Women's sunglasses are a fresh frontier for self-expression. From retro-minimalist frames to bold, statement-making shades, they're an easy way to upgrade any look while offering protection from the sun.
While experimenting with the season's trends is fun, every woman should know how to choose sunglasses that suit both her face shape and lifestyle. This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know about choosing the right women's sunglasses style.
Choosing the best sunglasses for your face shape
A generally foolproof trick is to choose a frame shape that's opposite your face shape. Here's how to identify your face shape and which styles suit you best.
Slightly longer than it is wide, your face is symmetrical and your jawline tapers toward your chin. Just about every style flatters your face, so take your pick.
The widest point of your face is at the cheekbones, then it gradually narrows through to your jaw. Look out for women's sunglasses that are slightly wider than your forehead to balance out your face shape.
Complement your delicate jawline and bring it into proportion with your forehead.
These balance your brow line and have an elongating effect.
This shape has softer angles, slightly wider cheekbones, and a forehead and jawline that are balanced. Bold, angular frames give your face structure when the bottoms hit just above your cheekbones.
Classic and universally flattering, this style's angular lines contrast full cheeks.
Go big with oversized, retro-inspired frames—they're classic and glamorous.
The cat-eye shape is an instant statement-maker that gives your face the illusion of sharper cheekbones.
The prominent topline on this vintage-inspired style highlights your eyes.
Your angular face has a prominent jawline that's fairly equal in width to the forehead and cheekbones. Try curved shades that are proportional to the length and width of your face to add balance.
Particularly chic in neutral materials like tortoise shell and horn.
Rounded corners at the rim and temples make for sky-high style.
Bold and flashy, these round out sharp lines thanks to minimal framing.
As we've noted, curvier styles will soften the angles of your face.
The comfort, safety, and durability of your sunglasses usually come down to their frames, so consider the occasion and your lifestyle when choosing a pair.
Durable and less obtrusive to vision thanks to generally thinner designs.
Lightweight and inexpensive, with high impact-resistance ideal for sports or travel.
A plant-derived composite that’s light as air, rock-solid, and made in every color under the sun.
Acetate or plastic
Great for fashion moments, as these can also be produced in nearly any color.
The lens type you choose will depend on how you want to protect your eyes in varying lighting situations and environments. Different materials affect sunglass clarity, weight, and durability.
Probably the most commonly used since it’s lightweight and durable with excellent clarity.
The OG option. Though breakable, glass does have superior scratch-resistance and clarity.
A super-tough polymer ideal for sport and travel, as it’s lightweight and heat-resistant.
Flexible, resists scratching, and generally less expensive than glass or polycarbonate.
Pretty much all sunglasses these days offer UVB and/or UVA protection, though of course you should double-check for that. However, there are other treatments that can help improve your vision and protect your eyes from sun damage.
The opacity of these lenses will change based on how much light there is. They’ll become darker when it’s sunny and lighter when it’s cloudy or there’s shade.
These are designed to reduce glare, so they’re your best option if you’ll be near water or just have generally sensitive eyes.
This reflective coating also reduces glare, and additionally, compensates for the tint in windows or windshields, making it great for driving or boating.
Transitioning from dark at the top to light at the bottom, these lenses protect your eyes from overhead rays and often have a two-color design that can adjust your vision for various environments. (More on this next.)
Different hues enhance details when you look through them and also adapt to changing weather conditions.
An all-weather option that reduces eye strain, glare, and color tint.
Brown or amber
Best for sunnier days when you need depth perception, like when sailing or golfing.
All the benefits of brown and grey lenses, plus enhanced contrast and visibility.
Filters blue light and sharpens clarity in low-light conditions like fog and haze.
Blue or purple
Great options for sun and snow that relax the eyes and amplify contours.
Pink or red
Particularly great for snow and enhanced contrast and depth of field when driving, cycling, or skiing.