Specs, sunnies, glares, shades, gecks, cheaters or sunblockers – whatever you choose to call them, with summer around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about sun glasses!

Unlike regular eye-glasses, men’s shades are more playful and are far less-restrictive. Not only do you have a huge range of unusual frames, but also a broad selection of other elements to contend with. So let’s start by taking a closer look at what type of men’s shades you’re likely to find on the high street:

Choosing a style

There are a wide range of shapes and styles available to men, some more popular than others. As with any other garment, try to avoid the fashion du jour and focus more on what suits you and your particulars.

If you haven’t done so already, read my original article on finding the right spectacle frames to discover more information on your own face type; it’ll be an enormous help in finding the best style for you:

Aviators
RayBan Aviator - Copyright Rich Niewiroski

Created by Ray-Ban in the late 1930s, the iconic teardrop shape is ideal for those with a triangular face. Due to their wide surface area, you should avoid single tone tints and chose a smooth graduating gradient instead.

Wayfarer
Image: Copyright Men's Vogue
Another Ray-Ban classic, the Wayfarer shades have been popular since their release in 1952, and are said to be the best selling designer sunglasses in history! Their subtle shape will feel at home on most face types, and help offset roundness without being too pointed.

Teashades
Image: Robin Norman
Also known as the ‘John Lennon’/ ‘Ozzy Osbourne’ glasses. These circular wire-rimmed shades won’t suit oval or round faces very well. Not as popular as they once were due to their aging psychedelic/counter-culture connection.

Oakleys
Founded in the mid-1970s, the unique sunglasses produced by Oakley became hugely popular around the turn of the century. Most recognizable by their low-profile and iconic curving-shape, Oakley sunglasses work well on a range of face shapes with the gentle arching lends itself well to those with angular features that need softening.

Wraparound
Defined by their full, all-round coverage. Wraparound shades come in a variety of lens types and look great on a range of faces, particularly those with oval features who require wide-reaching frames.

Rimless
Typically these create a light and unimposing look; great for those with strong facial features who don’t want to destabilize their proportions. An especially good choice for those with a diamond-shaped face.

Things To Remember

There are a number of other elements you need to consider aside from the size and shape of the frames and lenses:

UVA/UVB Protection
Do your new shades offer adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays? Check for a suitable certification sticker to ensure you’re getting the valuable filtering effect from your sunnies.

Tints
Don’t forget the color of the lens will directly affect the way you perceive the world. Cheaper glasses tend to cast a ghastly glowing hue over everything. If this sounds like your idea of hell, try to pick shades offering a neutral tone throughout; they may be a little more expensive, but they’ll be worth it long term.

Polarizing
Polarized lenses are used to reflect glare from bright sun-spots. Light is flittered through the glasses in much the same way as a Venetian blind cuts out the sunlight in your living room. Consider this feature if you’re going to be sat by a lake all summer long, or anywhere that glare is omnipresent.

Hydrophobic
If you’ll be subjected to ocean spray or pool side splashes this summer, then you may want to consider a hydrophobic coating for your sunblockers; this will ensure any water beads off your lenses rather than sticking to the surface, leaving rather unpleasant marks.

Even the classics don’t last!
Don’t be tempted to fish out your thirty-year old aviators just to save a couple of bucks! Not only do they (often) provide inadequate protection from the sun, they also look their age; if you want to wear that model, buy a similar pair with more contemporary, updated styling.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

8 Responses

    • Johnathan

      I have to admit I love the Wayfarer too! It’s such a classic and looks almost universally great on anyone who wears it.

      Thanks for your comment!

  1. sun shade screens

    It’s really great that you pointed out UV protection in this article, because it’s not something that people remember to think about when shopping for sun glasses.

    Sure, style is great, but so is function – and what better function is there than protecting your health?

  2. William

    I grew up on Rock music, concerts, and was there when house music started in the late 80s (Internet didn’t exist). To this day, I take style very serious – please STOP with 80s glasses.
    Men should look like men – 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s classic style will always get you ladies.
    Kids today are chubby with horrible tight pants, and 80s eyeglasses – ask chicks what they want – that’s my advise.