Sunglasses are a powerful accessory. Wearing them offers a sense of protection and mystery, both physically and socially (no one knows where you’re looking). Style-wise, they can change your whole look by adding an edgy touch or a pop of color. So, don’t underestimate their impact.
Trendiness aside, sunglasses are designed first and foremost to protect your eyes from sun exposure. With the sunny days of summer on the horizon, you want to make sure you’re not only slathering on SPF to protect your skin but always sliding on a pair of sunnies before you step out of the house. The majority of modern styles are designed to filter out UVA and UVB, which is crucial when spending time outdoors. Are you looking for something sporty to wear while out on a morning run? Or perhaps you need a statement style for your next trip somewhere tropical? We’re here to help.
Below, we spoke to Cody Cho, Vice President at Dita, and Heather Feldman, Sunglasses Hut’s trend expert to help you find the best pair of sunglasses for you.
Prada Symbole Sunglasses
“I adore the Prada Symbole series—full of fashion-forward, geometric designs with chunky volumes and refined colorways,” says Feldman. These glasses are the perfect balance of statement-making and timeless, meaning you’ll be able to hold on to them for summers to come. Plus, the oversized rectangular frames look flattering on many face types.
Price at the time of publish: $378
Shape: Rectangular | Color Options: Dark brown
Le Specs Liar Liar Sunglasses
A few years ago, Le Specs’ Lolita sunglasses, a collaboration with designer Adam Selman, went viral as the must-have shape. These cat-eye glasses have an oversized design that makes them particularly well-suited to keeping the sun out of your eyes. The tortoise coloring is classic and easy to wear with outfits of all colors.
Price at the time of publish: $65–$75
Shape: Cat-eye | Color Options: Black, tortoiseshell
Chanel Rectangle Sunglasses
Part of what makes Chanel’s rectangle sunglasses a particularly appealing purchase is the fact that they come with a beaded chain that will keep them from getting lost in transit. If you’re a frequent traveler during summer, you’ll bring luxury style to your looks around the world wearing these.
Price at the time of publish: $1,375
Shape: Rectangle | Color Options: Brown, burgundy, black +more
Ray Ban Aviators
Don’t mess with the classics. Ray Ban’s signature aviators have remained popular for decades. Originally designed to protect the eyes of fighter pilots, these sunglasses sit snugly on the bridge of your nose, filling that sometimes pesky coverage gap just above your cheek.
Price at the time of publish: $163–$213
Shape: Aviator | Color Options: Gold/green, silver/blue, black/green, gunmetal/green +more
Bottega Veneta Cat-Eye Sunglasses
Channel your inner Grace Kelly with a classic cat-eye silhouette courtesy of Italian label Bottega Veneta. Wider temples (the long arms on the sides) give these sunglasses a modern twist while still holding onto the elegant essence of the design.
Price at the time of publish: $470
Shape: Cat-eye | Color Options: Black, yellow
Best for Running
District Vision Junya Racer
As a runner myself, I know how annoying it can get when you start to sweat and your glasses slowly slide down the bridge of your nose. I’ve used these sunglasses for a year now and found them to stick faithfully in place. Their proprietary lens material is also shatterproof, so if they do happen to fall off, they’ll still survive intact.
Price at the time of publish: $245–$295
Shape: Athletic | Color Options: Black, Mosaic
Best for Hiking
Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses
Another option if you’re looking for something athletic is these polarized Oakley glasses, which come in 22 combinations of frame and lens colors. Feldman also points out that sports-inspired sunglasses are a trend to try, even if you’re not planning to break a sweat.
Price at the time of publish: $234
Shape: Athletic | Color Options: Polished White, Matte Grey, Polished Black +more
Best for Oval Faces
Off-White Arthur Sunglasses
If you have an oval face, try rectangular-shaped sunglasses, which offer contrast and balance. Off White’s Arthur sunglasses have a wide, oversized frame, a trend highlighted by both Cho and Feldman.
Price at the time of publish: $330
Shape: Rectangle | Color Options: Black
Best for Small Faces
Warby Parker Haskell Sunglasses
Those with a small face should look for a pair of sunglasses that have a narrow silhouette and small lenses so as not to completely cover your cheeks. Warby Parker’s Haskell silhouette has a thin frame and round lenses that won’t extend past the width of your face.
Price at the time of publication: Starting at $95
Shape: Round | Color Options: Whiskey Tortoise, Crystal, Crystal with Electric Blue Lenses +more
Best for Round Faces
Dita Mastix Sunglasses
For those with a round face, Cho suggests finding balance with a pair of square frames. Dita’s Mastix silhouette is a contemporary take on the shape, with a slightly oversize design and temples with a wide, sculptural fabrication. Made in Japan, they’re simple yet trend-forward, and thanks to the big and bold silhouette, they offer extra sun protection with coverage down to the cheekbone.
