Fun Fact: This article was one of the first pitches I ever sent to xoJane, and now, one hundred years later, I get to write it!
If there's one thing I know, it's beauty, but if there's another thing I know, it's sunglasses. I'm an accessories guy. I don't spend all that much money on clothes, but accessories is where I let it fly. I guess I seem as more as an investment, and maybe they're more durable? My reasoning is that if I spill a vodka cran on my Alexander Wang white tee, then I'm boned, but I spill on my sunglasses, I can just wipe them off! Before I sit on them.
One of the pieces that you can always have the most fun with is a good pair of shades. Why? Because like any good accessory, they can elevate and transform an outfit. For someone like me who runs around in lots of boring basics (especially in the summer), great sunglasses are the perfect way to make an outfit. I even have a spinning rack of sunglasses in my bedroom because I'm insane.
You can get a little crazy with your frames because you're eventually going to take them off. No matter how obnoxious your shades are, you're not married to them, you can yank them off and still have a "work appropriate" ensemble, whatever that means. A good pair of frames tells the world that you came to fuck shit up, but can still play nice when you take them off. They're a statement. They're a warning, and here are a bunch of my favorites that I think you need for the summer:
These are a compilation of everything that's hot right now in eyewear at a very affordable price. The absence of a nose bridge with the top bar accent that Dior made so big, with the Prada-esque silhouette make these a great pick for someone who isn't looking to drop $620 on a pair of sunglasses that they're just going to lose at the beach. Plus, those blue mirrored lenses against the tortoiseshell frame make for a beautiful pairing that's also very on trend at the moment. I have them and I love them.
If you're looking for a more affordable Celine moment, complete with the signature but subtle three dots on each end, these frames from AJ Morgan are your best bet. Everyone needs a go-to pair of black shades and this wide, softened cat eye is a great shade option for anyone's closet. Also, great for funerals!
Celine is my fave when it comes to...everything. I love their frames so much that I copped my favorite pair of deadstock sunglasses and had them made into eyeglasses:
They weigh 14 pounds and so I can't actually look down when I wear them BUT, I love them. If you're not ready for that kind of commitment, those AJ Morgan joints are a great start.'
One of my favorite silhouettes of the past couple of years came from Karen Walker's Number One sunglasses, for a cool $250.
If you're not looking to spend more on shades than you do on groceries, the Angular Cat Eye Sunglasses from Forever 21 look oddly familiar, for a fraction of the price!
Crap Eyewear, despite their name, makes really quality sunglasses. Each frame has custom hardware and they're available with polarized lenses, which is always a good idea if you're in the sun quite a bit. Another one of my favorite summer frames is also from Crap:
COME ON. Sunglasses with lashes?!? Those have my name written all over them. They're available in five different colorways, each one cuter than the next. Are they flattering on me? Absolutely not.
But that's hardly the point. It's summer! Nothing matters! Take a look around their site. If you like Thierry Lasry frames but aren't trying to go broke, you might like what you see.
Have you guys heard of Knockaround? They're a company based out of San Diego that makes affordable, durable sunglasses, made to be lived in, lost, and replaced. Their frames range from $10-30, come in a ton of different colors, and two of their designs are fully customizable. They also have frequent limited edition collaborations with other companies, or sunglasses designed by elementary school students. They're just a fun company to have on your radar. Their most affordable design, the Classics, $10, are (I think) my favorite of their collection.
They're not unlike Oakley's Frogskins, but for a tenth of the price. They don't look like much, but they're surprisingly flattering, no matter what size or shape your head is (mine is huge and they look great on me.) They're only ten effing dollars, so you don't have to panic if you lose them, and I can say that confidently, since I've lost every pair I've ever purchased.
Quay is another company that you've gotta keep your eye on. These wouldn't have caught my eye, but last year, I kept seeing these on every ~fashion girl~ on the internet and they looked incredible on all of them! No matter the shape of their head or their skin tone, these cat eyes with metallic blue lenses are flattering across the board.
Okay, now for my favorite pair of sunglasses in existence:
Yea, they're the most expensive options on my list, but they are worth every penny. Here's why.
I love a really classic pair of black shades. Think of everyone's famous sunglasses model - Bob Dylan. People always think of Ray-Ban's Wayfarers, but I've never thought those were flattering, on anyone, especially me and my gigantic dome. I just think they're too small and too slanty to really flatter anyone's faces. We deserve better! I'm sure a lot of you disagree and look great in yours, they're just not for me.
These are a different story. They're big enough to be flattering on anyone, but not so big that they look oversized. They sport a keyhole nose bridge which automatically makes any frame cooler, and have a subtle W on only the right arm. Nice and understated.What makes them look so fucking rad is that they're thick, which exaggerates the shape just enough to make it pop, without the shape itself having to be too obnoxious. This even provides a bit of a lip where the lenses sit in the frame, recessing them into their sockets just a bit.
Sorry for all the dick pics or whatever, apparently last summer I wore a lot of sunglasses but not a lot of shirts. Anyway, They're beautiful. I've had these for three years now and I get compliments on every time I wear them, and I wear them a hell of a lot. They're one of those accessories that I'd replace immediately, were I ever to lose it. Do you have a favorite pair of shades? Show me in the comments!
Tynan is protecting his eyes on Twitter @TynanBuck