Sunglasses are a staple accessory that many of us get slightly wrong. We know how important they are in protecting our eyes from the sun’s rays. And they come in jolly handy for driving, golfing, walking or just getting out and about on a sunny day. But when we’re faced with umpteen styles and shapes of sunglasses, we tend to panic and grab the first pair that catches our eye.
It takes more than a spot of luck to find the perfect shades. Here’s how to look stylish all summer long by choosing the best sunglasses for your face shape.
Choose the right lenses
When it comes to buying sunglasses, always start with the lenses. Get these wrong and your sunglasses will be worse than useless. Here are some of the most useful types of lens for the mature gent.
Polarised lenses – Polarised lenses reduce glare, making them excellent eyewear if you’re an angler or boating type. As long as they’re not too dark, they’re good for driving too, particularly on wet roads.
Photochromic lenses – If you need prescription lenses and are sick of having to chop and change between sunglasses and spectacles all day long, photochromic (or transition) lenses could be the answer. These clever lenses adjust to sunlight, getting darker in bright light and reverting to look and act like normal spectacles in the absence of strong UV.
All of this makes photochromic lenses convenient and cost-efficient. However, they make terrible driving sunglasses – as UV doesn’t adequately penetrate your windscreen to activate them. Also, some brands are slower to adjust than others and cold weather can also affect the adjustment process.
Interchangeable lenses– A solution to the shortcomings of polarised and photochromic lenses is to invest in an interchangeable lens system. These frames come with easily changeable lenses to match every occasion – whether that’s driving, golfing or fishing. The downside is that your extra lenses are yet another thing to go missing.
Go for quality
We’ve all done it – bought cheap sunglasses and lived to regret it. When it comes to eye protection, bargain-basement sunglasses just don’t cut it. You get what you pay for – and quality shades from a reputable manufacturer will give you the best lenses, the most stylish frames and the peace of mind that your new sunglasses won’t fall apart when you need them most.
Match sunglasses to your face shape
We don’t all suit all styles of sunglasses. And yet so many of us choose frame styles based on an imagined idea of how we’d like to look, rather than on what will actually flatter our faces. The secret is to choose the best sunglasses for your face shape. Read the descriptions below to find your face shape and perfect sunglasses style.
If have a round face, your best option is to go for a pair of sunglasses that gives you angles. This is good news, because there are plenty of styles that will work for your face.
Wayfarers, club masters, and square aviators will all look great on you. Avoid small, round sunglasses. Any shades with corners that are big enough to span the middle (and widest) part of your face, will suit and flatter
If you have a square face – a wide forehead, square jaw line and the width across your cheekbones is roughly the same as the length of your face – you’re looking for curves to soften it up a bit. The best shape for you is round.
Round frames are difficult for most gents to pull off, but they suit your face shape perfectly. A great option is the Gregory Peck from Oliver Peoples. These stylish sunglasses were designed in collaboration with the family of the eponymous star of Spellbound, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the Guns of Navarone.
With a longish face and a balanced forehead and chin, rectangular-faced chaps like you look best in wide sunglasses with subtle curves to offset the sharper angles of your features.
Clint Eastwood has such a face, so let’s turn to Dirty Harry for inspiration. As the epitome of 1970s cool, Eastwood wore shades so stylish they’ve never gone out of fashion. Emulate his look with a pair of Ray-Ban 4089 Baloramas – you lucky punk.
Take a look in the mirror. If your forehead is wider than your cheeks and your chin is of the pointy variety, you have a heart-shaped face.
A great style for you is that perennial classic – the aviator. Its strong two-bar bridge and tapering, teardrop lenses will give your features plenty of strength without knocking them out of balance. Just don’t go too big.
Wide jaw, narrower cheekbones and an even narrower forehead? Choose a square frame that is heavier at the top to balance out your strong jaw line.
With its excellent geometry and streamlined look, the Ray-Ban Caravan is just right for you. A great alternative to aviators, this frame was launched in 1957. Like you, it’s stood the test of time with its understated elegance.
A diamond face is similar to an oval face but with a pointy chin. It’s quite a long face and, because it tapers, you need a pair of sunglasses that won’t draw attention downwards.
Our pick for the diamond geezers among you is the wonderful Clubmaster. You get a nice accented eyebrow line and a slightly tapering D-frame which draws the attention up rather than down. Malcolm X was famous for wearing this style – it’s a retro frame which looks great on mature men.
With your oval face, a last-minute career as a TV panel-show host could be yours! Quiz shows aside, you’re fortunate to have just the right proportions to wear almost any classic sunglasses.
Our pick for you is the Ray Ban Wayfarer which, when it was introduced in 1952, was a trailblazer in terms of masculine styling. Cool, classic and debonair, the Wayfarer shape is unmistakable. And lucky you can pull it off perfectly.
Put it all together
You’ve considered which lenses suit your lifestyle, thought about quality and matched frame styles to your face shape. Now you have all the knowledge you need to get your perfect pair of shades. Heading off on a summer holiday? Don’t forget to pack a foldable Panama hat and some linen shirts.
What’s your favourite pair of classic men’s sunglasses? We’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line via our Facebook page.