I’ll be perfectly honest: I don’t own a vast number of accessories. I’ve got two watches, a couple of scarves, my two bags… and that’s about it. It’s not that I don’t like them – far from it – I’ve just found a very select collection that suits my wardrobe perfectly. I don’t see the point in having a huge collection of accessories because I can’t see myself ever wearing them all, and that seems like a bit of a waste.
The accessories that I do collect are ones that I deem essential. I need my watch so I’m not late, I need my scarf so I don’t freeze and I need my bag because I like to carry things around. Sunglasses fit well and truly into the ‘essential’ category.
Regardless of where you live, sunglasses are a required part of every sartorial man’s wardrobe. We have perennially bad weather here in Britain but it is all too easy to get caught out. If you’re anything like me, squinting (and ultimately getting a headache) because of the sun is one of the most infuriating things you can experience, hence why my sunglasses are stored in my bag all year round.
However, sunglasses are notoriously difficult to get right. From the shape of your face to your hairstyle and even your hair colour, choosing the right frame can be a bit of a minefield. Couple this with the huge number of awful styles that you have to sift through and the whole experience can become particularly frustrating and unrewarding.
So, in preparation for the coming sunny weather (positive thinking and all that) and to help you guys get your heads around what sunglasses you might want to wear, here is a short pocket guide to sunglasses.
A FashionBeans Guide To: Sunglasses
Sunglasses Lookbook Inspiration
Let’s start with some lookbook inspiration to help get those creative juices flowing and give you an idea of the style of frame you want:
Finding Your Face
The shape of your face is one of the biggest factors to consider when searching for your perfect pair of shades, so it’s worth establishing this before you set out.
Take a picture of yourself looking dead straight into the camera and then trace the outline of your face with straight lines. Compare it to one of the examples below and go from there.
However, please remember that this is only a rough guide – it might give you clues as to what should suit you but it isn’t the be all and end all.
Research and images featured in this article are courtesy of sunglasses-shop.co.uk:
“Sunglasses Shop is now the UK’s largest online retailer of sunglasses. Our customers come for our huge range of products and our top level of customer service. We have trusted and long-standing relationships with the main suppliers in the eyewear industry.”
Stocking every major sunglasses brand you can think of – from Gucci and Prada to Ray-Ban and Ralph Lauren – you are bound to find your perfect pair at a price that won’t be beaten.
Square Face Shape
A strong jaw line and wide cheekbones suit rounded or aviator style frames. For those of you with particularly strong features: the bigger the better. More delicate faces should stick to smaller or medium sized options.
Rectangular shaped frames with softer edges are another good choice but be sure to keep detailing to a minimum to let your natural features shine through.
- Asos Flatbrow Keyhole Sunglasses
- Topman Black Classic Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Clubmasters
- Asos Clubmaster Sunglasses With Black Lens
- Ray-ban Folding Aviator Sunglasses
- Persol Square-frame Acetate Sunglasses
Round Face Shape
With a rounded face you should be looking to create as much definition as possible. Make your cheeks appear slimmer with frames that are slightly wider than your face – angular styles will help to elongate your temples and lengthen your face.
Find a frame that offers multiple sizes (wayfarers are a prime example) and go for the largest. Avoid mimicking your face shape with round frames and opt for solid acetate styles to create a defined silhouette.
- Asos Square Sunglasses With Mirror Lens
- Am Eyewear Flat Brow Sunglasses
- Topman Jeepers Peepers Sunglasses
- River Island Wayfarer Sunglasses
- Gucci Rectangular-frame Sunglasses
- Persol Po3026s 58
Oblong Face Shapes
To give your face a sense of balance, look for glasses that don’t extend beyond the widest part of your face. Round or square frames will work well here but make sure you go for larger styles to avoid making your features look small.
Aviator styles are a good option as the tear drop silhouette helps to accentuate cheek and jaw bones. Make sure the frames are the right size for your face to avoid looking like you’ve nicked someone else’s.
- Ray-ban Cats 5000
- Ray-ban 3025 Aviator
- Ray-ban Clubmaster Acetate And Metal Sunglasses
- Le Specs Flat Brow Sunglasses
- Vans Damone Wayfarer Sunglasses
- Gucci Leather And Metal Aviator Sunglasses
Diamond Face Shape
The defined chin, wide cheekbones and forehead of a diamond face suit retro, rectangular styles and colour ways down to the ground. Strong colours and detailing will help to soften the bottom half of your face by drawing attention to the eye area.
Rectangular frames will sit neatly on a diamond or heart shaped face by balancing out the pointed chin.
- Topman Red And White Classic Sunglasses
- Topman Jeepers Peepers Sunglasses
- Ray-ban 4147 Light Havana 710/51 60
- Ray-ban Wayfarer Sunglasses With Internal London Print
- Calvin Klein Jeans Wayfarer Sunglasses
- Oliver Peoples Bernardo Polarised Rectangular-frame Acetate Sunglasses
Oval Face Shape
An oval face is considered the holy grail of face shapes. Those of your lucky enough to have these features and proportions should experiment with multiple styles, because an oval face suits almost any frame available.
Larger frames will accentuate your features but avoid styles with arms that hang too low as this will elongate the face.
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Flat Brow Sunglasses
- Cutler And Gross D-frame Tortoiseshell Sunglasses
- Topman Gold And Black Aviator Sunglasses
- Spitfire Round Sunglasses
- Ray-ban 4171 Matte Black 622/8g
- Persol Polarised Foldable 714 52 Acetate Sunglasses
Sunglasses: Top Tips
- Try before you buy – don’t buy online without doing your research first. There are too many variables to consider and whether or not a style will suit you depends on a great deal more than just knowing your face shape. Go into a shop and test loads of different styles to find what works for you, even if you then go back online to buy your perfect pair for the best price (remember to note the model number).
- Consider your hair colour/skin tone – coloured frames and lenses can be a fantastic way to inject individuality but, as with clothing, certain colours can drain your complexion or clash with your hair colour. Experimenting is the only sure-fire way to ensure you make the right decision.
- Consider your hair style/length – hair covers much of our head, so it’s important to remember that it has the potential to completely change the shape of our face. Long hair can often soften features whilst short hair will leave them completely exposed.
- Don’t take the above as gospel – rules are meant to be broken, so don’t just stick to them blindly. Try different colours, styles and shapes, the advice we give is never anything more than a guide.
- Remember the classics – classic frames are considered as such for a reason. They work and have done for decades so don’t be afraid to try a certain style just because lots of other people are already wearing them. Be aware of brands producing updated/limited edition versions of their iconic styles; there are lots of very similar frames available that are only slightly different, but those small changes can make all the difference.
- Invest – sunglasses are worthy of investment so don’t be afraid to push the boat out. Better lenses, better build quality and a better overall look are certainly worth the extra cost and should last years. Cheap knock-off alternatives don’t look the same, don’t feel the same and won’t have the same protective qualities.
- Sports glasses are for sport – keep your wrap-around Oakleys for the slopes. Enough said.
Finding the perfect pair of sunglasses can seem like a daunting task, but it is definitely a challenge worth undertaking. Not only is it hugely important that we protect our peepers from the sun but they can also become a trademark of your personal style.
Take time over your search and try as many different styles as possible. This article is a rundown of the basic principles but the act of finding that special pair will be much more personal.
Once you’ve found them, wear them with pride – just not when it’s raining, not sunny, inside or at night.
As always, I want to know your thoughts. How essential do you think sunglasses are? What are you currently rocking?
Let me know in the comments section…