The Best-Made Shades


Plenty of sunglasses cost over $300 these days. Very few, however, are worth that price, but if you’re ready to drop a car payment on stylish shades, look to Garrett Leight of Venice, California. His eponymous shop turns out some of the best-made specs in the world.

Our pick from his current collection, the Harding, pairs a classic keyhole design with a contemporary matte-black finish – a combination Leight calls “simple, subtle, and modern.” And while most style mavens associate this shape with guys like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, Leight says his inspiration came from a more fly-under-the-radar style icon, having pulled the idea from pictures of legendary playwright (and onetime husband to Marilyn Monroe) Arthur Miller.

As is the case with all of Leight’s creations, the Harding is flawlessly constructed, featuring Italian mineral glass lenses and vintage acetate frames from Japan. Unlike its competitors, the front rivets here aren’t just for show – they’re fitted through a hand-drilled hole in the frame and connected to German-made hinges. And while we won’t pretend three Benjamins is cheap, it’s a relative bargain for a timeless piece of American cool guaranteed to last a lifetime (so long as you don’t sit on them). [$310;]