They say the right frames turn great paintings into works of art. And it’s a theory we’re happy to apply to men’s sunglasses too. Because the perfect pair can elevate your look to a whole new level.
For inspiration, we’ve looked no further than some of the greatest style icons to have graced us with their presence. They not only had the ability to make a well-worn potato sack look like haute couture, but they sure knew how to wear fashion eyewear too.
And with this summer being more deserving of you looking your best than any other time in recent memory, we’ve picked out their most memorable styles for you to replicate. So get ready to adorn your face with this definitive list of men’s sunglasses for 2021.
Where better to start than with the man whose style defined an entire era? James Dean’s gift was to get the basics right – often making a pair of jeans and a T-shirt look like a considered and carefully curated sartorial choice with the right belt, or the right pair of sunglasses.
This is one of our favourite Dean looks, and you can channel his iconic look with a pair of Pleat Sunglasses from The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear. Handcrafted in Italy from lightweight acetate, the round frames are slightly squared at the top for a bold look that will elevate any summer style. The bottle green lenses pair with the tortoiseshell frames to create a sharp look.
When it comes to the silver screen, there are few actors who managed to combine the looks, charisma, comic timing and gravitas of Cary Grant. And to think, he was born in Bristol and originally named Archibald Leach. No, really.
Here he is in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, proving that it’s possible to sit by a train window and look better than the view outside. You can pay homage to Mr Grant’s fashion eyewear with the Otis sunglasses from Oscar Deen in Havana. Oscar Dean are inspired by vintage frames from around the world, which they then sensitively reimagine. Made from the very best Italian Mazzucchelli acetate, they also come with a case handmade from recycled composite leather and brass rivets. Taller foreheads will suit these to a T.
Where to start with this pre-eminent cultural revolutionary? Muhammad Ali proved a man can be sharp with his fists, sharp with his words, and sharp with his style.
Unlike James Dean, Ali might not be one of the first men to spring to mind when it comes to inspiration for your Summer sunglasses, but as he proves in this iconic image, he could pull them off… even indoors. We love this particular look, and British brand Cubitts bring a London sensibility to these decidedly continental shades.
As far as finding a pair of versatile mens sunglasses, you can’t do much better than a pair of Cubtts Amptons, with squared lenses and rounded edges, this pair should suit every face shape.
Steve McQueen was a decidedly discerning man, some might even call him picky. He turned down roles in numerous movies that went on to become classics, but he also carved out roles in some of the greatest movies of all time. Perhaps picky is the wrong word, he just knew how to make the right choice for himself.
And he was no different when it came to style. The fact you can walk into any eyewear store on the planet and pick up a dozen frames that could be referred to as McQueen-esque, is a testament to that.
For an iconic pair of men’s sunnies straight from the McQueen playbook, we’ve chosen the Fraser frames from Oscar Deen. With delicate lines and a strong brow, they’re a modern take on a classic design.
If there was an Oscar for consistently choosing great sunglasses, Leonardo DiCaprio would have won one several times by now.
This pair of Monti sunglasses from Monc are made in Italy, featuring mineral glass lenses, and are a great lightweight option – you might even forget you’re wearing them.
The blue marble colour is distinctive, and the curved design makes these an ideal for men with a narrow jawline, or narrower face.
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.