Shades are more than their sun-shielding properties – they’re a fashion statement and, quite frankly, an underrated accessory. Now more than ever, quirky sunglasses have become a wardrobe staple for the Gen Z crowd, since a pair can so effortlessly piece looks together. If your shopping hauls have left you feeling like something’s missing, then you might benefit from discovering what’s hot in the world of sunnies.
Heba Qadeer, a Dubai-based fashion and lifestyle content creator of 10 years and digital marketer, makes sure her collection features classic silhouettes as well as head-turning pieces. "Sunglasses complete your look - even if you're wearing an all-black outfit, a pair of pink- or orange-tinted shades with thick frames can make you look very put together," she added.
From what Qadeer tells us, "all styles still work". Lately, fashion's been all about building your unique sense of style - whatever works for you, floats, thanks to Gen Z's all-embracing approach at the helm of most trends. Don't chuck out anything from your rotation just yet.
As a collective, though, the fashionable crowd is taken with retro styles, says Qadeer: "I've noticed how people are going back to the 1970s and the early aughts. There's a lot of interest in big, colourful chunky frames with tinted lenses - a very hip kind of accessory, which then becomes a statement piece in your outfit. From the early 2000s, we're seeing the slick rectangular lens inspired by the movie 'The Matrix' that wraps around the temples".
In short, hold on to the timeless aviators this autumn, as you switch it up with cool throwback styles. The internet’s favourite fashion icons, American model Bella Hadid and Blackpink’s Jennie, carried the ‘tiny’ oval sunglasses trend in recent years. Late American musician Kurt Cobain's famously worn 'clout goggles' are making a comeback, too. In 2022, we’re still trying our hand at bold, eye-catching shades to elevate outfits.
Find a trendy pair of sunshades that speaks to you from our list below, and enjoy up to 20 per cent savings with the coupon code 'SUN20' on select items. Plus, you can order with Amazon Prime to snap up free, next-day delivery.
1. Chunky Frame, Narrow Lenses: Le Specs Outta Love Sunglasses
Indomitable, intimidating and chic, channel your no-nonsense mood in this nearly-aughts '90s pair. Le Spec's Outta Love collection is a good starting point for those in search of 'clout goggles'. Famously seen on Kurt Cobain in opaque white frames and round lenses, today, they're less oversized and more minimal in look. Perch Outta Love low on your nose bridge when you’re out and about in your best autumn neutrals and gold-toned jewellery. Still, if the black frames aren’t your cup of tea, you can select from other shades – both opaque and transparent – including tortoiseshell. This is a fashionable pick for both men and women, who’d like to keep their daytime wear edgy and interesting.
2. Acetate Sunglasses: Kate Spade Women's LILLIAN/G/S Sunglasses
A way of adding a subtle splash of colour to outfits has been through oversized acetate or plant-based plastic frames. This pair of Kate Spade Lillian shades comes to the rescue when you’re simply not in the mood to dress up. Looking void of colour on a sunny day? Carry these crystal green sunshades paired with gradient lenses in the purse. They’re durable and scratch resistant. Qadeer points out that a translucent frame can be a bold choice, since it draws attention to one's features, "bringing focus to your nose, cheeks and forehead".
3. Aviator Sunglasses: Ray-Ban New Aviator Pilot Sunglasses
All the retrofuturism aside, we are still in love with our classic pieces. "It's always a good idea to invest in timeless shapes, like those offered by Ray-Ban. If you've just started to explore the world of shades, then you can't go wrong with aviators - anyone can pull these off, especially men," said Qadeer. Try Ray-Ban's New Aviator, a reimagined version of its original 1937 release. Still carrying the iconic silhouette, these unisex shades come in gold frames with premium engravings and green lenses. Browse the other five colour combinations available to tailor the teardrop aviators to your taste.
4. Oval Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Titanium Oval Sunglasses
With the small sunglasses trend still going strong, we can’t not talk about tiny ovals. What’s great about this lens shape is that it retains the classic silhouette, without being too small to deliver sufficient UV (ultraviolet) protection. Ray-Ban offers a variety of colour combinations in this 70s-inspired model, including these rimless gold-tinted lenses framed in matte grey titanium. The pair is stylish, lightweight and comfortable, per reviews.
5. Wayfarer Sunglasses: Calvin Klein Men's CK21531S Sunglasses
Traditional wayfarers are hard to resist lately. They’re back in trend for their durable build, large coverage and versatile pairing possibilities. Calvin Klein has just the right frame to fit the description. Designed for everyday wear across all seasons, these rectangular sunglasses provide 100 per cent of UV protection via deep black polycarbonate lenses. Plus, they sit light on the nose with a cushioned grip on the temples for all-day comfort.
6. Wraparound Sunglasses: Oakley Men's Gascan Rectangular Sunglasses
Recall sporty wraparound frames? We’re wearing them in 2022, for not-so-sporty reasons. They’re part of the early aughts throwback, which the fashion community has been curating for years now. As seen on British singer Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid on multiple occasions, wraparound sunglasses are clearly no longer an athletic eyewear but still work great with streetwear. "These 'Matrix'-style sunglasses have a futuristic element to them, and they're often seen paired with casual baggy outfits among Gen Z," said Qadeer. Try the look with Oakley’s popular Gascan shades that wrap the temples snugly, featuring polarised lenses to buffer light glares.
7. Shield Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wings II Sunglasses
In the same vein, wraparound shields are also in. Massive, futuristic and audacious, shields are your statement shades when worn purely as a stunt. Finding a bulky pair that suits your face shape can be tricky. Ray-Ban offers a close match, like the Wings II range. Despite its size, the pair is pretty lightweight and delivers clarity from every angle through orange mirrored lenses. Keep your eyes effectively shielded from harmful UV rays in these.
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