Sunglasses are the quintessential accessory, something worn all over the world by men and women alike. They’re pretty clever little inventions, too: they go with literally everything, can be worn any time of year, they’re readily available, and they’re offered at every possible price point.
Many people don’t give much thought to their sunglasses. After all, it’s simple to walk into a shop, try a few pairs on, and walk out with them, right? Sure, but there’s actually more to them than very literally protecting your eyes.
Sunglasses can flatter and enhance your face shape (or, just the opposite!) and completely elevate or even change the vibe of your entire outfit. For example, picture yourself in a suit and tie. Now picture yourself in a pair of classic aviator sunglasses in a neutral color. Next, swap those sunglasses out for a pair of round glasses with a colored frame. Totally different look, right?
To help you make the best choices for your face – literally – we’ve put together this guide on men’s sunglasses. Here, you’ll find detailed information on all the best styles available, how to choose the best pair, plus our picks for the best men’s sunglasses in each category.
Whether you prefer bold colors or a more minimalist look, there’s something for everyone among the best new sunglasses for men.
1. The Wayfarer
A slightly retro style that’s somehow always perfectly on-trend, you can’t go wrong with a classic pair of wayfarers. Ray-Ban created the style in the post-WWII 1950s when people began to realize that sunglasses didn’t have to be solely about eye protection.
“Bad boy” celebrities including James Dean and Bob Dylan propelled wayfarers to mega popularity, but their moment in the spotlight has never faded. That’s largely because the style looks great on everyone and complements every style, from preppy to edgy rocker.
Because of their timelessness and versatility, there’s no trick to pulling off wayfarers – simply choose a pair you like and wear ‘em! Black or tortoiseshell finishes will always be the easiest to wear, but feel free to make them more of a statement piece and opt for a bright color.
Best for: all face shapes
Best Overall Wayfarers: Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer (style RB2140)
Best Premium Wayfarers: Persol PO3269S
Best Budget Wayfarers: Goodr The OGs A Ginger Soul
2. The Aviator
Aviators are one of – if not the – most iconic and recognizable sunglass style for men. So-named because they were very literally designed for pilots in the 1930s (in fact, they were originally called “pilot’s sunglasses”), aviators quickly crossed over into mainstream fashion. The style is widely considered to be the original sunglasses and is just as relevant today as it was nearly a century ago.
While classic aviators are about as timeless as sunglasses come, there’s some variation within the style. For example, Tom Cruise wore teardrop-style aviators in Top Gun, but there are also square aviators and more sporty styles with wider lenses, not to mention both metal and plastic-framed options.
Best for: all face shapes, but if you have a round face, be careful of choosing a pair that’s too wide. Choose a more narrow or angular pair to flatter your face.
Best Overall Aviators: Ray-Ban Standard Original 58 mm Aviator Sunglasses
Best Premium Aviators: MATSUDA Aviator Titanium Sunglasses
Best Budget Aviators: Prive Revaux The Commando
3. The Clubmaster (Horn-Rimmed)
At this point, it shouldn’t surprise you that Ray-Ban is responsible for bringing the “clubmaster” or horn-rimmed, sunglasses style into the mainstream. Heavily inspired by the “browline” style that was wildly popular in the 1950s, these men’s sunglasses feature a signature upper rim with larger, squared-off lenses, often rimmed in thin metal wire. The style is similar to wayfarers, but the distinct rim sets them apart.
Much like wayfarers, clubmaster sunglasses have a bit of a retro vibe but are timeless – wear them in any season, with anything, year after year. They’re especially popular in pop and hipster circles, as evidenced by the fact that celebrities including Bruno Mars and Robert Pattinson favor them.
Best for: Similarly to aviators and wayfarers, clubmasters are a universally flattering sunglass style. They look especially good on oval, rectangle, and round faces.
Best Overall Horn-rimmed Glasses: Warby Parker Ames
Best Premium Horn-rimmed Glasses: Persol 3218V Horn-Rimmed Glasses
Best Budget Horn-rimmed Glasses: Treehut Wooden Bamboo Sunglasses
4. Colored Frames
Live for color – or maybe just a pop of it? Consider a pair of sunglasses with colorful frames. This is one accessory that makes a statement, but it doesn’t have to be over the top.
You can choose your favorite color or opt for something soft that adds just the slightest splash. Or, go bold and pick a pair of sunglasses in a color you actually never wear but would love to!
Colorful-framed sunglasses come in all shapes and styles but are especially common in styles like wayfarers. Aviators and round-framed glasses also sometimes have colorful wireframes. While this sunglass style may initially seem very playful, that’s not necessarily true. For example, a pair of glasses with an olive green or navy blue frame adds a pop of color but is actually quite refined and neutral.
