Sunglasses are a year-round necessity, but summer is when they become truly indispensable. As coats are to winter, shades are to the warmer months: The first and most visible announcement of your style. As such, now is prime time for leveling up your collection with a new pair to sport all summer long.
The best shades are those that you can turn to year after year, regardless of what you’re wearing from the neck down (also: those that you don’t lose). Seasonal trends come and go but, for the most part, all eyewear boils down to a few timeless silhouettes: square, round, D-frame or aviator. Each has its merits—we’ve got some tips on what to consider when finding your perfect pair. For most guys, it pays to have at least one from each family of frames in your arsenal.
What to add this year? We’ve rounded up 11 pairs that subtly update to the most classic sunglass styles—shades that’ll see you looking sharp this summer and for many more to come.
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Oliver Peoples Bernardo Sunglasses
Combining the sleek shape of rectangular lenses with the flat top of aviators, these shades walk a fine line between classic and cool. It’s a slight twist on one of the most universally flattering silhouettes, yielding sunglasses that make an impression without overshadowing the man wearing them.
The Bespoke Dudes Donegal Sunglasses
The Bespoke Dudes’ Italian-made sunglasses combine vintage details, like this pair’s keyhole bridge, with a modern sensibility. The softly squared, pleasingly chunky acetate frame has all the throwback charm of a knit polo while the pale blue lenses add a contemporary pop of color.
Persol 714SM Steve McQueen Sunglasses
In the annals of eyewear, Steve McQueen’s folding Persol shades are legendary. Essentially a revved-up aviator, the 714SM is an icon that’ll bring a bit of McQueen swagger to everything from tailoring to tees.
Ahlem Place de la Concorde Sunglasses
Former Best of the Best winner Ahlem meticulously handcrafts its glasses in France, where nine different artisans work on each pair. This square-lensed update to a traditional aviator is fit for high-fliers with luxe details like 22k gold plating, filigree engraving and titanium nose pads.
The Reference Library Stevie Sunglasses
The ’70s are having a moment in menswear and the groovy feeling very much extends to eyewear. These shades channel the era’s louche attitude with tortoiseshell acetate, double bridge frames and pale green lenses. Their inspiration might be retro but these sunglasses have style for the ages.
Gucci Square-Frame Sunglasses
Another icon of vintage eyewear is the Clubmaster, defined by half-wire frames with acetate brows. Traditional renditions can sometimes be mired in Leave It to Beaver pastiche, but Gucci has slimmed down the proportions for sunnies that are distinctly un-geeky.
Polo Ralph Lauren Phantos Sunglasses
The combination of hefty tortoiseshell frames and mirrored blue lenses makes this pair a unique find; the round shape is classically handsome while the sporty lenses give it some bite. But of course, this being Ralph Lauren, such subversion is rendered with the utmost elegance.
Salvatore Ferragamo Sunglasses
D-framed Wayfarer styles are perennially popular for good reason but, let’s be honest: They’re basic. This pair refines the silhouette and gives it a whole lot more interest with a combination of transparent navy blue frames and brown lenses—a color combo that’s unexpected yet endlessly wearable.
Sun Buddies Greta Sunglasses
This pair takes Wayfarers in the opposite direction, turning up the volume with chunkier frames. The sleek, graphic lines make a bolder statement without being too loud. Plus, who doesn’t want to see the world through literal rose-colored lenses?
Garrett Leight Harding X Sun
Yet another pair with 70s provenance, Garrett Leight’s Harding X is built from luxuriously thick 12mm acetate with minimal embellishment and the masculine double whammy of a flat brow bar and a keyhole bridge. Done up in this rich cognac color, they won’t leave any question about who’s the boss.
Moscot Mish Sunglasses
Clean-lined and understated, this pair gives a traditional square silhouette a sleek upgrade thanks to its lightweight metal frame. Smart enough to wear with a suit yet versatile enough for every day, they’re reliable shades that will work with whatever you’re wearing from the neck down.