Types of Sunglasses for Men: The Quintessential Shades Guide


The Fashionisto


Updated June 12, 2024

Types of Sunglasses for MenPin
Explore the different types of sunglasses for men.

Sunshine or rain, summer or winter, a man’s best friend for every season is a pair of sunglasses. From the classic aviators to the trendy D-frames, men’s sunglasses styles are as varied and vibrant as the men who flaunt them.

When it comes to shades, whether you love vintage teashades or modern wayfarers, finding the perfect pair from among the best sunglasses brands is a journey that’s all about discovery and transformation.

Types of Sunglasses for Men

Pink Sunglasses MenPin
Discover the different types of sunglasses for men. Photo: Shutterstock

Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory. They’re a statement of your character and a reflection of your style. Let’s step into the arena of men’s sunglasses in style and discover the different types that have made waves in men’s fashion.

Classic Styles

These are timeless sunglasses and have remained popular through various fashion eras:

Aviator Sunglasses

Aviator Sunglasses MenPin
With their sleek design, Aviator Sunglasses offer a classic touch that transcends time, perfect for the modern man seeking a hint of nostalgia. Photo: FP

Aviator sunglasses, with their distinctive teardrop-shaped lenses and thin metal frames, are a classic example of timeless elegance. Initially designed for pilots in the 1930s, aviators have transcended their functional roots to become a staple in every man’s wardrobe. Their universal appeal lies in their ability to blend effortlessly with any outfit, offering an unmatched level of versatility.


Wayfarer Sunglasses MenPin
Wayfarers provide a versatile look that effortlessly blends with any outfit, making them a staple in every man’s wardrobe. Photo: Adobe Stock

Wayfarers symbolize effortless cool with their bold trapezoidal shape and thicker rims. Introduced by Ray-Ban, the wayfarer has become synonymous with contemporary style. Its sharp lines and dramatic angles add an edge to any look, making it a popular choice for men who love making a statement with eyewear.


Clubmaster Sunglasses Ray-Ban Mr PorterPin
Clubmasters, with their distinctive frame, add a sophisticated edge to any ensemble, reflecting a refined taste. Photo: Mr Porter

Clubmaster sunglasses are a retro-inspired style with a sense of sophistication and class. Characterized by their distinct half-rim frame with a horn shape on the top and circular bottom, clubmasters are a staple for formal events and elegant occasions. Their unique design adds a touch of vintage charm to your ensemble, making them a must-have for the fashion-forward man.

Round Sunglasses

Round Sunglasses MenPin
Round Sunglasses, embracing a timeless elegance, offer a soft and balanced appearance that suits a variety of face shapes. Photo: FP

A classic retro style, round sunglasses are emblematic of creativity and artistic flair. Their symmetrical and gentle curves soften the appearance of angular faces and add a touch of whimsy to an outfit. Round sunglasses have transcended time, often associated with musicians, artists, and free thinkers, making frequent comebacks in various fashion eras.

Modern & Contemporary Trends

These frames reflect current fashion trends and appeal to those looking for something more fashionable or edgy:


D-frame Sunglasses MenPin
For those seeking to make a statement, edgy D-frames offer a bold look that captures attention and sets trends. Photo: Adobe Stock

With their tall and wide rectangular shape, D-frame sunglasses are a bold choice for the modern man. They offer a unique blend of style and functionality, providing complete eye coverage perfect for driving or outdoor activities. D-frames have a distinctive design that sets them apart from other styles, making them an excellent choice for men who like to stand out.

Flat-top Sunglasses

Flat-top Sunglasses MenPin
With their strong horizontal lines, Flat-top Sunglasses provide a powerful and confident appearance that resonates with today’s fashion-forward men. Photo: FP

Flat-top sunglasses are characterized by a straight line across the brow, creating a sharp and modern appearance. This sleek design conveys a sense of power and assertiveness, perfect for those wanting to make a bold statement.

