It always feels like a surprise when summer rolls around, as though we were expecting it to skip a year. Slowly but surely the sun begins to come out regularly and temperatures hit more agreeable levels. A symptom of our pessimism about summer happening each year is that we leave our summer shopping to the last minute. While many of us are already thinking about which styles of coat the Autumn/Winter season might call for, just as many are still looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses.

There can be a lot to consider when buying sunglasses, primarily the quality of the lenses, frame and joints but also the style and whether it will suit your face. We all have different faces, thankfully, which means we all suit different frames. Here are a few things to look out for when considering your next pair of designer shades.

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Clear / Blue Palermo Sunglasses

What is the purpose of the sunglasses?

As a general starting point, consider why you’re buying the glasses – as well as giving you an idea on price ranges, it will allow you to narrow down which kind of lenses you need. For example, if the plan is for a holiday of bike-riding and hiking, or if you know you’ll be out in the sun all day wandering from museum to gallery then opt for something like Vuarnet Edge Rectangle Sunglasses. Vuarnet is known for high-performance eyewear. This pair features polarised lenses for maximum protection and clarity as well as an acetate and stainless steel frame made to the highest quality for strength and durability. These specifications may not be necessary, though, if your plans only extend as far as beaches, bars and restaurants. In this case you can opt for something a touch more stylised like KAMO Palermo Sunglasses. While the lenses are by Carl Zeiss – one of the world’s most trusted lens makers – they won’t provide much sun protection, just shade.

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Black Doc Sunglasses

What is your face shape?

We know it’s hard to be critical but it will pay off when you find a pair that suits you perfectly. Take a look in the mirror or take a photo of your face from straight ahead. The key to styling your shape is balance: look to harden soft features and soften hard features.

Round face

Opt for something with contrasting angles and thinner frames like YMC Olive Olmo Sunglasses. The thin bridge will work to widen your eyes while the angular frames will accentuate your sharper features.

Oval face

If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face then you’ve got free rein. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to see what feels best personally.

Square face

As with a round face, contrast square features with round frames like Han Kjobenhavn Black Doc Sunglasses. Another simple technique is to choose a semi-rimmed frame like KAMO Black / Metal Grey Continental Sunglasses to counterbalance a strong jawline.

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What is your style?

Assess the rest of your wardrobe, figure out – if you don’t already know – what your basic style is and work from there. If you usually wear minimal clothing, you’ll probably feel more comfortable in a pair of vintage, minimal frames like Gold Folk x OD Pinto Sunglasses while a bolder wardrobe opens the possibility for more unorthodox, contemporary shapes like Dick Moby Bern Sunglasses or Han Kjobenhavn Clip-On Doc Sunglasses.

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Black Clip-On Doc Sunglasses
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Black Clip-On Doc Sunglasses

The most important part of buying a new pair of sunglasses is that you feel comfortable in them. The tips we’ve laid out here are shortcuts but aren’t steadfast, if you have a round face but find a pair of round rimmed sunglasses that suit you, don’t hesitate in buying them. If you are stuck though, stick to our advice and you can’t go too far wrong.

Shop all sunglasses at OPUMO.

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