Price at the time of publish: $495
Shape: Square | Color Options: Black Tortoise, Brown Swirl, Black
Krewe Blake Sunglasses
Polarized lenses are designed to reduce reflections and glare, but they don’t have to be reserved for athletic purposes. Krewe’s Blake classic silhouette is ideal for everyday use but will come in particularly handy when you wear them somewhere bright or snowy.
Price at the time of publish: $215–$295
Shape: Classic | Color Options: Matte Oyster, Champagne, Bottle Green, Birch
Dior DiorMidnight Sunglasses
A modern take on the cat-eye, this angular silhouette is designed with thick acetate frames that will become a forever favorite in your sunglasses lineup. Simple, narrow temples add to the overall daintiness of the style.
Price at the time of publish: $440
Shape: Cat-eye | Color Options: Black
Chimi 04 Sunglasses
Tortoise, a mottled brown fabrication of acetate, is a popular choice used in sunglasses design. These classic-shaped sunglasses have flat, square lenses that add a contemporary touch.
Price at time of publish: $160
Shape: Classic | Color Options: Tortoise, Black
Miu Miu Glimpse Sunglasses
White sunglasses are bound to make a statement. These oversized frames from Miu Miu feature bold logo detailing that likens them to a piece of gold jewelry. Angled frames give a cat-eye effect while maintaining the overall rectangular shape.
Price at time of publish: $530
Shape: Rectangle | Color Options: White, Black, Dark Pink, Pink
Celine Graphic Sunglasses
Cho expects to see bold colors continue to grow in popularity, so get ahead of the trend with a pair of playful pink sunglasses from Celine. Look closely and you’ll spot a subtle gold logo across the temples.
Price at time of publish: $440
Shape: Rectangular | Color Options: Pink
Overall, Prada’s Rectangle Acetate Sunglasses are our favorite. Their angular shape is trendy, while the neutral color options make them versatile. If you’re looking to make even more of a statement, then a pop of color is the way to go. For more functional glasses, choose a sporty option that won’t slip and will protect your eyes while you hike or run. District Vision’s Junya Racer and Oakley’s Flak 2.0 XL glasses will do the trick. And if you want something timeless, opt for the classic silhouette that best fits your face shape.
What to Look for When Buying Sunglasses
After identifying your face shape (see FAQ below), you want to find a pair that is best suited to you not only in design but also color and style. Once you have a more general idea of the silhouette that’s right for you, then you can start to hone in on details like hardware and style. “Factors like frame shape, color, and style all come into play and can alter your aesthetic, so knowing your face shape will help make the shopping process a little simpler,” Feldman says.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll want to keep an eye out for styles that are polarized. “Polarized sunglasses are designed to filter out reflected light, reduce glare, and increase clarity," says Cho. “They are much better than standard UV lenses while also reducing eye strain and improving vision for the wearer.”
Though they’re often confused, polarization and UV protection are not the same. When shopping for sunglasses, look for styles that specify that they are 100% UVA and UVB protection as that is the highest level of protection you can find. Even on days when it's cloudy, UV rays can penetrate, so it's important to protect your eyes.
How do you choose sunglasses for your face shape?
“When looking for the right sunglasses for your face shape you want to first figure out what type of face shape you have,” suggests Cho. Heart, Oval, Round, and Square are the most common—observing your facial structure and jawline in a mirror can help you determine. Once you’ve found your shape, “typically you want to look for a frame that is opposite of your face type,” Cho says. So, if your face is square, opt for round frames while an oval face might want something rectangular.
What are polarized sunglasses?
“Polarized sun lenses have a filter that reduces reflection and glare,” says Feldman. “[They] can be especially helpful when driving and if you spend a lot of time outside or play outdoor sports—especially on water or snow—because they also improve colors, clarity, and eye comfort.”
How do you clean sunglasses?
“When caring for your Sunglasses you want to make sure you use a microfiber cleaning cloth in addition to a liquid lens cleaner,” suggests Cho. To avoid any scratching, “making sure you use a cleaning cloth that is free of debris is a must.”
Can you remove scratches from sunglasses?
Unfortunately, you cannot remove scratches from the lenses of sunglasses. To avoid scratches, properly store your sunglasses when not in use—even if you’re putting them in your pocket or purse, be sure to have them inside of a protective case. If your glasses do get scratched, you can still preserve the frames. “If the frame is still in good shape, you could consider swapping out the sun lenses…I do this often with vintage frames,” Feldman says.
Why Trust Byrdie
Aemilia Madden is a writer and editor who has spent the last decade covering the latest trends and advancements in the fashion space. For this piece, she spoke to experts that specialize in both trends and function to help determine the best styles in the space. She’s also an avid sunglasses collector herself, with over 15 pairs that she wears for everything from running to attending fashion shows.