Often seen on the runways and worn by celebrities, flat-top sunglasses blend effortlessly with urban and contemporary fashion, adding an edge to casual and formal attire. They work particularly well with softer facial features, providing balance and contrast that highlights the wearer’s unique style.

Rectangular Sunglasses

Rectangular Sunglasses Men H&MPin
With their clean lines and structured look, Rectangular Sunglasses offer a modern appeal that complements casual and formal wear. Photo: H&M

Rectangular sunglasses offer a geometric look that’s both versatile and on-trend. With their elongated horizontal lines, these sunglasses can add length to rounder faces and create a streamlined effect. They range from subtle, narrow frames to more pronounced and wide designs, providing various options for different preferences and occasions.

Double Bridge / Brow Bar Sunglasses

Double Bridge Brow Bar SunglassesPin
Double Bridge or Brow Bar Sunglasses, featuring a unique double bridge, add an extra layer of style, enhancing the wearer’s individuality. Photo: FP

The double bridge or brow bar sunglasses are known for their additional metal or plastic bar that runs parallel to the bridge over the nose. This distinctive feature adds a layer of sophistication and complexity to the design, making them a sought-after choice for fashion enthusiasts.

They come in various shapes from brands like Lindberg Optical, including aviators and round frames, with the double bridge adding an extra touch of elegance. The double bridge design is not just an aesthetic appeal; it often provides additional support and structure to the frames.

Vintage & Retro Charm

These styles evoke nostalgia and have a distinctive historical or artistic appeal:

Browline Sunglasses

Browline Sunglasses Men NordstromPin
With their prominent upper frame, Browline Sunglasses provide a distinguished look that speaks to a man’s refined sensibilities. Photo: Nordstrom

Browline sunglasses, distinguished by their bold upper frame that follows the wearer’s eyebrow line, are a fusion of retro and modern elegance. This design emphasizes the contours of the brow, creating a striking visual impact that draws attention to the eyes.

Often crafted with a combination of materials, such as metal for the lower frame and thick plastic for the top, browline sunglasses add a touch of class to any ensemble. Popularized in the mid-20th century and experiencing a revival in recent years, these sunglasses are suitable for various face shapes.

Teashade Sunglasses

Teashade Sunglasses MenPin
Teashade Sunglasses, with their delicate and whimsical design, offer a playful touch for those unafraid to embrace their unique style. Photo: Shutterstock

Teashade sunglasses, also known as “John Lennon glasses,” are tiny, round sunglasses that symbolize counterculture and artistic expression. They are a bold choice for the fashion-conscious man, offering a unique look that stands out in a crowd.

Sporty & Functional

These are primarily designed for outdoor activities and active lifestyles:


Wraparound Sunglasses Men Le SpecsPin
Wraparound Sunglasses, with their extended coverage, provide protection and style for those seeking a dynamic and sporty look. Photo: Le Specs

Wraparound sunglasses, as the name suggests, wrap around your face to provide comprehensive coverage from the sun. These sunglasses are ideal for sports and outdoor activities, offering superior protection against UV rays and glare. They are also favored by men who prefer a more active lifestyle.

Shield Sunglasses

Shield Sunglasses Men QUAYPin
Shield Sunglasses, with their one-piece lens design, offer a futuristic appeal that sets the wearer apart in any crowd. Photo: QUAY

Shield sunglasses stand out for their large, single-piece lens that spans across both eyes, often extending to the sides of the face. This bold design offers a futuristic, sporty look and comprehensive protection against UV rays and glare.

Often seen in sports and outdoor activities, shield sunglasses are engineered for function without sacrificing style. The wraparound feature ensures a secure fit, making them suitable for high-intensity pursuits, while the sleek lines and continuous lens create an eye-catching appearance.

