In the pursuit of making your outfits look cooler, there's something you really ought to know. You don't have to invest in a haul of new clothes to make them so. In fact, the secret to adding instant polish, attitude and elevation to your ensembles lies with one key accessory: sunglasses.
We consider sunglasses to be a year-round staple—something we always reach for in our handbags regardless of the season. But now, as we find ourselves at the peak of summer, chances are you've bumped upgrading your shades up a couple of spots on your to-do list. While you can quite easily pick up a new pair as you browse online (the high street has plenty of low-cost, on-trend options to choose from), some sunglasses brands are in a league of their own. We hope you're ready because we're about to introduce you to our pick of those brands.
Small but mighty, we think sunglasses are worth spending a little extra on, specifically if you want a quality pair that'll never date. Over the years, more and more high-end fashion houses such as Celine, Loewe and Gucci have created eyewear collections that are just as impressive as their clothing lines and that share quite lofty price tags. Similarly, The Row has teamed up with eyewear label Oliver Peoples to create its own capsule of covetable styles that we just know we'll love and cherish for a lifetime.
Still, if your budget is looking a little lean, rest assured, as some more affordable options have also made our list, including under-the-radar brands your friends are less likely to know about, giving you the edge.
So if you want to make everything you wear look tenfold more expensive, scroll below to see our edit of the best sunglasses brands. All that's left for you to do is to start planning your chic summer outfits around them.
With clean lines and a range of both metal and acetate silhouettes, Celine's eyewear edit is the perfect minimalist match to its clothing and accessories. Most fashion editors own oversized pairs, but this season, we also enjoy the creamy cat eyes and the '70s gradient lenses.
Husband and wife duo Gisela and Gustavo Assis started their sunglasses label Lapima in 2016. As it's known for its avant-garde silhouettes, you'll love these shades if you adopt a "more is more" accessory approach. Fans of the brand include Katie Holmes and Olivia Palermo, so you'll be in good company.
3. LE SPECS
With silhouettes and materials that look significantly more premium than their price tags, Le Specs presents the ideal sunglasses edit for fashion types who don't have £300 to drop on a high-end pair—not that anyone would be able to tell these cost any less.
Our obsession with all things Gucci now extends to its sunglasses. While you can snap up the rhinestone-encrusted acetate pairs from its runway shows should you wish, we find ourselves mostly drawn to the brand's classic-looking sets, which you're likely to get 100% more wear out of.
5. LINDA FARROW
One of the most premium sunglasses brands out there, Linda Farrow was initially founded in 1970. Then, after a 20-year hiatus and upon discovering a box of vintage sunglasses lurking in its London warehouse, the brand was re-established. Any eyewear trend you see can likely be traced back to Farrow's designs; that's how iconic they are.
6. POLITE WORLDWIDE
Polite Worldwide only creates one sunglasses silhouette—the Terra—but as it turns out, that was enough to cement its IG cult status. Worn by the likes of Alyssa in the City, this is the ultimate cool-girl frame.
If you're ever unsure about which sunglasses to invest in, rest assured you can never go wrong with a pair of Ray-Bans. The brand has been around since the 1930s, so if we attempted to list even the smallest fraction of celebrities and fashion people who have and regularly wear them, we'd be here all day. Trust us—sunglasses don't come more classic or versatile than this. Below, you'll find its best sellers.
8. OLIVER PEOPLES X THE ROW
Oliver Peoples is a mighty sunglasses brand in its own right, but when teamed up with The Row, it makes for a formidable combination. We love how unexpectedly playful the collection is, considering The Row was founded by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who are known for their chic dress sense. Here's proof that you can (and should!) have some fun with your eyewear.
Loewe's handbags might hog the spotlight, but the brand's sunglasses are also worth your consideration should you want to invest in a piece from the label. The shades don't take themselves too seriously, much like the iconic Puzzle Bag, which is absolutely part of their charm.
10. TAYLOR MORRIS
After losing their own sunglasses on a night out in Ibiza, Hugo Taylor (who you might recognise from Made in Chelsea) and his longtime friend Charlie Morris were reluctant to fork out for new sets. This was the moment they spotted a gap in the market for affordable sunglasses that don't scrimp on quality or style. And that's exactly what they've created with their brand, Taylor Morris.
11. DANIELLE RATTRAY
Founded and crafted in Scotland with a range of both acetate and metal frames, Danielle Rattray's sleek sunglasses designs will bestow your entire wardrobe with an air of cool.
Founded in Stockholm in 2016, Chimi is an independent eyewear brand with the aim of bringing some creativity into the eyewear scene and create, as it puts it, "colourful shades for colourful people." So fun.
13. BOTTEGA VENETA
Everything Bottega Veneta touches right now turns to fashion gold, and its sunglasses are certainly no exception. Classic with a retro twist, a pair of these beauties can be spotted from a mile off.