Best Men’s Sunglasses for Summer

the idle man sunglasses

It is that time again, spring is already here with all its sunny and breezy goodness and the blazing summer heat is just around the corner. It is the time for smart layering, lightweight bombers, loafers and of course sunglasses.

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Sunglasses are the ultimate accessory for the sunny months as you will wear them a lot and they will be front and centre. Is it best to have a well-rounded pair that goes well with your business casual attire but can match with your off-duty look? Or is it better to have a collection of cool sunglasses to mix and match to your heart’s content? We are here nonetheless to help you make the best choice.

So without further ado, let us check out the hottest men’s summer sunglasses, be it all time classics or seasonally updated pieces.

The Most Important Summer Accessory

Nothing screams summer like a pair of cool shades on your face, without question, they’re the ultimate summer accessory. After all, during the sunny months, it’ll, no doubt, be part of every outfit (just maybe not in London, sorry).

oliver cheshire and pixie lott sunglasses summer
Oliver Cheshire wearing sunglasses with Pixie Lott
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Certain styles of sunglasses you are not only buying, a functional piece of eyewear that will protect your eyes from harmful rays but you will get history and all the connotations that come with it. So to better understand what each style will say about you, let us delve into the rich history of sunglasses.

Best Sunglasses For summer

With menswear gaining in attention, brands are pulling out all the stops to impress, especially with regards to sunglasses. Here we’ll look at some of the best summer styles.

While we are seeing the continued resurgence of iconic classics and new spins on the tried and true designs, there are some interesting new trends for summer that you should keep an eye out to be on the top of your sunglasses game.

Chunkier acetate frames are everywhere this year and in past years we have seen gradient lenses take over even our most favourite classic models like the Wayfarer and Aviators. The light brown of a tobacco lenses will give a very pleasurable tint to your visuals as well as be an understated way of being stylish.

In past years, neon colours and louder patterns made a comeback with mint Aviators and printed Wayfarers. This summer go for a more restrained look. Now we don’t say ditch colours all together, but opt for muted pastels in the eyewear department, especially if you want a pair of sunglasses that will last until next year.

So there you have it, our comprehensive guide for men’s summer sunglasses. We hope you learned some cool details and can now choose the best sunglasses for you. Enjoy the summer!

Top 10 Sunglasses for Men

Here are our top picks from our range of sunglasses for the summer…

1. Ray-BanWayfarer Sunglasses

Sometimes it’s best to stick to a classic, and Ray-Ban Wayfarers are classic. These iconic shades are so diverse they go with most outfits. However, wearing them with a leather jacket draped over the shoulders and a white tee and you’ll be channelling James Dean.

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2. Persol Suprema Sunglasses Orange

These Persol sunglasses are perfect for the summer season. The orange tone is great, especially for those of us that aren’t colour confident and just want to add an accessory to our tonal wardrobe.

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3. The Idle Man Round Lens Sunglasses

Get your inner John Lennon on with these timeless sunglasses this summer. The retro lens has had a resurgence in popularity recently as more designers look to the 1970s for inspiration.

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4. Jeepers Peepers Round Sunglasses In Brown

As before round sunglasses are a popular shape for this summer, but brown lenses are also as popular. Kill two birds with one stone and grab yourself a pair of these Jeepers Peepers shades.

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5. Ray Ban Round Sunglasses

This look has been worn by legendary musicians and inspired by the 1960s counter-culture when this style first originated – if you’re looking for a slightly more quirky look than these are for you.

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6. Jeepers Peepers Riley Ways sunglasses

These Jeepers Peepers are an inexpensive pair of glasses that will see you throughout the summer. They are a bold pair so I recommend wearing them with a more neutral outfit.

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7. Persol Foldable Crystal Lens Sunglasses

Persol eyewear is among the most well-respected and distinguished eyewear brands in the world. The PO0714 are worn by the likes of Ryan Gosling and Jay-Z, these are made for style but are also 100% UV resistance so you won’t be damaging your eyes to look as suave as HOV.

