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Published Oct. 5, 2021

Shoes and bags are great, of course, but when it comes to accessories, perhaps there’s no greater MVP than sunglasses. Even a simple pair of sunnies can instantly elevate an outfit. Depending on the frame you choose, they can make you look effortlessly on trend or eternally classic and chic. Whether you fall for timeless aviators, cat eyes, square-shaped, heart-shaped, or oversized, there’s a pair out there for you.

Another aspect that makes sunglasses a must-have accessory is that they are fashionable and functional. Just as you wouldn’t soak up the sun all day without wearing sunscreen, sunglasses are equally crucial to your health to protect your eyes. Quality sunglasses will safeguard your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) exposure, which can help lower your risk of cataracts and eye cancer, among other health conditions.

Make a style statement and stay safe with these best sunglasses for women. And remember—you can never have enough pairs of sunglasses to work into your wardrobe, so sunglasses sprees are fun and functional splurges.

How We Selected the Best Sunglasses

Methodology

If you don’t like the style of a pair of sunglasses, you won’t wear them. That’s why we looked for shades that look good. We were conscious about including a range of styles so that everyone can find a pair that flatters their face shape and works with their personal sense of style. From timeless silhouettes like aviators and tortoiseshell to on-trend looks like oversized cat eye shades and ombre lenses, we opted for the best sunglasses that work across different budgets and aesthetics, from a range of brands. 

From there, we looked for safety, giving preference to UV protection to safeguard your eyes. Features like comfort and scratch-resistant lenses also earned bonus points. Customer reviews were also key, as well as affordability.

The Best Sunglasses: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Ray-Ban RB2140 Original Wayfarer Sunglasses

Still the Classic

These sunglasses are sophisticated, simple, and quietly elegant. Ray-Ban

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Why It Made The Cut: An iconic style, this pair is super classic and built to last. 

Specs:

  • Lens width: 50 mm 
  • 100 percentUV protection
  • Lightweight plastic frame
  • Glass lenses

Pros: 

  • Classic styling
  • High quality
  • Bundle includes a cloth pouch, lens cleaner, and repair kit

Cons:

  • Style may not work for everyone
  • Costly 

One of the most beloved sunglasses brands for decades, Ray-Ban has consistently earned a top spot since they emerged on the scene in 1952. Made from top-notch materials, specifically durable acetate, this pair is very lightweight, making them incredibly comfortable—and will stand the test of time. Wayfarers are super-iconic, so they’ll never go out of style. The unisex frames come in a range of lens colors and treatments, so you can pick the perfect pair for you. 

Highly protective against harmful UV light, Ray-Ban Wayfarers are available in polarized and non-polarized options. A major boon for eye health, they reduce eye strain and improve visibility in glaring light conditions. That means they feel as good as they look. Truly a notable investment, this is a pair well worth adding to your collection. 

Best Aviator-Style: Jessica Simpson Women’s J5596 Metal Aviator Sunglasses

Glam Glasses

These classic shades are available in three colors. Jessica Simpson

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Why It Made The Cut: The ombre lenses give the classic aviators a fresh feel.

Specs:

  • Lens width: 59 mm
  • Metal frames
  • Impact-resistant polycarbonate lens
  • UV-protective coating

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comes in three shades
  • Flattering on most faces

Cons:

  • Some may want more traditional dark lenses

Aviators just might be the sunglasses version of a little black dress—a true classic that everyone needs in their closet that can be worn over and over again and will never go out of style. Jessica Simpson puts a trendy touch on the timeless style by offering it with ombre lenses. Available in three colors—gold, rose gold, and silver—there’s a palette for every taste.

Super-comfortable to wear all day, these metal frames are non-polarized and have a UV protective coating. Those who are prone to scratching their sunnies can rest assured knowing that they feature impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses. For additional protection, they come with a soft white microfiber pouch with a black drawstring closure that doubles as storage and a cleaning cloth.

Best Style-Statement Sunglasses: Quay Australia Reina Mini

Modernized Cat-Eye Glasses

These glamorous sunglasses are also easy to clean. Quay Australia

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Why It Made The Cut: Sleek and striking, these sunnies will elevate any outfit. 

Specs:

  • Lens width: 146 mm
  • Plastic frame
  • Plastic lens
  • Non-polarized

Pros: 

  • Stylish
  • Flattering
  • Well priced

Cons:

  • Style may be too trendy for some tastes

If you want to make a fashion statement, the Quay Australia Reina Mini is for you. Quay is known for making on-trend sunglasses that are the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble, and this pair is no exception. The exaggerated cat eye takes a retro staple and gives it a contemporary touch. Best of all, the style will flatter a wide range of face shapes and sizes.

The sleek frames are made of plastic and have plastic lenses, too, so they’re easy to wipe clean—no constant smudges with this pair! Featuring non-polarized lenses, their dimensions are 146 millimeters for lens width and 48 millimeters for lens height, with a bridge of 22 millimeters.

