Here’s my pick of the season’s best sunglasses for men and women. The weather may only just be heating up, but sunglasses are a seasonless essential.
Yes, the time is ripe to be updating your collection with the best frames of seasons past and present. Whether you’re a serial sunglasses wearer or you’re simply looking for a pair to elevate a summer spent in parks and pub gardens, there’s no shortage of stylish shades.
In addition to the usual stock of aviators and wayfarers, with their timeless appeal, THE eyewear trend in 2021 is oversized, overtly chic and unisex FLAT TOPS. Think plasma screens – the bigger the better.
Whatever style you choose (classic shapes are good too) it’s not always easy picking a new pair of sunglasses online, but now we have the opportunity to try them on in-store. Consider the choices in lens strengths, colours and polarisation (glare protection).
As a general rule, always consider face shape. If you want to wear your glasses more than once, it would be smart to consider what actually looks good on you. Square faces, for instance, will benefit from the soft curves of rounder frames. Likewise, the angles of a triangular- or heart-shaped face will be accentuated by aviators. Those with rounder faces, on the other hand, might consider opting for square or rectangular styles such as wayfarers to harden their features.
1. GUCCI CLUBMASTER
A high-end take on the Clubmaster silhouette, these sunglasses are proof of Gucci’s knack for refined elegance. A shape that’s favoured by the likes of Robert Pattinson and David Beckham, they’re elevated by the rich tortoiseshell hue of their upper rim, slick gold accents and signature red and blue stripes that run down their temples. £355. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
2. RAY-BAN ROUND METAL
Ray-Bans take the gong for best accessory in a supporting role. As well as being good value for all seasons, they’re just as well suited to a brown overcoat and paisley scarf as your summer shorts and tees. £131. ray-ban.com. At sunglasshut.com and John Lewis. johnlewis.com
3. TOM FORD
Tom Ford rarely veers far from his own specific brand of sleek luxury, and why would he when it looks as good as this? Taking a classic shape and elevating it with those gold inserts that are so synonymous with the brand, the tinted lens of these shades makes them the perfect sunglasses to wear with tailoring. £231. At Sunglass Hut.sunglasshut.com
4. GIORGIO ARMANI
A contemporary spin on a classic, Giorgio Armani’s perfectly round Italian acetate frames are the perfect designer pair to soften up those more angular face shapes – we’re especially fond of the exaggerated curvature of the nose bridge. Ever a purveyor of quality, glass lenses give these a weighty feel that adds an extra sense of luxury too. £242. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
5. RAY-BAN AVIATORS
The iconic Aviator sits at the forefront of Ray-Ban’s catalogue of sunglasses, along with the other classics that have made my edit. This one should be the centrepiece of any smart look that warrants the addition of a slick pair of shades. My advice is to get the largest size (they come in three sizes) and always opt for a gradual tinted lens. I love brown and blue.
6. QUAY FLAT TOPS
Although these are mostly women’s sunglasses, men can wear them too. They must be large and square just like a plasma screen. Very 2021, very stylish and very eye catching. Reasonable too – £39 – £59
7. RAY-BAN ORIGINAL WAYFARER
The Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classics are the most recognisable in the history of sunglasses. After its initial design in 1952, the Wayfarer quickly endeared itself to models, musicians and artists, solidifying its iconic style status for years to come. You really can’t go wrong with a simple black pair.. £131. ray-ban.com. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com. At fashioneyewear.co.uk and sunglasshut.com