It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when my sunglasses obsession began. It might have been the purchase of my first pair of designer shades in college (they were Chloé). Or in my mid-20s, when my dad passed down to me his tortoise Ray-Ban Wayfarers from the ’80s. I love how sunglasses can truly make a look. Just think of how many movie characters are remembered for their shades: Tom Cruise in Risky Business! Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas! John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in The Blues Brothers!
From cool little square frames to retro oversized aviators, your sunglasses can say more about you than a whole outfit—if they’re chosen correctly. Sure, you could spend hours looking over a “find the right sunglasses for your face shape” article, but that’s honestly exhausting, right? At SG HQ, we’re all about having a few pairs you simply really like and putting ’em in rotation—including one especially dark pair for the days that follow especially long nights. And whether you want to spend $30 or more than $300, I’ve rounded up my favorite pairs of the season that will fit any stylish guy’s budget.
Privé Riveau’s super-affordable sunglasses don’t skimp when it comes to style. This rounded aviator is an easy frame for most faces, with the extra detail of the gold bridge bar that gives them a more elevated look.
You can’t go wrong with a slightly rounded tortoise frame, and the matte finish on these sets them apart. Plus, they’ve got polarized lenses! Le Specs is one of our favorite sunglasses brands simply because they look way more expensive than they are. Really.
These square frames hail from a very cool American eyewear brand, Raen. They have a bit of retro ’50s and ’60s spirit, which would really lend itself to an outfit involving a camp collar shirt (cough cough have you bought one yet?!).
Ray-Ban, I know! Big shocker! But listen, I know you know about their most ubiquitous frames (the aviator, the wayfarer, the Clubmaster). So let me instead suggest you cop a pair of these gold-frame sunnies. (Yes I said sunnies, it’s cute!) They’re kind of artsy and cool and you will look artsy and cool in them.
There’s about a 99.5% chance you’ve seen this iconic image of Steve McQueen, wearing a pair of Persol shades in 1968's The Thomas Crown Affair. He wore this style often, and you should, too. It’s universally flattering and still has that “make you look like a movie star” appeal today.
Vuarnet Legend 02, $240
If they’re hip enough for 1970s Mick Jagger, they’re definitely hip enough for 2019 you. Founded in the 1960s by a French “optician and ski enthusiast,” Vuarnet began as a brand designed for outdoors-y recreational pursuits like ski racing and mountaineering, and was quickly adopted by cooler-than-cool celebs like Alain Delon and Miles Davis. It’s one of those low-key heritage brands that’s making a stealthy comeback right now. Take SG’s word for it and get ahead of the trend.
Gucci Aviator Sunglasses, $505
Are you on a bougie Pablo Escobar vibe this summer? Me too, I think. That’s why I am absolutely convinced you and I both must have these oversized aviators with see-through blue lenses. If you didn’t already spend your whole tax return on an additional leather jacket last month, this pair of Gucci glasses is a great alternative.
Are you a sophisticated gentleman? Do you want people to think you are? Either way, that means a pair of Oliver Peoples sunglasses should be resting effortlessly on the bridge of your nose all summer. I love the look of a green lens, especially paired with a clear frame. Something about that combo just says, “Wear me on a sailboat.”