Unique & Bold Choices

These styles are for those who dare to be different and want to make a strong statement:

Cat Eye Sunglasses

Cat Eye Sunglasses Men Linda FarrowPin
With their upward tilt, Cat Eye Sunglasses offer a playful and feminine touch that adds flair to any outfit. Photo: Linda Farrow

Cat Eye sunglasses are a feminine style that has found its place in men’s fashion thanks to their sophisticated and edgy appeal. Characterized by their raised outer corners that mimic the shape of a cat’s eyes, these sunglasses can add a touch of drama to any outfit, making them a perfect choice for men who dare to be different.

Oversized Sunglasses

Oversized Sunglasses MenPin
Oversized sunglasses, with their grand scale, provide a dramatic look that captures the essence of modern glamour. Photo: FP

Oversized sunglasses, known for large frames and lenses, make a bold fashion statement. These sunglasses exude a sense of glamour and luxury, often evoking the chic style of Hollywood’s golden age. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, oversized sunglasses offer more comprehensive protection from the sun, covering a larger area of the face.

Frameless/Rimless Sunglasses

Rimless Sunglasses MenPin
Frameless or Rimless Sunglasses, with their minimalist design, offer a sleek and understated elegance that complements any look. Photo: ASOS

Frameless or rimless sunglasses offer a minimalist and modern design, where the lenses are attached directly to the bridge or temples without a surrounding frame. This design creates a clean and unobtrusive look, allowing the wearer’s features to shine.

Often chosen for their lightweight and comfortable fit, rimless sunglasses can subtly enhance one’s appearance without dominating the face. Available in various shapes and lens colors, these sunglasses suit those who prefer a sleek and understated style.

The Anatomy of Men’s Sunglasses

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There are a lot of choice details that go into a simple pair of sunglasses. Photo: Shutterstock

Selecting the perfect pair of sunglasses is more than just a matter of style. It’s about understanding the components of a pair of sunglasses and how they contribute to comfort, fit, and appearance. Here’s a detailed look at the anatomy of men’s sunglasses:

  1. Top Bar: This connecting bar is found on some sunglasses, linking the top parts of the lenses over the bridge. It can add a unique aesthetic touch.
  2. Bridge: The bridge spans the nose and supports the frame’s weight. Its design and fit are crucial for comfort, so understanding its structure can help you choose a pair that fits well.
  3. Nose Pads: Often made of plastic, these pads are affixed to the frame’s inside and are designed to keep the glasses steady on the face. They also enhance comfort, making them an essential feature to consider.
  4. Frame Rim: The frame rim encases the lenses and is vital to the sunglasses’ style. From sleek metal to bold plastic, the choice of frame rim can define the overall look.
  5. Temple: These are the arms of the sunglasses, extending along the sides of the face and over the ears. They play a crucial role in keeping the sunglasses securely in place.
  6. Temple Tip: Usually covered with plastic or silicone, the temple tips ensure comfort by relieving the pressure on the ears. This small detail can make a significant difference in wearability.
  7. Hinge: These small yet essential mechanisms connect the frame rim to the temples, allowing them to open and close according to the face’s width. A well-designed hinge ensures a comfortable fit.
  8. Joint: This part of the frame connects the temple to the frame rim, acting as a crucial junction in the overall structure.

Understanding these components can lead to a more informed and satisfying purchase. Whether seeking a pair for daily wear or a specific occasion, recognizing the functions and importance of each part ensures that the chosen sunglasses will look great and provide the comfort and fit that meet individual needs.

Choosing the Right Frame for Your Sunglasses

Men Wearing Sunglasses with Brow BarPin
Consider everything from face shape to lifestyle when shopping for a new pair of sunglasses. Photo: Adobe Stock

Selecting the perfect frame for sunglasses is a vital decision influencing appearance and comfort.

Types of Frame Styles

  1. Full Frame: These lenses are encased entirely in metal or plastic and offer a robust and classic look.
  2. Half Frame: With only part of the lens framed, this style provides a unique aesthetic but may require more careful handling.
  3. Frameless or Rimless: These lenses connect directly to the temple, offering a sleek and modern appearance. Though fashionable, they demand delicate care.

