It's about time we created an edit of the best sunglasses brands. Much like handbags and shoes, eyewear isn’t simply divided into ‘high street’ and ‘high luxury’ anymore – there are so many shades (sorry) in between.
We’re pretty happy about this development. Designer sunglasses are entry-level, yes, but they’re still hella expensive – and not always the best quality, thanks to historical licensing deals with big fashion houses. And while a decade ago there were some dedicated sunglasses brands, pickings were slim. So when the likes of Cubbits, Ace & Tate and Taylor Morris came along to democratise and revolutionise the eyewear scene with handcrafted sunglasses and accessible price points they couldn’t have been more welcome.
Now luxe high street brands are following suit by creating eyewear departments: Jigsaw and AllSaints just dropped their first ever eyewear collections for Spring/Summer 2023, while Missoma X Le Specs is in its second season. We’ve tried all three lines and can attest to the quality and attention to detail. These sunglasses are not an afterthought, they’re the main characters.
How to shop for sunglasses online:
We know what you’re thinking: how can I possibly purchase sunnies without trying them on? Luckily, labels like Cubitts and Ray-Ban have virtual try-on technology that works via your webcam or phone camera. It’s as good as the real deal and saves you a trip to the store itself.
The best sunglasses for face shapes:
But without this technology, or the time to browse, there are some rough guidelines that’ll help with your decision making. It doesn’t pay to be too prescriptive, since true style is defined by a conviction in your own taste. However if these well-known tips save you from ordering and returning a load of sunglasses (bad for your carbon footprint), they're worth consideration:
1) Always look for sunglasses that contrasts your face shape – for instance, angular sunglasses balance a rounder face, while round frames can soften a square jaw. 2) It's worth noting that oval or long face shapes look best with an oversized lens. 3) If you're in a possession of a heart-shaped face, go wild – they tend to suit pretty much any sunglasses.
Shop ELLE’s edit of the best sunglasses brands out there: (Elle Gallery)