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8. Jeepers Peepers Casper Rounds

These metal-framed, round lens glasses offer a real vintage style and classic look with the half-printed lens frame bringing a really original look to a classic shape.

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9. Ray-Ban Polarized Aviator Sunglasses

If you’re looking for a classic style then search no more, Ray Ban have you covered. Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses were originally designed for U.S. aviators in 1937 and ever since have been donned by some of the most iconic musicians and actors the world has ever seen.

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10. Persol Suprema Icon Sunglasses

A classic design, these Persol Suprema Icon sunglasses will see you through the summer and into the next and into the one after that. A timeless frame in an even more durable colourway, these are our top pick.

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Popular Sunglasses Styles

The Aviators

When it comes to cool sunglasses, there are none cooler than the aviator. Being the all-time classic, it’s a solid choice and will be a staple of men’s style for many years to come. But where does this iconic style come from?

The First World War introduced aviation to armed conflicts. And with pilots at risk to be shot down in their flimsy double-decker planes at any moment, spotting the enemy coming with the sun behind their backs was lifesaving.

Bausch & Lomb came up with the early designs for aviators and the teardrop shape also originates from them as it covers the most area from the sun.

Aviators became popular and widely manufactured during World War II by none other than General Douglas MacArthur, who wore his pair of aviators when the U.S. retook the Philippines. Millions of Americans saw photos of the heroic general storming the beaches with his corn cob pipe, ornate hat, and aviator sunglasses –  a legend was born.

The Wayfarer

Aviators, not your thing? Then look no further than the pair that dethroned the teardrop shaped, metal framed icon and became the symbol of cool for a new generation, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer.

Designed by Raymond Stegeman in 1952 and worn by style icons like James Dean and John F. Kennedy, the Wayfarer quickly became the sunglasses to have. And with an acetate construction, it was a pair that the everyday American could afford as well.

robert pattinson ray ban wayfarer
Robert Pattinson wearing Ray Ban Wayfarers
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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The Wayfarer hardly changed over the decades following its inception. Sure, it faded in and out of popularity but it never truly went away. That is until the 90s’ came rolling in with their horrid wraparound sunglasses that, believe it or not, completely overtook this icon of style.

So after Luxottica bought Ray-Ban, they remodelled the classic shades and released the New Wayfarer, dubbed RB2132 in 2001. This new design allowed for a more comfortable wear and for the first time, you could wear them on your head, something that was impossible to do with the vintage model’s perched front.

The New Wayfarer did help out the style a bit, but it was the late 2000s revival that we feel even in 2016. Nowadays, you can still buy the New Wayfarer, but it is hardly their flagship model. If you want a truly stylish, effortless classic, go for the original model, with the RB2140 model number.

What is Acetate?

When picking sunglasses, you will most definitely come across the term acetate for plastic framed sunglasses. But what is it? How come the iconic tortoiseshell Wayfarer is also made of acetate and not actual shells of tortoises?

Cellulose acetate is a plant-based plastic that is hypoallergenic making it perfect for something you wear on your face. This material was first used for eyewear in the late 1940’s because of brittleness and other problems with the primitive plastics of the time.

Modern acetates are known for being strong, lightweight, and flexible. Cellulose acetate also has the widest range for transparency, rich colours, and finishes making it ideal to give shape to the wildest creations of contemporary designers.

The Clubmaster

If you want to combine the cool of the Wayfarer style, but want to add a touch of class to your frames, the Clubmaster has you covered. Called a browline design, because of its pronounced top frame and thin bottom arches, it was introduced in the 50s, along with the Wayfarer and following its general shape.

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A man wearing Clubmaster sunglasses
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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It was always more of a statement though. Malcolm X and James Dean are only two examples of the daring and sometimes controversial wearers of the Clubmaster style. In 2016, the Clubmaster is alive and well, enjoying a comeback once again.

