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Aviator, cat-eye, micro and more! These are the best sunglasses to shop this summer

best sunglasses
Best sunglasses and sunglasses chains to shop nowGetty Images

It's been a long and rainy wait, but we're happy to report the first signs of summer are finally starting to emerge! Meaning, it's officially time to get out your best sunglasses. While men taking their tops off at any given opportunity (why though??) may be the truest signifier of British summertime's arrival, the quickest way to transport yourself to sandy shores – metaphorically speaking, we can't help with a plane ticket – is by donning a pair of shades as soon as the sunshine makes an appearance.

It's also a pretty good excuse to treat yourself to a new pair of sunnies, IMO. But with so many trending styles, knowing where to start when shopping for sunglasses can be overwhelming to say the least. Instagram cool girls have been repping micro frames, but there will always be a place for classic aviators and oversized shades. As for what sunglasses brand is the best, you're spoilt for choice with designers, high street brands, and independent eyewear labels all offering a wide variety of options.

A good starting point can be working out what sunglasses styles suit your face shape. Square styles are best suited to round and oval faces, while round frames soften square jaw lines. Oh, and cat-eye sunglasses are supposedly great for diamond and heart-shaped faces. It's essentially an opposites-attract situation, but tbh we don't really pay much attention to the "rules". Wear what you like and what makes you happy and you're onto a winner.

Whatever your face shape, budget, or preferred brand, from Ray-Ban to Jimmy Fairly, we've got you covered with our ultimate edit of the best sunglasses to shop now. Keep scrolling to see our pick of the best, helpfully organised by frame shape. Shady beaches incoming.

Aviator sunglasses

Aviators are timeless in design despite their long history dating back to 1936 when the style first emerged. The OG pilot sunnies of choice, an aviator frame is immediately recognisable by its iconic silhouette featuring a strip running across the brow. There are endless iterations available, from thin metal variations to chunky acetate creations with contrasting coloured lenses that tap into the '70s fashion aesthetic. Whatever you opt for, you can't really go wrong with this sunglass shape.

Cat eye sunglasses

Thanks to icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy rocking cat eye sunglasses, the frame shape is imbued with a feeling of old Hollywood glamour we are *so* here for. But you're not limited to retro frames, the cat eye has had a contemporary resurgence. From sleek micro styles with rounded corners to bold oversized designs with a more severe pointed tip, picking a pair of patterned perspex frames is an instant outfit win. Red lip optional.

Square sunglasses

Remember when you were a kid and your mum would say your eyes would go square if you watched too much TV? Well, square eyes have never looked so chic. Coming in a whole host of different colours, sizes, and yes, even shapes, it's no surprise square sunglasses are some of the most popular styles out there. From chunky acetate frames to bright, eye-catching lenses, we've also got you covered with rectangular options too.

Oversized sunglasses

Favoured by Hollywood's elite, we love a good pair of oversized sunglasses – not least for their ability to camouflage tired eyes. Who needs industrial-grade concealer when you can simply don your shades and pretend to dodge the paparazzi? Whether your opt for XXL cat-eye styles or a pair of quirky round frames a lá Iris Apfel, there's only one rule when it comes to rocking a pair of oversized shades. The bigger the better.

Round and oval sunglasses

Banish mental images of Harry Potter to the back of your mind, trust us when we say round and oval-shaped frames are hella chic. Large, perfectly circular designs possess a retro aesthetic that will instantly imbue your look with a '60s boho vibe, while thinner, elongated ovals ooze '90s nostalgia. No wonder then all our favourite fashion girlies, from Kendall Jenner to Hailey Bieber, have been spotted rocking a pair.

Y2K sunglasses

Thanks to the Y2K revival, it's not just cargo pants that have made a comeback. The era's accessories are also on the fashion agenda and there are plenty of sunglasses styles to choose from. Micro sunglasses are set to be a summer mainstay, alongside the frameless silhouette JLo favoured back in the day. Plus, there are butterfly motifs aplenty.


Affordable sunglasses

You don't need to break the bank when it comes to purchasing a pair of sunglasses. Sure, there are some dreamy designer styles on the market, but if you're prone to sitting on your sunnies or chucking them in your bag sans case (though we can help with how to get rid of lens scratches) it may be wiser to save rather than splurge. Luckily, it's no compromise turning to the great British high street as there are plenty of fashion-forward sunglasses starting from as little as £6. Win-win.

Best colourful sunglasses

You've no doubt heard of dopamine dressing – the theory that wearing bright, colourful clothing will boost your mood. If your usual wardrobe consists of black, black, and more black (guilty...), why not try adding a pair of coloured frames to your 'fit? There's no risk of colour clashing, and nothing screams fun more than a colourful pair of sunnies, which is ultimately what fashion is all about, IMO. If you're already a colour lover you need no convincing, so right this way to shop the best colourful sunglasses.

Sunglass accessories

A micro-trend the past couple of summers, sunglasses chains are bigger than ever and are now considered a warm-weather essential. Because even your accessories need accessories. While at first they reminded us of an old-school librarian, there's more than just a practical element involved in these contemporary designs. Pretty beaded styles instantly add vacation vibes, while minimal gold chains look so chic layered with a necklace stack.

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