Sunglasses are more than just eye-protection. A well-selected pair can elevate your look and solidify your signature style. But there are countless styles and shapes out there — so it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when trying to cop a something new. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top trends and classic sunglasses styles for men — so you can make smart choices with your next pair of shades.
Coined by Ray-Ban in 1956, and perhaps the most classic and enduringly iconic sunglasses style there is, the Wayfarer is a universal eyewear staple that has proven to be timelessly stylish. The reason for the Wayfarer’s fame is that the style looks great on anyone and everyone. If you want a pair that you can wear with anything and that won’t go out of style, Wayfarer shades are a great choice. The Wayfarer style became, and continues to be, the eyewear of choice for celebrities and rock legends, with iconic artists like the Beatles, Billy Joel, Tom Cruise, and Orlando Bloom sporting the look. With its iconic history and celebrity endorsement, the Wayfarer shades have a rock n’ roll charm unrivaled by all other eyewear styles.
The Clubmaster (“Horn-Rimmed”)
These retro frames, also coined by Ray-Ban, are inspired by the 50’s browline sunglasses trend, featuring rounded lenses with larger, statement-making upper rims (the “browline”), often made of plastic, and slim wire rims around the bottom. You can’t go wrong with these iconic frames that have stood the test of time. The Clubmaster frames are indicative of a nostalgic era, but no matter what the era, they maintain their ability to command attention. Robert Pattinson, Ed Westwick, and Bruno Mars dig the style because a man who wears a pair of Clubmasters is a man who knows how to effortlessly balance retro with a kind of hipster-cool that cannot be achieved with any other eyewear style.
The Aviator and the Wayfarer consistently battle each other for the title of “most iconic sunglasses model in the world,” and it’s not hard to see why. These frames were originally designed in the 1930’s to shield US aviators from the sun’s strong rays when up in the air, but their civilian popularity developed almost immediately after the style was released. These frames were further popularized by celebrities like Paul McCartney and Tom Cruise as they began to appear in pop culture references and films like Top Gun and To Live and Die in L.A. To this day, the Aviator is a favored style of celebrities and style icons, like Ne-Yo, Bradley Cooper, and Daniel Craig, to name a few. The classic Aviator frame is metal, and is characterized by a double or triple bridge. You can never go wrong with a classic pair of Aviators, but if you’re wanting to try something on the trendier side, plastic rimmed Aviators should do the trick.
These frames are characterized by rounded–or perfectly circular–lenses and frames and give off a cool, trendy-meets-vintage vibe. Though round frames are traditionally associated today as being the frame of choice for those seeking a vintage edge (think John Lennon), round frames are also becoming a very popular trend associated with Steampunk-inspired fashion. Steampunk–the movement and celebration surrounding Victorian fashion and technology–is experiencing a revival as of late. Accessories like watches, top hats, and glasses have been giving a nod towards the niche genre. The fashion trend is indicative of being adorned with intricate and exposed mechanical parts, like hardware, gears, and belts. So, whether you’re feeling the iconic vintage vibe or a Steampunk-infused element of cool, we recommend trying a pair of round frames on for yourself and see what you think.
There’s something so effortlessly cool about clear frame sunglasses. Many brands offer most classic sunglasses shapes and styles with clear, or translucent-colored, frames. The frames will instantly update any look and add a touch of modern minimalist edge to whatever you wear. If you’re new to clear framed specs, we recommend a clear frame wayfarer-style pair for the perfect mix of classic-meets-modern.
Mirror lens sunglasses have made a huge appearance, bringing an 80’s coolness to modern styles. These rainbow-colored lenses shift in color at every angle, giving a unique allure. Considered one of the biggest trends in eyewear, mirrored sunglasses have been hailed by celebrities, bloggers, and dapper gentlemen alike for their ability to add a dimension of youthfulness, fun, and surprise to one’s everyday wardrobe. Whatever frame shape you favor, you’ll be able to find a mirrored version that adds a little something extra.
This particular sunglasses style, coined by Persol in 1957, grew to be infamous in the late 1960’s when it became the style of choice by Steve McQueen. The iconic shape and look of these shades is characterized by a notch in the bridge of the frames just above the nose as well as by the sunglasses’ ability to fold in half for compact storage on-the-go. The overall look is classic, timeless, and reminiscent of the 60’s. The Persol brand was the originator of the notch bridge style, but today, the quintessential notch is popping up in all brands of eyewear and in a variety of frame shapes.
Bring your look down to earth with natural wooden frames. Watches, tie bars, phone cases, and sunglasses are now being made of different wood varieties and the resulting look is undoubtedly stylish, unexpected, sustainable, and unique. From bamboo to walnut to mahogany to maple, find the perfect shade of wood that fits your style. These are by far the most innovative styles and are a great way to bring your look back to the basics.
A colorful pair of sunglasses is a great way to round off your eyewear collection. Colored frames, like the mirrored lenses, add an unexpected pop of color to any outfit, and give your look an element of fun without going overboard. Make your favorite color a part of your signature style and add your personality to your look with a pair of colored frames.
Consider your eyewear carefully and they will be a year-round staple of your wardrobe. The sunglasses frames in this list are not just a trend for the summer, they are styles with the perfect balance of classic and trendy flare that will last for years to come, no matter the season. Regardless of what style you choose, however, make sure the pair is armed with UV protection, because wrinkles and damaged vision just aren’t cool, gents.