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Designer to Deal: Summer Sunglasses Update

Budget-friendly picks for the five iconic sunglasses styles you should rock this summer.

It’s summer time, which means it’s time to put away the flannel-lined chinos and get out the pocket tees and linen shorts. While you’re at it, take a look at your sunglasses; it may have been a while since you’ve updated them.

With the limited number of items you can comfortably wear in hot weather, a fresh pair of shades is an easy way to smarten up your summer wardrobe, and since their function is equally as important as their form, they’re always a worthy investment.

But don’t worry about taking out a loan just to keep the UV rays at bay: we’ve scoured Amazon to find solid deals on frames that are nearly identical to their designer counterparts but at a fraction of the price (so you have our permission to buy more than one pair).


What we know today as Clubmasters were originally called browline glasses, named for the way they sit across the plane of your eyebrows. These sleek specs were released in the late 1940s with clear, prescription frames, but they didn’t become popular as sunglasses until the 1980s when Bruce Willis wore a pair on the show “Moonlighting.”

Ray-Ban, in their infinite wisdom, capitalized on Bruce’s style statement and released their own version of these glasses, known as the Clubmaster. While the demand for Clubmasters ebbed and flowed during the 1990s, the style has made a comeback as a classic accessory that looks good on pretty much every guy.

Clubmasters looks great with any outfit, but they especially complement more formal looks. By the way, the name “Clubmaster” actually belongs to Ray-Ban, and they’ve become so mainstreamed, it’s now the generic name used for the style (what’s called a proprietary eponym).

Read more: Getting to Know the Brand: Ray-Ban


Image of RayBan clubmaster sunglasses

Ray-Ban Classic Clubmaster $150 – $178


Image of Pro Acme clubmaster sunglasses

Pro Acme PA3016 Classic Crystal Lens Clubmaster Sunglasses $19.99

Image of Cole Haan clubmaster sunglasses

Cole Haan Men’s Ch6011 Clubmaster Oval Sunglasses, 50 mm $93.55

Image of Lumcho clubmaster sunglasses

Clubmaster sunglasses for men & women with MAZZUCCHELLI acetate frame, High-Definition lens, 100% UVA/UVB protection $26.99


Aviators came about in the early 1920s when a pilot named John Macready wanted to beat the current altitude record of 33k ft without having his eyes freeze over or be burned by the intense brightness of the sun (crashing your airplane was frowned upon back then). He started working with Bausch & Lomb to create goggles designed specifically for pilots, and the aviator style was born.

Read more about the surprising ways military gear has influenced everyday fashion

Fast forward to WWII: General Douglas MacArthur wore aviators during the retaking of the Philippines. The photos of him sporting the sunglasses along with his signature corn cob pipe solidified the aviator style as a sartorial staple for Americans. Today aviators are still the most popular sunglass style in the world; pair them with shorts and t-shirt or your favorite button down for a classic summer look.


Image of Gucci aviator metal sunglasses

Aviator metal sunglasses $455


Image of BNUS corning aviator sunglasses

BNUS Metal Frame Aviator Sunglasses $54.99

Image of LUENX mens aviator sunglasses

LUENX Men Aviator Sunglasses $16.99

Image of Prive Revaux aviator sunglasses

PRIVÉ REVAUX “The Marquise” Handcrafted Designer Polarized Aviator Sunglasses $29.95


Ray-Ban introduced wayfarers in 1956, and they quickly became popular thanks to style icons such as John F. Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. The style faded during the 70s, but saw a comeback in the early 80s thanks to the Blues Brothers.

Today, the wayfarer, with its timeless, trapezoidally shaped lenses, is a mainstay in the fashion world as a symbol of the power of subtlety over flare. Wear your wayfarers with jeans and a t-shirt, shorts, a cardigan, a suit, whatever. These glasses look good with everything.

Was JFK responsible for men not wearing hats anymore?


Image of Tom Ford Wayfarer sunglasses

TOM FORD D-Frame Tortoiseshell Acetate Polarized Sunglasses $415


Image of Dollger wayfarer sunglasses for men

Dollger Polorized Wayfarer Sunglasses $16.99

Image of Wish Club wood clubmaster sunglasses for men

WISH CLUB Wood Clubmaster Sunglasses $14.99

Image of PolarSpex retro classic sunglasses

PolarSpex Retro Classic Sunglasses $14.95

Round Frame

It’s said that the first sunglasses mass-produced for the public were actually round frames. Popularized in the 1960s with the hippie movement (think large, colorful lenses), round frames have seen several iterations but with little alteration to the original shape. Round frames look especially good on a heart-shaped (or slightly square) face, meaning you have a broader forehead and cheeks with a narrow, well-defined chin.


Image of MONCLER round frame sunglasses

MONCLER Round Frame Sunglasses $410


Image of Carrera mens round sunglasses

Carrera Men’s Round Sunglasses $70.50

Image of A.J. Morgan Castro round sunglasses

A.J. Morgan Castro Round Sunglasses $12.81

Image of Carfia vintage round sunglasses

Carfia Vintage Round Sunglasses $24.50

Steve McQueen:

Steve McQueen is hailed by many as a style icon of his day, check out our write up on him here. The Persol 714 folding sunglasses (which fit neatly into a pocketable leather pouch) were made famous by Steve McQueen – in fact, he showed up to the set of The Thomas Crown Affair wearing a pair, and they became synonymous with his brand of style: American classic with a hint of badass. He favored the light Havana color with blue lenses, but there are three color options from Persol depending on your taste.


Image of Persol Steve McQueen sunglasses

Persol Steve McQueen Sunglasses $380


Image of Foldies classic folding sunglasses

Foldies Classic Folding Sunglasses $69.00

Image of SunglassUP folding pocket sunglasses

SunglassUP Limited Edition Matte Black Folding Pocket Horned Rim Sunglasses Plus Compact Case $9.99

Image of SOOLALA folding sunglasses

SOOLALA Limited Edition Horn Rimmed Polarized Folding Sunglasses with Compact Pocket $10.99

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