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- Sunglasses double as a fun fashion statement and protective eyewear.
- Investing in a quality pair will be long-lasting and less prone to break, like cheaper options may.
- Below, see advice from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) on selecting effective, protective frames.
Whether you’re someone who believes in a wardrobe of shades, or you’re a loyalist who wears the same pair every day, you can’t underestimate the importance of a solid pair of sunglasses. While eye protection is a priority, the style of your shades should match your own personal style. From classic circles to slightly-trendier squares, there’s a wide array of retailers boasting unique designs.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for sunglasses:
- They block 100% UV rays: Though the style can make or break sunglasses, protection should take precedence. AAO says this is the most important factor when selecting a pair.
- They are relatively big: Big frames may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but additional coverage can help to prevent sun damage inflicted on the eyes. Pay special attention to wraparound-style glasses, AAO notes, that block some UV rays from entering from the sides.
- They are durable: Look closely at the temples on both sides, as well as the formation of the screw and hinges. You may have to get certain frames adjusted, but make sure they are of good quality.
- They are comfortable: Comfort is key, so you want to take note of how they feel at the bridge of your nose. Some sunglasses have nose pads for extra support, though some people may find slight pressure to their nose uncomfortable. Find a pair that you can wear for hours.
Keeping shopping notes in mind, we rounded up the best places to buy sunglasses so your elegant eyewear will last you throughout the warmer months for years on end. And while this guide specifically calls out sunglasses marketed for women, we think anyone should feel free to wear any type of sunglasses, regardless of gender or how it’s labeled.
Here are the best places to buy women’s sunglasses in 2021:
Ray-Ban has been a favorite retailer of sunglasses for years, thanks to its classic frame shapes and great customer service.
Ray-Ban has been a big name in the sunglass business for over 80 years, and they’re still credited with making some of the best glasses today. They come in a variety of styles, honoring timeless classics like the Aviators, as well as frames inspired by modern trends. Ray-Ban also offers most glasses in a variety of sizes, so you can get a perfect fit for your face.
All Ray-Ban lenses have UV protection, so they’re as functional as they are fashionable. You can choose from classic, mirrored, or polarized lenses. All offer different levels of UV protection and come in a variety of colors.
Many members on the Insider Reviews team swear by their Ray-Bans for their flattering styles and high-quality, durable frames that last for years. You can bet that if you choose to spend the money on a pair of Ray-Bans, it’s an investment you’ll have for a long time. — Remi Rosmarin
Under Armour has an athletic appeal to its sunglasses, which are specifically designed for golfing and other activewear outside.
Much like their workout tanks and leggings, performance is a key player in Under Armour‘s shades. Many of the brand’s glasses feature “multiflection” coatings on the lenses, which helps guard against scratches and smudges if they are dropped. Plus, the coating protects against intense sunlight, which is great for long outdoor workouts.
A great option is the Getaway Mirror Sunglasses, with an adjustable nose pad to help customize the fit. Other great options are the brand’s Glimpse RL Polarized Mirror Lens and Golf Octane Sunglasses. Both are intentionally designed for outdoor wear by eliminating glare without color distortion. Under Armour offers a lifetime warranty, too, should anything go awry.
MVMT sells modern, comfortable shades that are as timeless as the brand’s popular watches.
MVMT is popularly known for its line of simple, yet sleek watches — and its wide array of sunglasses are equally stylish.
The Rival pair, in particular, is one to consider. Featuring sleek round frames and a tortoiseshell design, it’s no surprise this 1950s-inspired model is one of the brand’s bestsellers. The pair is crafted with comfortability and durability in mind, too, with a green lens color that provides a subtle flair to typical eyewear.
Another top pick is the Nightowl — a truly trendy pair. The stainless steel brow bar really pops, giving you a modern twist on a classic Aviator style.
The Ace Sunglasses, a black option with gray lenses, channel the sleek style MVMT is known for, They are mid-sized and provide a sure level of comfort and durability, too. And for all of its sunglasses, MVMT offers a two-year limited warranty on any defects, which just sweetens the deal.
For stylish, anti-glare sunglasses that you can try before you buy, Warby Parker is the place to shop.
Warby Parker has been making budget-friendly eyewear since 2010, and the brand’s focus on quality and affordability make them a true standout. Unlike other retailers, Warby Parker allows you to choose up to five frames to try for five days before you buy them. Find a pair you love, and the brand will send you a brand new pair — they’ll even add your prescription.
All of Warby Parker’s sunglasses feature anti-scratch and anti-glare coatings at no extra cost, which certainly will help you keep the sun at bay. An eye-catching piece is the Delaney, a unique blend of rose gold and medium brown in a chic style.
Warby Parker‘s “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” pledge is another reason to shop this brand. With this program, Warby Parker will donate a pair of glasses to someone in need with every purchase of a pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses. That way, you can feel as good as you look.
For a sweet splurge on sunglasses, Shopbop has you covered with brands like Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Prada.
Shopbop is one of my favorite places to shop because the curation of products is on point season after season.
If you’re looking to splurge on a pair of sunglasses, Shopbop has more than enough options to excite your shopping senses. The online store has a dedicated designer sunglass boutique where you can find eyewear from brands like Prada, Gucci, and Saint Laurent.
Whether it’s timeless styles or on-trend frames, Shopbop has them all. They also have a host of more affordable options from brands like Quay and Le Specs if that’s what you’re looking for.
One of my favorite things about Shopbop is that you can sign in with your Amazon account and get all of the Prime benefits with your Shopbop order — that means free, speedy two-day shipping and free returns. On top of that, Shopbop offers outfit ideas with every product, including sunglasses. You can choose to “shop the look” at the bottom of the page and find some great inspiration for clothing pairings. For high-end sunglasses and a style-first experience, you can’t go wrong with Shopbop. — Remi Rosmarin, commerce reporter
GlassesUSA has a slew of options, including designer frames, that allow you to customize your perfect pair of sunglasses.
GlassesUSA provides a bevy of eyewear options, yet its sunglasses really stand apart. Offering designer sunglasses, like Ray-Ban, along with prescription frames and sports options, they have a pair for every need and lifestyle imaginable.
Conveniently, GlassesUSA makes customizing sunglasses accessible. Just upload your prescription, choose your insurance provider, and have fun adding cute finds to your shopping cart. There is also a 100% money-back guarantee when ordering from GlassesUSA, so it’s not only a great hub to try out new trends,
A sharp choice is the Tom Ford TF606, featuring full-rimmed round frames with adjustable nose pads for a customized fit. The Amelia E. Kristy and Ottoto Damiano pairs, on the other hand, offer the oversized look AAO recommends for receiving enough UV ray protection — and are also happen to be super stylish.
Costa Del Mar
Costa Del Mar has an array of options that are sustainable, don’t distort color, and are perfect for water activities.
If you’re looking for sustainable shades, Costa Del Mar is your one-stop-shop for designs made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. And, the sunglasses are of high quality — there are at least eight people who inspect each pair before it ships. We were blown away in our review of the brand.
For each pair, the hinges are corrosion-resistant and the frames are colored with bio-resin to prevent chipping. Not to mention, the brand is well known for its 580 lens technology that polarizes while eliminating glare and filtering reflective light for clarity.
For lifestyle glasses, the new Mayas feature a lightweight frame in an attention-grabbing cat-eye style. The nose pads and temple grips help keep them comfortably on your face in the warmer months, too.
Check out our other women’s style guides