Now that Memorial Day weekend has passed, it’s officially summer. The season for barbecues, swimming pools, vacations, beaches, and (hopefully) lots of sunshine, is upon us. Along with warmth and sun comes the need for a whole list of must-have summer items: Bug spray, sunscreen, swim trunks, flip flops, and perhaps most obviously, some shades. While we are all for picking up that $10 pair at your local Target when you’re in a rush and need some eye protection, if you have a collection of cheap pairs and nothing else, it might be time for an upgrade. Spend a little more on some quality sunglasses and not only will they look cooler, but they will give you clearer vision and better protection from the sun. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite versions of timeless styles that will make the sun easy on the eyes and make you that much trendier.
Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer ($145)
The “Wayfarer” style has become a ubiquitous one in recent years, and for good reason. The classic black-framed shades, made famous by Bob Dylan and other celebrities, have instant cool-factor appeal and look good on almost everybody. While there are countless imposters out there, Ray-Ban offers high-quality specs and has the square shape perfected. This style looks great with everything, from a suit and tie to shorts and a t-shirt. If the black frames are too boring for your taste, we suggest trying a tortoiseshell frame or one of the other colors available.
Persol PO2988S Sunglasses ($235)
If you are the type who likes to peruse vintage stores and wear brogues and vests, try a quirky round style like this pair from Persol. This style won’t suit everyone, but if you can pull them off, you definitely get some trendsetter cred. We like this dark tortoiseshell frame with polarized green lenses, but the shades are also available in a simple black and a daring lighter tortoiseshell with blue-tinted lenses. This style also features the classic Persol arrows at the temples and a keyhole nose bridge.
Ray-Ban Aviator ($139)
Ray-Ban has mastered the classics, and if you can only own two pairs of sunglasses in your life, we’d take the brand’s Wayfarers and Aviators over anything else. Originally designed for U.S. military fighter pilots, the timeless style has been around for ages and, similar to the Wayfarer, seems to be almost universally flattering. It’s a different look than plastic-framed choices, but this style is classic and hip at the same time. There’s a reason so many cool dudes (hello, Top Gun) have worn aviators over the years. We recommend the gold frame with dark green lenses, but the sunglasses are available in a selection of finishes to suit your own style.
If simplicity is your style, we recommend a clean-lined rectangular frame in a classic color. This pair from Burberry has a minimalist look, but still offers all the markings of a great, quality pair of sunglasses. The black frames have a great, flattering shape and simple metal accents on the temples, with smoke-gray lenses. These have some of the same appeal as a Wayfarer, but are a little less flashy if you prefer a more streamlined look.
Bollé Lexington Polarized ($140)
Looks are important, but sometimes you need a bit more from your sunglasses than just an ultra-stylish design. These Bollé frames were made for the sport and outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t want to scrimp on style. With a head-hugging shape and polarized lenses, the Lexington offers a secure fit and performance quality for those with active lifestyles. The rectangular aviator styling and metal frame keep the look clean and sophisticated for both active adventures and everyday wear.