Best for: all face shapes
Best Overall Colored Frames: Warby Parker Barkley
Best Premium Colored Frames: Oakley Jawbreaker Retina Burn Prizm Road
Best Budget Colored Frames: Knockaround Paso Robles
5. Round Frames
True to their name, round sunglasses are characterized by perfectly (or near-perfect) circular lenses and frames. Many people associate round-framed sunglasses with both John Lennon and the Steampunk fashion movement, two extremely different styles. That speaks to their versatility: while they do have a cool vintage vibe, round glasses are also ultra-hip.
While not quite as iconic as wayfarers or aviators, round-framed glasses are some of the original types of eyewear. Dating back as early as the 13th century, portraits depict men wearing temple-less, round glasses. They’ve come a long way (i.e., they have temples now) and they’re very much a fashion statement on their own, so we recommend keeping the rest of your accessories to a minimum if you’re rocking round frames.
Best for: Square, heart-shaped, and oval faces. Avoid round frames if you have a round face.
Best Overall Round Sunglasses: Huckberry Cruisers
Best Premium Round Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples Cary Grant Sunglasses
Best Budget Round Sunglasses: SUNGAIT Vintage Round Sunglasses
6. Wooden Frames
Sunglasses with wooden frames have become significantly more popular in recent years, and we love the look. These glasses make a subtle statement and stand out, but in a completely different way than those with colored frames. Wooden sunglasses are refined and very unique and have a sporty, outdoorsy vibe. Plus, if they’re made of real wood (and most are), they’re also sustainable.
The most popular wooden frame sunglass styles are wayfarers and horn-rimmed, though you can find just about any pair. There are also plenty of options in terms of the wood style, with everything from light-colored bamboo and maple to darker walnut and oak.
Best for: all face shapes
Best Overall Wooden Frames: Shady Rays Classic Timber
Best Premium Wooden Frames: Ray-Ban RB4246M Clubhouse
Best Budget Wooden Frames: Cloudfield Polarized Bamboo Sunglasses
7. Notched Bridge
Actor and real-life race car enthusiast Steve McQueen favored notched bridge sunglasses in the 50s and 60s, making them extremely popular. This style can technically be almost any sunglass style, as the defining feature is the distinct – but very subtle – notch in the bridge piece just above the nose. The notch itself can be a more defined angular shape or more smooth and rounded, but these sunglasses will always have that signature.
Another unique feature of notched bridge sunglasses is that many of them can actually fold in half. This may seem a bit gimmicky at first, but the notch helps them to fold neatly, which is extremely helpful for storing and protecting them from damage. Notched bridge sunglasses have a bit of a retro 60s vibe, but have also stood the test of time and always look perfectly “now.”
Best for: all face shapes; look for a style that already flatters your face but has the signature notched bridge
Best Overall Notched Bridge Sunglasses: CAMP Topo Sunglasses
Best Premium Notched Bridge Sunglasses: Persol 33184S
Best Budget Notched Bridge Sunglasses: Blenders Amber Coast
8. Clear Frames
Clear frame sunglasses are fashion accessories in a category of their own. Much like colorful framed glasses, they make a statement, but it’s extremely subtle and distinctly elevated. Even more whimsical styles, like those with chunkier frames, somehow seem a bit more serious – but in a very good way.
One of the best things about sunglasses with clear frames is that they’re extremely easy to wear. They complement any look and they’re truly timeless, so wear them all year and with anything. We do recommend keeping the rest of your outfit a bit more scaled back and sticking with light-colored clothing to keep the look approachable and balance the clear, almost delicate look of the glasses.
Best for: all face shapes
Best Overall Clear Frames: Warby Parker Haskell
Best Premium Clear Frames: Ssense DITA Sequoia
Best Budget Clear Frames: Sunski Yuba
9. Mirrored Lenses
Although mirrored lenses can appear in literally any type of sunglasses, they’re so unique and distinct that they’ve created a category of eyewear all their own. They’ve been especially popular since the 1980s and you find them most commonly in aviators, wayfarers, round sunglasses, and oversized styles meant for sports.
If you opt for a pair of colored mirrored lenses, they act almost like a kaleidoscope, changing colors depending on the angle and lighting. This injects a dose of fun into any look, and they’re certainly eye-catching.
For a more subtle and ultra-cool-guy look, opt for mirrored lenses in black or silver. These still have that extra bit of wow factor but are much less bold and slightly easier to pair with an outfit. Mirrored lenses also have a slightly mysterious element, as people can’t see your eyes behind the lenses.
Best for: all face shapes
Best Overall Mirrored Lenses: Nike Passage Mirrored Sunglasses
Best Premium Mirrored Lenses: Costa Ferg XL
Best Budget Mirrored Lenses: Merry’s Polarized Aluminum Sunglasses