12 Sunglasses Trends That Never Go Out Of Style

Designed by Anna Jay.
I’m going to put myself out there and admit I never really buy sunglasses. I know, what a way to start a dedicated shopping guide, but I just don’t find that I need any more. I have my trusty black rectangular pair, my brown ‘70s-style aviators, oval tortoiseshell cat eyes and a pair of blue tinted frames. Sure, I’ve dabbled in other sunglasses trends here and there – red heart shapes inspired by Harry Styles’ "Watermelon Sugar" music video, skinny Matrix micro shades like Bella Hadid – but you don’t really need them all. Once you know which styles suit your face and personal style, then you’re set.
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But where do you start? Searching for a new pair is like searching for a needle in a very crowded haystack. Every brand worth its salt has its own eyewear line, the high street is awash with designer knockoffs and, every few weeks, social media seems to champion a new, niche trend.
That’s where we come in, with a shopping guide pulling together the very best sunglasses on our radar and with options for every taste – whether you’re a classic, cat-eye kind of girl or prefer bold colour shades. Read on to find your match.
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Best black sunglasses

Big and bold or slim and subtle, shiny metallics or matte, soft and rounded or angular and rectangle – you really can’t go wrong with a pair of black sunglasses. This is the OG of the sunglasses world, a style that everyone needs in their wardrobe because there is just so much choice out there. Plus, there’s no outfit that a pair of black sunglasses doesn’t work with.
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Best polarised sunglasses

Polarised lenses have a special chemical applied to them to filter light. They’re designed to reduce the glare from reflective surfaces like water, glass or snow, meaning that they’re brilliant for driving, being outdoors and sports, as well as helping to protect your eyes. Opting for a pair of sunglasses with polarised lenses needn’t mean compromising on style, though. We’ve found a range of designs – from metal aviators with coloured lenses to rainbow tortoiseshell frames – that you can trust.
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Best tortoiseshell sunglasses

If black sunglasses are too dark for your features or taste, try a classic tortoiseshell. This warm, gold-flecked material instantly warms up the face, especially in the sunlight.
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Best hexagon sunglasses

So you’ve heard of round sunglasses, you’ve heard of squares, rectangles and ovals – but what about hexagons? This six-sided shape is a subtle way to update your look. Especially great for those who don’t suit the boxy, square shape but don’t want to go full John Lennon with round glasses.
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Best square sunglasses

There’s something about a pair of square sunglasses, especially oversized square sunglasses, that makes us think of rock stars in the ‘70s. Edgy, cool and a little bit mysterious – an easy way to tap into the retro influences floating through fashion right now.
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Best cat-eye sunglasses

When 5-year-old me saw Audrey Hepburn peek over her dark tortoiseshell cat-eye sunglasses in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, I was sold. Classic, elegant and feminine, you can’t beat a good cat eye. You could go traditional like Audrey (fun fact: the shades she wore in the film are these by Oliver Goldsmith) or take a more modern approach with bright colours and clear perspex.
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Best rectangle sunglasses

Heavily inspired by the ‘90s, the rectangle sunglasses trend has arguably been the most popular recently, all thanks to celebrity fans like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Rihanna. 
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Best coloured frame sunglasses

Colour fans rejoice, SS21 has brought us a fresh appreciation for coloured shades. Whether you prefer vivid brights or pastels, we love matching ours to our outfits for a true monochromatic look.
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Best round sunglasses

Forget the bug-like stereotype, round sunglasses suit most face shapes and can really lift the face. If you’re worried about looking like you’re in a Willy Wonka costume, opt for a thinner and lighter metal or clear frame rather than heavy plastic.
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Best aviator sunglasses

Classic metal aviator sunglasses are always going to be in style but we’re also loving the chunkier, ‘70s-inspired takes SS21 is bringing us.
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Best wayfarer sunglasses

A softer take on the square shape frame, don’t underestimate a classic wayfarer.
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Best tinted lenses sunglasses

It’s not only frames that are getting a dose of colour this season, we’re also loving glasses with tinted frames – another fun retro nod.
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Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.

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