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12 Best Summer Sunglasses for 2024

Are you shopping for a new pair of sunglasses and want to be on-trend for this summer? We’ve done the research on all of the upcoming trends in the world of sunglasses, and we’re here to walk you through them.

Read on for our list of the best sunglasses for summer 2024, as well as what to look for when buying sunglasses. Here’s a hint: It’s not about trends!

12 Sunglasses Trends for 2024

Being on-trend isn’t just about copying outfits off the runways and red carpets — accessories go through trends, too. Here’s our forecast for the top sunglasses trends of 2024.

1. Bug-Eye Sunglasses

The 2000s are back, which means oversized frames are back, too. These bug-eyed sunglasses are well-known for their unique shapes, which are usually a variation of round or cat-eye frames. These go far beyond normal oversized proportions — they’re big enough that they give the illusion that the wearer has larger-than-normal eyes (hence the name).

These trendy shades were recently worn by fashion icons like Kendall and Kylie Jenner. While oversized sunnies are currently in style, they’re also practical. Since they cover more of your visual field, they can protect more of your vision.

2. Cat-Eye Sunglasses

These retro frames surged in popularity in the 1950s, and now they’re coming back stronger than ever. Cat-eye frames embody the fashion values of 2024 — they’re sleek, sassy, and joyfully energetic.

Celebrities like Beyoncé and Lily Collins have worn these fun frames recently. They’ve even gone down the runway with brands like Balenciaga sporting these sassy specs.

Try this classic style for yourself with The Ella. This base frame embodies a classic cat-eye shape and looks good on anyone with an oval, round, square, triangle, diamond, or heart-shaped face. Embrace the youthful energy of the trend by opting for black frames and reflective pink lenses.

3. Modified Aviators

This year’s fashion is all about adding twists to old American classics, and aviator sunglasses are no exception. While classic aviator frames will always be in style, this year’s trends will see the style adopting different shapes of lenses. These glasses, also called navigators, might feature geometric, round, or even rectangular lenses.

While normally, sunglasses brands make these with metal frames, the resurgence of this trend will see this shape made with both solid and patterned acetate frames. With these new frames, you won’t see the traditional nose pads — instead, you’ll see a solid nose bridge and thicker frames.

4. Square Sunglasses

Square glasses have recently re-entered popularity due to their vintage 70s feel, and now, celebs like Pedro Pascal and Gigi Hadid are sporting these super sunnies. Plenty of eyeglass manufacturers make modified square frames, but you’ll want to look for truly square frames to fully embrace this trend. Plus, you’ll get extra points if they’re oversized!

Try them out for yourself with The Murphy. These extra-wide square frames look great on anyone with an oval, heart, oblong, or triangle-shaped face. Opt for a traditional tortoiseshell frame color with brown sunglass lenses to make the most of the retro feel.

5. Shield Sunglasses

Even if you don’t know the term, we guarantee you’ve seen shield glasses out and about. These glasses are characterized by a single lens that goes across the face of the sunglasses, almost like a shield.

These frames have been seen on the likes of Kylie Jenner and Victoria Beckham. And they’re not just returning for street fashion — they’ve also graced the runways of brands like Saint Laurent and Tom Ford.

6. Transparent Frames

Transparent-framed eyeglasses have been on-trend for a couple of years now, but we predict that transparent-framed sunglasses will steal the show this summer. To fully embrace the trend, look for colorful frames, like transparent blue or pink frames.

You may even see frames with transparent patterns, such as tortoise shell or gradients. Pair your clear frames with reflective or dark lenses for a look that’ll really stand out this summer.

7. Customized Eyewear

In a time when our skincare, clothing, and even vitamins are customized, why not customize your eyewear? Custom fashion is going to be all the rage in 2024, so get ahead of the curve with a pair of unique specs.

At Pair Eyewear, we’ve got you covered when it comes to custom sunnies. With our system, you can change your sunglasses daily to create a unique look.

You’ll start with a pair of base frames. These are your actual sunglasses, and you can choose the frame shape, size, frame color, and lens color that works best for you. You can even add mirrored lenses!

Then, choose some top frames to go along with your base frames. Our top frames are thin covers that magnetically snap into place on top of the face of your frames.

Try it out for yourself with one of our popular frames like The Reese. These round frames are perfect for summer 2024 since round sunglasses are right on-trend for this year.

8. Sport Sunglasses

Do you remember the ‘90s sports sunglasses we all used to wear to soccer games and hikes? These throwback frames are often oval or rectangular and feature reflective lenses, although you might see some variation from time to time.

Sport sunglasses usually have wide frames so they can protect your peripheral vision as well, which gives them a distinctly athletic profile. Fashion influencers like Bella Hadid have recently worn these, proving that sportswear is still on-trend — even in eyewear.

sporty

9. Chunky Frames

Let’s face it — current fashion is all about catching the eye and being unique. This has led to a rise in bright colors and statement pieces, from clothing to eyewear.

