Types of Sunglasses: Styles and Shapes Explained

Most of us don’t give eyeglasses much thought unless we notice how they affect our overall appearance or fashion ensemble. For eyewear connoisseurs, however, knowing what type of sunglasses are in vogue and which sunglasses shapes and styles are flattering is critical.

The reason of course is that the different sunglasses styles and shapes can instantly alter your appearance or increase your style quotient. It doesn’t matter if you're wearing prescription glasses, blue-light-blocking glasses, or trendy shades designed to complement your attire perfectly.

If you want to be sure you’re always wearing on-trend eyewear in the most flattering design for you, we’re here to help. So, if you’re ready to master the different types of glasses based on style and shape, here’s the information you need to always be fashionably decked – eyewear-wise – every single time.

13 Best Types of Sunglasses [Sorted by Popularity]

Whether you want to change things up or you’re bored of wearing your go-to sunglasses, here are 13 of the best types of shades that will make your sunglasses collection the envy of all your friends – from oversized designs to unique or avant-garde shapes and everything in between. 

1. Aviator Sunglasses

Aviator Type of Sunglasses

Since the U.S. Army Air Corps initially donned aviator-style sunglasses in 1935, aviator sunglasses have become a staple in practically every eyewear aficionado’s collection.

Aside from the classic silhouette, aviator-style glasses are increasingly branching out into new and intriguing design areas. Aviators are now available in vintage-style metal and contemporary acetate frames in a variety of colours and with unique embellishments.

Unique Features: Oval-shaped lenses that narrow near the bridge of the nose, with a top bar at the brow line

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Square, oval, diamond face shapes 

➜ Browse Aviator Sunglasses

2. Cat Eye Sunglasses

 

Cat Eye Sunglass Style

 

Cat eye glasses are always a good choice if you’re looking for stylish, feminine eyewear. Cat eye glasses are fun, playful, and the perfect complement to executive chic. They flatter most facial shapes, especially square or diamond-shaped faces. 

Wear these to the office, to graduate school, or wherever else you want to project a sexy-serious vibe. Choose from a variety of colours, prints, and patterns in traditional, geometric, and retro-style cat eye glasses. 

Unique Features: The top of the frame flicks out to resemble cat or feline eyes

Gender: Female

Best For: Angular or square, diamond face shapes 

➜ Explore Cat Eye Sunglasses

3. Rectangular Sunglasses

Rectangular Sunglasses Type

These rectangular-shaped spectacles look a lot like oversized square-shaped sunglasses. However, they lend delicate angles to the wearer’s facial features, especially on rounder faces, and are a softer alternative to showier square frames. 

So if you’re looking to spend a little extra on a standout pair with a throwback vibe, rectangle frames come in a variety of looks whether you’re going for a sporty, retro, casual or sharp vibe. Put a pair on and prepare to take some fashionable selfies with your buddies while getting some much-needed extra sun coverage! 

Unique Features: Oversized square sunglasses featuring a full-rimmed design with parallel edges

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Oval, oblong or rectangular face shapes 

4. Round Sunglasses

Sunglasses Styles - Round Sunglasses

John Lennon’s preference for round, thin-rimmed glasses has left an indelible fashion influence on everyone over the years, with both ladies and men sporting these spectacles. 

Round sunglasses are lovely and simple, and come in thin or thick frames, plain or coloured lenses, and always add a retro touch to your getup. Although no one can stop you from wearing these regardless of your face shape, round glasses help soften angular features. 

Unique Features: Round framed lenses

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Angular or square, oval face shapes 

➜ Shop Round Sunglasses

5. Wayfarer Sunglasses

Wayfarer Type of Sunglasses

Cutting-edge wayfarer frames were introduced in the 1950s, and much like the aviators, this style has endured the test of time. 

When actress Audrey Hepburn wore them in the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961, wayfarer sunglasses instantly became a must-have accessory for ladies at lunch, although the style also appealed to men. Since then, wayfarers have retained their popularity as a classic eyewear choice. 

Unique Features: Lenses start out as square-like but feature a curve on the lower portion

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Oval face shapes 

➜ Discover Wayfarer Sunglasses 

6. Flat-Top Sunglasses

Flat Top Sunglasses Style

Flat-top sunglasses feature a flat-top line on the forehead and are an essential modern design variation on favourite classic throwback shapes, such as wayfarers and aviators. 