Materials Used in Frames

Clubmaster Sunglasses Men DetailsPin
Sunglasses come in various materials, ranging from plastic and acetate to metal. Photo: Adobe Stock
  1. Molded Plastic: Versatile and budget-friendly, molded plastic frames come in various colors, providing an accessible option for many.
  2. Acetate: A step above standard plastic, acetate frames are lighter, more flexible, and can be layered for a customized look.
  3. Metal: Known for their adjustability and resistance to corrosion, metal frames offer a sophisticated appearance. However, they may be less durable and carry a higher price tag.
  4. Natural Material: For those seeking an organic and artisanal touch, frames made from Buffalo Horn, Tortoise Shell, or Wood provide a unique and luxurious option, though they are typically more costly.

Considerations for Selection

  • Face Shape: Understanding one’s face shape can guide the selection of frames that complement natural features.
  • Lifestyle Needs: Active individuals may prefer durable materials, while those seeking a statement piece might opt for more distinctive styles.
  • Budget Constraints: From economical plastic to high-end natural materials, there’s a frame to fit various budget levels.
  • Trend Awareness: Staying informed about current fashion trends can help you choose a contemporary and timeless frame.

Lens Options for Men’s Sunglasses

Browline Sunglasses Men Man SuitPin
Please don’t overlook the vast offering of diverse lenses that suit different purposes regarding sunglasses. Photo: FP

Selecting the right lenses for men’s sunglasses after an eye exam is a crucial decision affecting style, vision, and comfort. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the various lens options available:

Lens Materials: Strength & Clarity

  1. Optical Glass: Known for distortion-free vision, optical glass lenses are a top choice for those seeking clarity and durability. They resist scratches, making them a long-lasting option.
  2. Plastic Lenses: Thicker plastic lenses need a special coating for scratch resistance and UV protection. They offer a budget-friendly alternative.
  3. Polycarbonate: Ideal for active lifestyles, polycarbonate lenses are thin yet provide outstanding impact resistance, surpassing many other materials.
  4. SR-91 Lens: A fusion of quality and strength, SR-91 lenses combine the clarity of optical glass with the resilience of polycarbonate, along with 100% UV protection.

Lens Colors & Tints: Aesthetic & Function

Sunglasses Men Colored LensesPin
Lens color is more than just style; it affects how you see. Photo: FP

Different lens colors change the appearance and influence how the eyes perceive light.

  • Gray: For a color-neutral view and crisp contrast.
  • Yellow/Orange: Enhancing contrast and depth perception, perfect for overcast days.
  • Brown/Amber: Improving the quality of light, these tints are versatile for various lighting conditions.
  • Green: Filtering blue light and reducing glare, green is soothing to the eyes.
  • Purple/Red: By blocking blue light, red tints increase contrast, adding a bold touch.
  • Blue: Filtering white light, blue lenses are unique in enhancing color recognition.

Lens Coating: Protection & Style

Manufacturers often add special coatings to lenses, enhancing their functionality.

  • Polarized Lenses: Essential for those spending time near water or snow, these lenses minimize glare from reflective surfaces.
  • Photochromic: Adapting to changing light, photochromic lenses darken in bright sunlight and lighten in lower light conditions.
  • Gradient Lenses: Tinted from the top down, gradient lenses are stylish and practical for driving.
  • Mirror or Flash Coating: Adding a reflective film to the lenses gives a fashionable edge while providing additional protection.

Men’s Sunglasses Styles

Men's Sunglasses Styles Final WordsPin
Whether you like bold or minimalist sunglasses, there’s a pair of shades for everyone. Photo: FP

When it comes to choosing between the different types of sunglasses for men, remember that confidence is critical. Go with your gut instinct and pick a pair that makes you feel great. And always buy the best pair that you can afford. Investing in a high-quality pair of sunglasses will ensure that they last for years, providing you with style and protection every step of the way.

Whether you are drawn to the timeless elegance of aviators, the modern edge of D-frames, or the retro charm of clubmasters, the world of men’s sunglasses styles is a treasure trove of style and sophistication.

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