One of the trends we expect to see grow in 2024 is chunky statement frames. These frames feature normal-sized lenses with extra-wide plastic rims that put them in the oversized category. They’ll often also have unique textures or shapes, such as clouds or waves.

10. Green-Tinted Sunglasses

Sunglasses can come in all kinds of colors, but right now, we’re seeing a resurgence of classic vintage colors. In the past, fashion has focused on traditional sunglasses lens colors like black and amber. However, now we’re seeing green-tinted glasses, which combine the traditional color palette with a modern twist.

We’re not talking about bright green lenses — instead, we’re seeing more of a muted gray-green or olive-green color. You can also add a mirrored coating to these lenses to help keep the light out of your eyes.

11. Black on Black Sunglasses

Sometimes, it’s best to go back to the basics. This year, we expect to see the return of traditional black frames with black lenses. This sleek look is super versatile and also brings a sense of modernity that will instantly level up any outfit.

If you want to try this look out, check out The Larkin. These narrow rectangular frames look good on anyone with an oval or round face shape and can be customized to have a black-on-black look — although we also have plenty of ways you can spice these frames up, too!

12. Futuristic Frames

Finally, we’re going to see a return to the futuristic fashion that we saw in the 2000s. The sunglasses of summer 2024 are going to be all sharp lines, innovative shapes, and sleek surfaces. From oversized shield glasses to angular cat eyes, we’re going to see fresh new takes on old motifs.

In another sense, we genuinely may see new technology find its way into our beloved sunnies. For instance, you may find smart sunglasses with cameras, microphones, AI technology, and access to the Metaverse. However, these will come at quite a high price point.

What Should You Consider When Buying Sunglasses?

Buying a quality pair of sunglasses is an investment. Like any investment, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying something that will do everything you need it to. Here are a few factors you should consider when buying a pair of sunglasses.

Polarization

If you spend a lot of time driving or enjoying the great outdoors, you’ve probably noticed that sometimes, the sun’s glare can be almost blinding. Luckily, there’s a solution for that.

Polarized sunglasses are sunglasses with lenses that are specifically designed to reduce glare. As an added bonus, they can also help make colors more vivid and details more clear.

These lenses work by only allowing in vertical light. When sunlight hits a flat, reflective surface like asphalt, water, snow, or the roof of the car in front of you, it scatters into vertical and horizontal light waves. This is what causes the glare in the first place, so by blocking horizontal light waves, polarized lenses can help reduce glare.

The only times you might not want to wear polarized lenses are when your car has a heads-up display, you’re looking at an LCD display, there’s ice on the road, and it’s nighttime. It’s important to see the glare of ice on the road in order to stay safe, and technology like LCD displays and heads-up displays make use of horizontal light waves.

UV Protection

If you’ve ever spent a day out in the sun and then came home with a sunburn, you’ve experienced the effects of UV rays. There are two main types of UV rays we experience: UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays are longer light waves responsible for signs of aging, like age spots and wrinkles, while UVB rays cause the skin to burn.

Aside from being dangerous for the skin, UV rays can also have harmful effects on the eyes. Exposure to UV rays can cause growths on the eye, cataracts, and even eye sunburn.

You might not be able to put sunscreen on your eyes, but you can still protect them from the harmful effects of UV rays. You can wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection, as well as stay inside during the sun’s peak and wear big hats that cover your visual field.

This applies even when you’re driving. UVB rays can’t pass through windows, so you won’t have visual evidence that you’re being exposed to UV rays. However, UVA rays can pass through windows, so you can still be exposed even when you’re inside and driving.

Durability

When you’re spending money on a pair of sunnies, it’s important to buy a pair that’ll stand the test of time. It can take several pairs before you find the perfect set of frames, and it’d be a shame if you had to replace your frames every couple of months.

The first thing to look at is the frame material. There are plenty of metal-framed sunglasses out there, but they can often be heavy and a bit bulky. Plastic frames made from acetate are more common because they’re lightweight and also less prone to bending and breaking.

The second thing to look at is lens material. In the old days, most glasses were made with, well, glass. Today, you’re more likely to find lenses made with high-quality plastic like polycarbonate or acrylic. You can still find glass lenses, but they’re more prone to breaking. Plastic lenses, on the other hand, are often designed to be scratch-resistant and shatterproof.

Reflective Lenses

Getting reflective or mirrored lenses isn’t just an aesthetic decision — it’s a quality decision, too. Mirrored lenses are coated with a material that reflects light, giving them a chrome-like appearance. This coating also bounces light off of the lenses, further reducing the amount of light that enters your eyes.

These lenses are great for anyone who likes to spend time outside in bright light. If you have a boating trip or Yellowstone hike planned this summer, you might want to consider a reflective pair of shades.

Lens Color

Lens color is another important factor to consider when choosing which sunglasses to buy. Sunglasses come in all the colors in the rainbow, but some colors have more benefits than others.

