Sunglasses don’t only protect your eyes from harmful UV damage — they also make a huge impact on your appearance and solidify your overall summer or spring look. So it’s surprising that often selecting a pair can be something of an afterthought. You grab a pair from the desk or car — whatever’s there — that’s it. Sunglasses can be seen as a purely functional item to have.
Yet the right pair (or pairs) of sunglasses should be an integral part of every man’s wardrobe. How many pairs should you own? Well you don’t have to go overboard. Probably just a couple of classic kinds that fit with most of your clothes. There are certainly countless styles and shapes to choose from when it comes to men’s eyewear so selecting the right ones for you can be a little overwhelming. Let’s have a look at some of the best options.
The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is possibly the most recognizable design style in the history of eye-wear.
Designed in 1956 by American optical designer Raymond Stegeman the Wayfarer was a radical new design shape and its construction took advantage of new plastic molding technology; it marked the transition from wire-frame glasses to a new era of plastic eyewear.
Fashion trends ebb and flow, but the Wayfarer won’t ever go out of style. It’s popularity dipped especially in the 1970s (hard to believe only 18,000 pairs were sold in 1981), yet due to appearances in movies and TV (particularly Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” and Don Johnson in “Miami Vice”) this iconic eyewear fought itself back from the brink of extinction. Throughout the decades it’s been the choice sunglasses of celebrities like the Beatles, Billy Joel, Debbie Harry, Johnny Marr, U2, and countless others sporting the look. So too it should be an obvious choice for your wardrobe. You can wear it with shorts and a T-shirt; you can wear it with a suit. The Wayfarer is a timelessly stylish and looks great on anyone and everyone.
The contest to be the most iconic sunglasses in the world, is an unwinnable battle between the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and the Ray-Ban Aviator. Both are design classics.
These frames were designed in 1936 for (funnily enough) US pilots, to protect their eyes from the sun’s strong rays when in flight. The Aviator became much better known to the civilian population when General Douglas MacArthur landed on a beach in the Philippines in World War II wearing a pair. Photographers were waiting and the rest is history. In the modern era they were made popular by celebrities like Paul McCartney and Tom Cruise as they began to appear in music videos and films like “Top Gun” and “To Live and Die in L.A.”
You can never go wrong with a classic pair of Aviators, they consistently combine great styling with exceptional quality, performance and comfort.
These sunglasses are characterized by having rounded or circular lenses and frames and give off a cool, trendy-hippy-vintage vibe. Though round frames are traditionally associated today as being the frame of choice for those seeking a Greenwich Village edge (think John Lennon), round frames are also associated with Steampunk and Gothic inspired fashion.
They won’t work with every outfit, particularly with formal clothing, but if you’re feeling the iconic vintage vibe or a Steampunk/Emo-infused element of cool, throw a pair on — see what you think.
Another design classic, this one featuring mixed-materials — steel and plastic — Clubmasters were originally released in the 1980s, yet have a distinct 1950s vibe. These retro frames feature rounded lenses with larger, statement-making upper rims, often made of plastic, and slim wire rims around the bottom. The Clubmaster is indicative of a nostalgic era, and can give you a sense of casual cool. A man who wears a pair of Clubmasters is a man who knows how to effortlessly balance retro with a kind of hipster-cool unachievable with any other eyewear.
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