A great set of sunglasses, the accessory that is the epitome of cool, is as essential to your summer wardrobe as a trusty linen shirt, navy tailored shorts, and a classic, wear-anywhere pair of white sneakers. But finding the right frames can be a tricky task – because, like haircuts and beard styles, not every option will suit every face, and, if you want to also differentiate yourself ever so slightly from the crowd, you should probably consider eschewing that ubiquitous pair of black Ray-Ban wayfarers.
The best place to start is with a few tried and tested iconic silhouettes. To help you in this most shady of business, here’s our guide to which timeless sunglasses shapes you might want to consider for the sunnier months ahead…
The Rounded Aviator
The aviator has been around for generations, and it’s come a long way since its military origins. If you find the traditional over-sized, teardrop-shaped lenses a bit too Maverick for you, going for a more rounded option is a great way to retain the glamorous wire frames and tinted lenses of the original, but in a style that’s less commonly seen (and more suited to heart-shaped faces). Notably, these Vicuña sunglasses from TBD Eyewear are finished with 24k gold frames for utmost luxury.
TBD Eyewear Vicuña – Gold/Bottle Green
If you’re really struggling to find something suitable, a square lens with slightly softened corners is by far the most flattering style for a wide variety of facial structures. Because of their creative hybrid shape, they’re also a great option if you want to experiment with a bolder frame or lens colour – we’re rather fond of this thick hazelnut-hued-frame option, handmade in Italy and complete with bottle-green lenses. The soft contrast of tones lends a more artistic, retro feel, and will look at home either on a beach, ski slope or on the terrace of a fin de siècle café.
TBD Eyewear Donegal - Classic Tortoise/Bottle Green
First invented in 1947 by Jack Rohrbach, then vice-president of eyewear label Shuron Ltd, the Clubmaster style – lenses that are connected by a wire bridge and only partially framed – has been universally respected thanks to its hugely flattering shape that suits most wearers, as well as its synonymity with popular figures of Americana, such as Malcolm X, Bruce Willis and American-football coach Vince Lombardi. Again, it’s a more leftfield option if you’re looking to go beyond a plain-set of wayfarers, so feel free to don a more colourful, vibrant pair – we’re rather taken with this apricot-and-green design from Monc, and better still, they’re 100% biodegradable.
Monc Monti Sunglasses – Apricot / Green
Although they look classic and versatile, due to their stripped-back and unfussy aesthetic, rectangle sunglasses have the tendency to swamp oval and heart-shaped faces, so we’d say that they’re best reserved for wider cheek muscles. Their larger makeup does lend them to heavy-duty, military-inspired styles in traditional colour combinations, meaning a good pair will last you for the years ahead. This acetate offering, in black and grey, is as classic as they come and can work in a variety of climates and settings, from tropical to urban, formal to off-duty.
TBD Eyewear Denim - Black/Grey
Round sunglasses can be difficult to pull off without veering into John Lennon territory, and we recommend only those with an oval face, strong jawlines, and angular facial structures attempt a pair (they would only amplify the curves of a rounder face). If you wish to experiment with this frame shape, but still want to keep things classic and light, we recommend going with this amber tortoise-shell frame; moreover, for that resort look, wear it with a knitted polo and some pleated shorts.
TBD Eyewear Lapel – Amber Tortoise/Tobacco
If you want to go all out and emulate those most classic of style icons, The Otis, by Oscar Deen, is a good place to start – suitable for round, heart-shaped, oval and rectangle faces, they have an air of Steve McQueen about them. To put them into full leading-man effect, reach for the harrington jacket and a plain white t-shirt.
Oscar Deen Otis - Smoke
Want more eyewear inspiration? Read about why custom-tint sunglasses are your new summer status symbol…
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