With so many types of sunglasses available, shopping for your next pair may seem daunting. Classic aviators, stylish round shades, versatile square sunglasses, sun-blocking wraparound shades, and retro-chic cat-eye silhouettes are only a few of the myriad sunglasses types available. In addition to shape type, sunglasses come in varied materials, can feature different coatings, and can even be made in your prescription. Combining all of these options, the possible types of sunglasses are nearly endless.
We have compiled this guide to help you discover which type of designer sunglasses will flatter your face shape, suit your specific needs, and speak to your style preferences.
Developed in 1936 by Bausch and Lomb for fighter pilots, classic Ray-Ban Aviators are easily one of the most recognizable styles of sunglasses, with their wide teardrop lenses, flat browline, and double bridge. Traditionally, the Aviator’s rims and frames were made in lightweight metal. Over the decades, designers added endless flourishes to update the sunglasses style. Today, aviator sunglasses are crafted in glossy acetate, featherweight metal alloys, propionate, performance plastic, or a combination of materials, in a wide variety of colors and finishes. Other variations feature softly curved browlines, a thick single bridge, and slimmer teardrop lenses. For the wearer with a square, oval, or heart-shaped face, the aviator offers sun protection in a sleek style.
Since the advent of eyewear, round sunglasses have been a reliable standby. From John Lennon’s signature frames to the oversized silhouettes worn by celebrities in the early 2000s, the round sunglasses type is at once versatile and timeless. Perfect for the wearer with a square face shape, round sunglasses can feature a split frame, added accents around the rims, or any other number of design details for added interest. Impart throwback appeal to your wardrobe wearing this popular sunglasses type.
Explore square sunglasses at FramesDirect to find many recognizable styles. This silhouette is characterized by thick or thin square rims with angular or soft edges, crafted in a wide variety of materials. Versatile square sunglasses flatter the wearer with an oval, round, or heart-shaped face. Reach for square sunglasses with a classic, straight browline to add vintage appeal, choose fashionable oversized frames for a touch of Hollywood glamour, or opt for sunglasses adorned with crystals for opulence. Whatever your style aesthetic, FramesDirect offers a pair of square sunglasses to complement it.
Created in 1956, Bausch and Lomb’s Ray-Ban Wayfarer has been the sunglasses type most likely to grace the faces of wearers who epitomize cool. With its signature trapezoidal shape, thicker plastic rims, and shark fin temples, the wayfarer is easy to recognize. In recent years, designers have released updated versions of the classic style with flattering browlines, thinner temples, and a variety of other revisions to the sunglasses type: That virtually every eyewear maker offers multiple iterations of the wayfarer is a testament to the unrelenting popularity of this favorite type of sunglasses. Channel your inner rebel and opt for a pair of wayfarer-inspired sunglasses.
Engineered for all types of sports, the wraparound sunglasses type is a more recent addition to the world of eyewear. Popularized in the 1990s by athletes in a number of different arenas, this durable frames type can include sport goggles as well as sunglasses. Wraparound styles curve around the face to offer extra vision protection at the periphery, and often feature rectangular rims that flatter most face shapes. Many sports sunglasses also feature polarized lenses made in high-performance materials to reduce glare and improve clarity. Preferred by the wearer who spends long hours outdoors and needs optimal protection from the sun, these versatile shades serve a practical purpose as well as a fashionable one.
Recalling a bygone era of upswept hairdos and games of bridge on the terrace, cat-eye sunglasses are a favorite type of sunglasses enjoying a comeback. Distinguished by softly rounded rims and upswept temples, the cat-eye adds refinement and vintage appeal to any wardrobe. Different versions of the retro-chic style feature narrower rims for a smart, bookish look, or oversized frames for a touch of dramatic old-Hollywood glam. The temples in cat-eye shades can be thick or thin to suit the overall silhouette, and often include unique patterns and colors. Perfect for the wearer with a square, oval, or heart-shaped face, cat-eye sunglasses will elevate any look.
Whether your wardrobe screams vintage chic, or you simply want to add a touch of retro styling to your look, FramesDirect offers thousands of sunglasses with throwback appeal. While many favorite types of sunglasses, including the wayfarer, cat-eye, and clubmaster, exude retro-inspired style, other on-trend types of designer shades borrow one or more design elements from these popular silhouettes. Characterized by shark fin temples, a keyhole bridge, wood grain patterns, or other vintage-leaning details, this sunglasses type boasts a bounty of options to speak to any tastes. Updated design elements include rivets on the endpoints, a distinctive brow bar, or vibrant wire temples. Recall a bygone era and add nostalgic appeal to your look wearing a pair of retro sunglasses.
Photochromic sunglasses are a popular type for the wearer who desires the convenience of eyeglasses and shades combined in a single accessory. You may recognize the Transitions® Light Intelligent Lenses™ brand; many styles and silhouettes of sunglasses can be fitted with these lenses. The wearer who needs versatile, multi-purpose frames will enjoy photochromic sunglasses.
Fitted with lenses treated to realign horizontal light, polarized sunglasses are a preferred type, and for good reason: Known to improve clarity and contrast, reduce glare, and minimize eye strain, polarized sunglasses can enhance your vision outdoors. This popular sunglass type extends to multiple styles and silhouettes, so whatever your style sensibilities or outdoor avocations, you can find polarized sunglasses that work for you.
FramesDirect offers thousands of sunglasses styles and types from top designers and brands. Whatever your fashion preferences, budget, or activities, we have the perfect pair of shades waiting for you. Contact us with any questions related to fit, styling, add-on options, and prescriptions. With a five-star Trustpilot rating, you can be sure you’re making a good choice when you purchase your next pair of sunglasses from FramesDirect.