinted frames and sometimes featuring subtle designs. These glasses are more of a fashion statement than your average pair.

Rectangle Frames
These glasses, which feature a thick top frame and no bottom frame (a “bottomless” look) are not as popular in recent years as they were in previous decades, but they still have plenty of devotees. These are one of few styles that still have nose pads, which many sunglass-wearers either love or hate (where do you stand?).

Most rectangle frame enthusiasts are men, but plenty of women wear them, too.

Rimless Glasses
Some people are old-school and prefer rimless frames with nose pads. These glasses come in a huge variety of shapes, styles and tinted lenses, so no matter what type you prefer, you’re guaranteed to find something in the style of your choice.

Mirrored Sunglasses
Made popular in the 80s, these flashy and eye-catching sunglasses are making a comeback. Whether you’re into gold, blue or some other sporty color, mirrored sunglasses are the ultimate fashion statement. Just make sure you aren’t blinding anyone on the beach!

Luxury Brand Sunglasses
For some, it isn’t so much about shapes and colors as it is the branding. You want a pair of glasses that make a statement, that are meant to last forever and be part of your overall style. Obviously, the name that comes to mind when thinking of luxury sunglasses is the infamous and beloved Ray Ban, but there are other luxury sunglasses brands, too! Some others include high-end designer options like Gucci, to more affordable designer brands like Michael Kors.

Sports-Specific Glasses
If you’re an athlete, then sunglasses likely are less about aesthetics and style for you and more about functionality and durability. You need a pair of glasses that will protect your eyes from the sun while you’re on the field, on the bike, or whatever way you choose to get moving.

There are glasses on the market for every individual type of sport, from cycling sunglasses to skiing glasses, and you should definitely take the time to buy the best pair for your individual needs in the sport that you participate in. It’s not only about looking the part, but about your comfort, and most importantly, your safety.

Buying sports-specific sunglasses isn’t going to be as easy as popping into a gas station and choosing a pair. You’ll need to be fitted for a particular pair which will likely cost a bit more, but it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.

Prescription Sunglasses
For those of us who also wear prescription glasses, whether we have reading glasses or a more specific prescription such as bifocals or progressive lenses, you may be interested in purchasing a pair of sunglasses to match. Prescription sunglasses are a very popular option and can be suited to your individual reading/vision power just as easily as a pair of regular glasses. Progressive sunglasses, bifocal and trifocal sunglasses, and more, are readily available almost anywhere you’d buy reading glasses, in a variety of awesome styles and frames. Just have your prescription handy.

There are so many options out there when it comes to choosing your favorite pair of sunglasses. No matter what style, shape, color, type of frames or lenses, sport, style, or prescription you need, you can find your perfect pair easily (and affordably) in a variety of different places. Online stores like the Sunglass Hut have thousands of styles to choose from, as do other prescription glasses sites and online retail outlets. You can even find custom pairs that are made just for you (as well as sites where you can design your own). If you’re just not feeling shopping online, you can pop into your favorite retail outlet to find a great pair without any trouble at all. Sunglasses are one of those things that are synonymous with summer, with vacation, and fun. You’re not going to have any trouble at all finding a pair that have you feeling and looking great, no matter what your style is. If you’re like us, you’ll buy two or three pairs, just in case.

Note: This is a collaborative post.

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