Summer sunglasses are an accessory you’d be hard pressed to leave home without. They pull your look together, injecting instant style to an outfit, and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. It’s easy to follow the crowd and nab a pair of popular shades, but if you like to stray from the pack—rather than show up to a gathering wearing the same pair as half your friends—heed our summer sunglasses guide.
We’ve identified standout offerings from top sunglasses brands, eschewing super-trendy silhouettes and colors for intriguing nuances on classic styles. Can’t choose just one? (We don’t blame you.) Nab a travel case like Garrett Leight California Optical Collector’s Case ($80) to keep up to four pairs organized and protected. It’s not just for travel; the velvety-smooth suede exterior is stylish enough to keep out in your bedroom so you can easily see all your summer sunglasses, pick the shades of the day, and get out the door in a flash.
The Best Summer Sunglasses to Stand Out in a Crowd
1. Raen Wiley
Square sunglasses provide strong, clean lines that perfectly suit round and oval face shapes, balancing out the proportions. The Wiley sunglasses in Brindle Tortoise (shown above) is handmade from zyl acetate for lightweight comfort and enduring longevity. Perhaps best of all, its green polarized lenses offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection.
[$170; raen.com]Get it
2. Illesteva Patmos Sunglasses
A modern take on the aviator frame, these Italian-made shades are inspired by the Greek island of Patmos. Opt between 24K gold or metal frames—we like the former to mimic the way light shimmers off water at sunset. The slightly hexagonal shape and tortoise temple tips add another dimension of elegance.
[$280; illesteva.com]Get it
3. Warby Parker Griffin
You can’t beat the price and convenience of Warby Parker, especially with their option to try multiple frames at home for free before you buy online. The Griffin is available in medium width and multiple lens types (prescription, progressives, readers, and single vision), as well as two glossy acetate frames. We’re partial to the Pacific Crystal (shown above) for an understated pop of color that’s neutral enough to match virtually any outfit. The slightly arched brow of the frames soften the boxiness of their shape to boot.
[$95; warbyparker.com]Get it
4. Garrett Leight California Optical Harding Sun
Pining for a retro vibe? This beauty draws style influence from American writer Arthur Miller. The strong single bridge, metal plaques, and ombré fade of the Matte DK Caramel colorway offer subtle flair. The brown mineral glass lenses, which boast UV protection and an anti-reflective coating, are housed in acetate frames.
[$360; garrettleight.com]Get it
5. Oliver Peoples Cary Grant 2 Sun
Oliver Peoples’ Cary Grant 2 Sun also draws on vintage Hollywood vibes. As the name suggests, these eponymous shades reference the ones the actor donned in the 1959 thriller North by Northwest. They sport an acetate frame with a metal bridge and eyewire. The timeless tortoise colorway, green lenses, and plaques on the front and temples add durability.
[$531; oliverpeoples.com]Get it
6. Krewe Avalon
A major trend of summer 2020, aside from acetate frames, is standout brows and unique nose bridges (specifically a lack thereof). The acetate brow bar on these navigator-style frames adds the perfect level of intrigue (without being outlandish), and the dark green lenses contrast beautifully with the 24K stainless steel hardware.
[$315; krewe.com]Get it
7. Moscot Momza Sun
The square silhouette of the Momza Sun makes them stand the test of time—but it’s their unexpected color pairing that’ll make people pause and take notice. The Italian-made acetate in the Cinnamon colorway (above) encases baby blue glass lenses. These add levity and brightness to any ensemble, summoning coastal beach vibes.
[$300; moscot.com]Get it
8. ROKA Torino
Unabashedly bold, these Torino frames are a nod to sports car racing. Don’t let the thick nose bridge and wide size fool you; they come in under an ounce and feature ROKA’s signature patented GEKO fit—tacky elastomer pads on the nose and temples that provide added grip when you start to sweat. Consider them your wear-everywhere pair, perfectly transitioning between outdoor workouts and casual wear.
[$175; roka.com]Get it
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