The Foldable Persol 714

A unique pair that would make the perfect choice for those who want to stand out a bit, while still staying classically stylish. Seeing the light of day at the beginning of the 60s as a modified version of the 649, the 714s were the world’s first foldable sunglasses.

They were made famous by none other than Steve McQueen himself in the film The Thomas Crown Affair. Featuring an acetate frame and a unique hinge mechanism, the foldable Persol 714s are a classic yet unique pair of sunglasses with a great pedigree.

Choosing the Right Shades

The Right Shades for Your Face

Sunglasses are probably the most important accessory you will have this spring and summer. After all, they are right on your face and will be the first thing people see on when you are out and about. While sunglasses of all shapes and styles can be cool, certain types might not suit your facial features and thus will not make you look your best.

While you might see a guy with a cool set of shades, the same pair might not look that good on you. Knowing what type of sunglasses will go best with your face is key to make the right choice.

What Shape is My Face?

Knowing your face shape is immensely useful and not only for choosing sunglasses. It can help you choose the best hairstyle and facial hair style as well. How do you determine what shape your face is I hear you asking? Just like measuring other parts of your body, grabbing a tape measure and jotting down your face’s 4 key measurements is a good start.

  1. Forehead: Measure across your face from the peak of one eyebrow arch to the peak of the opposite arch.
  2. Cheekbones: Measure across your cheekbones, starting and ending at the pointiest part below the outer corner of each eye.
  3. Jawline: Measure from tip of your chin to below your ear at the point at which your jaw angles upwards. Multiply that number by two to get your jawline measurement.
  4. Face Length: Measure from the centre of your hairline to the tip of your chin.
ryan gosling mens sunglasses
Ryan Gosling wearing sunglasses
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Once you have all your measurements taken down, you can look at the below categories to see what face shape you have.

  • Oval: Face length is greater than the width of the cheekbones, and forehead is greater than the jawline. The angle of the jaw is rounded rather than sharp.
  • Square: All measurements are fairly similar. The angle of the jaw is sharp rather than rounded.
  • Oblong: Face length is the greatest measurement. Forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size.
  • Round: Cheekbones and face length have a similar measurement. They are larger than forehead and jawline, which also have a similar measurement. The angle of the jaw is soft and much less defined.
  • Diamond: Face length measures largest. Then, in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and smallest is jawline. The chin is pointed.
  • Heart: Forehead measures greater than the cheekbones and jawline. The chin is pointed.
  • Triangular: Jawline measures greater than cheekbones, which measures larger than your forehead.

Oval Face

mens oval face shape
Oval face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

If you are blessed with an oval face you don’t have to worry much about what kind of sunglasses you can wear and still look good. So knock yourself out and experiment with the myriad of available sunglasses styles, mix it up from time to time with a timeless classic or an unusual wooden frame.

Square Face

mens square face shape
Square face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

Square faces with strong jaw lines have enough angles already. This means that rounded sunglasses like Aviators work well. You can also go for the Ray-Ban RB3447 for a perfect festival look. Round classic Oliver Peoples frames or the iconic foldable Persol 714 are all great choices as well.

However, why not bend the rules a bit? You can try a more angular version of a classic frame, like the Randolph Aviators for that tough as nails mach look. Just make sure you don’t opt for a pair with thick rectangular frames as those would be out of balance.

Oblong Face

mens oblong face shape
Oval face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

To give your face a balanced look, go for sunglasses that are narrower than your face. Round or square frames will work well here but better opt for larger styles to avoid making your features look small. Aviator styles are a good option as the teardrop silhouette helps to accentuate cheek and jaw bones.

Round Face

mens round face shape
Oblong face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

For round faces, angular designs are perfect as they will add more definition to your face. Best to opt for a classic style like the Wayfarer that comes in multiple sizes. Go for the size that is wider than your temple thus making your cheeks appear slimmer. Rectangular Polaroids or Police frames tend to work well too.

