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 have to 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 13 label suggestions, and the pair we're lusting over from each.
1. Carolina Lemke
This European eyewear brand celebrated its official launch in the US this year through a collab with Kim Kardashian. Right in time for festival season, the two released a seven-piece sunglasses collection, from sporty frames to science class goggles-inspired shades. If you're looking for a less trendy, oversized accessory, however, the brand offers those too. You'll find everything from plain black aviators to square frames, all around the affordable $75 mark.
Our pick: Carolina Lemke Octavia, $75
Scandinavian brand Ganni not only makes cult-favorite dresses and sweaters, but also the most amazing accessories. You can find everything from a cool western croc-effect leather boot to a knit beanie to sunglasses. The latter's selections are surprisingly strong, with a variety of round and cat-eye frames. They feature thick, sometimes asymmetrical, designs and are statement accessories to complement your floral summer dresses.
Our pick: Ganni Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $235
3. Diff Eyewear
Similar to TOMS giving back model, for every pair of glasses bought, Diff Eyewear donates a pair to someone in need through its give one program. Since the brand launched in 2015, it has donated more than 1 million pairs of reading glasses around the world. Both its optical and sunglasses are designed in its SoCal studio and uses high-quality materials. For example, the sunglass frames are hand-cut from a single piece of acetate, which makes them comfortable and flexible. Fans of the brand include Shay Mitchell and Demi Lovato.
Our pick: Diff Eyewear Isla Gradient Lens, $85
4. Privé Revaux
For those on a budget, Privé Revaux has affordable sunglasses that don't lack in style. Every pair is $30 and has potential for that 'gram photo, whether you're on a roof top enjoying drinks or tanning on the beach. There are over 100 handcrafted styles, so you'll have no trouble finding the perfect one for summer. Celebrity followers include Ashley Benson, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Lopez, and Emily Ratajkowski. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
Our pick: The Escobar, $30
5. Lyndon Leone
For undisputed Miami vibes, you'll want to get a pair of sunnies from Lyndon Leone. The label draws its design inspirations from the art and culture of the city and make the sunglasses right in downtown Miami. Styles range from oversize aviators to geometric shapes that make you do a double take. If you're looking for one-of-a-kind sunglasses, you'll find it here for $120.
Our pick: Lyndon Leone Venetian, $120
6. Warby Parker
If you've ever found yourself wandering from the prescription glasses to sunglasses in Warby Parker, you know they have a good selection. The frames come in super wearable hues, from black and brown to clear and marble designs. They even offer frames sorted by width or bridge, so you can find the pair that sits the most comfortably on your nose. Confused about what this means? They explain it all here. Did we mention, like its optical selections, the sunglasses are affordable too? Warby is a win-win for me.
Our pick: Warby Parker Aubrey, $95
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 last 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. This means there’s no longer any need to sacrifice your entire paycheck for that one pair of trendy frames you just had to have because Rihanna wore something similar.
Our pick: Roberi & Fraud Red Frances, $250
8. State Optical Co.
What sets this five-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
10. 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 Stevie, $105
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 Ward, $275
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 Prima White, $115
13. 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 (this season marks Selman and Le Specs fourth collab), 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 Coupe, $119
14. Vita Fede
The accessories brand is known for its amazing selection of jewelry and now it'll be known for its eyewear too. Handcrafted in Japan, the sunglasses exemplify design and quality at a price point of $295 to $390. (The accompanying chains range from $190 to $220.) You won't find any "boring" styles here, as every piece is rich with details like cool cut outs or delicate chains. The best part? You can pair any of the sunglasses with an equally as pretty earring from the brand. Your accessories game will be on point from all angles.
Our pick: São Tomé, $355
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