Whether you opt for a classic or a trendy style, you know that the ultimate goal is to select a pair of sunglasses that properly shields your eyes from those harmful ultraviolet rays. At a bare minimum, your sunnies of choice should block them fully—that is, they should bare a sticker reading that they provide 100% UV protection. That’s not something that everyone tends to check as often as they should, so do your eyes a major favor and make that the top criteria on your list.
With that settled, you have a few—okay, thousands upon thousands—of options to keep in mind. As summer approaches and blissfully sunnier days become the norm, you’ll need a fabulous pair or two to see you through the season and to wear throughout the year. Here are some of the best styles to keep in mind for this summer.
1. Colored Lenses
Feeling adventurous? Hope aboard the colored lenses train and experiment with something that’s slightly out of your comfort zone. Hey—if not now, when? It’s sensible to stick with a trusted label like Illesteva, whose downright chic Leonard sunglasses ($177) epitomize downtown cool in the most nonchalant manner possible. Each lens measures 48mm across, making it a sized-just-right choice for any face shape. The blue mirror effect is desperately cool—and sure to turn heads thanks to the contrast between the vibrant hue and the rounded black frames.
2. Sharply Angled
Everyone loves a great round frame, but there’s something to be said for branching out and embracing something that everyone doesn’t own. There’s a certain severity about some angled frames, but these Prada Linea Rossa 66mm metal sunglasses ($350) vanquish doubts by softening the style just enough to make them more approachable. The effect is sharp, yes, but these shades, with their cushioned nose pads and slightly rounded inner frames, are less aggressive in their take on the trend.
3. Sunny Outlooks
A bright day calls for a bright pair of sunglasses, wouldn’t you agree? Even if you’re firmly entrenched in the neutral camp, you can’t help but be wowed by the vibrant nature of these Oakley Frogskins Lite ($143). A modern interpretation of the brand’s iconic Frogskins design, these feature semi-rimless frames and a slightly sportier aesthetic—ideal for the on-the-go lifestyle, whether that means navigating packed city sidewalks on steamy mornings or sitting in traffic day in and day out.
4. Minimalist Chic
There’s little need to announce your cool factor when you’re naturally the coolest cat on the block. A pair of subtle sunglasses, like these timeless Ray-Bans ($195), are just the right fit for the person who prefers a minimalist approach to his style. The breezy, barely-there seafoam green lenses alone are worth a second glance simply being so unexpected, and they partner beautifully with the sleek, sinewy silver metal. In simplest terms, is it even possible to go wrong with a pair of Ray-Bans?
5. Sporty Coverage
For an active lifestyle that demands protective coverage during a workout, opt for something with clean lines and a light configuration. The airy structure of these Nike Cross Trainer 67mm Shield Sunglasses ($79) makes them highly appropriate for anything on your schedule, while the wider lenses and sport-influenced wrap silhouette ensures the greatest possible coverage. Not one to wear a shade of berry? There’s also a futuristic silver available.
6. Legendary Looks
If ever you were in doubt of your ability to choose the perfect pair of sunglasses, your search ends here. The designers at legendary MOSCOT, a brand whose designs have graced the streets of New York City since the early 20th century, have teamed up with Todd Snyder to create a reinterpreted vision of a classic. Boasting original period workmanship and a handsome olive colorway, this pair of Lemtosh sunglasses ($310) brings a sense of old-school cool to your wardrobe.
7. Excessively Bold
If you count Elton John as one of your personal style icons, then it’s completely understandable that you may wish to model your summer sunglass game after his generally ostentatious preferred aesthetic. In that vein, keep the Gucci Square-Frame Acetate Sunglasses ($320) in mind. Much of Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s inspiration comes from the ’70s (specifically John’s stage outfits from that era), so this rainbow colored pair with oversized lenses may be perfect for your most over-the-top ensembles.