Sunglasses are more than just eye-protection. A well-selected pair can elevate your look and solidify your signature style. But there are countless styles and shapes out there — so it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when trying to cop a something new. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top trends and classic sunglasses styles for men — so you can make smart choices with your next pair of shades.
Coined by Ray-Ban in 1956, and perhaps the most classic and enduringly iconic sunglasses style there is, the Wayfarer (opens in new window) is a universal eyewear staple that has proven to be timelessly stylish. The reason for the Wayfarer’s fame is that the style looks great on anyone and everyone. If you want a pair that you can wear with anything and that won’t go out of style, Wayfarer shades are a great choice. The Wayfarer style became, and continues to be, the eyewear of choice for celebrities and rock legends, with iconic artists like the Beatles, Billy Joel, Tom Cruise, and Orlando Bloom sporting the look. With its iconic history and celebrity endorsement, the Wayfarer shades have a rock n’ roll charm unrivaled by all other eyewear styles.
The Clubmaster (“Horn-Rimmed”)
These retro frames, also coined by Ray-Ban, are inspired by the 50’s browline sunglasses trend, featuring rounded lenses with larger, statement-making upper rims (the “browline”), often made of plastic, and slim wire rims around the bottom. You can’t go wrong with these iconic frames that have stood the test of time. The Clubmaster frames are indicative of a nostalgic era, but no matter what the era, they maintain their ability to command attention. Robert Pattinson, Ed Westwick, and Bruno Mars dig the style because a man who wears a pair of Clubmasters is a man who knows how to effortlessly balance retro with a kind of hipster-cool that cannot be achieved with any other eyewear style.
The Aviator and the Wayfarer consistently battle each other for the title of “most iconic sunglasses model in the world,” and it’s not hard to see why. These frames were originally designed in the 1930’s to shield US aviators from the sun’s strong rays when up in the air, but their civilian popularity developed almost immediately after the style was released. These frames were further popularized by celebrities like Paul McCartney and Tom Cruise as they began to appear in pop culture references and films like Top Gun and To Live and Die in L.A. To this day, the Aviator is a favored style of celebrities and style icons, like Ne-Yo, Bradley Cooper, and Daniel Craig, to name a few. The classic Aviator frame is metal, and is characterized by a double or triple bridge. You can never go wrong with a classic pair of Aviators, but if you’re wanting to try something on the trendier side, plastic rimmed Aviators should do the trick.
These frames are characterized by rounded–or perfectly circular–lenses and frames and give off a cool, trendy-meets-vintage vibe. Though round frames are traditionally associated today as being the frame of choice for those seeking a vintage edge (think John Lennon), round frames are also becoming a very popular trend associated with Steampunk-inspired (opens in new window) fashion. Steampunk–the movement and celebration surrounding Victorian fashion and technology–is experiencing a revival as of late. Accessories like watches, top hats, and glasses have been giving a nod towards the niche genre. The fashion trend is indicative of being adorned with intricate and exposed mechanical parts, like hardware, gears, and belts. So, whether you’re feeling the iconic vintage vibe or a Steampunk-infused element of cool, we recommend trying a pair of round frames on for yourself and see what you think.