The search for flawless frames is not a speedy process. It's a never-ending personal journey that involves careful online research and visits to—gasp!—brick-and-mortar retailers to try on the eyewear in the flesh. You may even bring along your BFF or SO to answer the all-important question, "So, can I pull these off?"
As with most accessories, sunglass trends evolve with the season. One day oversize frames are in, the next they’re replaced by tiny spectacles worn by the likes of Kendall Jenner—it's hard to keep up, I know. To top it off, there are hundreds of eyewear brands out there. Because shopping for sunglasses is a struggle, I'm kick-starting your search with seven label suggestions, and the pair we're lusting over from each.
1. Roberi & Fraud
The rise of Roberi & Fraud sunglasses can be traced back to Bella Hadid, who was the first star to be spotted in the brand when the site launched earlier this year. Founded by Ali Mehrdad Soudbakhsh and Stefan Foster, the young label offers ‘80s and ‘90s-inspired frames—a nod to sunglasses from their parents’ pasts—for around $200. And that means there’s no need to sacrifice your entire paycheck for that one pair of trendy, tiny frames you just had to have because Rihanna wore something similar.
Our pick: Roberi & Fraud Red Frances, $250
2. State Optical Co.
What sets this four-year-old brand apart from its competitors is the fact all of State Optical Co.’s eyewear is made exclusively in the United States—Chicago to be exact. (Go bulls!) The luxury sunglasses retail from $381 to $429, and are meticulously handcrafted by an in-house team of “eyewear artisans,” who ensure the sun or optical lens (they make standard glasses, too, for you visually impaired ladies) you receive is of the highest caliber.
Our pick: State Optical Co. Augusta, $429
The design of every HAZE piece is inspired by architecture, which you’ll undoubtedly immediately notice. Take the “Nott” sunglasses, whose strong lines and split lenses mirror the details of the Caruso St. John Nottingham Contemporary Building in London, I'm told. A quick Google image search reveals the resemblance between the sunglasses and the building is quite uncanny.
Our pick: HAZE Nott, $276
4. Poppy Lissiman
Poppy Lissiman’s eyewear creations fall into the popular category of "very Instagrammable." The Australian-born designer started her eponymous label in 2008 and ventured into the specs space in 2015. The sunglasses are playful, quirky, and come in vibrant sorbet hues. Some frames are even designed with crystal embellishments or star prints—suitable for music festivals, if that's what you're into. Prices range from the super-affordable $95 to a moderate $130.
Our pick: Poppy Lissiman Skinny Demon, $115
The brain child of Stirling Barrett, Krewe (pronounced “crew”) is a Louisiana-based eyewear brand that’s gained a legion of star-studded followers from Beyoncé to Selena Gomez. The stunning designs vary from acetate polarized lens to titanium matte aviators—not your run-of-the-mill frames. Depending on the style, prices for sunglasses range from $215 to $375 and opticals come in just under $300.
Our pick: Krewe STL II Nylon, $375
When you shop for sunglasses, one of the most important aspects is how well they sit on your face. Covry tackled this elusive issue by creating “elevated fit” spectacles that feature longer nose pads, reduced frame curvature, and a narrower nose bridge. In layman's terms: Now your sunglasses won't slide down your nose every time you glance down at your phone. This specialized design is popular with the Asian community, who have struggled to find sunglasses that fit their face shapes.
Our pick: Covry Carina Black, $115
7. Le Specs
Australian label Le Specs should be on your radar, if it isn’t already. The brand has collaborated with the likes of Self-Portrait and Adam Selman, offering wallet-friendly designer shades for just under $130. The Selman partnership gave birth to the popular style "The Last Lolita," a coveted summer staple of models like Gigi Hadid. Le Specs gets my vote for being stylish and affordable.
Our pick: Le Specs The Flex, $119