Editor’s note: For a full suite of stylish shopping picks, click here.
Spring has, to this point, presented all kinds of online shopping to be done, from picking up stylish suede chukkas to lusting after the best spring sneakers and short-sleeve shirts. But what about those other finishing touches? Particularly one that just might be the most important part of your everyday carry, whether you’re traveling abroad or zipping down the street. I’ll give you a hint — you sure as heck won’t need ’em when it rains! Indeed, we’re talking effective, stylish sunglasses for the rest of spring and all summer. It’s virtually never too late to buy a pair — heck, grab the right frame (classic in shape and with lenses that aren’t too crazy) and you’ll want to wear them even with it’s cloudy. They’re a nice thing to have when the snow gets too reflective for those of us in colder climes, as well. So, for matters of style, there’s a lot at stake. Grab one of the pairs listed below — just try not to lose ’em at the gas station.
#1. J. Crew Jack Sunglasses in Silver Navy, $98
The brand’s quest to take over the wardrobes of discerning #menswear fans everywhere continues at a pretty rapid clip, and J. Crew’s new sunglasses definitely make it easy to become a fan. The Jack is a classic aviator style with crisp blue lenses, a stainless steel frame and a 52mm lens diameter that should work for most face shapes. These could be reliably dressed up with a well-tailored suit, and they’d add a classic American feel to a short-sleeve henley.
#2. Warby Parker Batten Sunglasses in Jet Blue, $145
Do you sense a theme here as far as versatile sunglasses go? Warby Parker excels at producing modern designs that are still wearable for all sorts of face shapes, including this classic aviator style. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the sunglasses worn by James Bond in Skyfall, and that’s a very good (and very cool) thing. The crucial part about that is you get them without the Bond-esque price tag — and with the option to add in prescription lenses if you so choose.
#3. Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses in Dark Stripe Tortoise — $165
If you don’t fancy yourself rocking a pair of aviator shades, perhaps reach for something that’s a bit more unique but still versatile in terms of style. That would be the Millbrook from Steven Alan Optical, the premium eyewear offshoot of American menswear brand Steven Alan. The great part about these shades is that they come without a premium price tag (as far as other, higher-end options are concerned). The Italian acetate used to make these is about as good as it gets, and the rose gold detailing is a slightly retro touch.
#4. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer — $150
It practically wouldn’t be a sunglasses roundup if Ray-Ban wasn’t included (or at least considered) for this list — right?While some aren’t partial to the logo they place on one lens of seemingly all their models, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer has stood the test of time (and experienced a style resurgence) in recent years because it fits tons of different face shapes and just looks downright cool in the process. The price isn’t backbreaking, and the style works with a classic navy suit now or as a complement to a shawl cardigan (much) later on in the year.
#5. Sunday Somewhere Maximus Sunglasses — $250
While it’s well and good to consider classic styles like the aviator and the Wayfarer in your sunglass search, sometimes, you want a frame shape that’s a bit different. We’re not talking electric blue lenses or something out of the 70s, just a bit more distinctive. The Sunday Somewhere Maximus is a tough, strong frame with a slightly wider lens diameter. It’s a step up in price from the other options on this list, but it exudes effortless cool — these are sunglasses well-suited for, well, a suit.
Choosing sunglasses can definitely be a rather tricky process. Namely, it pays to try on styles in a store before picking the perfect pair. Try-on programs done by the likes of Warby Parker are really helpful in easing the stress of that process — and with a lot of sunny days hopefully ahead, being efficient with that cash is going to be key (and hopefully, leave some leftover funds for a few summer brews). If you want to reach for a classic American style, pick up a pair on the relative cheap from Randolph Engineering (a past Style Pick of the Week feature). Heck it’s even tougher to beat something from the American Optical line of sunglasses. But again, finding the right frame shape and the right price are paramount. Let me know what pairs you’re considering via Twitter!
Until next time — thanks for reading,