Diamond Face

mens diamond face shape
Diamond face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

A strong chin, wide cheekbones and a pronounced forehead call for a pair of sunglasses that can become the focal point of your face. So go for some catchy vintage inspired glasses like the Clubmaster and don’t shy away from colour. Colourful shades will help you draw attention from your strong facial features. Make sure the frames are the right size for your face to avoid looking like you’ve nicked someone else’s.

Heart Face

mens heart face shape
Heart face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

Although this face type is rather rare, we are here to help out those of you who have it nonetheless. To balance the wide forehead and temple are with your narrower jaw go for sunglasses that are narrower than the width of your face. These can be angular or round frames that come in multiple sizes. A smaller version of the Wayfarer will also suit a heart shaped face.

Triangle Face

mens triangle face shape
Triangle face shape
PHOTO CREDIT: FashionBeans

Much like with a heart shaped face, the key is to balance your features by optically narrowing the lower part of your face. Luckily, with your more angular features, round sunglasses were practically made for you. If you don’t dig the 60s hippy inspired look, or the Ivy League vibes of Oliver Peoples, you can also go for a larger version of the iconic Aviators.

Sunglasses Etiquette

Yes, sunglasses are undoubtedly cool and useful accessories. However, wearing them all the time is probably not the best option if you don’t want to look like someone with no manners. Let us look at the 3 most important rules of sunglasses etiquette.

  1. Don’t wear them inside. Hang them on your shirt or T-shirt, push them on your head but please, take them off when you enter a building. After all, they have no function there at all.
  2. Don’t wear them after dark. This one should go without saying, right? After all, they are not only useless at night, they can be downright counter-productive. Still, some think they are cool wearing sunglasses at night. Let me tell you, they are not. Don’t be that guy.
  3. Take them off when talking to someone. Do take off your sunglasses when you are making conversation. Showing your eyes is a sign of trust and therefore hiding them shows you have something to hide.

How to Clean your Sunglasses

Just like when investing in a good pair of shoes, maintenance is key, you can shine your shoes, but how to care for your sunglasses? Here is any excellent video from Warby Parker explaining how to care for your glasses, the same can be applied to sunglasses too.

History of Sunglasses

Today, sunglasses are everywhere. From high street shops to luxury designers, you can find a pair for a couple of pounds or you can spend a couple of hundred. But where did they come from? Are you thinking of World War II pilots with their bomber jackets and aviators? Well, guess again.

Inuit sunglasses
The first type of sunglasses
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

The first sunglasses of sorts were made by Inuit communities living in the Arctic regions of constant ice and snow. These were a pair of ivory plates with a small slit in the middle of them where the wearer could peek out. Technically speaking, these were not proper sunglasses but they did their job of blocking out the harsh reflected rays of the sun. Come on… for prehistoric times, that’s pretty impressive.

Later in 12th century China, sunglasses were fashioned by thin slates of dark coloured quartz and did work similarly to our modern day sunglasses.

Best Men’s Sunglasses for Summer

  • Look for unusual shapes or extras.
  • Neon colours are not timeless so avoid if you want sunglasses that will last.
  • It’s always a good idea to have a cheaper pair of glasses as well as an expensive pair. No one wants to lose their Tom Fords at Glastonbury this year right?
  • Keep your glasses clean and in a case. Scratches on your glasses are not a good look.
  • Remember your sunglasses etiquette, I know you want to look stylish but eye contact is key sometimes
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David Beckham wearing sunglasses and a roll neck jumper a the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2017 show
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

On That Note

Now we have gone through everything you need to know about the best glasses in 2016. Remember to stick in your budget when buying them, only buy ones that suit your face shape and ultimately only follow trends if you know you’ll wear them after this season. Sunglasses can update the simplest of outfits, so go forth with this knowledge and spend wisely.

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