Go From Plain Jane To J.Lo With These Shades
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Just like sunscreen with a high SPF protects your skin from the sun, a quality pair of sunglasses protects your eyes from UV rays and sun damage. “Sunglasses are not only a fashion accessory, but they are also key to protecting your eyes and the area around them from the harmful effects of UV exposure,” says Michelle Hoff, OD, optometrist and associate clinical professor at University of California Berkeley.
ICYDK, UV rays can have a serious impact on your eye health and can lead to health conditions such as cataracts, photokeratitis (damage to your cornea), pinguecula (noncancerous growth of the conjunctiva), and even cancer, says Dr. Hoff. In addition to sun protection, sunglasses can also help shield your eyes against environmental debris and wind, adds Dr. Hoff—cause no one likes getting a random grain in their eye when they're just trying to cross the street.
And alas, yes—aside from the health benefits, the right pair of shades can also help you style up any outfit. A chic pair of sunnies can take you from casual to runway-ready. Time to shop for some—below, find the 16 best sunglasses for women and what to look for in a good pair of shades, per customer reviews and experts.
If you have a small face and struggle to find shades that are the right size, look no further than these sunglasses from Sunski. The frames are recyclable and sustainable, too, and the polarized lenses allow you to do all your favorite outdoor activities with ease. It’s a win-win.
Rave Review: "The sunglasses fit my face perfectly and the lenses give ample protection from the sun. I have gotten lots of compliments, too! Love that they’re made from recycled materials. Definitely recommend."
Ron's Smoke and Mirrors
Thankfully, you don’t have to break the bank when it comes to buying a good quality pair of sunglasses. These classic sunglasses from Goodr feature polarized, non-reflective lenses, helping reduce glare on even the sunniest of days (no more squinting!).
Rave Review: I'm super impressed with these—they are really comfortable and stay on my face without bouncing around at all while running. So happy to have found an inexpensive pair of running sunglasses!
Outta Love Sunglasses
Worn by celebs like Bella Hadid, these chic sunglasses from Le Specs are all the rage—and for good reason. Inspired by ‘90s frames, these stylish sunglasses are bound to be your next outfit staple. Don’t believe me? 100 percent of reviewers would recommend these shades to a friend.
Rave Review: “I love these sunnies—the quality is so so gooood and they’re exactly like what I expected. They look very cute and classy and are a good staple for hot girl summer!”
If you’re out and about all day driving or running errands and need a pair of sunnies that’ll stay put on your noggin, look no further than these cool shades from Roka. These sweat-resistant sunglasses offer excellent eye protection in even the brightest of conditions. The frames are made from TR-90 nylon, which is more lightweight than acetate or polycarbonate.
Rave Review: “They fit great and super comfortable! I am active and they don’t fall off of my face. Best sunglasses I’ve ever had!”
These highly-rated polarized shades from Quay are cool, stylish, and protective—you get luxury at a reasonable price. A celeb-favorite brand, you can make sure you're escaping the paparazzi as you walk your city streets.
Rave Review: “This brand never disappoints! I owned the oversized sunglasses before so I decided to try this one since my face is slender. It is so adorable. The fit is perfect and I can tell that the seller packaged this with love. Just get it."
These polarized frames from Nectar are timeless and chic. Oh, and FYI: All of Nectar’s frames are made with recycled single-use plastics or plant byproducts, meaning they’re great for the environment, too. Who knew sustainability could look so sexy?
Rave Review: “Great sunglasses! I love the fit—lightweight, no slipping, pinching, or rubbing. These beauties look great on my face and really block out those damaging, painful rays on my migraine days—also perfect for any sunny day! Considering grabbing another pair!”
H Series Pacific Grace Sunglasses
These unique shades from Blenders are lightweight, cool, and gentle to eyes, thanks to their UV-protective coating. (Dare I say? The pink gradient lenses even look like a gorgeous sunset.) Unsure about the fit or style? Blenders has a 45-day free return policy to ensure you’re happy with your purchase.
Rave Review: “Love these beauties! They are great, lightweight, and sexy!”
Maestro Metal Classic Round Sunglasses
Polarized, blue light-blocking, and scratch-resistant? Say less. These anti-glare sunglasses from Privé Revaux are practical, lightweight, and super cute.
Rave Review: “These are not oversized in any way and that is nice for those of us with small faces. The lenses are nice and provide a nice view while blocking the sun's rays. They are lightweight, but still sturdy."
The Heavy Tropix
If you’re on TikTok or Instagram, you’ve likely seen Crap Eyewear, Gen Z’s new favorite sunglasses brand. All of CRAP Eyewear’s shades are sustainable and unisex, and just make you look really, really cool. These frames in particular are polarized and provide 100 percent UVA/UVB protection.
Rave Review: “I got five compliments on my first day wearing them! They arrived quickly—love the tint, love the color. My boyfriend wants to buy them off me. Not happening.”
Love Sick Sunglasses
Did somebody say chic? If you have a long, oval, or rectangular face shape, look no further than these sunglasses from Z Supply. These polarized sunnies are fashionable yet protective, providing 100 percent UVA, UVB, and UVC protection (triple whammy!).
Rave Review: “I get a pair of sunglasses each year from Z Supply. They never disappoint. The glasses look great on! So unique! My vision is not blocked in any direction when driving and my eyes are totally protected from the sun.”
