As style icon Victoria Beckham once said, ‘sunglasses hide a multitude of sins’. We take the advice of a woman as stylish and intimidatingly cool as her seriously. A good pair of sunglasses can become your style calling card – think Audrey Hepburn’s oversized cat eyes and Bella Hadid’s narrow frames – and your best friend on days when you’re feeling a little lacklustre. They’ll conceal tired eyes and instantly elevate the most normcore of outfits to the height of fashion. But how to choose the perfect pair? Here are a five key things to consider when choosing your new set of shades.
With so many styles on the market, it’s easy to get distracted from what really matters – how well the frames suit your face shape and features. The general rule of thumb is to opt for a style and shape that contrasts with that of your face. Round faces will suit square, angular styles that add definition to soft features – sharp aviators and wayfarers work well. Square faces are best suited to rounded frames to compliment the boxiness of the face. Round frames will also help balance out the top-heavy features of an oval face. Long, oblong faces look great in narrow styles – the perfect face shape for the new season’s obsession with retro-chic shades.
Train your lens on this – coloured shades are making a comeback. Seen on everyone from Adwoah Aboah to the Hadid sisters, they’ll add a dose of directional quirkiness to your summertime accessories wardrobe. Supermodel associations aside, we’re really into the slightly off-beat tone a pair of colourful lenses bring to a look. Gucci’s ‘80s inspired flouro cat eyes with a rounded frame are a case in point. And it’s all about balance when pulling them off. Keep the rest of your outfit understated and polished – think well-groomed hair, minimal makeup and modern styling – whether you’re at the beach or in the city. They’ll definitely bring your look into focus.
THINK ABOUT FIT
A little dull a consideration, but an important one nonetheless. It’s critical that your new sunglasses fit you ¬¬– no one wants to find their shades halfway down their nose every time they tip their head forwards. It makes sipping on cocktails challenging, and cocktails should never be a challenge. Make sure your sunglasses are neither too tight nor too loose, and that their weight is distributed evenly between the bridge of your nose and your ears. If, after wear, they become lopsided, take them in to have them readjusted. And don’t abuse your designer shades. Keep them on your face or in their case, never on top of your head – the cardinal rule of eyewear.
Skinny frames are hot right now (thanks to Bella et al), but, as outlined above, they won’t suit every face shape and can be challenging to pull off. Don’t forget she’s a model and can wear pretty much anything – that’s what they pay her for. Luckily, there are plenty of other trends out there to suit every face. Oversized retro frames are undoubtedly back in, with many of Gucci’s runway versions causing a stir on the Milanese front row. The Italian fashion house has also popularised futuristic styles, with matrix-references and some ‘90s nostalgia thrown in for good measure – we touched on coloured lenses earlier. The finishing touch – embellishments are a big SS18 trend, with decorated arms a highlight of the Gucci eyewear collection.
Alternatively, eschew trends and opt for a classic pair of shades that can be worn time and again. No one should be limited to just one style – invest in a few classic styles and top up seasonally with fun, directional pieces. Trends wane, taste shifts, but some sunglasses never go out of style. If in doubt, reach for tried-and-tested classics in neutral colours that come with a few decades’ worth of style approval. Think aviators, wayfarers, cat eyes and square shades in neutral, understated finishes (black, gold and tortoiseshell.) A real investment.