Sunglasses with a flat top that are great for making a fashion statement – which is probably why fashionistas like Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian keep wearing them. Flat-top sunglasses come in a range of flat-top aviator and oversized styles. 

Unique Features: Flat top line along the forehead

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Round, oblong or oval face shapes 

7. Rimless Sunglasses

Rimless Sunglasses Style

The best rimless sunglasses are at the pinnacle of eyewear design. They exude sophistication and offer a seamless, lightweight alternative to framed sunglasses. 

Instead of a clunky frame, these accessories include two temples and a nasal bridge to keep your lenses perfectly positioned. The design emphasizes your natural features for a clean, uncluttered look. 

Unique Features: Frameless, with two temples and a nasal bridge

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Diamond, square face shapes 

8. Clear-Frame Sunglasses

Type of Sunglasses with Clear Frame

Clear-frame sunglasses are constantly in style and make appearances on eyewear trend lists year after year. After all, clear goes with everything, and this trend is mirrored in the variety of clear-frame glasses available in both men’s and women’s fashion departments, as well as unisex models. 

There is a vast range of sunglasses encased in white and transparent frames flooding the market, indicating that clear-frame eyewear is no longer limited to prescription glasses. These glasses come in a variety of shapes and styles, but they all have clear frames that look great with lighter-coloured clothing and makeup. 

Unique Features: Clear or colourless frames

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Most face shapes 

9. Square Sunglasses

Square Style Sunglasses

The lenses on square sunglasses could be characterized as square, but give off a different vibe to shades done in the retro square design. The square frame style is one of the most adaptable in the market, with options ranging from sporty to trendy.

The large square-shaped lenses with an oversized frame can shield you well from UV rays. The lenses are the same size on all sides and fit snugly on your nose. 

Unique Features: Lenses are of the same size on all sides

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Round, oval face shapes 

➜ View the best Square Sunglasses

10. Heart Sunglasses

For the bold fashionista unafraid to wear unique, quirky or cute eyewear, heart-shaped sunglasses make a fun style statement.  With these frames, your sunglasses will seem so much more whimsical and entertaining, and they’ll surely stand out from other more traditional designs. 

Unique Features: Heart-shaped lenses

Gender: Female

Best For: Round, angular face shapes

11. Wraparound Sunglasses

Wraparound Sunglasses Type

Wraparound sunglasses have a front-facing semi-circular frame that wraps around your head to provide peripheral coverage. A typical pair of sunglasses will not shield the top and sides of your face from the sun. Wraparound sunglasses totally cover your eye socket area, but they don’t limit your stylistic options, too. 

Do you want to go for a run or a bike ride? Then put on these wraparound glasses, which will make you look sporty while also providing comprehensive visual protection! 

Unique Features: Front-facing semi-circular frame that wraps around the head

Gender: Unisex

Best For: Round, oval, angular face shapes 

12. Oversized Sunglasses

Oversized Sunglasses Style

Oversized black sunglasses never fail to add dramatic flair to your everyday look. They’re excellent at blocking UV radiation. They usually have thick frames and are square or oval in shape. Some frames will be multi-coloured or feature additional elements to create a unique retro-modern aesthetic. 

Unique Features: Thick oversized frames

Gender: Female

Best For: Round, oval face shapes  

13. Clubmaster Sunglasses

Clubmaster Type Sunglasses

The tinted lenses of clubmaster sunglasses have a semi-rim on the lower portion and a frame on the upper section. With a thick plastic or acetate brow or cap, clubmaster-style or browline sunglasses have an upper frame that is thicker or bolder than the bottom half of the frame. 

Clubmaster sunglasses are slim and effortlessly stunning, suitable for men and women who want to project power, flair, and sophistication. These hybrid frames are ideal for wearing to work or university because they’re both attractive and practical. 

Unique Features: Hybrid frames with a thicker upper and semi-rim on the lower portion

Gender: Unisex

Best For: All face shapes 

6 Most Popular Sunglasses Lens Types

Mirrored sunglasses, polarised sunglasses, optical or prescription sunglasses, and more are just a few of the many types of sunglasses lens types available. But which one suits you best? 