For instance, black, amber, gray, and dark green lenses can help sharpen details and provide more contrast to your vision. That’s why they’re more common in sunglasses and are considered to be classic colors.

On the other hand, novelty colors like red, pink, orange, blue, and bright green lenses can make it harder to see red lights while driving.

Tint Density

It’s not just color that affects your visibility — your tint density can also affect the effectiveness of your sunnies. Tint density describes how dark your sunglass lenses are on a scale of zero to 100 percent. On the low end of the spectrum are regular eyeglasses with no tint. On the high end of the spectrum, you have sunglasses with lenses so dark you can’t even drive in them.

Obviously, it’s generally best to land somewhere in the middle. The tint density affects how much light gets through your lenses, so find something that’s comfortable for what you’re doing and adjust as needed.

You can also purchase glasses that have a tint gradient. Often, you’ll see this in glasses that have a darker tint on the top of the lens and a lighter tint on the bottom. This isn’t just aesthetic — it actually helps increase your visibility at the bottom of your vision, which is great for when you’re driving and need to see your dashboard.

Prescription Lenses

Another important thing to consider is whether or not you’ll need to update your sunglasses with your eyeglass prescription. When you purchase generic sunglasses from the department store, the lenses won’t be able to tolerate having a prescription added to them.

Instead, you can go to your optometrist, who should have a selection of sunglasses you can try out. When you buy your sunnies through your eye doctor, they’ll usually come engraved with your prescription.

Alternatively, you can also get your sunglasses through Pair Eyewear. We can accommodate any prescription you may have, from single-vision to trifocals. When you have bifocals or trifocals, we’ll use our specialized progressive lenses. These are also great if you use reading glasses!

Photochromic Lenses

Have you ever wished you could combine your prescription glasses with your sunglasses? Progressive lenses do just this.

These are lenses that are designed to darken when they’re exposed to UV radiation. Once you’re out of the sun, they should lighten up and return to their normal tint density.

The upsides of photochromic lenses are that you only have to keep track of one pair of glasses, and they’ll already have your prescription ready to go. The downsides are that they might not darken up in the car or in cold weather, and they might not come polarized.

If you want the benefits of photochromic lenses with none of the downsides, try out our sun tops! These tops come with tinted lenses that easily snap onto the base frames of your regular Pair Eyewear prescription glasses.

Frame Shape

It’s not all about the technical details. When you’re choosing glasses, it’s important that they look good, too!

One of the best ways you can do this is to match your frame style to your face shape. You might not always fit strictly into the box of one face shape, but in general, there are a few common face shapes that look good in different styles of frames.

These include the following:

  • Heart: This face shape works best with round, rectangular, and aviator frames.
  • Square: This face shape works best with round or oval frames.
  • Round: This face shape works best with square, rectangular, or cat-eye glasses.
  • Oval: This face shape works best with square, rectangular, cat-eye, and aviator frames.
  • Diamond: This face shape works best with round or cat-eye glasses.
  • Triangle: This face shape works best with aviators and cat-eye glasses.
  • Oblong: This face shape works best with rectangular and cat-eye frames.

Frame Size

If you’re used to wearing prescription eyeglasses, you might be used to following normal sizing recommendations for your glasses. However, when it comes to sunglasses, the rules are a bit different.

With sunglasses, it’s generally better to go a little oversized, especially if you plan on driving with them. Since the main purpose of wearing sunglasses is to protect your eyesight, larger glasses can be more practical. This is especially true for oversized frames, which cover more of your visual field.

Versatility

Sunglasses are just as much a fashion accessory as they are a tool, so making sure they match your aesthetic is key. However, if you’re anything like us, your aesthetic might change day-to-day — maybe even multiple times a day!

When your fashion sense is so wide, it’s not exactly practical to have a pair of sunglasses to fit every mood. Instead, you can opt for our base and top frame system, which allows you to customize your look whenever the whim strikes.

The Bottom Line

It can be hard to stay on top of trends, but there’s no need to worry — we have your back. For the summer of 2024, we expect to see a general trend of modernized takes on old classics. This could look like the bug-eye glasses of the 2000s, cat-eye sunnies of the ‘50s, or square frames of the ‘70s.

When you’re buying sunglasses, trends aren’t the only factors to keep in mind. You’ll also want to think about elements like whether or not the lenses are polarized, what the lens color is, and whether or not the frame shape fits your face.

At Pair Eyewear, all of our sunglasses lenses come polarized and provide UVA and UVB protection. To learn more about how you can customize your sunglasses, view our top frames today.

Sources:

Introducing the New Ray-Ban | Meta Smart Glasses

The Sun, UV Light and Your Eyes | American Academy of Ophthalmology

Sunglasses With Transition Lenses: Pros and Cons | American Academy of Ophthalmology

Choosing Glasses for Your Face Shape | Optometrists.org