For guys who wear glasses, it’s only natural to spend a fair amount of time and thought when choosing the best frames for your face. So why don’t we do the same with sunglasses? Most men pick their summer shades based on their general fashion sensibility. Classic Clubmasters for the hip professional, neon Wayfarers for the party boy, polarized wrap sunglasses for the jock, aviators for the guy who wants the world to know he’s got an edge … Yawn. How predictable.
This summer, we challenge you to turn up your sunglasses game and find a pair that really works with your face, not against it. After all, summer means spending at least as much time wearing shades as your regular glasses. And since you could be also sporting a face mask for much of this summer, your sunglasses are going to serve as your first impression. That makes finding the right match pretty important, wouldn’t you agree?
The rule here is simple: Look for frame shapes that are the opposite of your face shape. So if you have a square jaw, pick round or oval frames or even wrap frames; if your face is round, spring for a blocky or rectangular frame. If your face is wider at the forehead and narrow at the chin, i.e. heart-shaped, a pair of horn-rimmed Wayfarers or Clubmasters will offer the perfect structural balance.
The rule of thumb is that your eyes should be centered in the width of the lenses. So if your eyes are closer together, it makes sense you’d want to go with smaller lenses. Another trick is to choose glasses with a design that emphasizes either the bridge of the nose for wide-set eyes, or the arms for narrow eyes. Drawing the onlooker’s gaze to these anchor points helps balance the overall look of your face.
Colored lenses are more than just a beach party novelty. They actually can play a role in helping you take full advantage of the summer in the ways you most enjoy.
- Red or pink lenses increase visual contrast in bright outdoor settings, and improve depth perception.
- Green is a sleeper hit for reducing glare while brightening shadows. It also transmits color better than other tints.
- Yellow is prized by early birds and all-weather sportsmen for providing uncompromised clarity in fog, haze, and other low-light conditions. If you’re going to be putting in early mornings on the water or the trail, these are your best bet.
- Blue lenses are best for seeing contours on a monochromatic field, making them a great choice for golfers, fishermen, and sailors.
Thick or Thin Frames
This has a lot to do with how big a statement you want to make. Thick or exaggerated frames stand out. If you have prominent features already, thick frames can actually balance out the rest of your face. You’re owning the fact that you’ve got a big nose instead of trying to hide it. If you have smaller or more fine features, thick frames can give you a kid in his dad’s sport jacket look.
Normal, Wide, or Narrow Temple Width
Sunglasses come identified with three different size numbers, representing the lens, the size of the bridge across the nose, and the length of the arms. Measuring these distances on your face will let you know whether you need a regular, narrow, or wide model of your selected frames. However, be aware that the frame materials can impact the comfort and fit, even with those measurements. In general, a thinner set of frames will fit more people comfortably and allow a closer fit. Large, thick, or heavy frames may feel looser, so it’s a good idea to have them sized by an optician.
You could go with a standby sunglasses brand like Ray-Ban or Oakley, and we won’t fault you for it. But as you seek the best pair of sunglasses to suit your face, it helps to branch out a little. Take a gander at our favorite boutique sunglasses brands — you just might find your perfect match.
Our go-to for luxury sunglasses. If your summer includes a lot of rooftop parties, polo matches, and General A-list hobnobbery, this ever-evolving collection of limited-run, European-inflected frames should be your first stop.
This brand was made for the clotheshorse with clumsy tendencies. If you hold back from buying stylish frames because of your propensity to lose, break, or bend your sunglasses, you’ll love that these fashion-forward frames are built to take a beating, not to mention their affordable price point.
Cali Life Co.
Wooden sunglasses frames are a modern classic, especially for outdoorsy types who want to express their love of nature no matter where they are. This West Coast brand offers a surprisingly broad range of styles in sustainably harvested exotic woods.
Sometimes you just need some party-ready shades. For this, look no further than Blenders Eyewear, where they elevate the fratty model with unexpectedly thoughtful frame and color combinations.
Cyclists know this brand as the undisputed standard for athletic sunglasses, but their wide range of lens technology, frame, and fit will benefit sportsmen of all stripes.
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