With summer comes (hopefully) sunshine, and the need to upgrade our eyewear game to match your fresh summer wardrobe.
It’s way too easy to just pick up another pair of Ray Bans – to replace the pair you left in the pub the first weekend it was vaguely warm – so why not do something a bit different?
Here are the top five sunglasses brands to set you apart from the crowd.
First up, we head to Italy – so often a destination for those looking for a little extra style.
TBD Eyewear has in just eight short years established itself as the favourite sunglasses brand of the sartorial, helped in great measure by the expertise in that area of its founder, Fabio Attanasio.
His creative direction has led to a range of glasses which pair perfectly with soft summer tailoring, making them ideal for wedding season, but the slightly retro, 1970s-inspired shapes look just as good with relaxed beach outfits.
Coloured lenses add a little character to the gold, honey and tobacco tones of the frames.
Those frames are handmade in Italy by artisans, and each pair is cut from bioacetate (made using cotton and wood pulp) to reduce the use of harmful plastics.
From £149, tbdeyewear.com
The defining factor of Silhouette eyewear is the covetable combination of lightness and durability.
Innovation in design and material is the brand’s driving force; today’s collection includes sunglasses which are completely screwless and pairs boasting ultra-thin 23-carat gold arches.
The durability of these sunglasses is extraordinary – they will withstand all sorts of bumps and twists, thanks to those design innovations and the titanium used to make them – as is the lightness, as they barely feel there when on your face or in your pocket.
The shapes of each pair will really make you stand out as well – traditional styles are eschewed in favour of oversized, bold looks which will allow you to channel your inner rock star.
Each summer collection is inspired by a different seaside city – the architecture of Barcelona has provided the sharp corners and extravagant angles of the 2023 editions. These are sunglasses to be noticed in.
From £250, silhouette.com
Resortwear brand SMR Days takes pride in creating outfits for the seasoned summer traveller. In only three years, it has built an impressive platform in the menswear world, and its debut sunglasses collection is designed to complete its outfits.
Its clothes feature classic shapes in bright and bold fabrics – many of which are inspired by the Indian heritage of one of the three founders – and the shades follow a similar pattern,
While the shapes of the frames are nothing too unusual, the colours offered allow for a little bit more expression from the wearer.
The speckled red or tortoiseshell colourways are a little more adventurous than many sunglasses would be – perfect for those more keen to explore the deserts of north Africa than the tourist-trap beaches of the Med.
From £245, smrdays.com
In fewer than 10 years, London brand Taylor Morris has seen its sunglasses adorn the faces of supermodels and Hollywood stars.
Its styles are inspired by its Notting Hill base and offer contemporary interpretations of classic styles alongside more daring, futuristic constructions.
Frames are made from a sustainable cellulose acetate and are bound together by robust steel hinges to protect against the accidents which often occur after too many summer cocktails.
The wide range of colours and styles on offer mean there is something here for all style preferences and face shapes.
From £140, taylormorriseyewear.com
London spectacle wearers may well have noticed a branch of Cubitts on their jaunts around town – every stylish neighbourhood in the city now seems to have one.
Its mission is to elevate the eyewear industry, and it accomplishes it through a blend of quality design and top-notch service.
Each pair can be adjusted and repaired at any stage of its journey – oftentimes in minutes and for no charge – to ensure comfort and fit, and proper sizing appointments can be made before you’ve even bought your first pair.
Its latest sunglasses are made in conjunction with TOAST, a brand dedicated to enduring longevity of product, and have been made by repurposing the off-cuts of cellulose acetate from previous work in the factory. But its core range is extensive, blending classic styles with more modern alternatives.
Whatever your taste, there will be a pair of Cubitts for you.
From £125, cubitts.com