Polarized Aviator Sunglasses
These aviator sunglasses from Maui Jim are perfect for beach days, trail hikes, and everything in between. They’re polarized and even come with a two-year warranty. What more could you ask for in a pair of shades?
Rave Review: “Maui Jim’s offer great glare reduction while driving at night. I was bothered by oncoming head light glare and I tried wearing my Maui Jim’s. They worked and I could actually see everything else on the road. I know they weren’t designed for this, so I don’t recommend it for everyone."
Cohort Rectangular Sunglasses
These stylish shades from Oakley are durable yet lightweight, and are perfect for lifestyle and performance activities. All of Oakley’s lenses are designed and tested under extreme high velocity circumstances to ensure they can survive any weather condition.
Rave Review: "I have a pair in the house, one in the Audi, one in my golf bag—best sunglasses I’ve ever had."
A modern take on the classic cat-eye, these stylish Madewell sunglasses will become your new go-to's. Better yet, the lenses offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. There’s nothing like keeping your eyes safe in style.
Rave Review: “I love my new glasses! They are so comfortable and very sturdy. I’m very picky about my glasses and these are perfect!”
Parallel 2 Sunglasses
If you need a pair of sunglasses that’ll survive all your outdoor activities, then opt for these performance sunnies from Smith. Offering 100 percent UV protection, these polarized shades are perfect for partly cloudy mornings, bright afternoons, and everything in between. Reviewers say they have the perfect tint, too.
Rave Review: “I love my new Parallel 2 glasses. I have tried many others for Nordic skiing and they all fogged up. These worked wonderfully and the lenses were the perfect tint.”
Original Wayfarer Classic
If you’re familiar with Ray-Ban, you’ve probably seen these iconic Wayfarer frames. The polarized lenses provide 100 percent UVA/UVB protection and are also available in a prescription. Also, the high bridge fit is perfect if the bridge of your nose is above the level of your pupils—comfort over everything.
Rave Review: "If you want a pair of sunglasses that will last the test of time with its durability and style then look no further than the Ray Ban Wayfarer."
Remmy Ð Unisex Retro Round Sunglasses
If you often opt for retro-inspired glasses like Dr. Hoff does, check out these adorable polarized sunnies from Raen. The honey-colored frames scream Southern California charm, and the green polarized lenses offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection.
Rave Review: “I love these glasses! This is the second pair I’ve gotten (just a new color). Highly recommend! They fit great and are super light.”
What brand of sunglasses is best?
When looking for a good quality pair of sunglasses, it’s important to consider four main things: lens quality, frame quality, value, and comfort. Dr. Hoff breaks it all down below:
Lens quality is mega important in a pair of sunglasses because it dictates how much your eyes will be protected from the sun.
100% UVA/UVB Protection
“A quality pair of sunglasses will block 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation,” Dr. Hoff explains. Quick rundown: UV radiation can be broken down into UV A, B, and C. While A and B cause tissue damage, C can cause some damage, but it is blocked by the ozone, says Dr. Hoff. (That’s why most sunglasses don’t offer UVC protection.) Okay, so 100 percent UVA/UVB protection? Check.
From there, you’ll want to decide if you want polarized or non-polarized lenses. “Polarized lenses are designed to reduce reflected light from flat shiny surfaces like glass, sand, snow, water, and the road to increase visual comfort and create a sharper image,” Dr. Hoff explains.
Polarized lenses are best if you plan on wearing sunglasses while enjoying outdoor sports and activities like fishing, boating, cycling, and sailing, she adds. Non-polarized lenses, on the other hand, are tinted, but “just filter out the visible light,” Dr. Hoff says.
Beyond polarized versus non-polarized, you’ll also want to look at the tint. “Different tints can enhance colors, making them brighter and more vivid,” Dr. Hoff explains. “Other tints can mute or distort colors, reduce glare, block light, or improve depth perception and visual acuity.”
For example, if you’re a skier, you’ll likely want rose-tinted lenses because they reduce eye strain and enhance details. On the other hand, if you want an all-purpose pair of sunnies you can wear anytime, anywhere, you’ll likely want to opt for gray, brown, or green lenses.
Frame quality is also a crucial thing to consider, says Dr. Hoff. “When it comes to frames, I always say, ‘You usually get what you pay for, but there’s always exceptions to the rule.’ If you spend $10, you usually get $10 worth of quality,” Dr. Hoff says.
Popular frame materials include plastic, acetate, metal, and nylon. However, some sunglasses brands—like Oakley—use their own patented materials to ensure their frames are lightweight yet durable. Pro tip: When buying a new pair of shades, read reviews and see what shoppers say about frame quality.
This may be a no brainer, but you want a good value when it comes to buying sunglasses. Think about it: Your sunglasses protect your eyes.
Before shopping online for a new pair of shades, think about your budget. While lots of quality sunglasses start at around $25, some can be hundreds of dollars, depending on the quality. However, Dr. Hoff notes not to skimp out when it comes to caring for your eyes. “Protecting your eye health and vision should be a priority, not an afterthought.”
Lastly, you want a pair of shades that feels comfortable on your face, especially since you’ll likely be wearing them a lot (sun protection is a year round thing, babe). To ensure the perfect fit, you want to make sure your frames fit well across the bridge of your nose as well as around your ears, Dr. Hoff says.
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