Best Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Michael Kors Women’s Jan MK2045 55mm

Works for Every Face

These beautifully made sunglasses come with 100 percent UV protection. Michael Kors

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Why It Made The Cut:  Delightfully versatile, these tortoiseshell shades can be worn forever.  

Specs:

  • Lens width: 55 mm
  • 100 percent UV protection
  • Composite lenses
  • Plastic frames

Pros: 

  • Classic tortoiseshell logo and chic stud detailing
  • Comfortable
  • Comes with case

Cons:

  • The frames may be too big for small faces

When you’re building out a sunglasses wardrobe, a tortoiseshell pair is a must. A true classic, these shades from Michael Kors get a contemporary upgrade with their oversized shape that flatter most faces, giving them just enough of a trendy touch. The gold stud detailing is a subtle elevator, adding a chic little bonus. 

These stylish sunnies deliver 100 percent UV protection. Made from smooth acetate, the plastic frames have non-polarized composite lenses. They measure an eye size of 55 millimeters, a bridge of 16 millimeters, and a temple size of 145 millimeters. They weigh in at just one ounce, making them light as a feather and comfy.  

Best Classic Look: Tory Burch Women’s 0ty6051 Aviator

Timeless Style

This high-end brand elevates the classic aviator with American style. Tory Burch

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Why It Made The Cut: Tory Burch puts her signature spin on aviator shades that will never go out of style. 

Specs: 

  • Lens width: 60 mm
  • UV protection
  • Composite lens
  • Polarized

Pros: 

  • Timeless appeal
  • Comfortable
  • Comes with case

Cons:

  • Pricey

Ever since Tory Burch launched her eponymous brand in 2004 in New York City, she’s become famous for her classic style that’s sophisticated yet effortless, and these sunglasses fit the bill. The all-American pair puts the Tory Burch touch on aviators with gold hardware and her signature emblem on the arms. 

The metal frames will keep their shape, while the composite lens is crystal clear. The polarized sunglasses have a lens width of 60 millimeters, a bridge of 14 millimeters, and arms of 140 millimeters.

Things to Consider Before Buying Sunglasses

Sunglasses may seem like a small purchase, but taking the time to pick the right option for you can make them an accessory to count on for years to come.

Face Shape

Your face shape is the most important factor when trying to find a pair of sunglasses that flatter. Generally speaking, a round face calls for Wayfarers or square frames, a square face will do best with round frames, a heart-shaped face should opt for aviators, and those with an oval face can wear any style.

Budget

Sunglasses can range for just a few bucks at the drugstore to well over a grand if you go for the high-end designer route. To ensure you don’t get carried away while shopping, decide how much you want to spend beforehand. 

Personal Style

If you’re someone who sticks to the classics like white button-downs and sheath dresses, you’ll probably want a timeless style of sunglasses to match your aesthetic. Meanwhile, trend chasers will be better suited to an of-the-moment silhouette.

FAQs

Q: Why is UV protection in sunglasses important?

Sunglasses are about a lot more than just fashion: Function is equally important, particularly when it comes to eye health. Protecting your peepers is essential and sunglasses are simply the best way to do just that. UV radiation—regardless of whether it’s from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays—can damage the eye’s surface tissues, cornea, and lens. Your eyes can actually get sunburned, just like your skin. For extra protection, wear a hat as well as sunglasses. It’s best to play it safe and buy sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), wearing proper sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV exposure, which will lower your risk of cataracts, eye cancer, growths, and snow blindness. 

Q: What style should I look for?

Personal style is just that—personal. We’ve all bought things that end up sitting in the back of our closets because they just weren’t right, so you’ll want to avoid that from happening with your sunglasses. To do that, carefully assess your aesthetic first. Do you tend to shop at classic stores and opt for basic styles in a muted color palette? Then you’ll want a timeless pair of sunglasses that you can wear forever, such as aviators and tortoiseshell sunnies. If you’re all about setting and following trends, opt for something more daring, as you’ll want your sunglasses to make a major fashion statement. That’s where cutting-edge frames and unexpected colors come in. Ultimately, it’s about wearing what makes you feel comfortable and fits your look and lifestyle.

Keep in mind that you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses, so you can build up a sunnies wardrobe to play with different looks. Sunglasses are a fun and functional way to experiment with your personal style. Those who are dedicated shoppers will want a mix of timeless and trendy styles to have a range of options. 

Q: How can I find the right sunglasses for my face shape?

Regardless of your budget or your style, we all have one common goal when shopping for sunglasses: We want them to flatter. The easiest way to make that happen is by shopping according to your face shape. While rules are meant to be broken—and you can buy whatever you feel suits you—there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind. Typically, round faces do best with square frames, a heart-shaped face will win with aviators, a square face is flattered by round frames, and oval faces can wear any style. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a key accessory that are often the focal point of your face, making it important to choose the right pair. We found stylish, flattering shades in a range of prices and colors to ensure that everyone can find their best sunglasses for their individual aesthetic and budget. We chose the Ray-Ban RB2140 Original Wayfarer Sunglasses as the best overall for their timeless style and the Quay Australia Reina Mini for their cutting-edge glamour.

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