The best lenses for you will be determined by the eye or sun protection and glare reduction you require, as well as what best suits your personality and preferences. 

Polarised Sunglasses

Polarised sunglasses are designed to lessen glare from sunlight reflected off flat surfaces like metal, water, and snow. They include a special anti-reflection coating that allows light rays to enter your eyes vertically only, allowing you to see whatever you're looking at straight, while stopping light from entering at any other angle. This reduces glare from the sun bouncing off reflective surfaces around you.

Mirrored Sunglasses

Mirror-coated lenses (aka flash-coated lenses) are extremely reflective. They provide more shade and comfort by reducing the amount of light entering the eyes. This is why mirrored sunglasses are handy when the sun is shining brightly, such as when you’re running, skiing or fishing at high noon.

➜ Explore Mirrored Sunglasses

Optical Sunglasses

If you require vision correction for driving or other outdoor activities, you can improve your outdoor vision using optical or prescription sunglasses designed to help you see more clearly and comfortably in bright sunshine. Scheduling an eye examination is the first step toward having the best outdoor vision possible.

Photochromic Sunglasses

Photochromic sunglasses have lenses that change hue or tint level in response to the amount of UV light that hits them – usually depending on the weather or environmental conditions. Photochromic or transition lenses have the advantage of lightening in dreary, overcast weather or darker settings. These are frequently included into ordinary eyeglasses so the wearer does not require two pairs of glasses. They are UV-protective to a high degree.

Tinted Sunglasses

Tinted sunglasses have coloured lenses that vary depending on the UV protection required. Grey is a great colour for driving and outdoor activities. Yellow and orange add contrast to a scenery and green minimises glare. Brown tones absorb blue light and contrast with the grass and sky. People on road trips can benefit from reddish tinted or coloured sunglasses, which can be relaxing. 

Blue Light Sunglasses

Traditional blue light-blocking glasses are designed to be worn only indoors, when you’re sitting in artificial lighting or using digital gadgets with LED screens for extended periods. However, blue light sunglasses perform the same function with the added ability to protect the eyes from UV light when you go outdoors. 

How to Pick the Best Sunglasses Style

While some people appear to be impervious to eyewear trends and can wear any sunglasses style and shape they desire yet still look great, it’s not the case for everyone.

Indeed, while researching what types of men’s or women’s sunglasses are in vogue and suit you, you may have discovered a few favourites and discarded some that don't look so good on you.

Check out the tips below if you’re looking to buy new sunglasses soon or just need some help picking the appropriate pair for you: 

  • Know your face shape. Whether your face is round, oval, square, heart-shaped, or diamond-shaped, the eyeglasses you select should complement or accentuate your best features.
  • Consider your skin tone. Although your face shape is a key factor in determining which eyewear frames would look best on you, you should also consider your skin tone. Choose a frame that matches your skin tone – whether it’s warm or cool – as closely as possible.
  • Find out which matches your personality and lifestyle. Are you goofy, adventurous, eccentric, or a go-getter? Or maybe you favour eyewear in classic styles over trendy shades. Are you a teacher, athlete, salesperson, business owner, psychologist, fashionista or something else? The design of sunglasses you choose should ideally reflect who and what you are as a person. Aside from picking eyewear in the colour (and with the embellishments) that appeals to you, you should also evaluate frame utility and compatibility to your lifestyle.

What Else to Consider When Buying Sunglasses

Aside from considering your facial features, skin colour and personal preferences, other factors that could figure in your decision to buy a pair of sunglasses could include the following: 

  • Brand
  • Material and durability
  • Price

Ultimately, however, the eyewear you choose should fit comfortably and serve its purpose – whether it be for stylistic or eye protection-related reasons. 

Shop for Your Favourite Sunglasses at Chilli Beans Online

Whether you want cute, quirky, fun or classic eyewear, Chilli Beans is a wonderful place to shop for sunglasses online. 

Founded back in 1997 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Chilli Beans is now the largest sunglasses brand in Latin America with a steadily growing global presence. 

At Chilli Beans, you’ll have access to a wide range of hot, trendy, time-tested and high-quality shades and optical glasses that you’ll be happy to wear over and over again. 

Have fun shopping today!